Friday, June 26, 2015

Some books I've read 22

The Unbreakable Miss Lovely by Tony Ortega
About American writer Paulette Cooper who wrote a critical book about the Church of Scientology in the early 70s and the church went after her, their goal was to either put her in jail or make her commit suicide. They almost succeeded. And it turns out the church hasn't really changed its ways that much since then. Well written, in an almost cinematic style.

Le loup dans la bergerie by Gunnar Staalesen
The first Varg Veum novel is more or less a pastiche of Raymond Chandler. The story is set in Bergen, but does not really take place in a recognizable Norwegian society, rather relying on crime lit archetypes. And the solution is possibly a bit too clever. Actually, it reminded me of the plot of the first Columbo episode.

La belle dormit cent ans by Gunnar Staalesen
My favourite Varg Veum book so far. There's a good plot, a clever little thing happening toward the end, and the killer explaining what happened without a gun pointed at the detective, but there are also some quite touching sequences of Veum thinking about his dead parents and about how he as a divorced dad is slowly losing contact with his son.

Pour le meilleur et pour le pire by Gunnar Staalesen
A novel mostly about marriage, both the dreams and the reality of it as the years pass. Where does the love go? But yes, someone is killed as well.

Comme dans un miroir by Gunnar Staalesen
Slightly unusual or untypical novel from Staalesen. Some people are missing, but there were still no dead bodies at page 300.

L'écriture sur le mur by Gunnar Staalesen
What happens to the kids in a social democracy? Do parents know what their kids are up to? The book avoids lecturing, but gets slightly dated when mentioning subjects like extacy and house parties.

Anges déchus by Gunnar Staalesen
Maybe his darkest book.

Still one more Staalesen to go, Fleurs amères, the last of the eleven Veum books translated into French so far. There are another five or six books as yet untranslated.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Stuff bought in Paris and Oslo

Anges déchus by Gunnar Staalesen
Fleurs amères by Gunnar Staalesen
The Wild Kingdom by Kevin Huizenga

Repulsion by Roman Polanski
Lilith by Robert Rossen
Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne by Robert Bresson

+ I got Min Stil by Lars Fiske, signed by the artist!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

The third film in the triology by Roy Andersson, APSOABROE is maybe the darkest and most enigmatic. What is it about? Uhm.. The broken dream of Scandinavia? There's less of a story here than in Songs from the Second Floor, which is still his masterpiece. The closest we get to main characters is a pair of novelty salesmen who keep turning up. As usual with Andersson each scene is one long take filmed with a static camera. There is one particulary long and complicated scene that involves horses and soldiers marching. You almost wish there would be a number in the corner of the screen at the end of each scene, showing how many takes it took to get it right.