Ah, that's cinema, folks.
There are two types of cinephiles in this world: those who prefer Stanley Kubrick's expansive, symphonic sci-fi epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and those who prefer Andrei Tarkovsky's inwardly meditative elegy, Solaris.
Although I fall within latter, there is no denying the brilliance of Kubrick's vision. He insists on displaying his ideas in a painstakingly precise, yet grandiose fashion, making for some of the most memorable images in film history. His tone was difficult to attune with at first, but eventually became mesmeric. The ending was also PERFECT, but I'm still unsure about some bits in between. Maybe I'm just super sleep deprived. Probably.
Persona showcases the most purely cinematic opening in film history, while simultaneously redefining what cinema can be.
It is, in many ways, a film that negates analytical dissection, making the viewing experience delightfully disorienting, and elementally profound. It addresses identity, existentialism, relationships, and sexuality with tranquil beauty and gentle poignancy. After finishing Persona, I feel more alive, understanding, and aware of who I am; it’s that good of a film.
It truly baffles me that this was considered "lesser" Kieślowski upon release. Not only are all of his signature nuances at play, but they are at their most powerful. Kieślowski manages to make a film of masterly precision, yet simultaneous freedom of conventional narrative devices.
Every scene flows like graceful poetry, shifting in and out of differing realities. It is a dream, a study of existence and consciousness, a ballet of imagination, ideas, and philosophies, and above all else, a…