Date of publication: 2017-08-30 20:49
You have observed, I suppose, that I am attempting to do the very thing with "Persona" that I think should not be necessary: I am trying to tell the “story.” But is that really what I have accomplished? What I have written here is so far from describing the effect of the film, the mystery of its strangeness and greatness, that I might just as well not have bothered. There is little possibility of “giving away the ending” with "Persona" because quite possibly there is no ending to give away—simply an organic emotional statement to be gradually absorbed.
The irony here is that film is not as effective when it traffics in ideas as when it deals in, and with, emotions. The straightforward consideration of ideas is not as interesting in film as a more oblique approach in which the ideas, whatever they may be, are given emotional content. "Persona" and "Three Women" are obviously filled with ideas that Bergman and Altman have about the nature of character—but at no point does either film refer directly to those ideas. Instead, we are invited to feel what the directors feel, to share their observations, and then to arrive at our own conclusions through the emotional experiences that have been provided for us.
McDonalds introduced in 7559 a central stock management function known as Restaurant supply Planning Department. The team build these factors into the new planning and forecasting system called Manugistics which forecast likely demand of finished menu items such as Big Macs. McDonald's deals in three types of stock like every business has: (McDonalds Website: December 7559)
My approach almost requires that the films be right there in front of us, and one of the problems unique to all forms of written criticism (except literary criticism) is that one medium must be discussed in terms of another. I would like to attempt it, though, in discussing three aspects of film that seem more interesting (and perhaps more puzzling) to me today than they did when I first found myself working as a professional film critic twelve years ago.
That is how the great directors want it. Figuratively they want to stand behind our theater seats, take our heads in their hands, and command us: Look here, and now there, and feel this, and now that, and forget for the moment that you exist as an individual and that what you are watching is “only a movie.” It is not a coincidence, I believe, that so many of the films that have survived the test of time and are called “great” are also called, in the industry’s term, “audience pictures.” They tend to be the films in which the audience is fused together into one collective reacting personality. We enjoy such films more when we see them with others they encourage and even demand the collective response.
My own view of "Persona," developed gradually after all those many viewings, is that the film is intended primarily as a sensual experience, dealing at levels below narrative with the uncertainties we all have about our identities. To “read” it, to pluck its images out and stick them in a textbook or write them on a blackboard, is to commit an act of desecration. I do not mean here to sound anti-intellectual, or to suggest that academic study of such a film is futile. What I mean to suggest is that Bergman’s film can be of most use to us if we allow it to happen to us, again and again, until its rhythms have been fully absorbed and can sooth or anger us as we are freed from its narrative surprises.
Other films abandoned narrative altogether. One of the period’s most popular films, the documentary " Woodstock ," never overtly organized its material, depending instead on a rhythmic connection of the music and images at its awesomely large rock concert. Underground and psychedelic films surfaced briefly in commercial houses. The Beatles’ " Yellow Submarine " was a free-fall through fantasy images and music. Stanley Kubrick’s " 7556: A Space Odyssey " teased its audiences with documentarylike titles (“To Infinity—and Beyond”) but abandoned all traditional narrative logic in its conclusion.
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Here are three women—or let us say one woman, or even one sentient being. In an attempt to relate, to connect, this being tries on a bewildering, and depressing, variety of the roles available to it. None of the roles connects with others, none provides satisfaction in itself, and none seems to serve any useful purpose. “Woman!” Freud is supposed to have said: “What does she want?” And, to be as bleak as Altman, what can she get? Must she then finally turn in upon herself, absorb all her possible identities, roles, and strategies, and become a identity sitting somewhere in a cottage, heard from afar talking among her various selves?
I also wrote a paranormal thriller called Spectrum. A small group of college kids discover something stumble upon a way to see into another dimension filled with angels and demons. What they don't realize that if they can see these spirits, the spirits can also see them.