With some of the most iconic imagery ever committed to film, this exceptionally beautiful specimen of movie-making (The New Yorker) is recognized as a modern masterpiece and a landmark in late twentieth-century art (Time Out London). Actress Elisabet Vogler (Liv Ullmann) has stopped speaking and withdrawn completely. Under doctor’s orders, she’s taken to a remote seaside cottage by a nurse, Alma (Bibi Andersson). Alma chats to fill the silence and gradually begins to lay bare her entire identity until she discovers it is being coolly sucked away from her. As the women battle for control and sanity, the question becomes not which of them is patient and which is caregiver, but are they two separate women at all? –MGM
The most famed and honored filmmaker ever to emerge from the nation of Sweden – and regarded by many as one of the three or four most brilliant directors of the 20th century – Ingmar Bergman radically altered the nature and meaning of the motion-picture form, transfiguring a medium long devoted to spectacle into an art capable of profoundly personal meditations into the myriad struggles facing the psyche and the soul. By focusing on the exploration of self with unparalleled intensity, Bergman brought to the screen a new sense of emotional intimacy, fusing the concepts behind Freudian psychotherapy with a dreamlike sensibility founded on visual metaphors, flashbacks, and extreme close-ups to create a revelatory cinematic world unlike any before it.
Born Ernst Ingmar Bergman on July 14, 1918, in Uppsala, Sweden, he followed a brief 1938 military stay by attending Stockholm University. While there, he staged his first plays, among them adaptations of Macbeth, August Strindberg’s… read more
Haunting, unsettling, poetic. Raises big questions about personal identity all while maintaing a lovely, discordant rhythm in a shadowy dream world. As always, Bergman casts the perfect actors & actresses for his characters. The plot comes secondary to the poetry in this one. Several moments will stick in my memory: the nurse's heartbreakingly honest secrets, the repeated scene about childbirth, the disappointment after the read letter.
Interpreting this film in 420 characters is futile, so I will say one thing - it impacted me deeply. As much of an experiment in personal identity and sexuality as a reflexive look at the cinema itself, Persona is a powerful film that truly allows the viewer to interpret separate aspects of the film independently. Just as Elisabet makes Alma super-aware of herself, the film has the same impact on the viewer.
One day we simply get to a place where we don't know where do we end and where the other begins. It's all blurred lines. The lack of feelings for catastrophes is a theme I'm really into too. I see the discussion about this movie is still really awake, I guess there is a lot to do with personal interpretation.
The workshop “Video Essays: Film Scholarship’s Emergent Form” takes place this evening in Boston.
A rediscovered interview, a new issue, a fresh round of lists of the best of 2011.
Ingmar Bergman’s Persona is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. It’s also in some way about film itself. The abstract opening sequence is unsettling, it reminds you of the fact that you… read review
Elisabet, atriz de teatro e cinema, está internada numa clínica psiquiátrica. Pois após encenar a peça Electra, ela ficou em estado de silêncio profundo, não falando e não se movendo por três meses… read review
Honestly, I don’t find this film difficult to understand. It’s not ambiguous, I think it’s quite clear what Bergman is saying. Of course, I may be wrong,
First, you must understand that Elizabeth… read review
Ingmar Bergman’s 1966 film, Persona, is a work of deconstructivism. This was a postmodernist movement of the mid-60’s that strived to produce, essentially, art for art’s own sake. Moreover… read review