#181: Persona (1966)

When and how did I watch this?

November 25th, 2015, on Hulu Plus.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Foreign film, same director as Fanny and Alexander. Apparently there would be some revolutionary cinematography in this one.

What do I know about it now?

I confess that I really didn’t understand this one. While certain themes and motifs were present, I felt the film never really matured into something cogent. In the end, I felt ripped off – what happens to these characters? The purpose of a story is for a situation that begins one way to be different in the end, and though subtle changes did exist, the audience is left guessing what the overall concept was. I suppose I just didn’t “get it”, but is it supposed to be cryptic just for the sake of being so?

What are some themes in the film?

As the title implies, identity. Additionally, sex, psychiatric care, marriage, and memory are explored.

Did this affect me personally?

I confess, much of it was haunting and at times disturbing. We stopped partway through it to assess what would happen next.

Why is this ranked #181?

Bergman has multiple entries on the list, making him a favorite director, I suppose. I think the imagery is lasting, and movie hipsters might be attached to it because of its enigmatic premise.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She didn’t find the film appealing at all.

Would I watch it again?

Yes, perhaps for better understanding. I read hereafter that this film should be watched twice.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

It’s a brief film and is probably worth your time.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Sure. It’s not a favorite, but I’m certain it bears cultural significance and deserves its place on the list. There are definitely worse films on here.

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