Friends & Colleagues
Writing critical commentaries in bold language has consequences. One of them is being placed on assorted “No Invite” lists. That shunning does have its compensations, though. It adds to the time available to indulge pastimes. Mine include viewing European detective film series.
They are instructive.
If I am not on more "no invite" lists than DR. Brenner, I wish to make a formal complaint to the Blacklist Section at AIPAC and its subordinate branch at the WH. BTW, we too, watch a lot of Euro crime. "Engrenage" would be my favorite. pl
THROUGH THE DETECTIVE'S LENS
Detective stories have been making a splash on European screens for the past decade. Some attract top-notch directors, actors and script writers. They are far superior to anything that appears over here – whether on TV or from Hollywood. Part of the impetus has come from the remarkable Italian series Montelbano, the name of a Sicilian commissario in Ragusa (Vigata) who was first featured in the skillfully crafted novellas of Andrea Camilleri.
Italians remain in the forefront of the genre as Montelbano was followed by similar high class productions set in Bologna, Ferrara, Turino, Milano, Palermo and Roma. A few are placed in evocative historical context. The French follow close behind with a rich variety of series ranging from a revived Maigret circa 2004(Bruno Cremer) and Frank Riva (Alain Delon) to the gritty Blood On The Docks (Le Havre) and the refined dramatizations of other Simenon tales. Others have jumped in: Austria, Germany (several) and all the Scandinavians. The former, Anatomy of Evil, offers us a dark yet riveting set of mysteries featuring a taciturn middle-aged police psychiatrist. Germany’s gem, Homicide Unit – Istanbul, has a cast of talented Turkish Germans who speak German in a vividly portrayed contemporary Istanbul. Shows from the last mentioned region tend to be dreary and the characters uni-dimensional, so will receive short shrift in these comments.