Saturday, 9 March 2013

A June Night

A June Night was made just prior to Hollywood poaching Ingrid Bergman for its own (and worldwide) consumption.  Entitled Juninatten in its native Sweden the film tells the initially unhappy tale of a wayward woman called Kersten (Bergman) who is shot during a row with her lover (one of many, as is suggested by subtext).  Luckily she survives and it prompts an urge to modify her fortunes: wanting to make a new start she changes her name, moves location, and secures a respectable job in a chemist, but it's not long before the tremors of her old life are beginning to make waves in her new one.  However, tumultuous events may serendipitously hold the key to a door that potentially leads to a happier future for Kersten.

The fairly charming story (punctuated by a little tragedy) is unfolded slowly, with Bergman's character at the centre of most people's attention one way or another, whether she likes it or not.  She causes annoyance in women, because their men lust after her, and she can't help but attract men, usually the unwanted kind.  Bergman herself exudes unparallelled beauty and charisma for the period, granting her character with a level of tortured but warming humanity that makes the film worth seeking out.  The subtitled black and white fullscreen version (as it's meant to be seen) was screened in the late nineties on BBC Television.

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