Movies Are My Wife

Married to the Movies — Mdino's Blog

BAND OF OUTSIDERS (1964)

“The Americans are good at story telling.  The French are not.”  Holding such a sentiment did not prevent  Jean-Luc Godard from attempting his own takes on genre films – a favorite staple of American directors since the founding days of cinema in the United States.  In fact, the early years of Godard’s career (the late 50’s to the early 60s) revealed a director very much involved in an Americanesque phase.  One of the best films to come from this period is BAND OF OUTSIDERS (French, 1964) starring his wife at the time, Anna Karina.  But this is a Jean-Luc Godard genre film, after all, which means that the picture is virtually plotless and functions mainly as a platform for the “new wave” icon to explore some of his favorite authors, directors, actors and cultural figures. 

Meeting in an English language class, Odile (Karina), Arthur (Claude Brasseur) and Franz (Sami Frey) plan to steal tens of thousands of francs from Odile’s rich Aunt (Louisa Colpeyn), with whom she lives in a palatial mansion.  The money actually (can’t really say “belongs”) to the mysterious Mr. Stolz, the Aunts lover, who also lives at the estate.  He came into the money  through tax evasion, and is a symbol of the corrupt capitalist, getting rich while refusing to pay his fair share.  He is a sort of McGuffin in that he is never shown, but is the reason the plot is put into motion. 

But it is Godard’s cultural and artistic obsessions that get the most attention.  The film begins with a flashing montage of the three principals’ faces accompanied by Michel Legrand’s silent movie style music and the final credit on-screen is “Directed by Jean-Luc Cinéma Godard”.  Arthur and Franz may be named in honor of “B” picture star Arthur Franz, and the two constantly enact shootouts from gangster movies.  They remark that Odile has “soft skin”,  possibly a plug for Francois Truffaut’s movie of that name, released the same year as BAND OF OUTSIDERS.  Godard’s idols from the other arts are also mentioned.  Franz is a fanatic for books and in English class the instructor (Danièle Girard) points out that it is not important to know how to say “where is the bathroom”.  It is however, essential to know how to spell “Thomas Hardy”.  Lengthy readings are given of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, as Arthur passes love notes to Odile.  After this, it is back to film commentary.  At the end of class a student asks “How do you say ‘big one million dollar film?'”, an allusion to Godard’s distaste for big budget commercial cinema.  Later, when Arthur asks Odile for a date, he playfully places his closed fist on her chin, pretending to sock her, like so many gangster and private eye movie tough guys.  Arthur wears a Humphrey Bogart style overcoat throughout the film, as does Franz.  The three are frequently seen “bogarting” cigarettes and often pass a pork pie hat between them.  Arthur constantly speaks of Odile possibly “betraying” him, as if he believes in the film noir cliché of the duplicitous femme fatale.  And – horrors – Odile remarks at one point “I hate cinema!  I hate theater!  I love nature!” as though there is something unnatural about the filmed image and performance.

Capitalism, another Godard obsession, is attacked in sharp fashion.  Early in the film, Odile is asked how she plans to explain leaving the house for so long a time to her domineering Aunt.  “I’ll  tell her I’m going shopping”, is her reply.  An innocuous sounding statement, perhaps, but knowing Godard’s hatreds (a key one being consumerism) it must be interpreted as anything but.  In a diner, Odile orders a Coca-Cola – reminding us of Godard’s famous description of the 60’s generation as “children of Marx and Coca-Cola” – fascinated by Marxism but prey to all the capitalist vices.  When discussing the planned robbery, Arthur remarks “better to be rich and happy than poor and unhappy.”  This equating of money with happiness is an attitude the filmmaker must find incomprehensible. 

The power of advertising is decried as a newspaper ad for make-up announces “It’s not just your looks, but your happiness.”  All news and advertising media are seen as a servant of capitalism, polluting us with constant stimuli (visuals and sound), all saying “buy this, think that.”  It apparently has Godard’s head swimming and late in the film Odile challenges Arthur and Franz to go without speaking for an entire minute.  As they attempt this feat, all sounds from the noisy diner – voices, music etc. –  disappear from the soundtrack.  It is an eerie touch and needless to say, one of them cracks before the minute is up.  Modern man, it seems, needs constant distractions. 

Godard plays off traditional romance films and even has Arthur and Odile take a trip to the subway – the bowels of the earth, and Arthur states bluntly that love talk is “crap”.  Something else of interest happens in the subway: The couple see a man seated on the train holding a small white box.  Arthur remarks that the blank expression on his face could be interpreted in wildly differing ways depending on what you imagine to be in the box.  If he is holding a Teddy bear, the expression could be sublime.  If he is holding a stick of dynamite the look may be sinister.  This conversation is a reworking of the Lev Kuleshov film editing experiments conducted in the early years of the Soviet Union, where the same shot of an old man is intercut with different images, as seen from his point of view.  Depending on what he is viewing, his expression will be interpreted in different ways by the audience.  Astute fellows, Godard and Kuleshov. 

The distancing techniques of playwright Bertolt Brecht are employed as Odile sings a mournful ditty while staring directly into the camera.  The song is about the common plight of all people, as she sees it – loneliness.  The use of singing and addressing the audience serve to remind us that we are watching a film.  As such Godard is saying “This is only a movie.  Do not become so involved with the plot, and instead focus on what is being said.”  And the message is an important one, as repeated by Franz at the end of the film.  Speaking to Odile he states, “Isn’t it strange how people never form a whole?  Always remaining separate.”  Thus the title is fully explained: We are all outsiders, 

With Arthur killed in the robbery and no money to speak of, Franz and Odile head off to their futures together – and one last dig at “papa’s cinema”, as the narrator describes a “Technicolor, CinemaScope” film to follow of their adventures.  The narrator is Jean-Luc Godard himself, a wise choice to tell the story of one mans obsessions, hatreds and passions. 

CREDITS: Directed by Jean-Luc Godard.  Based on the novel FOOLS’ GOLD by Dolores Hitchens. Cinematography by Raoul Coutard.  Music by Michel Legrand.  With: Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, Sami Frey, Danièle Girard, Louisa Colpeyn.                             

April 30, 2013 Posted by | 1960's cinema, film directors, French "new wave", French cinema | , , , , , | Leave a comment

HEAD (1968)

Premiering during one of America’ most violent years, HEAD (1968) is an interesting time warp experience for modern audiences.  If the film’s preoccupation with the Vietnam war seems inordinate, it must be remembered that in 1968 the nation was embroiled in one of the most traumatic experiences of its existence.  Director/writer Bob Rafelson and co-writer Jack Nicholson (yes, that Jack Nicholson) made HEAD two years before their breakthrough with the ant-establishment classic FIVE EASY PIECES.  Their annoyance –  if not outright anger –  with the manipulative powers of the media, especially television, is palpable in the film.  Also angry are “The Monkees”.  There is a double irony here in that the bubble gum pop band was created especially for TV and that the members were assembled for that medium by none other than Bob Rafelson.  It is an irony not lost on anyone involved, as the movie amply demonstrates.

HEAD begins with an extreme close-up of a red ribbon, which could also stand in for a stripe of the American flag.  The red symbolizes the blood shed in Vietnam in particular and America’s fascination with violence in general – at least as Rafelson and Nicholson see it.  The ribbon is to be cut as part of a ceremony marking the opening of a bridge.  Suddenly (well, not too suddenly, considering how the ribbon cutting drags on) Micky Dolenz sprints across the bridge –  breaking the ribbon – followed by the other Monkees.  They are – in no particular order of importance – Mike Nesmith, David Jones and Peter Tork.  Micky jumps off the bridge leading to several psychedelic minutes of cavorting with mermaids.  Ahhh, freedom…the yearning of all disaffected youth.  A few moments later, the band members perform a song as they appear in tiny TV screens that pop up, one after another, with each line of the ditty.  The song (and the visualization) is all about the bands manufactured status – a gentle self mocking.  The bit ends with the first of the pic’s many war related images: A Viet Cong prisoner being assassinated by his South Vietnamese captor.  This newsreel footage provides a jarring moment and is followed by a close-up of a  teen aged girl screaming – for “the Monkees”.  We immediately know where the film is going, and the rest of HEAD pretty much chugs along on this same track – a series of black out sketches on how the media exploit both tragedy and the public’s need for escapism, leading to TV fare such as “The Monkees”.  The lads are next seen in war trenches where they are assaulted by an American football player in full athletic regalia.  America’s fascination with violence carries over to our sports as well.  The scene ends with the athlete running headfirst into the wall of the trench, knocking himself unconscious, and the filmmakers’ attitude toward the futility of war is made obvious.  

Consumerism is a bi-product of the media and we are treated to several scenes of anti-consumerism, including a desert set one in which Mickey blows up a Coca-Cola machine with a tank.    

After a western sketch (what is more violent than the settling of the West?), the film takes us to a diner where a waitress asks David, “Are you trying to change your image?”  Very possibly, as he is listed in the credits as “David”  Jones, rather than the name with which he had previously been associated – “Davy”.  Despite claims in the opening song, it seems that changing the images of the “monkees” is very much the intent.  Out with the bubble headed pop stars, in with the serious social satirists.  Even if they satirize themselves and their own brand. 

Along the way  several movies are spoofed, including GOLDEN BOY and HUMORESQUE, and the band members express displeasure with the phoniness of show business, as well as their own “plastic” reputations.  Early on, the boys in the band are transformed into mannequins just as they are mauled by a hysterical mob of teen-aged girls. 

A running gag throughout the film has our guys trapped in a giant “black box” as  the hold television has on them – and us – is all encompassing.  In perhaps a dig at many 60’s rock stars’ reliance on Indian Gurus for inspiration and enlightenment, Peter is visited by a Swami who asks “Who is to say what is real or vividly imagined?”  A good question, considering the media obsessed culture of 1968 and today.  At once mocked and begrudgingly respected by Rafelson and Nicholson, this Guru comes up with one of the central ideas of the film: appearance verses reality.  Show biz is fake but the horrors of war are real.  Perhaps the attempt at image transformation  for the “Monkees” will fall just short of succeeding.  As if to inform them of their ultimate insignificance, Frank Zappa arrives to ironically state: “The youth of America count on you to show them the way.” 

The film ends where it began, with the boys jumping off that bridge.  But it was all for not, as they wind up once again trapped in the black box.  This time the box has a picture tube like window, revealing the Monkees to be submerged in water as though floating helplessly in a fish bowl.  Appropriate…Unfortunately, nothing in HEAD is even remotely funny.  With all the imagination and energy expended it should be.  But there are cute cameos by media personalities of the era and just before, as if to point out the arbitrary and fleeting nature of celebrity.  We are obsessed with the famous, but the turnover rate is high.   Among the now (and at the time) almost forgotten "stars" appearing are Annette Funicello, Victor Mature and boxer Sonny Liston. 

CREDITS: Directed by Bob Rafelson.  Written by Bob Rafelson and Jack Nicholson.  Director of Photography Michel Hugo.  Music by Ken Thorne.  Songs by The Monkees.

With The Monkees (Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, David Jones and Peter Tork), Victor Mature, Annette Funicello, Sonny Liston, Rona Barrett

 

  

         

April 2, 2013 Posted by | 1960's cinema, American Film, film directors | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

In 1962 the world was at war.  It was not a traditional war but one just as syphilitic.  Communism was spreading in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia and many Americans were gripped by fear – some of it irrational.  Some of it…  It was in this environment that the novelist Richard Condon created THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE.  When film director John Frankenheimer and screenwriter George Axelrod adapted the book into a film, some felt its more extreme elements smacked of paranoia.  Left wing critics were appalled at the suggestion that the extreme left was as dangerous as the extreme right, and particularly offended by the notion that reactionary movements could be used by radical anti-American forces to take over the United States. 

Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) returns home from the Korean war as a medal of honor recipient.  His mother (Angela Lansbury) and stepfather, Senator John Iselin (James Gregory) are caricatures of extreme right wing zealots – the Senator being clearly modeled on Joe McCarthy.  Major Ben Marco (Frank Sinatra), a friend of Shaw’s and a member of his unit in Korea, is haunted by nightmares of their war experiences.  These dreams depict brainwashing sessions at the hands of the Chinese and Soviets.  The procedures are conducted in a garden party milieu attended by elderly American women and are observed by military personnel from the communist countries.  The brainwashing is conducted by the rotund Dr. Yen Lo (Khigh Dhiegh) who frequently transforms into an older white woman.  He/she is, at first discussing horticulture.  Seated next to the speaker are Shaw and Marco as well as several other soldiers.  The speech grows menacing as Shaw is commanded to strangle a fellow soldier and shoot another.  Blood splatters on a picture of Joseph Stalin, Frankenheimer making his statement about the Soviet dictator’s bloody reign.  In this weird spectacle the Communists use a quintessentially American event (the garden party) to burrow into the mind of Shaw and the filmmakers equate the fragility of flowers with the delicate, sensitive human mind, which can be pulled apart petal by petal.  At the blast of the gun, Marco wakes up screaming. 

Soon other members of the squad are having the same dream, including an African American, Al Melvin (James Edwards).  America’s deficiency as a society are not glossed over by Frankenheimer and his team.  In Melvin’s version of the dream, all the woman are black, reflecting the country’s racial segregation of the time.  But there is a hopeful note: The Psychiatrist who helps Marco sort things out is a black man. 

The vices of capitalism and American consumerism are satirized right from the start of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, as we first meet members of Shaw’s unit as they carouse in a Korean brothel.  Prostitution is often used in Communist countries as an example of the supposed ugliness of pure capitalism.  The digs continue:  Shaw is taken (in a brainwashed state) to a secret Soviet facility in the U.S. that is housed in a rest home for wealthy alcoholics.  The connection between the rich and excess is inescapable.  Yen Lo himself makes several references to stateside advertising campaigns of the time:  “Tastes good like a cigarette should” he says with a sinister grin while offering a comrade a smoke.  And he remarks while leaving the scene, “I have an afternoon at Macy’s ahead of me.”  As Senator Iselin tries to decide on the exact number of communists in the Department of Defense, he comes upon “57” while pounding the bottom of a Heinz ketchup bottle!  Later at a costume ball held by “Mother”, a large American flag made of caviar, is greedily devoured by party goers.  Even American political idols take their licks:  Everywhere in Iselin’s home we see pictures and statues of Abraham Lincoln.  At the party Iselin is dressed as Lincoln.  There is a lamp made from a bust of “the great emancipator”, the shade doubling as an outsized stove pipe hat!  Could this be Frankenheimer’s statement about America’s own Soviet style “cult of personality”, and the overinfation of “Honest Abe’s” reputation? 

In a controversial twist Iselin and “Mother” are revealed to be Soviet spies involved in the brainwashing.  They order Shaw to assassinate the liberal Senator Jordan ( John McGiver), who stands in the way of their plans.  When he shoots Jordan, the Senator is holding a carton of milk which the bullet passes through.  Milk pulses out like a geyser of blood and this is indeed a wonderfully cheeky way for a milquetoast liberal to die.  There is an interesting aside concerning Jordan who has a inordinate dislike for snakes, a metaphor for his attitude toward the political establishment. 

There is also a fascinating treatment of the female characters in the film: The three are blond all American girl (or housewife) types.  Marco’s girlfriend “Rosie” (Janet Leigh) and Shaw’s new bride “Jocie” Jordan, (the Senator’s daughter –  Leslie Parrish) are given rhyming names.  Rosie (although she prefers “Jennie” for Eugenie Rose) is linked by name to the fragility of flowers referenced in the brainwashing scenes.  And “Mother” is as romantically inclined as Rosie and Jocie – in a kinky disturbing way: When she reveals the ultimate plan to her son, she closes her polemic by giving him a passionate, oedipal kiss on the lips!

In THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE the theme of memory and its importance in the lives of human beings is beautifully developed by Frankenheimer.  Particularly during flashbacks, the director utilizes very lengthy dissolves to express the lingering effects of broken relationships on the mind and spirit.  Along with the brainwashing scenes, these moments demonstrate John Frankenheimer’s ability to traverse the intracacies of the human mind.    

CREDITS: Directed by John Frankenheimer.  Produced by Howard W. Koch.  Written by George Axelrod.  Based on the novel by Richard Condon.  Photographed by Lionel Lindon.  Music by David Amram.  Edited by Ferris Webster.  With Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, James Gregory, Leslie Parrish, John McGiver, Khigh Dhiegh. 

      

March 19, 2013 Posted by | 1960's cinema, film directors, John Frankenheimer, suspense films | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HITCHCOCK’S MARNIE (1964)

With his 1964 production of MARNIE, Alfred Hitchcock was treading on dangerous ground.  He had just come off a string of masterpieces beginning with STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951) and culminating with THE BIRDS (1963).  He and the world wondered:  Would he follow these films with a worthy successor?  Hitchcock answered this question by creating a film that confused many and disappointed most.  It seemed he had wasted his time with what was regarded as an insipid and ersatz soap opera.  Insipid because of a general lack of suspense in comparison to his recent work.  Ersatz considering the awful painted backdrops and fuzzy rear projections scattered throughout the film.  Partly because of contradictory statements by Hitchcock himself, critics years after the initial release began debating the director’s symbolic intent if any, behind these backdrops and process shots.  Needless to say, a cottage industry has sprung up analyzing the film, with critics bending over backwards to make excuses for the film’s shortcomings.   Undeniably,  many of these interpretations have merit, while others may be examples of wishful thinking by some of Hitch’s more ardent admirers.

In MARNIE, Hitchcock and screenwriter Jay Presson Allen explore the life of a compulsive thief: The gorgeous though hopelessly frigid Marnie Edgar (“Tippi” Hedren).  Her mode of operation is as follows: She steals large sums of money from her employers, changes her identity and moves onto the next job (and theft) in another city.  When Marnie takes a job in the office of a publishing company, she does not realize that her new employer, Mark Rutland (Sean Connery) remembers her from a past stint working for a tax consultant firm, where he was a client.  After she robs his company, Mark blackmails her into marriage in an attempt to play psychiatrist, and uncover the reason for her compulsion.  In the process he discovers her pathological fear of sex and its connection to her obsession with theft.  Indeed the theme of theft as sex and sex as theft is one frequently explored by Hitchcock, most elegantly in TO CATCH A THIEF (1955).  In MARNIE the theme is seized upon by Hitchcock with a relish that is almost gleeful, as Marnie certainly experiences a sexual rush from her crimes.  Added to this is the honeymoon rape of Marnie by Mark, a man who is not used to sexual rejection.  He literally steals her virginity and Hitchcock’s own sexual kinks are on display, much to a psychologically inclined critic’s fascination.  This troubling scene, as concocted by Winston Graham, the author of the original novel on which the film is based, led to original screenwriter Evan Hunter leaving the project in a state of dismay.

Also intensely explored is Mark’s fascination with zoology and his view of Marnie as a “wild thing” that needs to be tamed.  “I’ve caught a wild one this time!” he says, practically smacking his lips.  Of course, she is certainly not sexually wild, but is viewed as “wild” in that she is beyond the control of a man.   Frankly, Marnie is referred to by men in animalistic terms, several times throughout the film.  Beside Mark’s statements, her first employer, Mr. Strutt (Martin Gabel) describes her to the police as having “good teeth”, a term often used in describing race horses.  There is also a hilarious moment at a racetrack, as a former employer (Milton Selzer) spies on Marnie through a rolled up newspaper.  A crowd of men behind him, looking in the same direction, and ostensibly enjoying the race, jump to their feet, shouting excitedly.  It is almost as though they are cheering for the gorgeous Marnie as well as the horses.  And Marnie loves horses.  She is frequently shown riding her horse “Forio” and  a fox hunt  features prominently as both a metaphor for the central situation and as a catalyst for the film’s denouement.  The unfettered sexuality of a beautiful woman on horseback is compared to the thrill Marnie experiences in her thefts.  After she robs Mark’s safe, she removes her shoes to avoid detection.  When Mark surprises her with Forio, the beloved stallion Marnie has not seen in months, she once again removes her shoes before mounting the horse.  It is here that we encounter the problematic rear projections.  Some critics maintain that the out of focus process shots used for Marnie’s riding scenes (and a similarly phony looking painted backdrop outside her Mother’s home) are symbolic of the young woman’s ultimate lack of fulfilment in pursuits that are meant to offer her peace and resolution.  In other words, the pleasures they offer are unreal.   Such interpretations should be left to the individual viewer.  As for me, I remain unconvinced.  As for Hitchcock, he has offered conflicting statements about this film and his work in general: “It was just a crummy piece of scene painting.” and “We must get deeper into things.”

In the final scene, we discover that Marnies’s Mother (Louise Latham) was a prostitute and that, as a child, Marnie killed one of the visiting Johns, precipitating a life long hatred of sex for both women.  The thefts, supposedly, were a replacement for Marnie’s sexual energies (the theft of sex?) and the journey for the troubled couple is just beginning.  Since he is as sick as Marnie (“A man wants to sleep with a thief because she’s a thief”, says Hitchcock, and there is that disturbing rape, of course) the singing of the children outside the mother’s house of “Mother, Mother, I am ill, send for the Doctor over the hill” applies as much to Mark as to his wife.  There will have to be much healing ahead for both, as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most open-ended films fades to black.

CREDITS: Directed and Produced by Alfred Hitchcock.  Screenplay by Jay Presson Allen.  Based on the novel by Winston Graham.  Photographed by Robert Burks.  Edited by George Tomasini.  Music by Bernard Herrmann.  With “Tippi” Hedren, Sean Connery, Dianne Baker, Martin Gable, Louise Latham, Milton Selzer, Mariette Hartley and Alan Napier.

March 11, 2013 Posted by | 1960's cinema, Alfred Hitchcock, film directors, JAY PRESSON ALLEN, suspense films | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PERSONA (1963)

Never trust an actress.  As the moral degeneracy of artists is a frequent theme in the works of Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish director may be telling us to be suspicious of practitioners of the arts.  In THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY (1961) for instance, he presents to us the case history of a writer who coldly observes his daughter’s mental collapse intending to use her disintegration as the basis for a novel.  In PERSONA (1963) the artist in question is a respected actress, Elizabeth Vogler (Liv Ullmann).  She is not so much overtly corrupt as she is mysterious and ghostly – and just a little threatening.  For one thing, she has recently stopped speaking, which not only adds an etherial quality to her persona, but also plays into another favorite Bergman theme, namely the futility of trying to communicate in the modern world.  She has given up it would seem, or perhaps she has found a better way to get her points across. 

Elizabeth is being cared for by a talkative psychiatric nurse, Alma (Bibi Andersson), whose verbose approach is a perfect counterpoint to Elizabeth’s mute existence.  But they both wear masks of course, as Elizabeth is as capable of speaking as any of us, and Alma uses words as a cover for her anxiety. 

In PERSONA, Bergman employs the alienation techniques used to such good advantage by French “New Wave” director Jean-Luc Godard.  PERSONA begins with a close-up of film running through a projector and ends with a shot of Bergman’s camera wheeling toward the viewer.  His aim is to make us constantly mindful that we are watching a film.  Only under such circumstances can we avoid identifying too strongly with any of the characters, and concentrate instead on the intellectual points being made.  And there are many…After the projector imagery we are assaulted by shots of a lamb being slaughtered and a hand being nailed to a cross.  We are about to witness a sacrifice of sorts – of the artistic psyche – as it is revealed.  The relationship between the actress and nurse represents that of the performer (or director) to his or her audience, and how they feed off each other.  After Alma claws herself in a fit of anguish, Elizabeth sucks on the wound, creating a bizarre alliance. 

Bergman always considered the human face to be the landscape of the cinema and cinematographer Sven Nykvist’s camera frequently lingers on close-ups of the two women.  In one mesmerizing moment, the director holds on a tight shot of Elizabeth’s face as the room slowly darkens.  We then cut to Alma applying facial cream as she prepares for bed.  One face leads to another.

As the film progresses, the two women begin to merge and Alma asks “Can you be two people at once?”  The answer comes in the film’s conclusion when the women’s faces are joined together in a startling split screen shot.  Even the denouement is presented twice: As Alma recounts the story of Elizabeth’s deformed child, the grim tale is told first with the camera on Liv Ullmann’s reactions and a second time with a shot of Andersson as she speaks. 

In the end, the sacrifice is not only Elizabeth’s, but Alma’s as well.  In any artistic relationship the audience must give up a part of themselves (a part the artist hungrily devours) and become a part of what they are watching.  PERSONA illuminates this strange relationship and Ingmar Bergman reveals something about himself and us. 

CREDITS: Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman.  Photography by Sven Nykvist.  Music by Lars Johan Werle.  Starring Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Margaretha Krook and Gunnar Bjornstrand.

August 14, 2010 Posted by | 1960's cinema, Swedish film | , , , , , | Leave a comment