Persona: Actress Liv Ullmann on Bergman’s 1966 Masterpiece

Brookline, MA – The Coolidge Corner Theatre will welcome internationally-acclaimed actress Liv Ullmann to introduce a special 50th anniversary screening of the landmark film Persona on Tuesday, May 24 at 7pm.

Following the screening, Ullmann will join Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr for an onstage conversation about the film and her lifelong personal and professional collaboration with director Ingmar Bergman.

Considered by many to be Bergman’s masterpiece, Persona centers around Elisabeth (Ullmann), a renowned stage and screen actress who has inexplicably gone mute, and Alma (Bibi Andersson), the talkative young nurse who is charged with caring for her on a remote Swedish island. While isolated together, the women undergo a mysterious spiritual and emotional transference.

“Acted with astonishing nuance and shot in stark contrast and soft light by the great Sven Nykvist, Persona is a penetrating, dreamlike work of profound psychological depth,” (Criterion Collection). The Coolidge will screen a 35mm print of the film.

Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann has been featured in eleven of Ingmar Bergman’s films, including Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage and Shame. She has received many international awards, including four Golden Globes, three National Society of Film Critics awards, three New York Film Critics Circle awards, and two Academy Award® nominations for Best Actress.

In the 1990s, Ullmann turned to directing, and went on to helm the feature films Sofie (1992), Kristin Lavransdatter (1995), Private Confessions (1999), Faithless (In Competition, Cannes Film Festival 2000), and Miss Julie (2014, starring Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell). Ullmann has also directed numerous critically acclaimed stage plays worldwide, including the sell-out production of A Streetcar Named Desire (starring Cate Blanchett) in New York and Sydney, and Uncle Vanya at the National Theatre in Oslo. Most recently she adapted and directed Ingmar Bergman’s screenplay of Private Confessions, which he wrote for her, for a stage production performing this spring at the National Theater in Oslo.

Beyond her film and stage work, Ullmann considers her highest priority to be her avocation for human rights and the empowerment of underprivileged people around the globe. For over 35 years, she has been Vice President International of IRC (International Rescue Committee), the largest non-governmental refugee organization in the world. Twenty years ago, she founded the Women’s Refugee Commission, whose primary mission is dealing with women’s issues in refugee or displaced circumstances.

Widely regarded as one of New England’s most treasured landmarks, The Coolidge Corner Theatre was established in 1933 as a modern Art Deco picture palace and has long been a favored destination for movie-loving generations, as well as a community gathering place. The Coolidge operates as a nonprofit organization with the mission of building community through film culture, and is a leading cultural organization in Brookline and Greater Boston.

In addition to showcasing the best in American and international art film releases, the Coolidge offers a diversity of original signature programs including: Science on Screen℠ (expanded nationally with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation), the prestigious Coolidge Award, The Sounds of Silents℠, Coolidge After Midnite, Big Screen Classics, Cinema Jukebox℠, and weekend matinee Kids’ Shows. The Theatre also screens live broadcasts from London’s National Theatre and world-renowned opera and ballet companies as well as hosts visiting filmmakers, several prominent film festivals, screenings of local work and film workshops. The Coolidge has won numerous awards and recognition for creative and innovative programming.