November 21, 2010 |
Stieg Larsson Our Days in Stockholm: A Memoir of a Friendship Kurdo Baksi, translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson Pegasus Books: 144 pp., $22 What does a writer leave behind? Unfinished work, clues about the creation of his characters, experiences that worked their way into his writing. And, like everyone else, relationships. Kurdo Baksi met Stieg Larsson (author of the trilogy that begins with "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo") in 1992. Larsson was 38 and editor of the leftist magazine Expo.
November 2, 2010 |
During the Toronto International Film Festival, a Hollywood manager, an up-and-coming director and some executives from the Weinstein Co. had gathered for dinner at the city's Windsor Arms Hotel. It appeared to be a typical movie-business gathering ? except that most of the people at the table were speaking with Swedish accents. The diners were celebrating Weinstein's upcoming U.S. release of "Snabba Cash," a Swedish crime drama that created a sensation among American distributors when it premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this year.
October 29, 2010 |
In "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," the final book in the late Stieg Larsson's international bestselling Millennium Trilogy, the Swedish author torques up the mental chess and tones down the action. And so it is in the film from director Daniel Alfredson, who delivers an extremely satisfying ending to the story of Lisbeth Salander, the tough Swedish cyber punk that actress Noomi Rapace has turned into an iconic New Age heroine. Alfredson, who picked up directing duties with the second installment, "The Girl Who Played With Fire," uses the tonal switch to get us far closer to the enigma of a character so burned by life, so darkly brooding, that she keeps human connections and communication to a maddening minimum.
October 28, 2010 |
Massive, worldwide success often remains a bit enigmatic, but this publishing breakthrough seemed especially unlikely. The first novel begins with the dull thud of a family tree full of foreign names: The book starts slowly ? digging into arcane corporate finances ? and the ensuing novels get longer, sometimes nearly skidding to a halt while recounting the structure of a government bureau. The books' politics are radical-feminist and anti-capitalist left, they're set in a country most Americans have never visited and the prose is translated, at times inelegantly.
October 27, 2010 |
In her native Sweden, actress Noomi Rapace has, as she says, lost her freedom. "Everybody knows me. If I was sitting like this," she said, glancing around the dimly lighted lobby of the Chateau Marmont during a recent trip to Hollywood, "people would be looking and somebody would come and ask for an autograph and people would probably be listening to us and what we're saying. I can't really just go out in Stockholm. I have to have a car waiting. I can't take the bus. It's not possible anymore.
July 14, 2010 |
Early in the movie "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," central character Lisbeth Salander is bound and raped by her legal guardian. It's a harrowing scene from the first tale in novelist Stieg Larsson's so-called Millennium Trilogy that was nearly as difficult to film as it is to watch. Peter Andersson, the actor cast as the guardian, couldn't bring himself to manhandle Salander, who is played in all three of the crime-story film adaptations by Noomi Rapace. The petite, 30-year-old Swedish actress kept encouraging Andersson to dispense with any gentle stagecraft, worried that audiences would think the impending sexual violence wasn't authentic.