This blog is part of the courses on film, art, literature, and media
given by Dr.
Hudson Moura, Toronto, Canada.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bergman's Persona: the most erotic scene of cinema

I went to the beach on my own. It was a warm and nice day.There was another girl there. She had come  from another island because our beach  was sunnier and more secluded. We lay there  completely naked and sunbathed... dozing off and on,  putting sunscreen on. We had silly straw hats on. Mine had a blue ribbon. I lay there... looking out at the landscape, at the sea and the sun. It was kind of funny. Suddenly I saw two figures  on the rocks above us. They hid  and peeped out occasionally. "Two boys are looking at us,"  I said to the girl. Her name was Katarina. "Let them look," she said,  and turned over on her back. I had a funny feeling. I wanted to jump up  and put my suit on, but I just lay there on my stomach  with my bottom in the air, unembarrassed, totally calm. And Katarina was next to me with her breasts and big thighs. She was just giggling. I noticed that the boys  were coming closer. They just stood there  looking at us. I noticed they were very young. The boldest one  approached us... and squatted down  next to Katarina. He pretended to be busy  picking his toes. I felt very strange. Suddenly Katarina said to him, "Hey, you, why don't you  come over here?" Then she took his hand and helped him  take off his jeans and shirt. Suddenly he was on top of her. She guided him in  and held his butt. The other boy  just sat and watched. I heard Katarina whisper  in the boy's ear and laugh. His face was right next to mine. It was red and swollen. Suddenly I turned and said, "Aren't you coming to me, too?" And Katarina said,  "Go to her now." He pulled out of her and... then fell on top of me,  completely hard. He grabbed my breast. It hurt so much! I was overwhelmed  and came almost immediately. Can you believe it? I wanted to tell him to be careful  not to make me pregnant... when he came. I felt something  I'd never felt in my life... how his sperm  was shooting inside me. He held my shoulders  and bent backwards. I came over and over. Katarina lay there watching  and held him from behind. After he came,  she took him in her arms and used his hand  to make herself come. When she came,  she screamed like a banshee. The three of us started laughing. We called to the other boy, who was sitting on the slope. His name was Peter. He seemed confused and was  shivering there in the sunshine. Katarina unbuttoned his pants  and started to play with him. And when he came,  she took him in her mouth. He bent down  and kissed her back. She turned around,  took his head in both hands, and gave him her breast. The other boy got so excited  that he and I started all over again. It was just as nice as before. Then we had a swim  and went our separate ways.  

Alma (Bibi Andersson) Persona (Sweden, 1966) dir. by Ingmar Bergman

In the Pervert’s Guide, Slavoj Žižek classifies this Bergman’s sequence as one of the most erotic scenes in cinema simply by the way she recounts a scene of sex, a beach orgy, without flashback pictures. 

Persona 3 300Persona 2 300
Persona 13 300            Persona 14 300

"By telling rather than showing, then, Bergman has been able to tell and show. Bergman lets Alma’s telling provide a sort of virtual flashback, while he also creates a ripening interchange between characters in the present. Instead of simply sandwiching fragments of the past into the present action, he has built up two smooth arcs of action, one that we imagine and one that is set before us in precise detail, with its own emotional modulation. The bliss of the past events is refracted through the pain of telling them."


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