Movie Review – Persona

Persona (1966)
Written & Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Persona is a fever dream. Literally. Writer-director Ingmar Bergman says he worked out the rough draft over nine weeks while recovering from pneumonia in the hospital. The film is tangled up in Bergman’s rather complicated personal life. At one point, Bergman was involved romantically with actress Bibi Andersson. A few years later, he ran into her in Stockholm, where he met Liv Ullman, who was friends with Andersson. The director says the friends’ resemblance to each other was uncanny, and the idea of this blending of identity came from that thought. Bergman, who was married to this third wife at the time, would eventually start an extramarital affair with Ullman and would have a child with her. Persona ends up being a film as complicated and entangled as the filmmaker’s own personal life. 

Continue reading “Movie Review – Persona”

TV Review – Scenes From a Marriage (1973)

Scenes from a Marriage (Criterion Channel)
Written & Directed by Ingmar Bergman

While I am very much aware of Ingmar Bergman, I sadly admit he is a blind spot in my personal cinema education. The only other work I’ve watched is the theatrical version of Fanny and Alexander, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. With HBO releasing a modern remake of Scenes From a Marriage, I thought it would be an excellent time to watch the original and expand my knowledge of the Swedish director’s filmography. The only thing I really knew going into the six-episode mini-series was that it had such a profound effect on Europeans that it caused a spike in the divorce rate due to its frank portrayal of marriage and the difficulties associated with the union.

Continue reading “TV Review – Scenes From a Marriage (1973)”

Movie Review – Fanny and Alexander

Fanny and Alexander (1982)
Written & Directed by Ingmar Bergman


At the start of the 20th century, the Ekdahl family are living a luxurious and free life. Helena is the matriarch of this clan, followed by three sons at various stages of life. Gustav is a boisterous restauranter, Oscar manages the theater Helena and her husband used to own, and Carl has fallen into ill repute as a result of a drink. The family is seen through the eyes of Oscar’s son Alexander during their last Christmas Eve as a complete unit, and then tragedy strikes. A series of rash decisions leaves Alexander and his sister Fanny in a dire situation and their family grieves while trying to find a way to reunite them all.

Continue reading “Movie Review – Fanny and Alexander”