Persona

Persona ★★★★½

“ I understand, all right. The hopeless dream of being - not seeming, but being. At every waking moment, alert. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone. The vertigo and the constant hunger to be exposed, to be seen through, perhaps even wiped out. Every inflection and every gesture a lie, every smile a grimace. Suicide? No, too vulgar. But you can refuse to move, refuse to talk, so that you don't have to lie. You can shut yourself in. Then you needn't play any parts or make wrong gestures. Or so you thought. But reality is diabolical. Your hiding place isn't watertight. Life trickles in from the outside, and you're forced to react. No one asks if it is true or false, if you're genuine or just a sham. Such things matter only in the theatre, and hardly there either. I understand why you don't speak, why you don't move, why you've created a part for yourself out of apathy. I understand. I admire. You should go on with this part until it is played out, until it loses interest for you. Then you can leave it, just as you've left your other parts one by one.”

Top 100

My introduction to Bergman and I wouldn’t have it any other way 

Watching this just made Portrait of a Lady on Fire seem so much more bland to me. Portrait is still a great film but this movie handled things way smoother and intelligent in its brevity rather than the 2hr French film ever did.

With Persona, there is so much more ubiquity to be found in its dialogue. The  script is quite literally perfect and has now become one of my favorites. The performances are just so transcending and beautifully orchestrated. I can make an entire review on just the shot composition alone. The long takes are impeccable, the music is beautifully hypnotic, and that clean black and white cinematography is beautiful.

While I may not get it I still love it a lot: and I’m lowering my score of Portrait until I rewatch it.

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