Wednesday, December 29, 2010

MHZ International Mystery's Interview with Wallander's Krister Henriksson

As you know I love mysteries and especially those great Scandinavian mystery writers so popular today. I'm happy that I discovered the Scandinavian TV series in the 90's, before they became the talk of the town, thanks to the MHz Networks, and I think it's wonderful that the rest of the world is now in love with Nordic Noir.

MHz Worldwide: International Mystery has a new interview with Krister Henriksson who talks about how he became Kurt Wallander and his walk with creator and author Henning Mankell.




To view the Krister Henriksson interview, find out more about the Wallander series (the Swedish version) and MHz's International Mystery click HERE.


Mark your calendars for February 28 at 9:00pm (US EST) for the premiere of the documentary "Lone Wolves and Dragon Tattoos: How Scandinavian Crime Fiction Conquered the World" on MHz Networks.



(Disclaimer: I have no connection to MHz Networks :) only a fan of their international programming)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Voices Part III-Remember the Ladies

So here's the third of my posts about great voices and the actors who possess them. (Is that a strange sentence?).  I've concentrated on the male voice so far because for obvious reasons I'm attracted  to the male voice more, the range and depth and power and beauty and allure.

But as we approach 2011 I want to also start to talk about the contribution of my own gender, the uniqueness and strength and beauty of the female voice.

As a kid I used to watch old movies all the time on TV, what they now call classic films.  Even as long ago as my childhood the movies of the 30's, 40's and 50's were indeed classics and the actors and stars even then legendary.  My favorite actress and star was and is Bette Davis.  A voice so unique that you can't mistake her for anyone else, and even though often imitated by impersonators and comics, there's nothing like the real thing.

Bette Davis in "All About Eve" (1950):



Whether she's the star of the film or TV program, or in a supporting role, for me Maggie Smith is always unforgettable, as is her voice. Sadly I've never seen her on stage. I admire the fact she's never stopped working and loving what she does so well. I have so many favorite Maggie Smith roles, but I'll post the first movie I saw her in, and still a favorite today.

Maggie Smith in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie":



Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

BBC Documentary "Nordic Noir"





For UK viewers BBC Four will be showing a documentary on the popularity of Scandinavian mystery and detective fiction.  The program will feature the works of Henning Mankell (Wallander) and Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

I would truly love to see this documentary since I'm a great fan of Scandinavian mysteries and detective fiction and television shows based on the work of these great writers. I love the complexity of the stories, the flawed yet brilliant protagonists, and the psychological motives behind the crimes. The stories also don't shy away from political and social issues that often transcend national boundaries.

So if you're lucky to be in the UK or be able to see BBC Four tonight, click below for further information:

BBC Nordic Noir

I've posted here before about some of my favorite Scandinavian Mystery TV series we've been lucky enough to see in the US and you can find them at the links below:

http://whiterosewritings.blogspot.com/search/label/International%20Mystery

http://whiterosewritings.blogspot.com/search/label/Varg%20Veum

http://whiterosewritings.blogspot.com/search/label/Mikael%20Persbrandt

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Who is Mikael Persbrandt?


Of course, many people know who Mikael Persbrandt is, but  in a world dominated by Hollywood films, he's not as well known as he should be. But that will change soon.

Today it was announced by New Line Cinema that Mikael Persbrandt will play the shape-shifter Beorn in "The Hobbit". You can read more about his character HERE but beware of spoilers.

I know about Mikael Persbrandt because of the Swedish TV Series " Beck" based on the detective novels by Maj Sjowall and PerWahloo.  I was already a fan of the novels when I became a fan of the series thanks to US Public Television (MHZ International Mystery).  Mr. Persbrandt played Gunvald Larsson,  one of the lead characters and one of great police detective Martin Beck's fellow policemen.

                                              With Peter Haber who plays Martin Beck

Below are a few descriptive sentences about  the character of Gunvald Larsson from the Beck novel "The Man on the Balcony":
" Gunvald Larsson entered the room. Exactly thirty-seven minutes had passed since he had been called up and the taxi receipt was still  in his hand. Since they had last seen him he had shaved and put on a clean shirt...It was some little while before Gunvald Larsson said anything. He busied himself with the tape recorder, the note pad and his pencils. There was no doubt some sort of psychological reason for this, Martin Beck thought as he regarded his colleagues." 
You can click on the link below to see a few scenes of Mikael Persbrandt as Gunvald Larsson. Even if you, like me,can't understand Swedish, you still get an idea of the his performance in the series:



I wish MHZ Networks or other US Public Television stations would show the Beck series again (with subtitles of course), and maybe they will now with all the PR about The Hobbit and the actors involved. 



There's a great interview of Mikael Persbrandt with film expert Michael Jeck that was made for an International Mystery special some years ago, but unfortunately now unavailable. It was a great review of  Mr. Persbrandt's career. But I did find this interview with James Lipton done in more recent times: 





Here's a fun clip of Persbrandt dancing:




Mikael Persbrandt is one more reason to look forward to "The Hobbit" .

Update February 28, 2011:

In a Better World, a Danish-Swedish film starring Mikael Persbrandt won the Best Foreign film Oscar. Read more about the film at the link below:

http://www.thelocal.se/32302/20110228

Watch the trailer HERE.

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