Blu-ray, DVD Release: Persona

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: March 25, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Persona movie scene

Liv Ullmann (l.) and Bibi Andersson get into each other's heads in Ingmar Bergman's Persona.

By the mid-sixties, Ingmar Bergman (The Magician) had already conjured many of the cinema’s most unforgettable images. But with 1966’s radical psychological drama Persona, this supreme artist attained new levels of visual poetry.

In the first of a series of legendary performances for Bergman, Liv Ullmann (Face to Face) plays an actress who has inexplicably gone mute; an equally mesmerizing Bibi Andersson (Wild Strawberries) is the garrulous young nurse caring for her in a remote island cottage. While isolated together there, the women perform a mysterious spiritual and emotional transference that would prove to be one of cinema’s most influential ideas.

Acted with astonishing nuance and shot in stark shadows and soft light by the great Sven Nykvist (Fanny and Alexander), Persona is a penetrating, dreamlike work of profound psychological depth.

Presented in Swedish with English subtitles, Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo release of Persona contains the following features:

• New, 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New visual essay on the film’s prologue by Ingmar Bergman scholar Peter Cowie
• New interviews with actor Liv Ullmann and filmmaker Paul Schrader
• Excerpted archival interviews with Bergman and actors Bibi Andersson and Ullmann
• On-set footage, with audio commentary by Bergman historian Birgitta Steene
• Liv & Ingmar, a 2012 feature documentary directed by Dheeraj Akolkar
• Trailer
• New English subtitle translation
• One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
• A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Thomas Elsaesser, an excerpted 1969 interview with Bergman, and an excerpted 1977 conversation with Andersson

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.