This is my second post for the Summer Reading Classic Film Book Challenge 2016.

Åke Lindman (1928-2009) was a Swedo-Finnish actor, director and football player. He started his film career in Teuvo Tulio’s The Rapid’s of Hell (1949) as the evil Artturi Yli-Koskela. After that he was often cast as a villain in Finnish movies. His days as the regular movie villain were done when one evening in 1955 he was walking down the street he passed two teenage girls who were completely frightened and disgusted to see him and cried out “Ew, it’s Åke Lindman!” After that he didn’t take any villain roles 😀

In real life Lindman was a respected and well-liked man and pretty much a national treasure because of his contribution to Finnish film industry. Lindman’s memoir Åke ja hänen maailmansa (published in 1992) is an easy and fast read. Lindman recounts many meaningful and funny chapters in his life with humor and candor. You can almost hear his voice while reading. There are about thirty black and whites photos included in the book which I appreciate. A memoir without any pictures would be incomplete.

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Lindman worked in many Hollywood productions as a liaison. He looked for filming locations in Finland and arranged accommodation and permits and anything that was needed. He worked with Warren Beatty (Reds, 1981), Ken Russell, Michael Caine (Billion Dollar Brain, 1969) and John Huston (The Kremlin Letter, 1970). Lindman has nothing but nice things to say about these stars even though beforehand he was warned that Hollywood stars would be difficult  to work with. I never realized that Lindman was also cast in Jerry Lewis’ infamous film The Day the Clown Cried (which no one has seen to this day). Lindman found Lewis to be a very pleasant man but a fickle director.

Åke Lindman made films his whole life. His last film was released in 2007. He died two years after that. Since his memoir was published already in 1992 I might have to read a more recent biography Åke ja minä (2015).

 

See photos of Lindman here.


Trailer of The Rapid’s of Hell (Swedish version)

 

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Sean Hepburn Ferrer has written a beautiful memoir about his mother Audrey Hepburn. It is not a regular Hollywood biography mainly because Audrey Hepburn and her family didn’t live a “Hollywood life”. Instead Sean writes about a kind and humble woman who loved her family more than anything and who after her successful film career devoted her time to charity work as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. The book is full of photos from family albums and also publicity shots and film stills. Sean Hepburn Ferrer doesn’t go into detail about his mother’s film career. We all know the highlights so well and there are probably several biographies that mainly deal with Hepburn’s films. What SHF has accomplished here is a tribute to a beloved mother and best friend, not a film star. It is a joy to read and anyone who has ever enjoyed watching Audrey Hepburn films will surely enjoy this book as well! I haven’t seen all Audrey Hepburn’s films, I’ve never stumbled across her early films. Also Green Mansions is still on my must watch list.

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I didn’t plan to read Sir Roger Moore’s memoir but the book happened to be at hand and I had some time so why not! The book is an easy read. Moore is a funny guy and he writes with humor. And he doesn’t forget self-irony. That sense of humor is actually the reason why he is my favourite James Bond even though aesthetically I prefer the 60’s Bond films. Moore brought comedy to the role.

Moore recounts his life and career and there are many interesting anecdotes. However, as a cat lover I didn’t appreciate the anecdote about the film North Sea Hijack. Apparently there are a lot of cats in the film and the cats were slightly sedated during filming so they would be easier to handle. James Mason, Moore’s co star and a cat lover as well didn’t appreciate that either 😛 The thing about reading film star biographies and memoirs is that you hardly ever have seen all the films that are mentioned in the book. While reading about unusual filming conditions and funny incidents on the set you wish you’d seen the film.

Besides his celebrated career in film and television Sir Roger Moore is also a humanitarian and works as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. It was good to read about Moore’s endeavours as a spokesman for underprivileged children.

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