reviews and The Girl on film

A writer for the Hindustan Times describes a trip to Stockholm to make the stations of the Millennium Trilogy, on a tour of sites relevant to the books. (I wonder if the Swedish Embassy would swing a trip for me? Probably not.)

Maxine is all thumbs – thumbs up for Henning Mankell’s The Man From Beijing, that is.  She thinks it’s unusual, ambitious, and marvelous –

Not only is the plot well-constructed in terms of the small-scale crime and the much larger, global wrongdoing, but I found myself being challenged by the various perspectives of the complex socio-economic issues facing the world as its population, expectations and technology develop while its resources become ever-more depleted. Henning Mankell is wise enough to know there are no answers, but by putting forward several views, both international and historical, he raises many thoughtful questions.

I wasn’t impressed by Tim Davys’s Amberville – at least, not impressed in a good way. At Reviewing the Evidence, I concluded it managed to be “simultaneously run-of-the-mill, quirky, and heavy-handed.” Gee, I really disliked that book, didn’t I?

The Miami Herald has a good interview with Arden Oplev, the director of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; apparently the sexual violence has provoked some controversy.

“Lisbeth has become an icon for women,” Oplev says. “She goes through this bad stuff. She’s abused . . . , but she never, ever becomes a victim. She fights back. She gets in your face.” . . .

“In the U.K. and the U.S. there’s been a stronger reaction about the rape scene than there has been in Europe,” Oplev says. “Certain critics, both male and female, seem to have gotten thrown off by the graphic violence against Lisbeth. They’ve not really understood the rape scene is made to make the audience uncomfortable. It’s of vital importance to me that it not be entertaining.

“In Larsson’s book, it’s a very important part of the story. The book is entertaining, but I wanted to keep the political edge of the subject of violence against women. I wanted Larsson’s vision to live on. I didn’t want it to become toothless. So I chose to make this scene really tough. But, interestingly enough, the scene does not show more than five seconds of the attack. It’s all preparation. . . . I wanted the audience to feel horrific. Rape is a horrific thing. I have a wife and two teenage daughters and a strong old mother who is 89 and was a feminist before the word was defined. She has OKed the film. I would hate if somebody thought I did that to exploit women.”

Peter is not looking forward to the Hollywood remake of the film. Neither am I, but I’m sure looking forward to the Swedish one.