Friday, April 28

Max in English

Max von Sydow has managed to balance his acting career on two different planes for many years.  On the one hand he started out in his native Sweden as director Ingmar Bergman's gloomy alter-ego and then morphed into an internationally sought-after character actor with an intellectual bent, often specializing in austere villainous roles. His tall, imposing, often severe and mysterious presence can occasionally give way to a glorious smile.  However one cuts it, this is a most watchable actor who has performed in foreign productions across the planet.

Tuesday, April 25

Charlotte Rampling

She doesn't look like a movie star and when I see her on the big screen I never catch her acting.  What she brings to her work is a seamless naturalness and extraordinary intelligence unlike almost anyone I've ever seen.  It's not like watching her up on that screen at all but rather like chatting with her on my sofa.  And the strangest thing is that she has never much acted like a star, never courted publicity or attention and yet she's made movies longer than most and is still at it.

Friday, April 21

The Directors: Hal Ashby

Ford, Hitchcock, Huston and all that crowd, no matter where they were as the 1970s dawned on that great sunny playground called Hollywood, must have wondered whatinthehell was happening to their profession?  Or for that matter... Hollywood itself.  Everybody was pissed off, against more than they were for, making depressing movies about real life and doing drugs.  It seemed like a movement to the old guys and they were sure no good could come of it.  Like all good movements, a leader is needed or at least a symbol.  Enter Hal Ashby.