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A Woman’s Face: Ingrid Bergman in Europe

Saturday, November 7, 2009
6:30 p.m. Intermezzo
Gustaf Molander (Sweden, 1936)

“Love doesn’t ask us to be sensible,” Gösta Ekman says to Ingrid Bergman in Intermezzo, and luckily, neither do melodramas like this. The story is of a budding young pianist, Anita (Bergman), who is swept off her feet by a renowned concert violinist, Holger (Ekman), the father of one of her pupils. Their courtship/concert-tour is told in film language run rampant (torrid kisses superimposed over moving trains), but there is something magical about the fake little Tyrolean village where it all stops. It is there that Bergman, who already evinces the inner conflict between passion and decorum, urgency and aplomb that would define her screen persona, has her moment of heart-stopping honesty. “A human being only experiences such happiness once” is the running gag—but Anita knows that Holger, as a man, will have had it twice.

—Judy Bloch

• Written by Molander, Gösta Stevens. Photographed by Åke Dahlqvist. With Gösta Ekman, Ingrid Bergman, Inga Tidblad, Hans Ekman. (93 mins, In Swedish with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, From Swedish Film Institute, courtesy Svensk Filmindustri)