Persona 1966 M
8.00PM Wed 1 Mar 2017
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
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.
Persona will screen from an archival 35mm film print.
Two women retreat to a cottage on the Swedish coast. One, a nurse (Bibi Andersson), has been tasked with overseeing the recovery of the other, an actress (Liv Ullmann) who is refusing to speak. As their time together continues, their identities begin to merge in enigmatic ways.
Persona represented a bold experimental departure for Bergman. Not only was he moving away from his explicitly religious concerns, but it also finds him embracing more modernist filmmaking techniques. The Fourth Wall is broken in peculiar and provocative ways; Sven Nykvist brings a new level of dynamism to his cinematography; Bergman crafts one of the most erotic sequences in cinema without putting a single piece of flesh on display. Persona finds a master director completely liberated and the result is a monumental film whose influence continues to stretch on – from the films of Lars von Trier to David Lynch's Mulholland Drive 2001.
Liv Ullmann, who makes the first in what would become a long string of appearances in Bergman's films, gives a powerhouse performance in the (near-)silent role of Elizabeth Vogler, the actress. Bibi Andersson, similarly shines in the more ebullient role as the nurse pouring her mind and soul out into her companion. Persona remains a modernist two-hander masterpiece.
M | Sexual references, Adult themes
Persona also screens on Fri 10 March at 6.00pm
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 85 MINS, SWEDEN, SWEDISH/ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: INGMAR BERGMAN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: SVEN NYKVIST / EDITOR: ULLA RYGHE / PRODUCTION CO: SVENSK FILMINDUSTRI / PRINT SOURCE: SWEDISH FILM INSTITUTE / RIGHTS: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE, CANBERRA