October 8th, 2010
|09:21 am - Two films|
I went to see two films this week: Buried and The Girl Who Played with Fire.
Buried is a very minimalist film. It is set entirely in a 6-by-2 foot grave, in which an American civilian contractor to Iraq has been interred by kidnappers, who want a ransom. They have left him a mobile phone so they can tell him their demands, and he can try to persuade the authorities to pay up. It's one guy (played by Ryan Reynolds) trapped in a small sandy hole, and that's all you see for an hour and a half.
I like minimalism but this was a bit too sparse for me. Sometimes his light source fails and you are just staring at a dark screen. Rather than entering into the claustrophobia this threw me out of the setting, back into my cinema seat. It's not bad, it's an interesting try, but it's not brilliant.
The Girl Who Played With Fire is the second in the Stieg Larsson trilogy. It's very similar to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but with less extreme violence (it is still quite violent). If you liked the previous, this is really a safe and expected continuation of the series. I enjoyed it. I like the lead character, Lisbeth, better in this one; she seems to have slightly more personal agency, to be more of a subject rather than just an idealised object. I also liked the boxer who helps Lisbeth's girlfriend.
I haven't seen either Girl, but I noticed recently that the lead is played by Noomi Rapace, who is (possibly not in future) married to Ola Rapace, who played Stefan Lindman in Wallender. You must have stayed awake long enough to notice Stefan, he's the dishy one.
Ah, interesting, I have noticed him. I think he's funny, and it's cleverly done: he remembers himself from time to time and pulls himself into a macho pose, and looks round to see if anyone has noticed.
I think the Girl films have a similar feel to Wallander, but with less subtle characterisation, more overt politics, and more violence.
Blomkvist's boss and on-off girlfriend is played by Lena Endre
who also plays Wallander's boss and on-off girlfriend.
Not to mention his lover in Trolösa
, which is where I think I first came across both of them.
I love that Sweden is now firmly established as the country where gritty detective stories come from. I've been seeing a ton of Swedish authors advertised on the Tube for a while, but I recently saw what felt like a watershed: one poster proudly proclaimed "Winner of the Swedish Mystery Novel Prize!" or some such.
Instead of "it must be good, it's Swedish!" we now have "it must really good, the Swedes love it!"
I'm enjoying the Stieg Larsson films but I don't think I'd like the books as much—I've heard that the writing or the translation (or both) is clunky. But maybe I'll give Henning Mankell a try.
Someone at my work moved to Sweden a couple of months ago and the big office joke was 'Look out for all the murderers, Mandy!' It's obviously become a kind of commonplace.
I really enjoyed the one Wallander book I have read (actually, listened to) but I agree, I am not sure the Girl books are going to be worth reading.
Would you mind if I sent you a message telling you something about Lisbeth? It's intensely personal, and I don't really want to write it out in public view...
excellent - please do
(ETA - sorry, that's just my curiosity making me talk in a flippant way)
Edited at 2010-10-08 06:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you; I'll write it in a minute...
I've sent one back. I think it worked anyway
Yes, it did. I just need to do some work before I can reply (am on the radio in the morning, and I need to prepare).
I love the Girl books. They're the only books that have made me stay up all night in order to find out what happens.