My review of the seriously chilling Nordic Noir television series The Bridge appears below…
I advise any fan of dark detective stories to check it out!
Joining the hallowed ranks of Nordic crime thrillers and quality dramas Wallander, The Killing, and Borgen, comes The Bridge, the latest in a seemingly endless supply of intelligent adult television from Scandinavia.
Concentrating on the investigation of various grimly imaginative murders that begins with a body being discovered on the eponymous bridge that links the Swedish Malmö and the Danish capital Copenhagen, The Bridge is a gloriously dark slice of nourish detective work. As the initial body is found laying half on Swedish and half on Danish territory, the investigation is assigned as a joint operation.
This groups the brilliant and idiosyncratic (and possible Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer) Saga Noren (Sofia Helin) together with the more physical Dane Martin Rohde (The Killing’s Kim Bodnia) as they try to piece together the killer’s motivation and plot his next move.
The success of the series comes very much from this odd couple approach to the partnership. Both are extremely likeable in their own ways and both actors do a magnificent job in adapting to the intricacies and fine detail in the constantly shifting plot. Whereas Martin is a middle-aged family man all too susceptible to the joys and complexities of sensual pleasure, Saga lives much of her life in the cerebral world of thoughts and ideas.
With tight, fast paced direction, a sharp script and eccentric humour to brighten the worst of the horror, The Bridge is fully deserving of all the accolades that have been heaped upon it. Guaranteed to leave the viewer wanting more, there is a second series scheduled to appear in Autumn 2013 – this will no doubt seem like a long wait! Highly recommended; any fan of classy, gothic detective stories would do well to get on The Bridge.
My review of blockbusting b-movie and internet sensation Iron Sky is over at Don’t Panic online now.
If you get a chance, go see it. It deserves to be seen in the cinema, but if you can’t (probably because of the awful distribution problems) the discs are out very soon… Nazis on the moon!
My review of the so bad it’s really bad First Night appears over at Memorable TV.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Released in selected cinemas 31 August 2012
This review appears on Memorable TV
A hallucinatory nonverbal trip tackling the central theme of humanity’s relationship with the world, Samsara is a remarkable work five years in the making, taking the audience on a tour through twenty five countries.
Primarily the vision of Ron Fricke, the director and cinematographer best known for Koyaanisqatsi (1983) and Bakara (1992), the film is a series of thought provoking images and scenes, wonderfully bound together by astute and intelligent editing and a haunting soundtrack, including work from Lisa Gerrard of 80’s and 90’s ambient/soundscape artists Dead Can Dance.
From the introductory scenes of a group of Buddhist monks etching a wheel in the sand – Samsara roughly translates as ‘wheel of existence’ – it is clear that we are in the realm of the sublime. What follows is almost like a detective story where the audience is required to piece together the ‘story’ from visual clues. From the sadness in the eyes of a tribeswoman and then a cut to a sprawling motorway, Samsara contains a wealth of powerful images that cannot help but imprint themselves on the consciousness. While some may find the journey a gruelling one, if entered into in the correct, receptive way, an enlightening experience awaits.
Fundamental questions of the human condition are asked within this startling film; philosophy and religion, conservation, meat production, gun sales, imprisonment and the sex trade. Highly recommended, the stark message of the film seems to be that unless we look at how we interact with each other and the world, the sands of time will soon run out.
This review appears in the June issue of Clash Magazine.
This smart and slick docu examines the life and work of Todd Loren, whose series of unauthorised comic book biographies of famous rockers – including Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Ozzy Osbourne, Guns n Roses, Led Zeppelin and Alice Cooper- alternately captivated and infuriated bands of the 80’s and early 90’s. The much sued Loren’s life and career ended dramatically in 1992, murdered in mysterious circumstances. Told in lively animated style, the film is an ideal introduction to an underground icon. Packed with extras and expert insight from artists, writers and rock legends, it is a welcome curiosity and testament to a life on the artistic fringes. Highly recommended.