Saturday, December 24, 2011

Helena Ekdahl and the spirit of Christmas

When I think of Christmas celebrations I remember the opening scenes of Bergman's semi-autobiographical opus Fanny and Alexander (1982). Here the imperious Ekdahl family matriarch Helena -- played by veteran Swedish actress Gun Wållgren -- prepares to welcome her guests for the Christmas Eve feast. Wållgren's face registers the complicated mix of emotions that this time of year often conjures up.

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