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This review is from: Persona (DVD)
Persona is probably my favorite Ingmar Bergman film. Watching it again, I now realize that it is a ghost story. Were ever characters more haunted than Bergman's? Everything about the film is eerie, especially the music. Everything has the feel of a horror film, even though nothing "scary" actually happens. The horror is of Being and Nothingness. Persona does what so much of horror literature attempts - undermine our conceptions of what is real. Bergman is not content to do only that - he undermines the conventions of moviemaking as well: half-way through the movie, the film breaks and needs to be re-started.
It is almost impossible to summarize the "plot." Liv Ullman's character decides to stop talking. She is sent to a summer home in care of a nurse - Bibi Anderson. Gradually, the two personalities begin to merge until we realize that there may have only been one person in the house to begin with.
Persona is an art film if ever there was one. It stands next to 2001: A Space Odyssey as one of the great experimental pictures of the 1960's. It contains one of the most erotic scenes in cinema, even though there is no nudity. It foreshadows a new era of filmmaking.
The DVD transfer is pristine, however it is NOT letterboxed. For some reason the subtitles remain white, instead of the more user-friendly yellow. There is also an invaluable featurette on the making of the film with interviews of all the principals, including Bergman. A must for any serious DVD collection.