Persona

There is no denying the absorbing theme and the perfection in direction, acting, editing and lensing. Pic is hypnotic in its first part, as stark black-and-white imagery tells of a noted actress who has suddenly stopped dead during a performance of a Greek tragedy and has refused to talk since. She is tended by a nurse and they are finally sent off to a beach island house together under orders of a psychiatrist.

With:
Bibi Andersson Liv Ullmann Margaretha Krook Gunnar Bjornstrand Jorgen Lindstrom

There is no denying the absorbing theme and the perfection in direction, acting, editing and lensing. Pic is hypnotic in its first part, as stark black-and-white imagery tells of a noted actress who has suddenly stopped dead during a performance of a Greek tragedy and has refused to talk since. She is tended by a nurse and they are finally sent off to a beach island house together under orders of a psychiatrist.

Here the roles suddenly seem reversed, for the nurse talks about herself, and just about strips herself bare. The patient listens, reacts, and it is she giving solace; there is even a hint of love.

There follows a sudden whiplash scene as the nurse abuses her out of pride. The nurse even lets her step on a piece of glass she has seen but not picked up. Here Bergman suddenly resorts to a Brechtian bit by simulating a ripping of the pic and then a burning.

Bibi Andersson’s distraught, knowing, naive, helpful and then resentful performance of the nurse is a tour-de-force, and Liv Ullmann has the right luminous, questioning and sometimes impenetrable face and projection for the part of the beauteous but mute actress. At the end their faces photographically fuse.

Bergman has come up with probably one of his most masterful films technically and in conception, but also one of his most difficult ones.

Persona

Sweden

Production: Svensk Filmindustri. Director Ingmar Bergman; Screenplay Ingmar Bergman; Camera Sven Nykvist; Editor Ulla Ryghe; Music Lars Johan Werle; Art Director Bibi Lindstrom

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 84 MIN.

With: Bibi Andersson Liv Ullmann Margaretha Krook Gunnar Bjornstrand Jorgen Lindstrom

More Film

  • Anita Hill

    Anita Hill Chairs Hollywood Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Formed by Top Execs

    There is no denying the absorbing theme and the perfection in direction, acting, editing and lensing. Pic is hypnotic in its first part, as stark black-and-white imagery tells of a noted actress who has suddenly stopped dead during a performance of a Greek tragedy and has refused to talk since. She is tended by a […]

  • Warren Beatty

    Arnon Milchan Sues Warren Beatty Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    There is no denying the absorbing theme and the perfection in direction, acting, editing and lensing. Pic is hypnotic in its first part, as stark black-and-white imagery tells of a noted actress who has suddenly stopped dead during a performance of a Greek tragedy and has refused to talk since. She is tended by a […]

  • Oscar Isaac Addams Family

    Oscar Isaac in Talks to Voice Gomez Addams in Animated 'Addams Family' Movie

    There is no denying the absorbing theme and the perfection in direction, acting, editing and lensing. Pic is hypnotic in its first part, as stark black-and-white imagery tells of a noted actress who has suddenly stopped dead during a performance of a Greek tragedy and has refused to talk since. She is tended by a […]

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Publicists for Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley, Amy Adams Form New Firm

    There is no denying the absorbing theme and the perfection in direction, acting, editing and lensing. Pic is hypnotic in its first part, as stark black-and-white imagery tells of a noted actress who has suddenly stopped dead during a performance of a Greek tragedy and has refused to talk since. She is tended by a […]

  • Hannah Marks Liana Liberato

    Hannah Marks, Liana Liberato to Star in High School Comedy 'Banana Split'

    There is no denying the absorbing theme and the perfection in direction, acting, editing and lensing. Pic is hypnotic in its first part, as stark black-and-white imagery tells of a noted actress who has suddenly stopped dead during a performance of a Greek tragedy and has refused to talk since. She is tended by a […]

  • NOR_D01_053017_9621_R2 – L-R: Tom Hanks (Ben

    Steven Spielberg's 'The Post' to Open Palm Springs Film Festival

    There is no denying the absorbing theme and the perfection in direction, acting, editing and lensing. Pic is hypnotic in its first part, as stark black-and-white imagery tells of a noted actress who has suddenly stopped dead during a performance of a Greek tragedy and has refused to talk since. She is tended by a […]

  • Willa Fitzgerald

    'The Goldfinch' Movie Adaptation Casts Willa Fitzgerald (EXCLUSIVE)

    There is no denying the absorbing theme and the perfection in direction, acting, editing and lensing. Pic is hypnotic in its first part, as stark black-and-white imagery tells of a noted actress who has suddenly stopped dead during a performance of a Greek tragedy and has refused to talk since. She is tended by a […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content