Friday, March 9, 2012

Persona (1966)

Persona is a film by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, released in 1966, and starring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. Bergman held this film to be one of his most important; in his book Images, he writes: "Today I feel that in Persona—and later in Cries and Whispers—I had gone as far as I could go. And that in these two instances when working in total freedom, I touched wordless secrets that only the cinema can discover." He also said that

At some time or other, I said that Persona saved my life—that is no exaggeration. If I had not found the strength to make that film, I would probably have been all washed up. One significant point: for the first time I did not care in the least whether the result would be a commercial success...

Bergman wrote Persona during nine weeks while recovering from pneumonia. During filming Bergman wanted to call the film A Bit of Cinematography. His producer suggested something more accessible and the title of the film was changed. Persona is a minimalist film: although five actors appear onscreen, Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann are the only ones to appear for more than a minute, and Elisabet Vogler (Ullmann's character) speaks only fourteen words in the film. There are no dressing-props; only items the characters use are shown onscreen. The imagery is dominated by extreme contrast, with the cottage scenes being drenched by intense sunlight that washes the image out in a white glare, and the actors wearing solid black costumes, simple hairstyles, and no make-up.

Persona is considered one of the major works of the 20th century by essayists and critics such as Susan Sontag, who referred to it as Bergman's masterpiece. Other critics have described it as "one of this century’s great works of art". In Sight and Sound’s 1972 poll of the ten greatest films of all time, Persona was ranked at number five.

Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part01
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part02
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part03
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part04
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part05
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part06
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part07
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part08
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part09
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part10
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part11
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part12
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part13
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part14
Ingmar Bergman - Persona Part15



No comments: