(Click for larger image)

Bergman, Ingmar (Translated by Keith Bradfield). PERSONA AND SHAME: THE SCREENPLAYS OF INGMAR BERGMAN. London, England: Calder And Boyars, 1972. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 191 pages. Fine/Fine.

Collection of two screenplays. Two of the greatest films of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in English. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, including the First American Edition. Presents "Persona", possibly the greatest film of the 20th century (against which all other films must be judged and found worthy or wanting), and "Shame", one of the greatest anti-war films ever made. Since Shakespeare, the central element of narrative art has been the character: A story is always the empathetic story of a particular human being. Ingmar Bergman's achievement in "Persona" is to re-invent the idea of character as a presence who is also an absence, a radical departure from Shakespeare, as exemplified by the loquacious, theatrical, and omnipresent Hamlet, surely Shakespeare's greatest creation. Unlike Hamlet, Elizabeth Vogler (played by Liv Ullmann in a stunning debut) adamantly refuses to speak, remains defiantly silent from the beginning to the end of the film, a presence who is an absence at the same time. Through "Persona", Ingmar Bergman found his full cinematic voice, which enabled him to make films that ask the great philosophical questions (What does it mean to be? What is God? What is a human being? Why do we suffer? Why is it so difficult for us to communicate with one another? What is happiness? Why must we die? ) from the standpoint of an artist instead of a philosopher. Based on a profoundly simple insight, the magnitude of his achievement cannot be overestimated and is matched (but not surpassed) by only three other film artists: Akira Kurosawa, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Robert Bresson. He helped make cinema the central art of the latter-half of the 20th century, ushering in a Second Golden Age, even if it lasted for only twenty-five years at the most. Ingmar Bergman died on July 30, 2007 at the age of 89, an irreplaceable loss to world culture (Antonioni died on the same day a few hours later, at the age of 94). Given the abysmal state and irreversible decline of contemporary cinema, there are no words to describe the loss of its single greatest figure. "The greatest film artist since the invention of the motion picture camera" (Woody Allen). The book is prefaced by Bergman's Acceptance Speech ("The Snakeskin") upon receiving the Erasmus Prize in 1965, the most prestigious cultural award after the Nobel Prize. A "must-have" title for Ingmar Bergman collectors. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for a very long time. This is one of extremely few copies of the First English-language Edition still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A rare copy thus. The greatest film director of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER INGMAR BERGMAN TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0714507563. $150.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on January 16, 2018.