Persona

( 6 )

Overview

Persona is difficult to characterize in simple terms, but it may be helpful to describe this complex film as being an exploration of identity that combines elements of drama, visual poetry, and modern psychology. The central story revolves around a young nurse named Alma Bibi Andersson and her patient, a well-known actress named Elisabet Vogler Liv Ullmann. Elisabet has stopped speaking, and the attending psychiatrist treats the actress by sending her to an isolated seaside cottage under Alma's care. There the ...
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Blu-ray (Bonus DVD / Subtitled)
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Overview

Persona is difficult to characterize in simple terms, but it may be helpful to describe this complex film as being an exploration of identity that combines elements of drama, visual poetry, and modern psychology. The central story revolves around a young nurse named Alma Bibi Andersson and her patient, a well-known actress named Elisabet Vogler Liv Ullmann. Elisabet has stopped speaking, and the attending psychiatrist treats the actress by sending her to an isolated seaside cottage under Alma's care. There the nurse, who must do all the talking for both women, becomes a little enamored of the actress. One evening Alma tells Elisabet about some exhilarating sexual experiences she once had and their unpleasant aftermath. Soon after sharing this confidence, the nurse reads a letter Elisabet has written and is shocked to learn that the actress thinks of her as an amusing study. The relationship between the women becomes tense, and they wound each other. Then Alma has a long dream in which her identity merges with that of Elisabet, but when the nurse awakes, both women have apparently come to at least temporary terms with their psychological problems. ~ All Movie Guide
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Special Features

New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray; New visual essay on the film's prologue by Ingmar Bergman scholar Peter Cowie; New interviews with actor Liv Ullmann and filmmaker Paul Schrader; Excerpted archival interviews with Bergman, Ullmann, and actor Bibi Andersson; On-set footage, with audio commentary by Bergman historian Birgitta Steene; Liv & Ingmar, a 2012 feature documentary directed by Dheeraj Akolkar; Trailer; New English subtitle translaton; One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats; PLUS: a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Thomas Elsaesser, an excerpt from the 1970 book Bergman On Bergman, and an excerpted 1977 interview with Andersson
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Monica McIntyre
Persona, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's brilliant but elusive '60s masterpiece about the mystery of identity, still stands as a monument in the history of world cinema. When stage actress Elisabeth Vogler Liv Ullmann suffers a nervous breakdown that renders her mute, she is sent to a seashore cottage and put under the care of nurse Alma Bibi Andersson. Ullmann and Andersson, standouts among Bergman's stock company, deliver intelligent, poignant performances as they develop one of the most intense and fascinating relationships ever seen onscreen. The film is also known as Masks, and for good reason: The human face has rarely been so thoroughly scrutinized for signs of flickering emotion and hidden identity. And these simple but powerful black-and-white images are hauntingly photographed by the legendary cinematographer and frequent Bergman collaborator Sven Nykvist. Less overtly allegorical and more intimate than the master's most well-known film The Seventh Seal, Persona painstakingly examines the limitations of all human relationships -- poetically illuminating the unbridgeable gulfs that separate us from one another.
All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
A watershed film in its economy, symbolism, and frank sexuality, Ingmar Bergman's Persona ranks as one of the director's most personal pieces, breaking from his earlier, more explicit work in favor of the abstract, intuitive style that he would continue to develop in such films as Hour of the Wolf (1968), Shame (1968), and Cries and Whispers (1973). Bergman started work on Persona after a long hospital stay, and he described the seemingly random images that begin the film as a "poem," a proclamation of his renewal as an artist. The opening sequence sets the tone for the film to come, in which the characters are at the mercy not just of fate and desire but of filmmaking itself. Later on, the film comes off its sprockets -- the celluloid literally breaks and melts on screen, before our eyes. At no other time in his career had Bergman seemed more trusting of his performers; he purges Persona of any narrative conventions but its two characters and their seaside setting. The final shot exposes the crew and equipment making the movie, a self-reflexive gesture, as in the later A Passion (1970), which suggests that not even filmmaking can completely dissect the mysteries of the human heart.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/25/2014
  • UPC: 715515113410
  • Original Release: 1966
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1A
  • Presentation: Bonus DVD / Subtitled
  • Time: 1:23:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 6,979

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bibi Andersson Nurse Alma
Liv Ullmann Actress Elisabeth Vogler
Margareta Krook doctor
Gunnar Björnstrand Mr. Vogler
Jörgen Lindström Elisabet's Young Son
Technical Credits
Ingmar Bergman Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Evald Andersson Special Effects
Lars-Owe Carlberg Producer
Tina Johansson Makeup
Bibi Lindstrom Production Designer
Borje Lundh Makeup
Mago Costumes/Costume Designer
Sven Nykvist Cinematographer
P.O. Pettersson Sound/Sound Designer
Ulla Ryghe Editor
Lars Johan Werle Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Persona
1. Prologue [7:14]
2. Mrs. Vogler's Situation [6:13]
3. Nurse Alma [6:04]
4. "A Fantastic Part" [2:37]
5. Seaside Stay [2:21]
6. A Good Listener [3:34]
7. Sunbathing [6:55]
8. "Go To Bed" [5:36]
9. Elisabet's Letter [2:55]
10. Broken Glass [4:02]
11. "Talk to Me" [6:42]
12. Rotten [5:56]
13. Night Terrors [6:09]
14. Elisabet's Little Boy [8:40]
15. "You Won't Get to Me" [4:59]
16. The End [3:55]
1. Color Bars [:20]
Disc #2 -- Persona: Live & Ingmar
1. Introduction [5:49]
2. Love [11:10]
3. Loneliness [9:27]
4. Rage [9:22]
5. Pain [13:58]
6. Longing [10:19]
7. Friendship [8:55]
8. Peace [15:12]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Persona
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Supplements
      Persona's Prologue: A Poem in Images
         Play
      Interviews
         Bibi Anderson, Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann, 1966
            Play
         Ingmar Bergman, 1970
            Play
         Liv Ullmann, 2013
            Play
         Paul Schrader, 2013
            Play
      On-Set Footage
         Play
      Trailer
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: Off
Disc #2 -- Persona: Live & Ingmar
   About Liv & Ingmar
      Play
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: SDH
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Captivating and unnerving

    I saw Persona for the first time recently when I purchased the DVD. Based on reviews and artices I'd read about the film, I'd been curious about it for quite some time. It's a fascinating and disturbing movie that, at least for me, isn't easily understood. This doesn't represent a criticism, however. I love films that don't spell out every little detail and leave it to the viewer to draw his or her own conclusions. The first time I watched Persona I knew it would require multiple viewings. With each subsequent viewing I've gotten new insights, not only about the film but about myself. I feel this is a movie that requires a viewer to work and think, which I believe not everyone is willing to do. Persona also meets a major personal standard that can make or break a film for me: I cared about the characters and was truly unable to tell what would happen next. For me, these two things go hand-in-hand -- the absence of either greatly diminishes my enjoyment of a film, and if both are missing, I might not even make it to the end. Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullman deliver stunning performances in Persona. And, as usual, Sven Nyquist's cinematography is a revelation. The DVD offers some nice extras, and language options include spoken English and Swedish as well as English, French and Spanish subtitles. This brings me to my one criticism of the DVD. Although I much prefer subtitles over dubbing in foreign language films, I decided, out of curiousity, to try viewing the film overdubbed in English. Unfortunately, the voices are so dreadful that I only lasted a couple of minutes. Bibi Andersson -- who does a majority of the talking in Persona -- sounds like a little kid. It left me cringing. Bottom line: if you like films that spoon-feed you everything, I suggest you avoid Persona. If you like provocative films that require you to think, Persona is for you. And if you prefer spoken dialog to subtitles, be forewarned that Bibi Andersson sounds like Minnie Mouse.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    persona

    This might be the best piece of art ever made.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Highly recommended Bergman!

    I purchased persona on DVD just recently and was quite satisfied. Bergman's unique style of filming must be seen to be believed. Both leading actresses deliever excllent performances and you can almost feel their emotions through the film. This is one of the most haunting, yet beautiful films I've seen to date. The camera angles are beautiful and in some secnes, highten the suspence greatly. I highly recommend this film to anyone who is seriously interested in film or who loves psycological drama and suspence. This is the first Bergman film I've ever seen, and it won't be my last. 5/5 Bravo!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2003

    My favorite Bergman

    This movie changed my life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews