Monday, March 21, 2016

Swooning Near Some Birch Trees

Megan Abbott said that QUEEN OF EARTH made her think of PERSONA and I think she must be right because I rewatched PERSONA yesterday and it gave me QUEEN OF EARTH style nightmares! One of the people in my nightmare was even wearing a crown, though no one in QUEEN OF EARTH actually wears a crown. She had been declared legally dead but the doctors brought her back to life. In the meantime, though, her maid, to whom she had left everything in her will, had completely taken over. She was like, "THE MOMENT YOU DIED, I BECAME YOU!" And she took the crown off this other character's head and placed it on her own as the first character wailed in terror. So as you can see, I dreamed a low-grade version of PERSONA. But I also woke up thinking, "That's a neat gimmicky plot!" Has anyone written a movie or book where someone is declared legally dead for a few minutes and someone else... ah, forget it. It's already boring me. I remembered (from buying it when it came out) that Bergman's autobiography THE MAGIC LANTERN was frustratingly opaque about the content of his movies, but I got it out anyway and looked up PERSONA and the most he had to say about it was that during the press junket he felt too dizzy to be photographed under some birch trees, ha ha! I don't mean to laugh. Also I came upon this paragraph: "Ghosts, devils and demons, good, evil or just annoying, they have blown in my face, pushed me, pricked me with pins, plucked at my jersey. They have spoken, hissed or whispered. Clear voices, not particularly comprehensible but impossible to ignore." My first thought was DID INGMAR BERGMAN WEAR A LOT OF JERSEYS? Huh, right underneath that is a description of an operation for which Bergman was given too much anesthetic. Obviously, that must have contributed to my nightmare too. Thanks for nothing, Ingmar Bergman.