Saturday, December 31, 2022

The Movies I Watched in 2022

First Seen of the Year: 

Little Fugitive [Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin, and Ray Ashley, 1953]

Last Seen of the Year:

Cure [Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997]


8-1/2 [Federico Fellini, 1963]

The 9th Annual On Cinema Oscar Special [Eric Notarnicola and Tim Heidecker, 2022]

2001: A Space Odyssey [Stanley Kubrick, 1968]

2010: The Year We Make Contact [Peter Hams, 1984]

L’agonie de Jérusalem [The Agony of Jerusalem] [Julien Duvivier, 1927]

The Akergirls: “Can’t Wait” [Alex Ross Perry, 2018]

Akira [Katsuhiro Ōtomo, 1988]

The Amazing Transparent Man [Edgar G. Ulmer, 1960]

L’Anglaise et le Duc [The Englishwoman and the Duke] [Éric Rohmer, 2001]

The Apartment [Billy Wilder, 1960]

Arsenic and Old Lace [Frank Capra, 1944]

Au Bonheur des Dames [Julien Duvivier, 1930]

Au cinéma, ce soir: Hôtel du Nord [At the Movies, Tonight: Hôtel du Nord] [Solange Peter, 1972]

Barry Lyndon [Stanley Kubrick, 1975]

The Beatles: Get Back [Peter Jackson, 2021]

Beyond the Time Barrier [Edgar G. Ulmer, 1960]

The Black Cat [Edgar G. Ulmer, 1934]

The Black Watch [John Ford, 1929]

Blue Velvet [David Lynch, 1986]

Bóbita [Dandelion-Puff / Topknot] [Marta Mészáros, 1964]

Der Bräutigam, die Komödiantin und der Zuhälter [The Bridegroom, the Actress, and the Pimp] [Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, 1968]

British Sounds (See You at Mao) [Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Henri Roger, 1969]

The Brood [David Cronenberg, 1979]

Cadaveri eccellenti [Exquisite Corpses] [Francesco Rosi, 1976]

Carné, vous avez dit Carné? [Carné, You Said Carné?] [Jean-Denis Bonan, 1994]

Céline et Julie vont en bateau: Phantom Ladies Over Paris [Céline and Julie Go Boating: Phantom Ladies Over Paris] [Jacques Rivette, 1974]

Le cercle rouge [The Red Circle] [Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970]

The Champ [King Vidor, 1931]

Charlotte et Véronique, ou Tous les garçons s’appellent Patrick [Charlotte and Véronique, or: All Boys Are Called Patrick] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1957]

Cheyenne Autumn [John Ford, 1964]

Ch’ing-shaonien Ne-zha [Teenage Ne-zha] [Tsai Ming-liang, 1992]

The Choirboys [Robert Aldrich, 1977]

Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach [Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, 1968]

La ciénaga [The Swamp] [Lucrecia Martel, 2001]

Cinescope: Gian-Maria Volonté [Yvette Michellems and René Michellems, 1984]

La classe operaia va in paradiso [The Working Class Goes to Heaven] [Elio Petri, 1971]

‘La classe operaia va in paradiso’, retroscena di un film novarese [‘La classe operaia va in paradiso’: Background to a Novarese Film]

[Serena Checcucci and Enrico Omodeo Salé, 2006]

A Clockwork Orange [Stanley Kubrick, 1971]

Cloud in the Sky [Edgar G. Ulmer, 1940]

Comédies et Proverbes: Le rayon vert [Comedies and Proverbs: The Green Ray] [Éric Rohmer, 1986]

Le Corbeau [The Raven] [Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1943]

Crimes and Misdemeanors [Woody Allen, 1989]

Crimes of the Future [David Cronenberg, 2022]

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 11 [Larry David, et al, 2022]

Cure [Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997]

Daddy Longlegs [Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, 2009]

Damaged Lives [Edgar G. Ulmer, 1933]

David Lynch: The Art Life [Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, and Olivia Neergaard-Holm, 2016]

Da zui xia [The Great Drunken Hero] / Come Drink with Me [King Hu, 1966]

Dead Pigeon on Beethovenstraße [Samuel Fuller, 1972]

Deck of Cards [Gregg Turkington and Tim Heidecker, 2022]

Defending Your Life [Albert Brooks, 1991]

Dementia 13 [Francis Ford Coppola, 1963/2017]

Deported [Robert Siodmak, 1950]

Devi [The Goddess] [Satyajit Ray, 1960]

La divine croisière [The Divine Voyage] [Julien Duvivier, 1929]

Divine Trash [Steve Yeager, 1998]

Djävulens öga [The Devil’s Eye] [Ingmar Bergman, 1960]

Documenteur: An Emotion Picture {Bilingual Version} [Agnès Varda, 1981]

The Dog Lover [Morris Engel, 1964]

La dolce vita [The Sweet Life] [Federico Fellini, 1960]

Double Indemnity [Billy Wilder, 1944]

Dracula [Tod Browning, 1931]

Dragnet [Jack Webb, 1954]

Drive My Car [Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, 2021]

D’un lointain regard… [From a Distant Gaze…] [Jean Ravel, 1964]

Elio Petri …appunti su un autore [Elio Petri …Notes on an Auteur] [Federico Bacci, Nicola Guarnei, and Stefano Leone, 2005]

Ensayo de un crimen [Rehearsal for a Crime] [Luis Buñuel, 1955]

Eyes Wide Shut [Stanley Kubrick, 1999]

“Fab” Commercial [Morris Engel, 1965?]

Falstaff (Chimes at Midnight) [Orson Welles, 1966]

A Farewell to Arms [Frank Borzage, 1932]

The Farm They Won [Morris Engel, 1951]

Fa yeung nin wa [The Age of Blossoms / Those Wonderful Varied Years] [Wong Kar-wai, 2000]

Fellini: A Director’s Notebook [Federico Fellini, 1969]

Une femme est une femme [Jean-Luc Godard, 1961]

Un film comme les autres [A Film Like the Others] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1968]

Filmworker [Tony Zierra, 2018]

The Flight of the Phoenix [Robert Aldrich, 1965]

För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor [Not to Mention All These Women] [Ingmar Bergman, 1964]

Forbidden Desire / Damaged Goods [Phil Goldstone, 1937]

Four Frightened People [Cecil B. DeMille, 1934]

France [Bruno Dumont, 2021]

Frankenstein [James Whale, 1931]

Fury [Fritz Lang, 1936]

Gion no shimai [Sisters of the Gion] [Kenji Mizoguchi, 1936]

The Girl Can’t Help It [Frank Tashlin, 1956]

Giulietta degli spiriti [Giulietta of the Spirits] [Federico Fellini, 1965]

Glass Onion [Rian Johnson, 2022]

Goldman v Silverman [Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, 2020]

The Gold Rush [Chaplin’s Definitive/Second Sound Version] [Charles Chaplin, 1942]

Goodbye, Mr. Germ [Edgar G. Ulmer, 1940]

Gūzen to sōzō [Coincidence and Imagination] [Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, 2021]

A Hard Day’s Night [Richard Lester, 1964]

Hellaware [Michael M. Bilandic, 2013]

Hishū monogatari [A Tale of Grief] [Seijun Suzuki, 1977]

His New Job. [Charlie Chaplin, 1915]

Hollywood Shuffle [Robert Townsend, 1987]

Hôtel du Nord [Marce Carné, 1938]

The Hot Spot [Dennis Hopper, 1990]

House by the River [Fritz Lang, 1950]

Hua yang de nian hua [The Age of Blossoms / Those Wonderful Varied Years] [Wong Kar-wai, 2000]

L’humanité [Humanity] [Bruno Dumont, 1999]

Husbands: A Comedy About Life Death and Freedom [John Cassavetes, 1970]

Imitation of Life [Douglas Sirk, 1959]

Indagine su un cittadino al di sobra di ogni sospetto [Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion] [Elio Petri, 1970]

India Song [Marguerite Duras, 1975]

I Need a Ride to California [Morris Engel, 1968]

L’inhumaine [The Inhuman Woman] [Marcel L’Herbier, 1924]

The Invisible Man [James Whale, 1933]

Irma Vep [Olivier Assayas, 2022]

“Ivory Soap” Commercial [Morris Engel, 1961?]

I Want You Back [Jason Orley, 2022]

Jackass 3D [Jeff Tremaine, 2010]

Jackass Forever [Jeff Tremaine, 2022]

Jacques Rivette, le veilleur [Jacques Rivette: The Watchman] [Claire Denis, 1990]

Jazz on a Summer’s Day [Bert Stern, 1959]

Jeanne [Bruno Dumont, 2019]

Jeannette, l’enfance de Jeanne d’Arc [Jeannette: The Childhood of Jeanne of Arc] [Bruno Dumont, 2017]

Jet Pilot [Josef von Sternberg and Jules Furthman, 1947/1957]

Je vous salue, Marie [I Salute Thee, Mary / Hail Mary] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1985]

John Ford: The Man Who Invented America [Jean-Christophe Klotz, 2019]

Le joli mai [The Lovely Month of May] {English-Language Version Narrated by Simone SIgnoret} [Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme, 1963]

Le joli mai [The Lovely Month of May] {French-Language Version Narrated by Yves Montand} [Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme, 1963]

Jouer à Paris [Playing in Paris] [Catherine Varlin, 1962]

Kalpana [Uday Shankar, 1948]

Kentucky Pride [John Ford, 1925]

Két lány az uccán [Two Girls on the Street] [André de Toth, 1939]

Landru [Claude Chabrol, 1963]

The Last Sunset [Robert Aldrich, 1961]

The Last Waltz [Martin Scorsese, 1978]

Let My People Live [Edgar G. Ulmer, 1939]

Licorice Pizza [Paul Thomas Anderson, 2021]

Little Fugitive [Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin, and Ray Ashley, 1953]

Little Johnny Jet [Tex Avery, 1953]

Little Man, What Now? [Frank Borzage, 1934]

Liv & Ingmar [Dheeraj Akolkar, 2013]

Le livre de Marie [The Book of Mary] [Anne-Marie Miéville, 1984]

Looking for Sally [Leo McCarey, 1925]

Lost Highway [David Lynch, 1997]

Louis Vuitton: “Towards a Dream in the USA” [Terrence Malick, 2022]

Love Affair [Leo McCarey, 1939]

Lovers and Lollipops [Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin, 1956]

Lucky Luciano [Franceso Rosi, 1973]

Macbeth [Orson Welles, 1948]

Das Mädchen vom Moorhof [The Girl from the Moorhof] [Douglas Sirk, 1935]

Maddie [Zane Rubin, 2022]

La madre (Troisième version) [The Mother (Third Version)] [Jean-Marie Straub, 2012]

Maman Colibri [Julien Duvivier, 1930]

Màn bù jīng xīn [Casually] [Tsai Ming-liang, 2021]

The Man from Planet X [Edgar G. Ulmer, 1951]

Manon [Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1949]

Man’s Favorite Sport? [Howard Hawks, 1964]

Maps to the Stars [David Cronenberg, 2014]

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On [Dean Fleischer Camp, 2021]

Le mariage de Mademoiselle Beulemans [The Marriage of Mademoiselle Beulemans] [Julien Duvivier, 1927]

Marie Chantal contre Dr. Kha [Marie Chantal vs. Dr. Kha] [Claude Chabrol, 1965]

Marketa Lazarová [František Vláčil, 1967]

Márta Mészáros: Portrait der ungarischen Filmregisseurin [Márta Mészáros: Portrait of the Hungarian Filmmaker] [Katja Raganelli and Konrad Wickler, 1978]

Men Without Women: A Story of the Submarine Service [John Ford, 1930]

Metropolitan [Whit Stillman, 1990]

Mighty Like a Moose [Leo McCarey, 1926]

Mission: Impossible [Brian De Palma, 1996]

Morris Engel: The Independent [Mary Engel, 2008]

Mr. Arkadin [Orson Welles, 1955]

Mr. Klein [Joseph Losey, 1976]

Mulholland Dr. [David Lynch, 2001]

Muna moto [The Child of Another] [Dikongué-Pipa, 1975]

Murder à la Mod [Brian De Palma, 1967]

Mur murs {Bilingual Version} [Agnès Varda, 1980]

Le mystère de la Tour Eiffel [The Mystery of the Eiffel Tower] [Julien Duvivier, 1928]

Nà gè xià wu [That Afternoon] [Tsai Ming-liang, 2015]

The Naked Spur [Anthony Mann, 1953]

Naniwa elegy [Kenji Mizoguchi, 1933]

Nasanu-naka [No Blood Relation] [Mikio Naruse, 1932]

Nattvardsgästerna [The Communicants] [Ingmar Bergman, 1962]

Nausicaa {Only Extant Version - Workprint} [Agnès Varda, 1970]

New York Ninja [John Liu and Kurtis M. Spieler, 1984/2021]

Nightmare Alley [Edmund Goulding, 1947]

Night of the Living Dead [George A. Romero, 1968]

Nope [Jordan Peele, 2022]

Number Seventeen [Alfred Hitchcock, 1932]

One Chase Manhattan Plaza [Morris Engel, 1961]

One Plus One [Jean-Luc Godard, 1968]

Ootona no miru ehon: Umarete wa mita keredo [A Picture-Book for Grown-Ups: I Was Born, But…] [Yasujirō Ozu, 1932]

“Oreo” Commercial [Morris Engel, 1964?]

Örökbefogadás [Adoption] [Márta Mészáros, 1975]

Out 1: Noli me tangere [Jacques Rivette, 1971]

Out 1: Spectre [Jacques Rivette, 1972]

Out of the Blue [Dennis Hopper, 1980]

Peace Is [Morris Engel, 1968]

Persona [Ingmar Bergman, 1966]

Pink Flamingos [John Waters, 1972]

Plaisir d’amour en Iran [Giddiness of Love in Iran] [Agnès Varda, 1976]

The Player [Robert Altman, 1992]

Poil de Carotte [Julien Duvivier, 1926]

Poil de Carotte [Julien Duvivier, 1932]

Pretty as a Picture: The Art of David Lynch [Toby Keeler, 1997]

Prisioneros de la tierra [Prisoners of the Earth] [Mario Soffici, 1939]

Project Space 13 [Michael M. Bilandic, 2021]

Psycho {Uncut Original Theatrical Version} [Alfred Hitchcock, 1960]

Pytel blech [A Bagful of Fleas] [Vera Chytilová, 1962]

“Question & Answer” [Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, 2020]

Raging Bull [Martin Scorsese, 1980]

Rear Window [Alfred Hitchcock, 1954]

The Red Shoes [Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948]

La règle du jeu [The Rules of the Game] [Jean Renoir, 1939]

The Rehearsal: Season 1 [Nathan Fielder, 2022]

Rich and Strange [Alfred Hitchcock, 1931]

Rìzi / Days [Tsai Ming-liang, 2020]

Rocco e i suoi fratelli [Rocco and His Brothers, 1960]

Run of the Arrow [Samuel Fuller, 1957]

Ruth Orkin: Frames of Life [Mary Engel, 1995]

Sambizanga [Sarah Maldoror, 1972]

Såsom i en spegel [As in a Mirror / Through a Glass Darkly] [Ingmar Bergman, 1961]

Sátántangó [Béla Tarr, 1994]

The Scary of Sixty-First [Dasha Nekrasova, 2021]

Schlussakkord [Final Chord] [Douglas Sirk, 1936]

Second Look: Fellini [André Delvaux, 1960]

Shadowman [Alex Warren, 2022]

Shatranj-e baad [Chess of the Wind] [Mohammad Reza Aslani, 1976]

Sherlock Jr. [Buster Keaton, 1924]

The Smile: “Thin Thing” [Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña, 2022]

Singin’ in the Rain [Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1951]

Solaris [Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972]

Some Came Running [Vincente Minnelli, 1958]

Some Like It Hot [Billy Wilder, 1959]

Something She: “Breathe” [Alex Ross Perry, 2018]

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice [Michael Powell, 1955]

Stage Fright [Alfred Hitchcock, 1950]

Strop [Ceiling] [Vera Chytilová, 1962]

Summer of Soul (or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised…) [Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, 2021]

Superbad [Greg Mottola, 2007]

The Tales of Hoffmann [Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1951]

There’s Nothing You Can Do. [Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, 2008]

They Do Come Back [Edgar G. Ulmer, 1940]

Things We Can Do Without [David Barclay, 1953]

Three Thousand Years of Longing [George Miller, 2022]

Three Women [Ernst Lubitsch, 1924]

Toby Dammit [Federico Fellini, 1968]

Top Gun: Maverick [Joseph Kosinski, 2022]

Tori / The Chicken [Neo Sora, 2020]

Touch of Evil {Reconstruction Version} [Orson Welles, 1958]

Tourbillon de Paris [Maelstrom of Paris] [Julien Duvivier, 1928]

The Tragedy of Othello [Orson Welles, 1952]

Triple Agent [Éric Rohmer, 2004]

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me [David Lynch, 1992]

Twin Peaks: Season 1 [David Lynch, et al, 1990]

Twin Peaks: Season 2 [David Lynch, et al, 1990-1991]

The Typewriter the Rifle & the Movie Camera [Adam Simon, 1996]

Tystnaden [The Silence] [Ingmar Bergman, 1963]

Uncut Gems [Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, 2019]

L’une chante l’autre pas [The One Sings the Other Doesn’t] [Agnès Varda, 1977]

The Universe Is Out There: Josh & Benny Safdie [Michael Chaiken, 2017]

La vie de Jésus [The Life of Jesus] [Bruno Dumont, 1997]

La vie miraculeuse de Thérèse Martin (Sainte-Thérèse de Lisieux) [The Miraculous Life of Thérèse Martin (Sainte-Thérèse of Lisieux)] [Julien Duvivier, 1929]

Vera Cruz [Robert Aldrich, 1954]

Vertigo [Alfred Hitchcock, 1958]

Weddings and Babies [Morris Engel, 1958]

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair [Jane Schoenbrun, 2021]

The Wolf Man [George Waggner, 1941]

Wong Fei-hung [Tsui Hark, 1991]

Wong Fei-hung: Zi ji: Naam ji dong zi koeng [Wong Fei-hung: Part Two: A Man Should Strengthen Himself] / Once Upon a Time in China II [Tsui Hark, 1992]

Wong Fei-hung: Zi ng: Lung sing cim baa [Wong Fei-hung: Part Five: Dragon City Destroyer] / Once Upon a Time in China V [Tsui Hark, 1994]

Wong Fei-hung: Zi saam: Si song zaang baa [Wong Fei-hung: Part Three: The Lion King] / Once Upon a Time in China III [Tsui Hark, 1993]

Wong Fei-hung: Zi: Sai waak hung si [Wong Fei-hung’s Western Lions] / Once Upon a Time in China and America [Sammo Hung, 1997]

Wong Fei-hung IV: Wong ze zi fung [Wong Fei-hung IV: The King’s Wind] [Yuen Bun, 1993]

Written on the Wind [Douglas Sirk, 1956]

Zeros and Ones [Abel Ferrara, 2021]

Zoom su Fellini [Zoom on Fellini] [Sergio Zavoli, 1965]


Friday, December 30, 2022

Books I Read in 2022

Some Trees

by John Ashbery


The Old Curiosity Shop

by Charles Dickens


Gorgi dar kamin

[A Wolf Waiting in Ambush]

by Abbas Kiarostami

(translated by Iman Tavassoly and Paul Cronin)


Rabbit, Run

by John Updike


Pierre Reverdy

by Pierre Reverdy

(translated by Mary Ann Caws, John Ashbery, Lydia Davis, Kenneth Rexroth, Geoffrey O’Brien, et al)


Fear Stalks the Land!: A Commonplace Book

by Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood

1999-2000 / 2021

Images en parole

[Images in Word(s) / Images Put into Words]

by Anne-Marie Miéville


Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

by Philip K. Dick


The VALIS Trilogy: 1: VALIS

by Philip K. Dick



by Ottessa Moshfegh


Allemagne neuf zéro: Phrases

[Germany Nine Zero: Phrases / Germany New Zero: Phrases]

by Jean-Luc Godard

(translated by Stuart Kendall)


Les enfants jouent à la Russie: Phrases

[The Kids Play Russian: Phrases]

by Jean-Luc Godard

(translated by Stuart Kendall)


Leonardo da Vinci

by Walter Isaacson


[my first-printing hardcover has fallen apart from the glue at the spine drying up, and is no longer readable except in sheaves]

Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty

by Charles Dickens


After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul

by Tripp Mickle


Todd Solondz

by Julian Murphet


The Philosophy of Modern Song

by Bob Dylan


The Lyrics

by Paul McCartney


JLG/JLG: Phrases

by Jean-Luc Godard

(translated by Stuart Kendall)


Collected Poems: 1947-1980: I: Empty Mirror: Gates of Wrath

by Allen Ginsberg


Collected Poems: 1947-1980: II: The Green Automobile

by Allen Ginsberg


Collected Poems: 1947-1980: III: Howl, Before & After: San Francisco Bay Area

by Allen Ginsberg


Collected Poems: 1947-1980: IV: Reality Sandwiches: Europe! Europe!

by Allen Ginsberg


Collected Poems: 1947-1980: V: Kaddish and Related Poems

by Allen Ginsberg


The Orchard Keeper

by Cormac McCarthy



Monday, December 26, 2022


The Bergman Centerpiece

Prologue: A summation of many of Bergman's films to date, and his finest film made up to this point, 1966. The quasi-diegetic opening plunges us excessively into pure Bergman psychology. The films and the stage are the interior life. The opening shot is one of a projector lamp igniting, not before a white rectangle on the film frame itself — the blank movie screen tabula rasa, revealed momentarily to be the component within the projector/film-mechanism itself. The flare of the lamp already resembles the erect penis that we'll see in a quick flash cut seconds later. The reel falls off the spool and the cartoon, a plump woman washing her flesh off with water, is surrounded by the images of the cock, by hands, by a tarantula against a luminous white surface, like an x-ray of the "God Is Silent" trilogy in which the deity is pronounced "a spider." A young boy stands in for the eternal Bergman himself, recalling the child of The Silence, but near-sighted (as spectacles invariably signify), ablur in his Touch of the screen that presents the out-of-focus Alma (Bibi Andersson) and Elisabet Vogler (Liv Ullmann, in her first immortal Bergman performance). The boy reads Lermontov in Swedish. The Buddhist monk self-conflagrates in a protest of Vietnam (remember the tanks in The Silence).

Rooms, as portrayed in Persona, resemble minimal playsets, stripped-down constructions that at once conjure a dream-world and a nigh-unbearable Inevitability, the antisepsis of the hospital (cf. On the Brink of Life), and the premonition that all is not mere narrative diegesis. The radio (thanks to Shazam on this one) plays the second movement of Bach's "Concerto for Violin, Strings, and Continuo No. 2 in E Major." Sister Alma, with one ring, per the Swedish tradition, is engaged to Karl-Henrik (Gunnar Björnstrand)... Isn't what's happening a strange distraction from, or articulation of, her love-life? That's but one aspect of this movie that changed my life in a myriad of ways.

Flashback: The year is 1996 and I'm in school enrolled in my first film studies class. The teacher was the now late Don Fredericksen. Persona was not my first Bergman — it was my second, and this in Don's course — prior to, I had strolled to the media library to watch the Criterion laserdisc of The Seventh Seal. An unforgettable experience. But then you jump ahead a bunch of years and Persona confronts you, like Death spreading open with right-hand his cloak to envelop the screen. Don, rest his soul, was an associate professor and, on the side, a practicing Ithaca-based Jungian psychotherapist. He announced even in 1996 that he was working on a book on Persona and Jung; I can grok it. "The Jungian thing, sir!" — cf. Stanley Kubrick's 1987 Full Metal Jacket. (I didn't think Don ever finished the book, and yet an Amazon search just revealed... Bergman's Persona by Don Fredericksen, 2005... I'll have to add it to my cart...)

Tearing down the screen: in the sense of: merging two halves down the middle. Split the difference.

About 25 minutes in, the pair travel for some R&R, so to speak, to a summer house on the isle of Fårö (the "Bergman Island" where the master would spend his end days, and before that used it as his getaway from Stockholm) — Bergman interjects in voice-over to narrate the arrival. The excursion is sexualized. Not only does Alma relate to the silent Elisabet the story of fucking the boys on the beach, but the two themselves come into a relationship that grows increasingly uneven due to such confessions, and to Elisabet's continued silence. (She stopped speaking following a stage performance months back, in what we're invited to apprehend as that old saw "a breakdown.") The pair share a topsy-turvy rapport...

To this point: a key line of dialogue in Persona: Alma's question in bed with Elisabet: "Is it possible to be one and the same person at the very same time — I mean, two people?!" — It becomes increasingly clear that there are no 'literal' 'two women.' There is, instead, a split, a rupture, within one woman, whom Alma is most likely the guiding base-identity than not. Nurture and nature of the Ego. A mystery.

Elisabet wakes Alma up from the table with a whisper — her subconscious can speak to her when it isn't entirely mute. (cf. Through a Glass Darkly and the emotional mutism of the father.) The nighttime encounter with the wipe of the forelock remains one of Bergman's strongest and most iconic images: the tactile, the doubling of the faces, the gaze into nothingness, "as in a mirror," the gaze into the camera lens itself. When we experience Elisabet brandish the still camera and aim and snap into the frame, it is we who Vogler photographs, as though seeking a reaction of some, of any, kind.

Done up in black vinyl, Alma in her car resembles Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) in Hitchcock's Psycho — will she or won't she open the letter on the passenger seat given to her by Elisabet to send? — she does. "It's a lot of fun studying her." So she's been a subject for a role Elisabet would like to sink her teeth into (literally, as we see later with the neck and the wrist). This would be a betrayal were it not simple self-labyrinthization. Vampirism. Note the scene where Alma accidentally shatters the glass on the back patio — Elisabet walks on top of the shard that Alma deliberately left out and slashes her foot; her gaze is returned by Alma at which point this film — this film they're playing, and in a playful pastiche of film-mechanics, the film Persona — breaks down: frames rip themselves in two, the projector (let alone the projectionist) doesn't know what to do. The silent film of the skeleton and the devil returns (this from an earlier Bergman film with a silent pastiche sequence, Prison I believe, which we haven't yet covered here), the palm is again pounded with the nail, an extreme close-up zoom on the vessels in an eyeball. Seeing is to believe.

There's much more to discuss: the link between the boy in the prologue (and epilogue), the son whose photo Elisabet tears in two, and the famous photo of the Polish Jewish boy in the Warsaw Ghetto. Elisabet breaking her silence — "No, don't!" — when Alma threatens to throw a pot of boiling water in her face. 

Language has already broken down for Alma/Elisabet — there, let's come clean. Alma claws her arm, and Elisabet sucks the resulting blood. Self-parasitic.

The internal psychology moves to the external that is also internal — the film crew appears, and the director's chair marked "Ingmar Bergman" becomes fleetingly visible in the reflective surface. Alma gets on the bus alone, and the film is finished.