Archive for May 24th, 2009

persona 1

by Allan Fish

Persona (Sweden 1966 81m) DVD1/2 

Two-Faced Woman

p  Lars-Owe Carberg  d/w  Ingmar Bergman  ph  Sven Nykvist  ed  Ulla Rhyge  m  Lars John Werle  art  Bibi Lindström 

Bibi Andersson (Nurse Alma), Liv Ullmann (Elisabeth Vogler), Margaretha Krook (Dr Lakaren), Gunnar Björnstrand (Mr Vogler), Jorgen Lindström (the boy),

This has nothing to do with Ernst Lubitsch’s supremely disastrous comedy of 1941, except that its star is Swedish.  And as for the genre, well this is about as close to being a comedy as any set of Antipodean locations on the globe.  But Persona is in my opinion one of the best films of its decade, the greatest film of its director and the supreme cinematic expression of the human soul…and then some.

            An actress has suddenly stopped talking, right in the middle of a performance of Sophocles’ Electra, and, after being observed by medical experts, they conclude that there is basically nothing wrong with her, though the woman displays some psychosomatic tendencies.  A young nurse is assigned to her care, who immediately questions her own ability to do the job, but is nonetheless soon on her way to actress’ remote coastal home to help her recuperate.  While there, the two women grow closer, with alarming results. (more…)

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