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Persona Rated 15

Persona

Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Sweden, 1966. 1h 24m. Swedish/subs. Starring Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand, Jörgen Lindström.

After a mischievous montage ‘explaining’ the film’s origins, the narrative proper gets underway, charting the increasingly tense battle of wits between the chatty Alma (Andersson) and the mute Elisabet (Ullmann), who are isolated together in a cottage on the island of Fårö. With a rich, resonant mix of related themes – the vampiric nature of art, the complex fragility of personality, the difficulty of communication – the film is arguably Bergman’s most audacious and formally innovative work, multi-levelled yet utterly lucid. Sven Nykvist’s lustrous camerawork, the subtle sound design and perfect lead performances combine to create a mesmerisingly beautiful work of unforgettable, haunting mystery.

'Whether the film's ambiguous meanings strike you as profound or overblown, there's greatness enough in its aesthetic marvels: the power of its performances, the beauty of its images and the deftness of its sudden shifts.’ ★★★★★ Edward Porter, The Sunday Times

'It remains as mysterious and troubling now as it ever was.’ ★★★★★ Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent


Sunday 3 June: 16:00
Monday 4 June: 19:00