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Forum namePass The Popcorn Archives
Topic subjectPersona (1966)
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=23&topic_id=7410&mesg_id=7410
7410, Persona (1966)
Posted by ricky_BUTLER, Thu Sep-18-03 01:55 PM
alright i get it now.

this bergman guy was kinda special. i know you can't edit archived posts, but i have a new entry into my top five.

i haven't been so impressed with the visual and structural intelligence of a film in a long while.

i have seen the light and it's full of bright whites and women's sensuality.

now i won't claim to understand every aspect of persona, but i do see the greatness and have some curiosities i need to get off.

without any further delay, i present ricky_BUTLER's persona: an hour before dinner, an hour after bibi andersson, and 18 years in between.


does this film take a stance on abortion? it is one of the prominent subjects: alma has had an abortion, elisabeth did not, although did wish for a "dead child."

the boy elisabeth birthed bookends the film, in a stark white room, almost nude, skinny, seemingly anxious, and inspired and frightened and longing for this idea of a mother.

elisabeth is reading and finds that famous holocaust image of the young jewish child being threatened (ultimately destroyed) by the germans. she seems terrified.

mr. volger comes to visit the two and (mistakenly) recognizes alma as his wife, immediately informing her about the status of their child. at first alma rejects this idea, but gives into a loving embrace with mr. volger.

when the two women sit down to talk about the ripped photograph of elisabeth's son, twice we hear the same gut-wrenching dialogue of wanting a stillborn baby and ridding the fetus. however, in one way we get a close-up of elisabeth's reaction as someone digs open her past and pries around. in another we get mainly a profile of the mother and concentrate more on alma telling the story.

okay, simply, what does this all mean? what are we all supposed to take from this?

elisabeth had a son, but neglected it. she ended up sick and her boy lonely.

alma had an abortion, because she knew what she "had to do." she ended up a caretaker, however more disturbed than those in her care.

does it even take a subjective stance on abortion?

in that aforementioned "discovery" scene, the faces of the two leads are transposed and replacing one another in a single magnificent shot. did they want each other's lives?

not to stereotype, but the girl who had an abortion and partook in orgies and did the talking seems more like actress sort. the quiet mother figure seems more like the nurse.

another image which is framed around beginning and end seems to be some sort of a crucifixion, as nails are driven into the blood-soaked hands of some being off screen. ummm, wha?

also if i saw the 83 minute presentation, did i see an edited version? for 1966 i was sorta amazed about how sexual and intimate two women were getting on film, but still is there anything else that i missed?

this was a great, great, great movie, even if i don't have a grasp on much (any) of it.

it must have appeared tremendously experimental for mid 60s cinema, right?

that shot when alma admits to reading elisabeth's letter, then chases the angered elisabeth down the beach, in one steady tracking shot, was amazing.

tremendous film.

any help?