Films To Remember: Persona

Posted by Fabio 15 November 2013

Persona is a 1966 Swedish film directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. Bergman held this film to be one of his most important. Bergman wrote Persona during nine weeks while recovering from pneumonia. During filming Bergman wanted to call the film A Bit of Cinematography. His producer suggested something more accessible and the title of the film was changed.

Persona is a minimalist film. Although five actors appear on-screen, Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann are the only ones to appear for more than a minute, and Elisabet Vogler (Ullmann’s character) speaks only fourteen words in the film. There are no dressing-props; only items the characters use are shown on-screen. The imagery is dominated by extreme contrast, with the cottage scenes being drenched by intense sunlight that washes the image out in a white glare, and the actors wearing solid black costumes, simple hairstyles, and no make-up.