Thursday, 6 May 2010

Nordic crimes in Edinburgh

As the Swedish film festival in New York is coming to an end, the Filmhouse in Edinburgh is doing a Nordic retrospective now in May, beginning on Saturday, 7 May. Films from Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, as well as an Italian version of a Norwegian crime novel, are being shown.

I haven't seen all the films that are being shown, but among them is a real treat. Bo Widerberg's The Man on the Roof, from 1976. It was also shown in New York, so I'll just quote here what I wrote about it before: The Man on the Roof (Mannen på taket 1976) is a police thriller, a Swedish version of French Connection (1971) or Madigan (1967). It's deceptively slow, after an initial violent murder, but works its way methodical and with a great attention to detail to the sudden outburst of violence in the second half, when the usually so peaceful Stockholm becomes a city under siege, terrorized by a heavily armed sniper. It's worth remembering though that Sweden, and Stockholm in particular, in the 1970s had seen several terrorist attacks, hijackings and spectacular bank robberies which had somewhat shattered the illusion of being at peace. Since the location shooting and realism is so striking, it's to this day difficult to walk the streets around Odenplan without looking up towards the rooftops.

Have a good weekend!

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