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Persona (1966) - Ingmar Bergman

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Persona (1966) - Ingmar Bergman [Amazon.com]

The first time an erect penis appeared in a non-pornographic film was in 1966, when Ingmar Bergman included a brief image of an erection in Persona, though the offending image was censored from all British prints of the film for over thirty years. --Matthew Hunt

Definition of Persona

Persona: Same as a social role.
Can also be used about a character an actor plays. The word comes from the Greek 'per-sona,' literally 'sound through,' and referring to the masks worn by actors.

In archetypal psychology, the Persona is the mask or appearance one presents to the world. It may appear in dreams under various guises. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persona

Persona (1966) - Ingmar Bergman

The film begins with a projector starting up and a prologue featuring some startling and horrific imagery (including a brief shot of an erect penis, censored on original release and now restored).

Persona is a movie by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, released in 1966, and featuring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann.

The movie takes place mostly at a seaside summer residence, where actress Elisabeth Vogler has been sent to recuperate by her psychiatrist after remaining silent for a long time. Her nurse Alma is sent to accompany her.

The main plot is about the two personalities exchanging places, switching from one body to the other, so at the end, the nurse is Elisabeth Vogler and Elisabeth Vogler is the nurse. On a second level, the movie discuss what makes a person a person and if all our roles as humans are just as exchangable.

David Lynch's film Mulholland Dr. shares strong similarities with "Persona". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persona_%28movie%29 [Oct 2004]

There’s a dreamlike feel to the film, which is full of imagery that has an effect even if it’s not entirely explicable. In its theme of the transference and joining of identities, Persona has had considerable influence, quite possibly on Cammell and Roeg’s Performance and Altman’s 3 Women, amongst others. Lifelong Bergman fan Woody Allen parodied it in Love and Death. Persona is also notable for Bergman’s use of avant-garde film techniques.

The film begins with a projector starting up and a prologue featuring some startling and horrific imagery (including a brief shot of an erect penis, censored on original release and now restored). At one particularly intense point, the film appears to break and “burn” in the projector (an effect reproduced by Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop). The intention is to “alienate” the audience by reminding them that they are watching a film, however engrossing it may be. --Gary Couzens via dvdtimes.co.uk

Amazon review

Ingmar Bergman's 1966 film, photographed by Sven Nykvist, begins when famous actress Elisabeth Vogler (Liv Ullmann) freezes on stage in the middle of a performance. Struck dumb by an unknown cause, she winds up in the care of young inexperienced nurse Alma (Bibi Andersson), and together they retreat to the seaside for the summer, where they enter into an uncommon intimacy and clash of wills. Bergman's study of the fragility of the human being and the treachery of life is incredibly moving in its perception and unrivaled imagery. And as always with Bergman and his reappearing ensemble of actors, the performances are flawless. Especially notable is the scene in which Alma recounts for the silent Elisabeth a morally and emotionally ambivalent erotic encounter she had experienced on a beach with a friend and two teenage boys. It is one of the most strangely erotic scenes ever filmed, and not a stitch of clothing is removed. Also of interest, and one of the most intriguing scenes in the film, perhaps among the most intriguing in all of cinema, is when Elisabeth paces barefooted back and forth over a patio on which we know there to be broken glass. It is an achievement in simple suspense from which many an aspiring director of thrillers could learn a bit. For those who've had their fill of predictable plots, irrelevant matter, and apish acting and are looking for something a little more sensual, poetic, and relevant to what life is about beyond the daily grind, this may be a good place to start. --James McGrath for Amazon.com

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