So far, based off of these two Ingmar Bergman films (Seventh Seal and Persona), I can logically calculate the precise filmmaking quirk that is causing me to fall in love with Bergman himself. If there’s one ingredient in cinema that entices me the most compared to any other supplemental, it’s the writing, and Bergman has got it f—-ing nailed!
Persona discloses a conspicuous, creative premise and lethal sharp dialogue that are monstrously superior to roughly all remainders constructed in the existence of film—I am dead serious. Bergman possesses this raw proficiency that is able to cram weighty philosophy in its sub-leveled layers of characters without having any of their actions feel forced or phony, and that’s a tricky maneuver to pull off considering most films don’t achieve it. The interactions between Alma and Elisabet are some of the best I’ve seen in cinematic history and are whole-heartedly on par with those in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master.
Ulla Ryghe‘s editing is—and consider this an understatement—perfect; blending a melancholy tone with an almost horror-like jump-cut tradition that is sure to off-put its viewers—and for deliberate intentions believe it or not. The cinematography had me dumbstruck as well—Sven Nykvist can make black-and-white look way cleaner than colored tones ever could—and it can’t go without saying how inexpressibly pronounced actress Bibi Andersson is in this. For those who witness Persona, you will be in utter collapse by its dexterity to intensify a spiking drama of mental torment without ever hunching like it had any missing pieces during its limited, 83-minute runtime.
“Persona” is now available to rent and buy on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and The Criterion Channel.