The acting caught me by surprise. It was so natural for the timeline. The way camera captured their expressions was very interesting too. I had to look for other work from this director. And there are a lot. This one didn’t work for me though. It felt too personal and not interesting.
👏 The Criterion DVD has a few moments that are censored from this MGM version. Also, it has a new and more explicit translation in the English subtitles. It's even more intense. This is a movie you cannot tear your eyes from. The scene where Bibi Andersson describes a sexual encounter on the beach, will leave you needing a cold shower.
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.
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.
PERSONA is everything a film should be - visually groundbreaking, thematically complex, and a deeply involving emotional experience.
"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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
Elisabeth Vogler, The Actress: "Nothing... nothing!"
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