By the mid 60s, Bergman had already conjured many of the cinema’s most unforgettable images. But with the radical Persona, the supreme artist attained new levels of visual poetry. A nurse is put in charge of an actress who no longer speaks and finds that the actress’ persona is melding with hers.
Incontestable jewel in the crown, Persona is an endlessly fascinating labyrinth of desires, repressions and compulsions. Bergman experiments with the subconscious to reach sublime and transcendent levels of narrative freedom. A film so visionary that it’s indispensable to understand modern cinema.
Everytime you enter into the mysteries of "Persona" the experience makes you merge with the film and its character(s). No matter how you interpret it, you'll always get deep inside the human mind. A fascinating masterpiece.
Being in/watching Bergman films always made me feel like existing in a completely different time and space opposite of my own. A land so foreign and absurd, yet so familiar and natural ; our own subconsciousness. A psychological roller-coaster ride you need once in a while to let loose. and Persona is the colossal twister rail that stirs my stomach like a hurricane and plunge me out of seat and into oblivion.
Mind-blowing. I remember thinking that I don't know what the hell I just saw...but that it was one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking films I have seen. And I knew I would watch it again and again.
Rewatch of a 35mm semicentennial print. This originally came out the same year as Antonioni's Blow-Up, which is odd given that both films are more or less 'about' the same thing -how perceived images (real or fake) have a palpable effect on our consciousness. This goes further, though, by demonstrating how the body is inextricable from the perception process (what would Merleau-Ponty have thought of this film?)...
A cogent meta-narrative exploring the blurred lines between love and hate. Bergman's tropes are often utilised in contemporary cinema (none more so than by his most famous fan, Woody Allen) and occasionally parodied (500 Days of Summer), but his avant-garde affectations rivalled Bunuel for their semantic clout.
Outward, everyday performativity (Vogler) bisected from driving inner forces of belief and desire (Alma); patriarchal expectations and maternal guilt render unity of self an impossible responsibility. Also a parable for performance itself; an actress resorts to meager co-existence when a part baffles empathetically, even as the dream of pure transformation lingers. Bergman setting the bar way too fucking high.