Max von Sydow - 10 April 1929 – 8 March 2020Monday, March 09, 2020
|Max von Sydow, Vancouver Hotel Sun Room, October 1992|
In 1960 while at St. Edward’s High School in Austin, Texas I proposed to my three roommates that we go and see a “dirty” movie. They thought this was a splendid idea as we had never seen one. We looked in the newspaper and found out that our neighbourhood movie house had a film called The Virgin Spring.
And so we went. The film was a 1960 Ingmar Bergman (we did not have a clue who he was, after all we were either Texan or adopted Texans!) film that won an Oscar that year for the best foreign film. The cast was headed by a man called Max von Sydow. This was not a dirty film but it did introduce us to what we would later find out would have been called cinéma vérité. A young woman after being raped, threw up toward the audience. I can in retrospect thank that the film was not in 3-D.
I quickly forgot about the film and it was not until 1972 that when I was in San Francisco I decided to go and see Deep Throat. The experience was not to my liking. It was made worse by three men in front of me munching loudly on popcorn.
|Accidental double exposure|
What does remain in my memory (and strangly as do scents and smells) is von Sydow’s voice. In Lars von Trier’s 1991 film Europa, the film begins with a man struggling not to drown underwater. A voice (von Sydow’s) says, “This man will die in 10 seconds.” And that voice then counts to ten.
That voice, as that of Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Robert Montgomery, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Deborah Kerr and many others are there with von Sydow’s in my memory. Would I be able to identify Ben Affleck’s voice?