In which I am favorably disposed to the Nordic nations

I.

Today, I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first non-Bergman Swedish film I’ve ever seen:

A cleverly and meticulously detailed mystery film that makes us care as much–maybe more–about the investigator as the crime itself. Based novel Män som hatar kvinnor by Steig Larsson. Though useful as a character illustration, a subplot concerning a brutal rapist probation officer contributed nothing to the advacement of the plot. As a self-contained narrative, it is one of the most graphic and pathetic depictions of sexual violence I’ve seen on film, and concludes with morally ambiguous catharsis. But the protagonist to suffer through the abuses, the punkish hacker Lisabeth Salander (played by a haunting Noomi Rapace), was wounded before its occurrence, and only reflects on her original domestic horrors at any length later in the film. (Besides one poigniant silence in response to a question about her photographic memory, the parole officer subplot is not alluded to again after its neat if bloody conclusion.)However, director Niels Arden Oplev and stars Rapace and Michael Nyqvist  work so well together establishing Atmosphere and Circumstance, they were able to pass off an increasingly meladramatic plot as entirely believable–and chilling, and nuanced. B+

II. Today, I also heard about The Best Party, and its recent electoral success:

A party that calls itself “the Best” has won local elections in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik. The Best Party, founded by comedian Jon Gnarr, secured 34.7% of the vote, ahead of the Independence Party’s 33.6%. Its campaign video featured candidates singing to the tune of Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best”. Key pledges included “sustainable transparency”, free towels at all swimming pools and a new polar bear for the city zoo. The party also called for a Disneyland at the airport and a “drug-free parliament” by 2020…The Best Party was only established six months ago. Its victory means it will hold six seats on the 15-member city council.

It’s like Colbert actually winning a primary!

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