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9

FRIDAY

Ingmar Bergman had no delusions about what kind of guy he was. In a memoir, Images, he notes that “from an early age onward it was said that ‘Ingmar has no sense of humor.’” While making 1955’s Smiles of a Summer Night, the director was contemplating suicide and was wracked with pain from what he was sure was stomach cancer. Yet he managed to make a blithe (if subtly pointed) romantic comedy that was a popular success and remains a critical favorite. The themes are entirely Bergmanesque—flirtation, adultery, and true love between people who can’t stand each other—but treated with unusual delicacy, wrapped in grand period costumes, and dappled with northern light. Remade by Woody Allen as A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, it also served as the source for Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. It screens at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5677. (Mark Jenkins)