Persona ★★★★

Grad School Prep 16/34

For all of the reasons that I give this film credit for being great are the same reasons why I hate Mulholland Drive. I don't know if this film will help me appreciate the latter movie more, idk. I'm not in the mood to rewatch MD anytime soon to find out.

- What the film does is play with the audiences expectations on what a film should be. There should be a sense of coherency, but the director denies the audience from pleasure of seeing images, sounds, and narrative structure from lining up in a coherent way. It's a ballsy move, but adds to the paranoia essential to the film's main story.

- Hell if I know what the opening sequence is supposed to be.

- There is something meaningful in dissecting what it means to perform in our everyday lives. Not to mention manifesting the struggle of presenting who we want to be to the world vs. what we actually present.
-- Alma's confession about the day at the beach was really startling for me. At first I thought it was a personal thing, but then I thought that, maybe revealing a wild, explicit sexual encounter is shocking to most people, and that's the point. Even Alma says that she was shocked by her own actions. This scene speaks to the complexity of human sexuality, and how our true sexual identities are often muted or repressed by society. But it also speaks to the moments in our lives where we recognize that the way we are acting does not match how we think we should act, or how we would like to act. It's an out-of-body experience that's very jarring to have, but it's a subtle experience. I think the film does a good job at making the audience realize the existence, if not prevalence, of such an experience.
--- I've had this sort of out-of-body experience before I knew I was dem, lol.

- I also liked the scene where Alma is waiting for Elisabet to step on the glass shard. And there's this buildup, waiting for Elisabet to step on it. It almost seems like she won't, but when she does, the scene quickly switches to the next scene, without giving the audience a reasonable amount of time to process Elisabet's pain. Just a really fascinating editing choice that just... really excites me.

This movie is a great watch for film lovers. There's so much to unpack, what with all of the creative choices employed. But the message from the initial viewing is still relishing and is a lot to chew on in it of itself. Not to mention the fact that the film comments to heavily on the relationship between films and audiences (film lovers). I think considering this film a "classic" is appropriate.

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