A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Barbara Sukowa Seduces & Max von Sydow Springs A Smile
Friday, November 10, 2006

One of the most horrific films I have ever seen, I saw with John Lekich in 1991. The German film, Europa directed by Danish Lars von Trier, began with a man who was underwater, struggling to free himself from a rope or plant. A voice that could only be (and was) Max von Sydow said, "At the count of 10 this man will die." Then von Sydow began his lugubrious countdown. At 0, the man no longer moved.

The female lead was the ravishing Barbara Sukowa. The Georgia Straight had dispatched John Lekich and me to the Hotel Vancouver for the interview and the portrait session. Sukowa was in town for that year's Vancouver Film Festival. I took some pictures of Sukowa using a lighting technique (grid spots) that enhanced her striking eyes. What I told her before I took the picture , I could never repeat in our politically correct 21st century, "Seduce me through the lens of my camera."

A year later when Max von Sydow was a guest at the same film festival I photographed him in the Vancouver Hotel's Sun Room. I almost always light my subjects and for this occasion I had my lights ready in a corner. But when I saw von Sydow looking out of window during his interview, I snapped this with my camera's long lens. When he finally faced my lights, I told him how his voice had affected me in Sukowa's movie. He looked back seriously but he smiled (below) when I told him under what circumstances I had seen my first art film, his 1960 film The Virgin Spring. I was 17 and it was my last year in a Catholic boarding school in Austin, Texas. I told my three roomates, "I think it's about time we all went to see a "dirty" movie. We looked at the paper and saw The Virgin Spring, we figured that was the one.


Previous Posts
John Ford & Sun Yat-Sen

Frank, John, Maddalena & A Davit Imperial

Tara Jean Wilkin, Gary Bannerman and Janet Leigh

Virve Reid - A Baltic Surprise

Julia Reid - Another Baltic Surprise

The Kris Plant - Alocasia sanderiana

Betty Sommerville, Malaspina Printmakers & Lauren ...

Friendship, Harold Bloom, Dr. Doug Clement and Rod...

Colin Heath, Humphreys & Not A Dog In Sight

Three Nuns & A Ballerina With The Reversible Name

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010