Thursday, August 27, 2020

belated ululate!

Until I read Steve Honeywell's review of "Pelle the Conqueror," I had no idea that actor Max von Sydow had died earlier this year, on March 8, at the ripe old age of 90. The man had a storied career, and for me, he seemed to have the bizarre property of not aging. My first encounter with von Sydow was in "The Exorcist," in which he played a very old priest who fights a demon he has encountered before. This may be part of the reason why I think of von Sydow as not aging: he looked old when I first saw him on screen in the 1970s, then he aged into that elder image of himself.

Von Sydow starred in movies ranging from "The Exorcist" to "The Seventh Seal" to "Minority Report" to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." His roles tended to depict people imbued with a certain dignity and gravitas. He spoke seven or eight languages, among them: his native Swedish, English, and French (which he spoke fluently—or close to fluently—in several French-language film roles; here's a French-language interview he once did around 2013). He was a French citizen, in fact, and spent his latter years in Provence, where he died. Von Sydow was married twice and has four sons.

I'm remiss: I really need to watch more films from von Sydow's filmography. He was a great actor, one worthy of deep appreciation. RIP.

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