“When I decide to portray a part, I can never completely hide who I am, what I am. At the point of identification, the audience encounters a person, not a role, not an actress. A face to face. It’s what I know about women. It’s what I have experienced, what I’ve seen. That’s what I want to share with you.”
La Pointe Courte (dir. Agnès Varda – 1955) Persona (dir. Ingmar Bergman – 1966) Love and Death (dir. Woody Allen – 1975) Mulholland Dr. (dir. David Lynch – 2001) Hable Con Ella (dir. Pedro Almodovar – 2002) The Silence (dir. Ingmar Bergman – 1963)
“I am conscious about myself and everything, and then suddenly, or slowly, my conscious fades out. Switches off. And it’s not existing, and that’s a marvelous feeling. That from existing, I am not existing. And at that moment, nothing can happen to me.”
~ Ingmar Bergman
While touching on the concept of “Non-being” (a notion readily understood in Buddhist thought), Persona: A Poem in Images touches upon the unforgettable Bergman film, Persona, with telling interviews from the actors Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson and author of Ingmar Bergman: Magician and Prophet Marc Gervais.
“My words mean nothing to you. People like you can’t be reached. I wonder whether your madness isn’t the worst kind. You act healthy, act it so well that everyone believes you. Everyone except me, because I know how rotten you are.”
“I understand, all right. The hopeless dream of being – not seeming, but being. At every waking moment, alert. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone. The vertigo and the constant hunger to be exposed, to be seen through, perhaps even wiped out. Every inflection and every gesture a lie, every smile a grimace. Suicide? No, too vulgar. But you can refuse to move, refuse to talk, so that you don’t have to lie. You can shut yourself in. Then you needn’t play any parts or make wrong gestures. Or so you thought. But reality is diabolical. Your hiding place isn’t watertight. Life trickles in from the outside, and you’re forced to react. No one asks if it is true or false, if you’re genuine or just a sham. Such things matter only in the theatre, and hardly there either. I understand why you don’t speak, why you don’t move, why you’ve created a part for yourself out of apathy. I understand. I admire. You should go on with this part until it is played out, until it loses interest for you. Then you can leave it, just as you’ve left your other parts one by one.”
” The hopeless dream of being – not seeming, but being. At every waking moment, alert. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone. The vertigo and the constant hunger to be exposed, to be seen through, perhaps even wiped out…”