9 March 2021
Robin's chosen director was Ingmar Bergman. Swedish director and writer of over 60 films in 1950-80's. His films often deal with existential questions of mortality, loneliness, and religious faith. In addition to these cerebral topics, however, female sexual desire features in many of his films. His fims were often described as art house films - films where the content and style are often artistic or experimental. He is said to have had an intense dislike of animals, which is why they are sometimes seen dead in his films.
Ingmar Bergman is not to be confused with Ingrid Bergman (famous swedish actress in 1940-80's). However, he was married to Ingrid Bergman (but not the actress!) He did direct Ingrid Bergman (the actress, not his wife) in a film called Autumn Sonata for which she was awarded the Oscar for Best Actress in 1978.
Persona is a 1966 Swedish psychological drama film, written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. The film deals with the relationship between a young nurse (Bibi) and her patient (Liv) , an actress who has lost the ability to speak. The film explores of duality, insanity and personal identity and deals with issues related to filmmaking, vampire mythology, lesbianism, motherhood and abortion. There are many interpretations of the film, however, Ingmar refuses to discuss his own interpretation. That is what make the film so intresting and sparked a lively post film debate. It was filmed largely on the island of Faro using some of the directors own homes. The actresses eventualy become one person and there is a scene where the faces of the two actresses are merged into one. Ingmar was married five times including relationships with both Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson.
The film was black and white with subtitles - usually an immediate turn off for Jonathan. However a vivid discription of a couple of young boys discovering two naked ladies sunbathing on the beach elevated the eventual score. Marks were also awarded for the film being less than 90 minutes. In fact nearly all his films are about 90 minutes long.
The film is not something that many of us would choose to watch, but that makes it a good film club film. Scores were mixed with some low marks. Overall a 65% rating