Persona

Persona ★★★½

i decided to make this my 1000th watched film, and boy was it an interesting choice. 

this review is more or less an incoherent jumble of ideas on Bergman and this film but nonetheless help to show the confusing but inspiring disarray of afterthoughts from this watch.

from only seeing two films by Bergman, I can see his works take the form of pure auteurism. the idea of a narrative still resides in both Persona and Wild Strawberries, but expressionist dream imagery and intimate psychological reflections eagerly wait to be examined. 

based on the auteur theory, Persona is never meant to be fully understood from an objective perspective - and thats what makes it so intriguing to analyze. Persona challenges us to identify artifice from actuality; its ambiguous quality underlines its true beauty. 

how Bergman shows this physically with filmmaking is remarkable. so many themes become visible - identity, duality (silence and voice, light and dark), motherhood, vampirism, and the celluloid material of film itself. the technical use of close-ups, staging, scaling within the frame seem so contemplative but at the same time somehow poetically comprehensive. Bergman uses filmmaking to his own creative advantage, especially seen with the merging of a split-screen to compare Alma and Elizabet’s faces as one, which again redefines the fusion of identity - are they really two separate beings or is Elisabet a physical form of Alma’s personality? 

i think what really fascinated me was Bergman’s use of forced perspective in staging. this element is subtle but lurks within most key shots: Elizabet is sometimes placed behind Alma from a distance and other times close behind, but when she's at a distance it almost seems like Elizabet’s body is smaller than it should be, while Alma’s head is much larger in comparison. it sometimes made me imagine Elizabet was on Alma’s shoulder as if a part of her subconscious.

although Bergman’s works can be difficult to decipher, i dont think he himself is a difficult individual to understand. his works are merely introversive, built upon the foundations of his memories, dreams, and fantasies, all the while seeming to favor sensitivity over intellectualism. 

with all of this said i still feel wary if his other works will affect me this potently or not but i’m open to give most a try.

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