Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reading is Hard

Reading has become difficult for me these last few months as my decreased attention span and wandering mind have made it impossible to follow a narrative for more than a sentence. I'm hoping this will improve slowly and I will be able to get back to reading and blogging about reading.

However, I was able to watch the BBC's three-episode Wallander series, based on three Henning Mankel mysteries. The series stars an unshaven Kenneth Branaugh as Mankel's Kurt Wallander, the everyman of Swedish crime fiction. Wallander, in the books and the movie, is not overly deductive or, gasp, overly psychological--he just guts out every investigation and figures it out. The books are some of the most famous Swedish crime fiction of all time, and the mini-series does them great justice. Ironically, the three mysteries that make up the mini-series all take place around midsummer, so instead of suffering from a lack of light like so much Swedish crime fiction, they suffer from an, assumedly, intentional overabundance. The films seems hyper-saturated with light, and the irony, that even at the height of midsummer with light radiating from every crack, crime still abounds, is not lost. The special features that accompany the films confirm that the director, cast, and crew sought to make the landscape as much a feature of the films as it is of the books.

These are not the only films made out of the Wallander books. If you have a DVD player that reads Region 2 there are numerous Swedish-made Wallander films, as well as other movies made of Swedish crime fiction. Amazon.com sells much of it.

On a related note, my favorite theater has a poster up for the film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I am somewhat nervous about how that novel will translate to film, but not so nervous that I won't be the first one in line on opening night. Here's hoping.

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