Persona (1966/Bergman) Capo got it about right, fantastic and fascinating. Having read the basic premise of the plot prior to my viewing, I had mediocre expectations, but those were almost instantly discarded by the first few moments of the film, so much so that I grabbed the DVD case and almost ejected the disc to make sure I was watching the right movie. These somewhat negative hopes for the film's potential were mostly created by my only previous Bergman film, Wild Strawberries, which I expected to like much more than I did. These two films represent one of the most dramatic visual and mental maturations of a director I've ever witnessed, almost to the point of questioning whether it's even the same man behind the helm. While Strawberries seemed to only dabble in the issues that are fully explored here, it also never strayed too far from it's roots in simple dramatic storytelling, a statement that could not be accurately applied to this film. Persona represents perhaps the best treading of the line between avant-garde and fiction film, next to only 2001. It's one of those films where I really came away feeling as though I'd actually learned something, not just been told a story, as Capo's been recently discussing over on the GBB boards. And jesus christ, I am in love with Bibi Anderson.
Persona Ingmar Bergman 1966 SwedenWhilst caring for a mentally ill patient, a nurse begins to have a nervous breakdown herself.Fantastic and fascinating, a film which evolves and rewards enormously when revisited. Shot in piercing black and white, its images will haunt and linger. Bergman explores cinematic illusion by means of a character's insanity: a conscious charade of mental illness in one character, the descent into frustration and identity confusion in another. Bold and daring, it has that rare, elusive quality of having been economically efficient - edited to the point of being inch-perfect in length and pace. Aesthetically resounding and psychologically profound.
I'm an ugly bag of mostly water born to be informed and the only one that knows me is Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Visually stunning, deeply ambiguous, and wonderfully allegorical study of the human psyche. Bergman explores multiple themes of human relations and individual existence here, including the differences that lie between our internal and extrernal personae (thus, the title of the film), and our ability to know and reflect upon other human beings; two themes that have interested me for as long as I can remember. The film's form adds to this; there are multiple scenes where a still camera simply films a character (usually Alma) speaking, which is perhaps Bergman showing his internal persona, while there are also multiple scenes where Bergman abandons any type of dialogue/monologue in favor of a series of haunting, but seemingly meaningless images, which is perhaps Bergman's external persona showing through. Every scene in this film oozes with provocativeness, and a lot of the images Bergman creates will linger in my mind for quite some time. Incredible, incredible, incredible film.
As Antony said to Cleopatra, as he opened a crate of ale "Oh I say...some girls are bigger than others"