This review of the new Criterion Collection Blu-rays of “Smiles of a Summer Night” and “Something Wild” appears on KTKA-49.
Legendary director Ingmar Bergman rose to international prominence in 1955 with “Smiles of a Summer Night,” a comedy of manners about Swedish couples at the turn-of-the century. Sound boring? It’s not.
Digitally restored by Criterion and released on Blu-ray and DVD, Bergman’s classic sparkles with wit and innuendo in a way that most modern romantic comedies can’t even come close to. Viewing it in 2011, its still surprisingly modern, and the ensemble cast is in top form.
Also out from Criterion this week is “Something Wild,” a fun, offbeat, and mildly subversive 1986 comedy from Jonathan Demme, the man behind “The Silence of the Lambs.” This is about as polar opposite from that movie as you can get.
Jeff Daniels is an uptight businessman who falls for a wild Melanie Griffith, who is at her kinky best here. There are lots of unexpected twists and a menacing early turn from Ray Liotta as a psychotic ex-boyfriend. This all helps the movie maintain a really good sense of danger.