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on November 22, 2017
I've seen a few of Bergman's movies but I can safely say that this one is the most challenging to get into and yet is one of the more rewarding for the patient viewer willing to take repeated stabs at it. I loved "The Seventh Seal" and the later "Fanny & Alexander" and I'm now getting to love "Persona" as well. Having all 3 on Criterion helps too as the picture and sound qualities are excellent as one expects from any of their releases. Also included is a 60-page booklet containing an essay on the film and an interview with the director. This film challenges the viewer in a number of ways and questions our conceptions as to what film really is. Do we consider the characters as is or metaphorically or what are we supposed to think? The answer the director himself would probably say depends on you and how you wish to view this. The part in the film where the film itself appears to disintegrate comes across as self-sabotage to me at first but then it seems to be the director giving me a hint on how to interpret this work. Is he reminding me that this is just a film and so as actors simply portray roles or personas of others or of themselves for a time could all three people, the young man in the beginning, Liv and Bibi's characters all be the same person with different personas? Is this all a dream or is anything actual? It is this confusion and trying to figure this out for me is what makes this a great film that rewards repeated viewing as any classic film should.

For those who like to be challenged by film this one should certainly be in your video library.

Highly recommended!
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on April 18, 2017
great
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on March 6, 2015
... i can't account for it, but this flick fascinates me and keeps me alert each time i watch it. Bergman 'returned' to the film world after a self-imposed exile because he was upset that god had died without letting him knowing about it so he bought an island off the coast of sweden and 'withdrew' from the world. we begged him to come back, and he did, with 'persona.' he knew he had a 'fan base' itching to hear from him again and he needed to accept responsibility for that. his 'silence' was officially over with 'persona' and he wanted everyone to know he was back in town. 'persona' is full of all sorts of 'cinema vague' artsy fartsey alienation techniques but it's also a damn enjoyable movie. bib and liv are great and bibi tells a long running story about a sexual encounter on a beach that sets your hair on end. it looks great. filmed on his 'private island,' Faro, where he would make all his movies from then on.
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on February 21, 2003
MGM has a much better transfer, and more user-friendly subtitles. The most famous shot of the movie (shows up on the box cover of both versions) barely even shows up in the other version. Short of a much-anticipated DVD release of this, the MGM version at least tries to come close. A movie of this kind of beauty doesn't deserve any less than optimal viewing conditions. If you are a Bergman buff or something, though, you might get both editions to compare and contrast (e.g., the subtitle content). (Please note, folks: the average rating of this has been dragged down by low votes for the non-MGM version; I think almost all agree that the film itself is a 5-star affair.)
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on August 20, 2005
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.
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on June 27, 2017
Excellent đź‘Ť
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on January 3, 2017
Great!
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on May 16, 2016
One of the best of Bergman's quests of identity.
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on June 2, 2014
There isn't an unnecessary or filler moment in this movie. I wish Amazon had the new (2014) version online. I'd like to hear the commentary on the introductory segment.
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on July 31, 2016
Bravo
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