Monday, April 6, 2009

Still Very Much in Love with Christina Lindberg

Yours Truly and the amazing Christina Lindberg

This past Saturday night was very special. Over the years, as my career has blossomed, I've been lucky enough to spend quality time with many motion picture actors and directors. This has been facilitated by my good friends at Synapse Films, Jerry Chandler and Don May Jr, and my good friend, the historian, scholar and author Carlos Aguilar. Don and Jerry flew in the legendary Swedish actress, model, publisher, and popular culture icon, Christina Lindberg and her friend, promoter and Klubb Super 8 founder, Rickard Gramfors. This is indeed a rare occurrence - Christina retired from the industry many years ago to go onto a very successful career in aviation publishing. Her appearance at this year's Cinema Wasteland convention was THE cult cinema event of the year. Christina was constantly occupied. CONSTANTLY. Her popularity has not lessened or diminished in any way over the last thirty years - on the contrary, she has more legions of fans than she could possibly imagine. But more on that later. One fan, in particular, had driven from Florida for 20 hours STRAIGHT just to see her and get her autograph before returning back to Florida. Now, that is devotion. Speaking of devotion, check out this tattoo -

(C) Evilnktattoo


After the con shut down for the evening at 7pm, a small party of us went to a nice local restaurant to have dinner and relax. Rickard had asked, "would you like to sit next to Christina?" A rhetorical queston... What followed was a lovely time and what is and what will remain a very sweet and cherished memory.

Christina's trademark - no smile.

In fact, it is VERY difficult to find pics of Christina smiling. I've got a good little behind the scenes pic of Christina on the set of Thriller having a cigarette and coming close to a full-on smile, but not quite (at left). We talked of many matters. Since she had been answering questions about films all day, I steered the conversation more towards aviation, travel, culture, my times in Europe, etc. But, we did talk about Thriller, A Cruel Picture (a.k.a They Call Her One Eye) - she had a lot to say about the making of that film! Some great behind the scenes stories...

Thriller - A Cruel Picture (1974)

For me however, there was a very touching, tender moment. Christina had told me that she was VERY shy when she was young and still shy to this day (a few minutes later, I bore witness to this). When talking about travel, Rickard, Christina and I had a lovely discussion about Japan and the two films Christina made while living in Japan. I told them I had just published a chapter in a book that dealt with three Japanese Vampire films from the same period when Christina was living there. Rickard commented that perhaps a retrospective on Swedish Exploitation with Tokyo playing host would be a really good idea. Christina was very interested and had admitted that she had not been back to Japan since she left in the 1970s. A few moments later, after we had changed the topic slightly, Christina touched my arm lightly and asked "They are still interested in me in Japan?" The humility and vulnerability in her voice was genuine and very moving. I responded, "Yes. They are. Very much so." That moment branded itself in my memory and is what I remember most from our evening. What a remarkable woman.

Film Historian, Distributor, and Promoter - Rickard Gramfors
(Taken by Christina while I was giving her instructions - hence my weird, Hanson Brother face)

Christina Lindberg!

Always a good time in Cleveland

Christina and Don May Jr.

Our small dinner party had to break up as Christina's cult film "Anita" was playing (on a remarkable 35 mm print English dubbed print) at the major cineplex next door for a midnight showing, which Christina and Rickard were introducing. I headed back to the hotel and chilled with me droog Fred for a bit and then hit the road back to Detroit, with a perma-smile that is still plastered across my face. Thank you Christina Lindberg, Rickard Gramfors, and especially to my good friends Jerry Chandler and Don May Jr. for making this possible. You guys are the best.


Gilligan said...

You are one lucky guy... but I've already told you that.

I discovered Christina Lindberg, like so many people not well versed in exploitation cinema, through Quentin Tarantino. She is one of those actresses that has something special that is simply indefinable. You can't point at any one thing like her acting or looks and say "that is what makes her special". Suffice it to say, she's just got that certain something.

Keith said...

Wow. That is awesome. You are definitely one lucky guy. Man, I'm so envious of you. I'm glad you had such a great time.

Chick Young said...

Thanks Lads. Very kind of you to comment on this - it was a great experience. Wish you both would've been there!

JeSuisBlonde said...

I am so thrilled you were able to experience this! And double-pleased you have such wonderful photos to commemorate the occasion! I agree with Keith are one lucky man!

Uranium Willy said...

yes a great tale. I have always meant to see Thriller, A Cruel Picture but simply have put it off. Sounds like a memorable evening indeed.


jbfunky said...

Man, she looks great! You're a very lucky man indeed.

Sindri Gabriel said...


These are some fantastic photos, both of you and the current (and past!) Christina. I really enjoyed this post, very heartfelt; just so sorry I'm coming late to the party.

Anonymous said...

My dream come true..... what a lucky guy!!!!!!!!

Glenn said...

She's such a nice woman, lucky you that had her for dinner :)

Wes said...

Regarding that THRILLER tattoo...that's the first tattoo I've seen copied from one of my DVD illustrations. Plenty of CD covers, but that's definitely a first.

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