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Entries in Max von Sydow (10)


Who should receive an Honorary Oscar?

Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow in "Shame"Pete Hammond at Deadline revealed this morning that with all the dates moving earlier next Oscar season, the Academy is actually choosing the next Honorary Oscar winners THIS WEEKEND. It's too late then for an FYC but we feel the need to do one anyway. In the past we've made great suggestions like Albert Finney, Doris Day, Neil Simon, Michael Ballhaus, and Marni Nixon but they let all those people die without honoring them which is such bad form. At least they heard us on Maureen O'Hara, Harry Belafonte, and Angela Lansbury!

I have a suspicion that Caleb Deschanel, obviously a well-loved cinematographer given that surprise sixth nomination for the German film Never Look Away last season, will be named this year. He's 74 years old. For some reason I don't think they'll go with Glenn Close quite yet though she's a common prediction. She's 72 but working a lot right now and still in her prime.



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1972: The Emigrants

Editor's Note: We will now resume our intermittent investigation into 1972 films for the impending smackdown -- though it will not be this weekend due to unfortunate delays. Here's Eric Blume on the Oscar favored foreign epic The Emigrants, available to rent on Amazon or iTunes.

It’s fun (and by fun, I mean zero actual fun) to watch Jan Troell’s 3 hour and 20 minute epic film The Emigrants and try to figure out how this slow-burn, where nothing good happens to any of the characters for the entire running time, made it into the Oscar race, not in one year but in two!  Due to different rules than we have currently, The Emigrants was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 1971, and then for the 1972 Oscars was nominated for a whopping four of the big eight categories:  Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Liv Ullman), and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Emigrants mostly follows a peasant family in rural Sweden in the mid-19th century. Despite back-breaking work, the father (Max von Sydow) and mother (Liv Ullman), realize that they cannot survive on their farm.  A series of horrible events befall them before they decide to leave for a 10-week boat journey to America in hope of a better life. Another family, who leave for the promise of religious freedom, joins them for the grueling ordeal...

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Bergman Centennial: In "Shame" Love is a Battlefield

Any passing visitor who’s toiled amongst the weeds of Ingmar Bergman’s vast garden of emotional entanglements will surely recognize the same familiar seeds of chaos, conflict, and spiritual carnage sown between the damned pistel and stamen of whichever variety of lovers feature into a particular film – but in Shame (1968), his scabbed and battered masterwork of wartime wreckage, the Swedish auteur lays fire to the roses. Incendiary combat between dueling psyches in intimate locations fuels much of his filmography – the mother-daughter melee of Autumn Sonata and frosty schoolhouse rejection in Winter Light immediately jump to mind – but Shame ignites a maximalist fuse within its scope that quite literally drops a bomb on the long-suffering couple at the broken heart of its story. By contrasting the domestic drama of Eva and Jan Rosenberg’s (Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow) decomposing marriage against a backdrop of military destruction and societal decay, Bergman turns the canvas of the soul inside out and externalizes the conflict of a toxic relationship into the very warzone that is exacerbating its decline.

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Bergman Centennial: Death and "The Seventh Seal"

by Chris Feil

The Seventh Seal begins with some of the most enigmatic and iconic imagery of Ingmar Bergman’s career. Which is saying something considering the auteur’s filmography is composed almost entirely of meditative frames. Here Max von Sydow's post-Crusades knight Antonious Block is visited by a black cloaked Death and the two take part in a literal and intellectual game of chess. It’s a grave way to start a film, one that still endures for its thematic impact and how it establishes the rest of its stark narrative as spiritually timeless.

Named for the passage in the Book of Revelation marking the final opening of the apocalyptic scrolls and the resulting period of silence in heaven, the film lives in that quiet Godlessness...

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100 Oldest Living Oscar Nominees & Winners

This fourth of July rather than celebrate America as a country, we're opting to celebrate our favorite American institution: Hollywood! And to be more precise, it's eldest living gems. We do this list every couple of years so it's time for another since list-topper Olivia de Havilland just turned 102 this week (remember when we had a week long party for her Centennial?). Two other gifted members of this list have birthdays on this National Holiday so they can pretend that all the fireworks and BBQs and picnics and time off work is for them. So a very happy 94th to Oscar-winning beauty Eva Marie Saint and 91st to super famous playwright Neil Simon on this very day!

Cherry pick a few people on this list and watch a couple of their movies this year to appreciate their gift or learn about it for the first time. Our very best wishes of good health and happiness to the following actors, directors and craftsmen of all kinds through their next birthday and the birthday after that!


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LAFCA Honors Max von Sydow with Career Achievement Award

by Daniel Crooke

There’s something inherently epic about Max von Sydow’s body of work, a near seven-decade span marked by performances of quiet magnanimity in tales of biblical proportions, literally and thematically. More often than not, his mere presence – lanky yet lancing, wispy and towering, handsome and weary, often perturbed by the particulars of his environment  – conjures a lightning bolt of philosophical inquiry into each scene.

After exorcising (not to mention playing chess with, and later playing) the devil, portraying a host of priests, popes, cardinals, and apostles, directors and professors, living-breathing ciphers, and the occasional everyman, von Sydow will be awarded the Career Achievement prize this year from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association...

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