The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 22, 1990-- Page 7
by Kristin Palm
M ax Von Sydow began' his film
*career with a lead role in Ingmar
Bergman's 1956 film The Seventh
Seal. He continued to work with
Bergman and will be portraying
Bergman's maternal grandfather in
a Swedish television movie this fall.
Von Sydow may be best known for
his role as Pelle's father in Pelle the
Conqueror. This role earned him an
Oscar nomination and the film won
an Academy Award for Best For-
sign Film. Von Sydow was in Ann
Arbor last week, and he spoke be-
tween showings of two of his best
films, Bergman's The Virgin Spring
and Pelle. Last Monday he was able
to take a few minutes out of his hec-
tic schedule to speak to the Daily.
KP: A lot of themes in Swedish
literature are very depressing and you
see that a lot in the films too, like
elle the Conqueror. I'm wonder-
ing why that seems to be?
MVS: My answer is the Swedes
are, by heritage, I believe, very seri-
.ous people. The reason for this I
don't know. I always blame it not
on the cold weather but on the dark
winters....So many months of the
year not only have rough weather,
sometimes very cold but also very
And then in the spring, when
darkness slowly recedes and the light
comes back, people change. There's
a difference between the summer
Swedes and the winter Swedes. The
summer Swedes are generally much
KP: How does it feel when
you're making these movies? Does
it make you sad?
MVS: Sometimes. But it also
very much has to do with how the
production is filmed. To me, doing
Pelle the Conqueror was a wonder-
I think it was such a great piece
of material, such an unusual part and
such a rich part which allowed me as
an actor to show this character in so
many various situations and show
him react emotionally in so many
different ways and that is something
that happens very rarely. Most major
reading parts don't give you, as an
actor, the opportunity to show that
much of the individual that you're
KP: Do you see any similarities
between the work of David Lynch
and that of Bergman?
MVS: No direct similarities but
he is very interesting I must say. I
haven't seen all his films. I haven't
seen Eraserhead for example.
But I saw Blue Velvet which I
have to admit I was not very im-
pressed by. I was disappointed be-
cause I like David Lynch very much
and worked with him, and admire
him so I wanted to like it but I was
a bit disappointed. I think it could
have been better. I wanted to like it
and I'm very much looking forward
to seeing his latest which I have not
seen yet. And I have not seen any of
Twin Peaks either. But I will. I ad-
mire him very much so this is not a
KP: What kind of work did you
do with him?
MVS: I was in Dune. And I'm
so sorry that I don't really know
what happened because it is not fair
to David to cut it down as it was cut
What he did, the production val-
ues and his production were so won-
derful and so imaginative and I think
it should have been made into a
miniseries or something and then he
would have had a chance to show all
his ideas and I'm sure it would have
been a very exciting film.
KP: Have you ever gone back and
watched The Seventh Seal?
MVS: Not very much. I've en-
countered it a couple of times or
pieces of it at occasions like this
where it has been shown and I've
been invited to comment on it and
I've seen parts of it. But I haven't
seen the entire film in quite a while.
KP: How did it feel last night to
see The Virgin Spring again?
MVS: It's interesting but it's
KP: Another Swedish film often
mentioned besides Pelle the Con-
queror is My Life as a Dog, and if
the mass media had their way these
would be the only two films to have
come out of Sweden. Do you have
any reflections on that film?
MVS: Well it's just a wonderful
film. It was based on a book but it's
one of those films which have a
great piece of material and the direc-
tor has been talented enough to use
it in a laudable way. I think it's a
great film, it's a wonderful film and
also very much because the boy is
so good. He's masterly.
KP: Is there any difference be-
tween working in Swedish films as
opposed to American films?
MVS: No. It's a matter of avail-
able machinery. Most of the time
Actor Max Von Sydow speaks at the Michigan Theater last Sunday. He
was brought to the area by the Detroit Swedish Council.
it's heavier, bigger and heavier here.
But at the same time, there's so
much know-how here, so much
technical experience. But of course
it's always nicer to work in a
smaller production where you know
everybody and where the union bu-
reaucracy is not as tough. Every-
body helps out and nobody says,
'Well, you can't do that. We have to
hire another guy.'
Continued from page 5
role as Desir6e, since the script calls
for a woman whose lovers, like her
character's in the French comedy,
"are as many as the pearls in the
necklace that she always wears."
Another unfortunate directorial
choice was to caricature the character
of Anne Egerman (Kirsten Leslie). It
is possible to play the role essen-
tially straight as a young girl mar-
ried to a much older man who has
not yet realized that she is in love
with her stepson, who is her age.
She seemed 10 years old rather than
18, and it seemed odd that she should
understand what it meant that her
husband knew what Desir6e looked
like without her makeup, or how she
should behave with that knowledge.
It seemed even stranger that after a
whole act and a half of playing a girl
whose hormones have years to go
before they kick in, she should all of
a sudden lay down in the grass with
Henrik (Hunter Foster) and con-
summate her newfound love.
There were flashes of sensuality.
When Desiree opens her robe for
* Frederik's benefit and when Frederik
gives in to his desire for Desir6e, her
performance of leading him off into
the bedroom was well done. A tiny
scene of sexual persuasion between
Count Malcom and his wife Char-
-lotte (Juliet Ewing) made the tem-
perature rise a little.
The only real transcendence of the
directorial concept, however, came in
"The Miller's Son," when Petra ex-
plains her live-while-you-can attitude
towards life. Petra was stifled into a
vain little social-climbing tease for
most of the show, instead of the
earthy pragmatic that she really is.
Her line to Henrik after a failed at-
tempt to have sex, "Give it a nice
rest and you'll be surprised how
perky it'll be in the morning," while
suggestive, did not express the expe-
rience and comfort with the subject
that Petra should have. In "The
Miller's Son," Kristen Behrendt cut
loose, making the song as sultry and
sensual as it should be.
"I don't get it," my roommate
whispered to me at the end of the
first dance number.
"I don't think we're supposed to
get it," I replied. While audience
members may not have been able to
understand all of choreographer
Whitley Setrakian's works in People
Dancing's On the Run this weekend,
they could not help but be mesmer-
ized by the performance.
Setrakian's style is completely
unique, and was apparent in every-
thing from the choreography to the
text to the way the dancers cock their
heads and roll their eyes with the
wry wit for which Setrakina is
known. Setrakian's combination of
song, written text and explosive, ex-
pressive choreography and perfor-
mance made On the Run a thrilling
experience in dance.
Within the dazzling array of
dances, two views of midwifery were
represented. "Mother and Child Were
Saved" was a chilling and inspira-
tional piece set to readings from the
diary of 17th-century midwife,
Catharina Schrader and the ultra-
contemporary sounds of Stephen
Rush's score. "Handmaiden" on the
other hand, embraced the tone of a
primal childbirth ritual. Sounds of
rainfall and drumbeats accompanied
dramatic lighting and intimate inter-
action of the four dancers to create a
deeply moving piece. While "Mother
and Child" was a powerful work,
"Handmaiden" was a piece that left
the audience speechless. The intelli-
gent and sensitive portrayal of the
feminine rite showcased the dancers'
talent and the choreographer's affin-
ity for midwifery.
In writing the music and lyrics
for "So Two Now," Setrakian was
able to create a rich and personal in-
terpretation in her choreography.
The three dancers seemed to be one
with the haunting a cappella voices
of Tracy Lee Komarmy, Dick Siegel
and Setrakian. The integration of
music and bodies made the dance a
complete musical experience for the
audience, rather than viewing dance
"set to" music.
In a question/answer session af-
ter the performance, someone asked
Setrakian what she meant by the
zany and satirical dance that started
with an essay called "Cherry Ames,
Student Nurse," "Aerobic Barbie".
The choreographer shot back, "You
Play at the
In the back corner of Espresso
Royale Cafe, beyondthe raindrops
and loud cappaccino machines, Mo-
saic Theatre Project performed their
delightful first show, Mosaic, last
Thursday night. Presenting 26 fast-
paced, original scenes, monologues
and songs, the show successfully
blended comical themes with more
serious issues such as racism and
The highlights of the show
included San Francisco poet/play-
wright/performer Tanya Shaffer" ex-
cerpts from her one-woman show
Miss America's Daughters includ-
ing the powerful monologue My
Hungry Self/Diet Breaker about a
self-hating, bulimic, young woman
obsessed with a perfect image. Shaf-
fer's talent was also seen in her per-
formance of the upbeat song Border-
line Bisexual Blues: "I'm not really
straight/ and I'm not really gay/ All
I am is me/ So what more can I
say?" In another creatively written
sketch, Different Kinds of Women,
a young woman asks her grandma if
she is too skinny. After a long ani-
mated reply, the wise grandma
makes the sad point, "I've known all
kinds of women... But one kind I've
never seen is the kind of woman
who feels good about the way her
own body looks." Shaffer is also
very amusing as the enlightened new
age T.V. host, True Joy.
Many of the wonderful songs
throughout the show were written
and performed by New Yorker
Dwight Peterson. With his Tracy
Chapman-like voice, Peterson sings
"There Must Be Something Better"
about a man's struggle with a nine
to five job. The amusing song
"Welcome to my Ego Trip" and the
skit about a substitute math teacher
who breaks out into a "Math Rap"
were very entertaining. The satirical
love song "I Want you Back" and
the wonderful finale, "Big Bass
String" along with scenes from his
upcoming play Cacophony demon-
strated Peterson's talent as performer
Adding a tremendous amount of
talent and creativity to the show
were 15-year-olds Erin Kamler and
Tanya Krohn. Their hilarious blues
song "Sleep-walkin' Man" is imagi-
natively acted out with pantomime
and dance. Kamler's beautiful voice
and musical skill along with
Krohn's funny expressions and mar-
velous acting adds a wonderful touch
to the show.
Mosaic's potpourri of skits and
songs made for a fun, casual and
entertaining evening. If you missed
last Thurs. night's show, you can
still catch Mosaic this Thursday and
next. It's sure to add a little kick to
Mosaic will be performed again Oct
25 and Nov 6 at 8 p.m. Espresso
Royale Caffe 214 S. Main.
Let Mama Rosa cook for you.
. Homemade Pizza & Pasta
- Beer & Wine.
. Carry-out available
NOW SERVING BEER AND WINE *Outside Cafe
"If it's Argerio's, it's genuine Italian."
300 Detroit Street 665-0444
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