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Subject: "Persona (1966)" This topic is locked.
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ricky_BUTLER
Member since Jul 06th 2003
16899 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 01:55 PM

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"Persona (1966)"


          

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.

S P O I L E R S

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?

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
RE: Persona (1966)
Sep 18th 2003
1
damn okayplayer.com!
Sep 18th 2003
2
      RE: damn okayplayer.com!
Sep 18th 2003
3
      RE: damn okayplayer.com!
Sep 18th 2003
7
           Purty ay?
Sep 18th 2003
8
                Yeeeehaaawwww!!!!!!!
Sep 18th 2003
10
                     Hey there was a time when I wanted to live in Kentucky
Sep 18th 2003
11
                          AHEM-friday, mynoriti
Sep 18th 2003
13
                          I have nothing to add
Sep 18th 2003
16
                          what would bergman say about that?
Sep 18th 2003
18
                               RE: what would bergman say about that?
Sep 18th 2003
23
                               Ebert has reviewed it
Sep 18th 2003
31
                          RE: AHEM-friday, mynoriti
Sep 18th 2003
20
                               I just saw Intolerance for the first time the other day
Sep 18th 2003
22
                               RE: I just saw Intolerance for the first time the other
Sep 18th 2003
25
                                    hey i like talking about movies too
Sep 18th 2003
28
                               what do you win?
Sep 18th 2003
24
                                    RE: what do you win?
Sep 18th 2003
26
                          Locale -
Sep 18th 2003
14
                          Hazard Kentucky...
Sep 18th 2003
17
                          RE: Hazard Kentucky...
Sep 18th 2003
27
                          RE: Locale -
Sep 18th 2003
21
                          RE: Hey there was a time when I wanted to live in Kentu
Sep 18th 2003
15
                               I have to stop now
Sep 18th 2003
19
      RE: damn okayplayer.com!
Sep 18th 2003
4
      Dates -
Sep 18th 2003
29
           What!
Sep 19th 2003
33
      Wean yourself -
Sep 18th 2003
6
           girl is at work
Sep 18th 2003
9
                Be thankful -
Sep 18th 2003
12
RE: Persona (1966)
Sep 18th 2003
5
yeah bergman's a genius
Sep 18th 2003
30
ebert's review
Sep 18th 2003
32
The Silence (1963)
Sep 19th 2003
34

King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 02:52 PM

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1. "RE: Persona (1966)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>alright i get it now.
>

It's about time.

>this bergman guy was kinda special.

he was okay I guess.

>i know you can't edit
>archived posts, but i have a new entry into my top five.
>

my list has changed drastically from the time of that post. It just isn't fair.


>now i won't claim to understand every aspect of persona,

welcome to the club. lol.

>an hour before dinner, an hour after bibi andersson

BIBI ANDERSSON!!!!!! The best ever! This is her best performance too!


>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."

I think it comes in to play. Of course it does. But I wouldn't say the film is "about" abortion.

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

That's a good question, Ricky. I mean. . . it's hard to talk about. . . I haven't seen it in years. There's so many details. I need to see it again. There's a Region 1 DVD coming out before long.

But not understanding is part of the fun! Persona is the Rubicks cube of world cinema.


>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?

lol.

>i was sorta amazed about how
>sexual and intimate two women were getting on film, but
>still is there anything else that i missed?

pervert. "anything else I missed" indeed. No you didn't miss nothing.

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

Yes, and wasn't Bibi Andersson just the best? Boy oh boy. Really the best.

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

I'd say that's accurate. Of course you had people like Bunuel and Cocteau and then later people like Stan Brakhage who were just as "experimental" before that.

But it's different.

And remember, as with any "experiments". . . the results are the most important thing. It's all about "data".

>
>any help?

Probably not. But I will tell you this: If you liked Persona this much. . . then you MUST watch Bergman's film "The Silence". Not as "out there" as Persona, but trust me. . . you will love the Silence if you felt this way about Persona. Plus, the Silence stars Ingrid Thulin. What are you waiting for?

  

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ricky_BUTLER
Member since Jul 06th 2003
16899 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 03:14 PM

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2. "damn okayplayer.com!"
In response to Reply # 1
Thu Sep-18-03 03:14 PM

          

>my list has changed drastically from the time of that post.
>It just isn't fair.

since then i watched 8 1/2 for the third time, now no longer twelve, concerned with recognizing its greatness, and i just see it.

i'm gonna give "imitation of life" another chance too.

>>an hour before dinner, an hour after bibi andersson
>
>BIBI ANDERSSON!!!!!! The best ever! This is her best
>performance too!

was she your avatar pre-lombard?

>There's a Region 1 DVD
>coming out before long.

criterion?

>>i was sorta amazed about how
>>sexual and intimate two women were getting on film, but
>>still is there anything else that i missed?
>
>pervert. "anything else I missed" indeed. No you didn't
>miss nothing.

no, what i meant was that i believe it was colonelk who said a good majority of the versions of bergman's works have been chopped down. i was wondering if this was one?

plus, i woulda liked some "anything else" of course. when's that dvd come out?

>>this was a great, great, great movie, even if i don't have a
>>grasp on much (any) of it.
>
>Yes, and wasn't Bibi Andersson just the best? Boy oh boy.
>Really the best.

explain this fascination before i get suspicious about any restraining orders.

>>it must have appeared tremendously experimental for mid 60s
>>cinema, right?
>I'd say that's accurate. Of course you had people like
>Bunuel and Cocteau and then later people like Stan Brakhage
>who were just as "experimental" before that.
>But it's different.

were they as experimental from a technical stand point?


> I will tell you this: If you liked
>Persona this much. . . then you MUST watch Bergman's film
>"The Silence". Not as "out there" as Persona, but trust me.
>. . you will love the Silence if you felt this way about
>Persona. Plus, the Silence stars Ingrid Thulin. What are
>you waiting for?

my school has that one and it is on the list.

ingrid thulin-oh boy she's swell.

what am i waiting for? maybe tuesday night. i have thirty seven essays due and have to dissect five human cadavers. well, not quite, but it's starting to feel that way.

damn okayplayer.com! lol

  

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Mynoriti
Charter member
37322 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 03:33 PM

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3. "RE: damn okayplayer.com!"
In response to Reply # 2
Thu Sep-18-03 03:34 PM

  

          

>>Yes, and wasn't Bibi Andersson just the best? Boy oh boy.
>>Really the best.
>
>explain this fascination before i get suspicious about any
>restraining orders.

I think the same way Larry Clark has a thing for young pasty kids, Friday has a thing for women in B&W. Bet he finds it painful to watch her color films

  

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King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 03:49 PM

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7. "RE: damn okayplayer.com!"
In response to Reply # 3


  

          


>I think the same way Larry Clark has a thing for young pasty
>kids,

that's right. I'm a Bibi-O-Phile.

>Friday has a thing for women in B&W.

It's an obsession.

>Bet he finds it
>painful to watch her color films

naw, I don't mind. You get to see all that purty blonde hair. mighty purty indeed.

  

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Mynoriti
Charter member
37322 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 03:51 PM

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8. "Purty ay?"
In response to Reply # 7


  

          

see I knew you were a good ole boy

"Howdee! I'm King Friiideee"

  

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King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 03:58 PM

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10. "Yeeeehaaawwww!!!!!!!"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

>see I knew you were a good ole boy
>
>"Howdee! I'm King Friiideee"

Dadgummit, Mynoriti, you ack like I'se raised down yanner in some old holler.

I'll have y'all to know. . . I done had me some schoolin. I learnt me many a thing in my time.

I talk right propper when I wants to. See if I don't.





  

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Mynoriti
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37322 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:01 PM

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11. "Hey there was a time when I wanted to live in Kentucky"
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

Dukes of Hazard was one of my favorite shows as a kid

  

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ricky_BUTLER
Member since Jul 06th 2003
16899 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:03 PM

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13. "AHEM-friday, mynoriti"
In response to Reply # 11


          

what does this have to do with "persona?" kids, lets try and stay in line now.

FOCUS

  

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Mynoriti
Charter member
37322 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:13 PM

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16. "I have nothing to add"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

So I'm changing the subject so I don't feel left out

  

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ricky_BUTLER
Member since Jul 06th 2003
16899 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:16 PM

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18. "what would bergman say about that?"
In response to Reply # 16


          

>So I'm changing the subject so I don't feel left out

and how would ebert review it?

and would it be on outkast's new cd?

my brain only has three tracks right now, so maybe it's just me . . .

i have never been to kentucky (just so i don't feel left out.)

  

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King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:23 PM

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23. "RE: what would bergman say about that?"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          


>i have never been to kentucky (just so i don't feel left
>out.)

What the hell are you waiting for?

Kentucky is awesome!!!!

Our grass is blue, for God's sake!!!!!

What else do you need in life?



  

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DrNO
Charter member
25381 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 05:10 PM

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31. "Ebert has reviewed it"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

check his great films section

_
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4TztqYaemt0
http://preptimeposse.blogspot.com/

  

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King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:19 PM

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20. "RE: AHEM-friday, mynoriti"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

>what does this have to do with "persona?" kids, lets try
>and stay in line now.

D.W. Griffith was born in Kentucky. If he didn't invent modern film techniques, Bergman couldn't have made Persona years later.

There.

What do I win?



  

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Mynoriti
Charter member
37322 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:21 PM

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22. "I just saw Intolerance for the first time the other day"
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

but I'm not allowed to talk about that here

*leaves before ricky gets back*

  

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King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:26 PM

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25. "RE: I just saw Intolerance for the first time the other"
In response to Reply # 22


  

          

>but I'm not allowed to talk about that here

I actually haven't seen that one yet myself.

But you can bet it's up there on the list.

>
>*leaves before ricky gets back*

Don't worry. I got some grapefruits. We can shove them in his face.

  

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ricky_BUTLER
Member since Jul 06th 2003
16899 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:44 PM

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28. "hey i like talking about movies too"
In response to Reply # 25


          

especially "persona," gee ricky, you sure are swell.

is it weird that i'm referring to myself by my own username?

  

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ricky_BUTLER
Member since Jul 06th 2003
16899 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:24 PM

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24. "what do you win?"
In response to Reply # 20


          

>>what does this have to do with "persona?" kids, lets try
>>and stay in line now.
>
>D.W. Griffith was born in Kentucky. If he didn't invent
>modern film techniques, Bergman couldn't have made Persona
>years later.
>
>There.

very good.

>What do I win?

umm . . .umm . . .david walsh says that in times like these we are all losers . . .especially seabiscuit.

you've tripled your post count in the last two days!

  

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King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:31 PM

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26. "RE: what do you win?"
In response to Reply # 24


  

          


>umm . . .umm . . .david walsh says that in times like these
>we are all losers . . .especially seabiscuit.

You know I've been to one of the race tracks where that movie was shot. Keenland race track. I bet on a horse there when I was a kid, and I won. It was awesome. I bet on it because it was grey.

Keenland isn't actually as glamorous as it looks though. Mostly it's drunk people eating hot dogs.

>
>you've tripled your post count in the last two days!

I guess I have. That's because you made a post about Roger Ebert that somehow led to me debating the merits of socialism all day long. It was fun though.

  

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Sight and Sound
Member since Apr 11th 2003
704 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:04 PM

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14. "Locale -"
In response to Reply # 11


          

>Dukes of Hazard was one of my favorite shows as a kid

Yeah, but GA's a couple of states to the east of KY if we're gettin' technical...

I can't remember if KY barbecue sauce is tomato or mustard-based, prolly tomato since NC seems to be the lone mustard-lovin' state... And TX is beef only whereas pork is the medium everywhere else...

"other than some of cann ox, el-p's beats sound like somebody molesting a household pet"
- soundsop

  

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Mynoriti
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Thu Sep-18-03 04:14 PM

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17. "Hazard Kentucky..."
In response to Reply # 14
Thu Sep-18-03 04:15 PM

  

          

that was the supposed location on the show

I remember as a kid me and my friend finding it on a map at school "Hey look that's a real place!"

But yeah I know they didnt shoot it there

  

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Sight and Sound
Member since Apr 11th 2003
704 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:40 PM

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27. "RE: Hazard Kentucky..."
In response to Reply # 17


          

Mea culpa - I'd completely forgotten and haven't been watching the re-runs on TNN - see what happens when you advance in age and are about to qualify for social security?

"other than some of cann ox, el-p's beats sound like somebody molesting a household pet"
- soundsop

  

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King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:20 PM

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21. "RE: Locale -"
In response to Reply # 14


  

          


>I can't remember if KY barbecue sauce is tomato or
>mustard-based,

mostly we just eat ketchup. lol.


  

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King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:11 PM

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15. "RE: Hey there was a time when I wanted to live in Kentu"
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

>Dukes of Hazard was one of my favorite shows as a kid

You know, a cousin of mine used to live in Hazard, Kentucky. It's true. But that's not really where they shot the show.

Kentucky is awesome though.

You might not believe it, but we totally effing rock.

Muhammad Ali was born here. So was Les McCann. Even D.W. Griffith. We rock.

We have awesome coal mines.

We have Mammoth Cave.

We came up with Bluegrass music.

We got that whole Kentucky Derby thing.

We have a big history in the folk song/labor struggle movement. Folksingers Aunt Molly Jackson and Sarah Ogan Gunnning are from here.

We totally rock shit out in a major way.

What are you waiting for?

Kentucky--it's the place to be.



  

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Mynoriti
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37322 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:17 PM

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19. "I have to stop now"
In response to Reply # 15


  

          

little ricky is getting mad. Get the kid watching Bergman and he's all serious n shit

*kicks can*

  

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King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 03:38 PM

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4. "RE: damn okayplayer.com!"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          


>since then i watched 8 1/2 for the third time, now no longer
>twelve, concerned with recognizing its greatness, and i just
>see it.

That's a mighty good one.

>
>i'm gonna give "imitation of life" another chance too.

That's my favorite Sirk movie so far. I also highly recommend his film "Written On The Wind".


>>BIBI ANDERSSON!!!!!! The best ever! This is her best
>>performance too!
>
>was she your avatar pre-lombard?

yep. it was a picture of her in Bergman's Wild Strawberries. picture supplied by m.

>
>>There's a Region 1 DVD
>>coming out before long.
>
>criterion?

no. I wish. MGM apparently. You can't win 'em all.

>no, what i meant was that i believe it was colonelk who said
>a good majority of the versions of bergman's works have been
>chopped down. i was wondering if this was one?

I'd have to look it up.

>
> when's
>that dvd come out?

I'll have to look it up. I swear I've never been so unprepared for a post before.

>>Yes, and wasn't Bibi Andersson just the best? Boy oh boy.
>>Really the best.
>
>explain this fascination before i get suspicious about any
>restraining orders.

What's to explain? Bibi Andersson is the best. That's all. Accept no substitutes. When I first saw her in Persona I thought, "well that's it. that's the best." Then I saw her in Wild Strawberries and I thought. "Yep. I was right." Then I saw her in The Kremlin Letter, a very bad movie that came to life only when she was on screen giving her amazing performance (and out-acting both Orson Welles and Max von Sydow at one time if you can believe that! It's true). And don't forget her smaller role in The Seventh Seal either.

She's just my favorite actress. That's all.


> Of course you had people like
>>Bunuel and Cocteau and then later people like Stan Brakhage
>>who were just as "experimental" before that.
>>But it's different.
>
>were they as experimental from a technical stand point?

Well, Bunuel started in the Silent film era. His first films were made with Salvador Dali. They removed the narrative storyline completely. Followed the "rules" of surrealism as set down by the great writer Andre Breton. Plenty of weirdo juxtapositions.

Cocteau was also a surrealist. His film Blood Of A Poet was similar to those early Bunuel films in a lot of ways, though perhaps not as wild. Lost of bizarre stuff going on there.

Someone like Stan Brakhage was considered an "avant-garde" filmmaker. He did things like scratching words directly on the film strip itself. Painting onto the film. Swinging his camera around rapidly to immitate the movement of the eye. He would superimpose images (sometimes 4 at a time) on top of each other. He made crazy, wonderful films. Like moving paintings.

> i have thirty
>seven essays due

Clearly you need to drop out and devote your life to film criticism.

>and have to dissect five human cadavers.

holy effing jesus. you are a weirdo. are you going to be some kind of weirdo doctor?

>well, not quite, but it's starting to feel that way.

one time in high school I was dissecting a frog. There he was, all laid out and dead and me cutting on his insides. I was poking at his liver with a scalpel and the damn liver shot out of the frog's body and hit my lab partner in the middle his forehead. It was the best thing I ever saw happen.



  

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Sight and Sound
Member since Apr 11th 2003
704 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 05:02 PM

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29. "Dates -"
In response to Reply # 4


          

>>>There's a Region 1 DVD
>>>coming out before long.
>>criterion?
>no. I wish. MGM apparently. You can't win 'em all.

MGM's taken it off their sched for 2003 - so I guess 2004... *Not* a priority from what I can gather...

"other than some of cann ox, el-p's beats sound like somebody molesting a household pet"
- soundsop

  

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King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Fri Sep-19-03 03:05 AM

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33. "What!"
In response to Reply # 29


  

          


>MGM's taken it off their sched for 2003 - so I guess 2004...
> *Not* a priority from what I can gather...

Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!

I can't wait much longer. People need to re-adjust their damn priorities. It's Persona for crying out loud.

  

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Sight and Sound
Member since Apr 11th 2003
704 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 03:44 PM

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6. "Wean yourself -"
In response to Reply # 2


          

>what am i waiting for? maybe tuesday night. i have thirty
>seven essays due and have to dissect five human cadavers.
>well, not quite, but it's starting to feel that way.

You know, RB, back when I was in college and had a girl's number, not sure I'd be hemming and hawing on a message board - although virtual message boards didn't exist at that point in time, so it's pretty much a moot point...

The essays? They'll get done, probably w/ 2 to 3 hours to spare if my freshman year experience was any indication...

"other than some of cann ox, el-p's beats sound like somebody molesting a household pet"
- soundsop

  

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ricky_BUTLER
Member since Jul 06th 2003
16899 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 03:54 PM

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9. "girl is at work"
In response to Reply # 6


          

>You know, RB, back when I was in college and had a girl's
>number, not sure I'd be hemming and hawing on a message
>board -

she's at work until eleven.

>although virtual message boards didn't exist at that
>point in time, so it's pretty much a moot point...

yeah, you should see what you people do to me. having me rent swedish movies, the lesson has me on 900 minutes of thelonius monk, gd has concerned about stuff i didnt know existed, and activist, well, activist, just has me scared.

>The essays? They'll get done, probably w/ 2 to 3 hours to
>spare if my freshman year experience was any indication...

the boards slow down late. the book and an outline and the wordpad file are all waiting in front of me.

now if i can just put two and two together, have it not been within the realm of a movie reveiw, i'll be safe.

  

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Sight and Sound
Member since Apr 11th 2003
704 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 04:02 PM

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12. "Be thankful -"
In response to Reply # 9


          

>yeah, you should see what you people do to me. having me
>rent swedish movies, the lesson has me on 900 minutes of
>thelonius monk, gd has concerned about stuff i didnt know
>existed, and activist, well, activist, just has me scared.

That not a lot people talk about the Mosaic Records box sets nor the following (Brazilian box sets) -

Nara Leao -- Nara Leao (15 CD)
Baden Powell -- Baden Powell (13 CD)
Vinicius De Moraes -- Como Dizia O Poeta (27 CD)
Chico Buarque -- Construcao (22 CD)
Caetano Veloso -- Todo Caetano (39 CD)

"other than some of cann ox, el-p's beats sound like somebody molesting a household pet"
- soundsop

  

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Sight and Sound
Member since Apr 11th 2003
704 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 03:40 PM

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5. "RE: Persona (1966)"
In response to Reply # 0


          

RB - "Uh Dad, you know your esteem for Bergman?"
RB's father - "Yeah"
RB - "Uh, well, you know, I get it now..."

The scene w/ Andersson describing the beach incident is erotic w/o any explicitness involved... That in and of itself should be a prime indicator of Bergman's mastery...

And the fissure of the film itself midway through - incredibly stark, unsettling, but all the more effective for it...

I'll get back to Beckinsale in a minute...

"other than some of cann ox, el-p's beats sound like somebody molesting a household pet"
- soundsop

  

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DrNO
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25381 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 05:08 PM

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30. "yeah bergman's a genius"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

and Persona is one of the most intense films i have ever seen. But something about things like flaming monks, strangely disturbing shots (like the intro, and the ghostly bedroom scene), as well as seeing these characters just brutaly torture eachother psychologicaly drains me for about a week. So i cant really rewatch his stuff that much or exactly enjoy it. But i do respect the guys work tremendously. He, Bunuel and Tarkovsky9my fave of the bunch but im partial to russians) are gauranteed to just completely blow your mind in all of their films.
i can rewatch Wild Strawberries though, but cries and whispers... jesus.

_
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4TztqYaemt0
http://preptimeposse.blogspot.com/

  

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ricky_BUTLER
Member since Jul 06th 2003
16899 posts
Thu Sep-18-03 05:23 PM

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32. "ebert's review"
In response to Reply # 0


          

thank you , DrNo

good point about elisabeth's talking or lack thereof.
-

Shakespeare used six words to pose the essential human choice: "To be, or not to be?" Elizabeth, a character in Ingmar Bergman's "Persona," uses two to answer it: "No, don't!" She is an actress who one night stopped speaking in the middle of the performance, and has been silent ever since. Now her nurse, Alma, has in a fit of rage started to throw a pot of boiling water at her. "No, don't!" translates as: I do not want to feel pain, I do not want to be scarred, I do not want to die. She wants . . . to be. She admits . . . she exists.

"Persona" (1966) is a film we return to over the years, for the beauty of its images and because we hope to understand its mysteries. It is apparently not a difficult film: Everything that happens is perfectly clear, and even the dream sequences are clear--as dreams. But it suggests buried truths, and we despair of finding them. "Persona" was one of the first movies I reviewed, in 1967. I did not think I understood it. A third of a century later I know most of what I am ever likely to know about films, and I think I understand that the best approach to "Persona" is a literal one.

It is exactly about what it seems to be about. "How this pretentious movie manages to not be pretentious at all is one of the great accomplishments of `Persona,' " says a moviegoer named John Hardy, posting his comments on the Internet Movie Database. Bergman shows us everyday actions and the words of ordinary conversation. And Sven Nykvist's cinematography shows them in haunting images. One of them, of two faces, one frontal, one in profile, has become one of the most famous images of the cinema.

Elizabeth (Liv Ullmann) stops speaking in the middle of Electra, and will not speak again. A psychiatrist thinks it might help if Elizabeth and Nurse Alma (Bibi Andersson) spend the summer at her isolated house. Held in the same box of space and time, the two women somehow merge. Elizabeth says nothing, and Alma talks and talks, confessing her plans and her fears, and eventually, in a great and daring monologue, confessing an erotic episode during which she was, for a time, completely happy.

The two actresses look somewhat similar. Bergman emphasizes this similarity in a disturbing shot where he combines half of one face with half of the other. Later he superimposes the two faces, like a morph. Andersson told me she and Ullmann had no idea Bergman was going to do this, and when she first saw the film she found it disturbing and frightening. Bergman told me, "The human face is the great subject of the cinema. Everything is there."

Their visual merging suggests a deeper psychic attraction. Elizabeth, the patient, mute and apparently ill, is stronger than Alma, and eventually the nurse feels her soul being overcome by the other woman's strength. There is a moment when her resentment flares and she lashes back. In the sunny courtyard of the cottage, she picks up the pieces of a broken glass, and then deliberately leaves a shard where Elizabeth might walk. Elizabeth cuts her foot, but this is essentially a victory for the actress, who has forced the nurse to abandon the discipline of her profession and reveal weakness.

Elizabeth looks at Alma, seeming to know the glass shard was not an accident, and at that moment Bergman allows his film to seem to tear and burn. The screen goes blank. Then the film reconstitutes itself. This sequence mirrors the way the film has opened. In both cases, a projector lamp flares to life, and there is a montage from the earliest days of the cinema: jerky silent skeletons, images of coffins, a hand with a nail being driven into it. The middle "break" ends with the camera moving in toward an eye, and even into the veins in the eyeball, as if to penetrate the mind.

The opening sequence suggests that "Persona" is starting at the beginning, with the birth of cinema. The break in the middle shows it turning back and beginning again. At the end, the film runs out of the camera and the light dies from the lamp and the film is over. Bergman is showing us that he has returned to first principles. "In the beginning, there was light." Toward the end there is a shot of the camera crew itself, with the camera mounted on a crane and Nykvist and Bergman tending it; this shot implicates the makers in the work. They are there, it is theirs, they cannot separate themselves from it.

Early in the film, Elizabeth watches images from Vietnam on the TV news, including a Buddhist monk burning himself. Later, there are photographs from the Warsaw ghetto, of Jews being rounded up; the film lingers on the face of a small boy. Have the horrors of the world caused Elizabeth to stop speaking? The film does not say, but obviously they are implicated. For Alma, horrors are closer to home: She doubts the validity of her relationship with the man she plans to marry, she doubts her abilities as a nurse, she doubts she has the strength to stand up to Elizabeth.

But Elizabeth has private torments, too, and Bergman expresses them in a sequence so simple and yet so bold we are astonished by its audacity. First there is a dream sequence (if it is a dream; opinions differ), in which Elizabeth enters the room of Alma in the middle of the night. In a Swedish summer, night is a finger drawn by twilight between one day and the next, and soft pale light floods the room. The two women look at one another like images in a mirror. They turn and face us, one brushing back the other's hair. A man's voice calls, "Elizabeth." It is her husband, Mr. Vogler (Gunnar Bjornstrand). They are outside. He caresses Alma's face and calls her "Elizabeth." No, she says, she is not Elizabeth. Elizabeth takes Alma's hand and uses it to caress her husband's face.

Inside, later, Alma delivers a long monologue about Elizabeth's child. The child is born deformed, and Elizabeth left it with relatives so she can return to the theater. The story is unbearably painful. It is told with the camera on Elizabeth. Then it is told again, word for word, with the camera on Alma. I believe this is not simply Bergman trying it both ways, as has been suggested, but literally both women telling the same story--through Alma when it is Elizabeth's turn, since Elizabeth does not speak. It shows their beings are in union.

The other monologue in the movie is more famous; Alma's story of sex on the beach involving herself, her girlfriend and two boys. The imagery of this monologue is so powerful that I have heard people describe the scene as if they actually saw it in the film. In all three monologues, Bergman is showing how ideas create images and reality.

The most real objective experiences in the film are the cut foot and the threat of boiling water, which by "breaking" the film show how everything else is made of thought (or art). The most real experience Alma has ever had is her orgasm on the beach. Elizabeth's pain and Alma's ecstasy were able to break through the reveries of their lives. Most of what we think of as "ourselves" is not direct experience of the world, but a mental broadcast made of ideas, memories, media input, other people, jobs, roles, duties, lusts, hopes, fears. Elizabeth chooses to be who she is' Alma is not strong enough to choose not to be Elizabeth. The title is the key. "Persona." Singular.

  

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ricky_BUTLER
Member since Jul 06th 2003
16899 posts
Fri Sep-19-03 11:19 AM

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34. "The Silence (1963)"
In response to Reply # 0


          

ummmm . . . .ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . .kay

from the back cover: "the silence" . . .depicts a world in which god is silent, a world of despair. united since childhood in a love-hate relationship of lesbian incest, two sisters struggle and part as the younger seeks her freedom in a heterosexual affair. bergman expressed their conflict in visual term, with little dialogue, as he probes deeply into the loneliness, love, and sexual obsessions. his somber view of modern man's condition, wherein human relations are grotesquely egocentric and perversely sexual, is shattering, yet is a plea for hope from man himself.

ummmm . . . .ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . .kay . . .

yeah, i think i saw that movie too.

not a bad movie and not at this time necessarily good. i'd have a "n/a" in the review box.

SPOILERS

S P O I L E R S

ingrid thulin is still nice to look at, although lines like "seamen smells nasty to me" and doing a linda blair impersonation minus the pea soup isn't always that attractive.

how does this relate to god? why is this considered to be part of bergman's "religious trilogy?"

what the hell is with the tank?

what the hell is with the midgets?

yeah, i'm a bit lost.

the foreign words ester writes for johan? "you'll understand." what?

the ticking clocks noise comes up four times: the beginning title credits, when johan is drawing, after the "heterosexual affair," and as a distressed esther lies in bed with the waiter cranking his pocket watch.

umm?

okay, the silence which the title speaks to is a prevalent aspect in all of man. it and time are a constant. you can always understand the silence and always tell the time, that is there are not hundreds of languages and dialects to get confused by.

the midgets spoke a different language. the waiter spoke a different language. their intentions and actions were clear, but their words not so much. esther translated all sorts of "fine books" for a living, but has only managed to learn a few words of timuku, where they are temporarily set up. johan asks that she writes down at least those few words which she has grasped.

and esther gasps for air as she feels she is about to suffocate.

the words which ester and anna speak, the bulk of the dialogue, are malicious, hurtful, contemptuous, and suffering. we may not be able to understand the exact situations they are in (lesbian incestuous affair), but we can translate for ourselves the hurt and suffering paralleled with our (man's) own hurt and suffering.

??

or i have no idea . . .anyone? . . .anyone? . . .bueller?

  

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