A Film in Images: Persona

This week’s Images post looks at one of the best-shot movies of all time, Ingmar Bergman’s arthouse hit Persona. Whether you’re a fan of the film or not, you can’t deny it looks great, and the cinematography by Sven Nykvist is truly legendary and some of the best work I’ve ever seen on camera. Here are several images from the film that best exemplify this:

Film: Persona (1966)

Director: Ingmar Bergman

Cinematographer: Sven Nykvist

Click on the images to see them enlarged:

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Posted on July 3, 2012, in Images, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. The merging of faces is in my opinion one of the most accomplsihed and most haunting moments ever to grace the screen.

  2. Beautiful shots. When I watched the film, I couldn’t totally get it, but like you said, I can’t deny that it’s very well filmed.

    • It’s a difficult film to get, especially if you’re fairly new to Bergman, but the cinematography makes it gorgeous to watch.

  3. Christian Hallbeck

    From the startpiont of “L’Avventura” there was a pronounced competition in filmmaking throughout the 60’s, where the directors tried to beat each other with every new film they made. Soon after a director had released a groundbreaking film, one or two other directors had already made something better. The artistic level was generally at a very high level (unsurpassed, probably, in the history of cinema), and the directors shamelessly and frequently lend/stole ideas from each other for their nest film. It was a very creative period, with several masterpieces released every year. I don’t know who “won” this competition, but I think Bergman is a strong candidate with “Persona”.

    • That’s an interesting theory; I would have to agree that Persona would be a strong contender, but I think, if such a theory were true, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 beat them all.

      • Christian Hallbeck

        Yes, and it’s symptomatic that “2001” was made at the end of the 60’s; summarizing the artistic and technical creativity that was released during this innovative decade. In it’s technical splendour and emphasised visual storytelling, “2001” could hardly have been made ten years earlier, or even during the first years of the 60’s.

        • I agree, I can’t see 2001 being made any earlier than it was. The summation of a decade that was building to such an incredible finish. For me, the two films that sum up the greatness and artistry of the 60s better than any others are 2001 and Andrei Rublev.

  4. cineroulade

    Great stills. Thanks!

  5. I love the elegant simplicity of the broken glass shot. The camera really torments you, holding in place… you know what’s coming, and the camera is going to make you wait for it.

  6. Gorgeous collection of photos. This one has one of the most amazing cinematography ever made, in my opinon, perfectly in synch with the film’s story and emotions.

    • Can’t disagree with you there – Sven Nykvist’s work on many Bergman films, particularly this one, is utterly magnificent.

  7. Persona is my second favorite Bergman film and definitely his most entrancing. I don’t think if it wasn’t for that film, there wouldn’t be classics like 3 Women and Mulholland Dr.. I would like to make a project based on those 3 films.

  8. That looks absolutely amazing, and now I’m regretting even more the fact that I haven’t seen it. This situation must be rectified.

  9. Alex Withrow

    One of my favorite-looking films of all time. The imagery here is like a character itself; it just speaks volumes. Perfect movie for this column of yours.

  10. Not my type of film(at least not yet anyways) but i will agree the visuals are great

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