What happens to film when AI takes control?
Over the past year, it has become clear that the new AI technology will change the world of cinema. Will the technology enable more efficient workflows and better movies, or will it lead to artists being marginalized and replaced by machines? During the strikes in the American film industry, screenwriters and actors have protested against how film studios want to use the new technology and minimize compensations and rights. It is a struggle that will likely need to continue and involve filmmakers in other countries.
But what does the AI technology really mean for the art of film? For example, what happens when one face is replaced by another? Who is acting then? These are questions that we need to discuss to understand how filmmakers can relate to the technology. To give new perspectives on these issues, Göteborg Film Festival, in collaboration with SF Studios, Gothenburg Film Studios, and the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, is producing an AI-generated version of Persona where Alma Pöysti plays Liv Ullmann’s character Elisabet Vogler. The film experiment will be shown exclusively once at Göteborg Film Festival 2024 in the presence of Liv Ullmann and Alma Pöysti. The screening will be followed by a conversation about acting and technology.
Ingmar Bergman’s Persona is about the nurse Alma who takes care of the actress Elisabet Vogler in a secluded summer house by the sea. Persona is the most acclaimed film in Swedish film history and one of the most written about and influential films in the world, due to its revolutionary aesthetics, fantastic actors, and radical discussion about technology, identity, and acting. Today, AI technology sheds new light on these questions. Ingmar Bergman described Persona as a sonata for two instruments. Now we are adding a third.