Friday, January 17, 2020

THE SCHOOL OF PERSONA: PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE



I'ts no mystery that Celine Sciamma's Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is heavily influenced by Bergman's Persona. Once the trailer dropped last year everyone was quick to note that one striking visual comparison shown above.

But Bergman's visual (and sometimes thematic) DNA goes a little deeper than just one simple comparison.

More than a decade before Portrait Of A Lady On Fire became a minor crossover arthouse "hit", Sciamma had proven to be a student from the school of Bergman with her previous three features...

Persona / Tomboy

Persona /
Tomboy

Persona / Water Lilies


In a sense, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is one big visual homage to Bergman's Persona along with some minor thematic nods as well. Both minimally cast films are set on isolated locations. And while Lady On Fire deals with lesbian romance more directly, there's no denying that Bergman flirts with that in Persona as well).

Given Sciamma's quick nods to Bergman all throughout her career, it's almost like this was the film she'd been working towards up to now. As you'll see below, the visual similarities and synced up moments go beyond the basic imagery of overlapping faces that we saw at the top of this entry... 

Persona /
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona /
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona /
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona / Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona / Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona /
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona /
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona /
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona /
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona / Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona / Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona /
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire