Persona

Persona

DVD | Swedish
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An actress has inexplicably gone mute; a young nurse cares for her in a remote island cottage. While isolated together there, the women perform a mysterious spiritual and emotional transference that would prove to be one of cinema's most influential ideas.

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v
VonHafenstaaad
Oct 24, 2017

The intimacy and the intensity of the camera's focus and the increasingly naked confessions and accusations in the dialogue create one of the most intense character pieces put on film.

n
Nursebob
Oct 23, 2017

Like any abstract painting what one sees in Bergman’s opus is entirely subjective. An opening barrage of split-second film clips suggests this is a movie about moviemaking. Indeed, some cinematic conceits seem to support this. In critiquing the artificiality of stagecraft Bergman is also addressing our inability to communicate honestly. And then there’s his pet bugaboo, the existential angst of our own mortality with Elisabet horrified by a newscast on the Viet Nam War and Alma tossing out nihilistic quotes. Andersson and Ullman give fine performances, displaying a sensuous fluidity to their movements as they orbit about one another, Bergman exploits B&W for all its artistic potential—light and shadow figure prominently as open doors and windows hint at a deeper symmetry—and cinematographer Sven Nykvist concentrates his talents on maintaining a mood of unease with tense close-ups and a brilliant tracking shot along a restless beach. But for all its artfulness you’re left with the impression that this is a film you’re "supposed" to love even though time and imitation have diminished much of its initial impact. An arthouse centrepiece for sure, but definitely not my favourite Bergman film.

t
TheeAvebury
Oct 23, 2017

PERSONA is everything a film should be - visually groundbreaking, thematically complex, and a deeply involving emotional experience.

c
Calvacade
Oct 23, 2017

"Persona" is the equivalent of cinematic poetry, and like many poems, it relies on striking visual imagery and symbolism to convey its meaning (or meaninglessness) rather than the conventional, linear narrative of most films. While hauntingly beautiful, "Persona" is clearly open to interpretation, as many great poems are. The film is a frustrating, paradoxical enigma, but leaves the viewer breathless with its dazzling images and thought provoking "silences".

t
thornhill_boy
Sep 11, 2017

Although slow and art house to the core, the movie kept me engrossed due to its intensity. In the end, I had no clue what it meant really. Left me kind of floored. It was my first Ingmar and it will take me some time to try his next.

b
BenHarrison20
Mar 21, 2017

Truly a masterpiece. One of the most thought-provoking films ever made from Swedish master, Ingmar Bergman. The acting in this film is unreal. Liv Ullman is able to do so much with silence. Truly an incredible film.

Vincent T Lombardo Apr 10, 2016

A very powerful, disturbing, and riveting film about infatuation, betrayal, and the devastating power of silence. (The use of silence reminded me of another great film, "Le Silence de la Mer" or "The Silence of the Sea", a French film released in 1949.) The movie is very challenging because it is bleak and often blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Is a character really saying or doing something, or is the character imagining saying or doing something? Of course, it is only a movie, so the whole thing is fantasy, right? The acting is incredible, especially Bibi Andersson, who shows great range. It is certainly not an entertaining, feel-good movie. Very thought- provoking and not for everyone.

a
akirakato
Feb 21, 2015

This is a 1966 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann.
The story revolves around a young nurse named Alma (Bibi Andersson) and her patient, a well-known stage actress named Elisabet Vogler (Liv Ullmann), who has suddenly ceased to speak.
It has been labelled a psychological drama and modernist horror.
It deals with the themes of illness, bleakness, death and insanity.
Although considered as one of the major works of the 20th century by essayists and critics and as Bergman's masterpiece, this film seems to me a flop simply because it is a bleak and insane story about the sick woman.
Even if you could understand this sick woman, what good would it give to you? and how could the film improve your life?
The film simply describes the otherworldly insight of a sick woman.

m
Monolith
Oct 15, 2012

I hated this movie. It's simply a horrible film. Overrated, pretentious, artsy-fartsy garbage. I felt like I was watching one of Bergman's home movies, dosed with a bad impromptu script. The key to comprehending this atrocious piece of crap is simple. Bergman got to play with two beautiful Scandinavian women in the name of 'art' (one of whom he was intimately involved with -- Liv Ullman). Add a burning Buddhist monk, and drive a nail through a hand for shock value, and all the beatnik ding-dongs of the day (and beyond!) considered him genius. Utter nonsense.

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Erland
Jun 21, 2011

It's been 25 years since I last saw it, and I might not attempt an explanation anyways. But if you're interested in Bergman, try Sawdust and Tinsel, Smiles of a Summer Night, or Fanny and Alexander, all in the library. These are much more accessible and considered to be among his best films. The library also has his Scenes from a Marriage -- originally a five-hour series on Swedish t.v. It's amazing. The streets of Stockholm were empty every night it was on. Then watch one of his last films, Saraband, which shows the same married couple 30 years later. Very intense.

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m
Monolith
Oct 15, 2012

Elisabeth Vogler, The Actress: "Nothing... nothing!"

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