söndag, oktober 31, 2010

Man in the attic

We tried to find a scary movie for Halloween through the site Headweb.com a VOD enterprise where Aurore once worked.

Among those we could stream for free - as she has a bonus she hasn't used - we finally decided for this one - Man in the attic - a 'Jack the Ripper'-story with another Jack as actor: Jack Palance.
Not at all a bad film even if it worked with some psychological clichées, like the man who from different reasons is morally upset by dancing- and singing women, displaying their legs and underwears to the audience.
Normally the stories about 'Jack the Ripper' leaves the viewer in the dark (not only in the cinema auditorium) but concerning who the man actually could have been, the doctor of Queen Victoria or other high society men etc etc.
In this film it seems as a clear case where we get to see 'the Ripper' and see how the love for a woman changes or rather changes him into another person.
It becomes a mix between the original story about 'the Ripper', 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and 'Beauty and the Beast'.
Finally he disappears under water in the Thames but is he really dead or not?
Director: Hugo Fregonese.

lördag, oktober 30, 2010

Vita frun ('Lady in White'), Arne Mattsson

In this film - 'Vita Frun' - by Arne Mattsson we find a group of people gathered to hear the last will of the patriarch in a family.
The declaration of his will leads to what seems to be a suicide but later on is proved being a murder but not committed 'physically'.
More murders and mystical appearances by the 'White Lady' evokes the interest of the detective John Hillman and his incompetent assistant Freddy (not Kreuger).
This is not at all a bad film but the end is somewhat abrupt and there I felt that Mattssons energy had disappeared.

Good actors (Anita Björk, Jan Malmsjö, Sif Ruud, Tor Isedal and Hjördis Petterson among others) and a performance by Olle Björklund, one of Swedens first and most well known TV personalities during the period when TV only had one channel and everyone appearing there became well known 'stars'.

The myth about the 'White Lady' ('Vita Frun') is in Sweden as in many other countries connected with predictions about death or fires.
In Stockholm the most well known 'White Lady' is Märta Helena Reenstierna, the so called 'Årsta frun' (read more about her through the link).

fredag, oktober 29, 2010

iPad or not iPad

This summer one of the guests to the chambres d'hôtes/B & B of my mother-in-law, had an iPad and of course I wanted to take a look at this tool in order to see if I found it attractive and useful.
Before seeing or being able to try an iPad in reality, I always said that reading books on a computer or computer-like-tool, is nothing for me.
After having seen this iPad, I have to revise my opinion.
After having experienced reading long texts or books at an ordinary computer, I said that 'real books' can not be replaced.
I still don't think that 'real books' will be replaced - and certainly not in my literary world - but I'm now aiming at buying an iPad, when the economy allows.
This not in order to replace and throw away my books but when travelling I can always bring one or two pocket books but with an iPad I can chose from a 'library' and read more extensive literary works.
Of course there are a lot of other things I can use the iPad for but this most of you already know.

The guest displayed for me how the iPad worked and he let me use it on my own in order to discover its possibilities (maybe he was paid by Apple?).
For the time being there are not many books in the 'book store' but this application will of course evolve.
Being used to an iPhone - as we are, Aurore and I - using an iPad doesn't pose any major problems, being developed according to the same techique.
Below you can see some of the contestants to iPad but about them I have nothing to say as I have no experience what so ever from these tools.

Maybe you know more than me?


HP Slate (Steve Ballmer)

Fusion Garage Joojoo exists in the USA and is built on the
Linux-based opensource-system Ubuntu.

Lenovo Ideapad U1 is a small computer with a removable screen.

Dell Mini 5 (Streak).

Notion Ink Adam. Tablet with Android developed in India.

Asus Eee Pad.

ExoPC Slate.

Sony Viiv X70 with a seven inch screen, 3g and built on Windows.

Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Blackberry Playbook.

(All photos taken by Scanpix)

torsdag, oktober 28, 2010

Books I've recently read:

Fred Deux is a local artist, living in La Châtre.
His art reminds somewhat about H.R. Giger but has its own specific style.
I will hopefully write about his art for a journal in Stockholm later on.
This not least as Fred Deux deserves being better known, outside France.

This book gives us an insight into one of the worst mass murderers of all time, Mao Zedong.
We are presented a person, not only hungry for power but also loving to see people suffer,
leaving his own family and others behind, using every single person for his own purposes.
Mao was also a perverted person, loving to see his troups torture, rape and humiliate
both women, men, children and elderly people, just because he saw them as
an obstacle for his ambition to become The Great Leader but also Leader of the World!
To this one can add that he was an incredibly coward person, avoiding all confrontation,
hiding himself behind collaborators and his life guard,
being a highly uncharismatic and deeply evil person.

If the Chinese government has the ambition being regarded seriously
It would be of outmost importance to take a stand against this dictator,
his rule and clear up the history by pointing at the terror of Mao:s regime,
declaring this epoch the greatest failure in the history of China.
Unfortunately it seems as if the next Chinese leader is less liberal,
more conservative and nationalistic but the future will tell.

This also goes for the left wing parties in Europe.
If they would like to be taken serioulsy by others than their own voters,
they should publically race their voice and criticize the Mao-era.
They should also question the current leaders as many of them
have been raised and politically trained during this terrible period in Chinese history.

In times when the 'Green Peril' has displaced the 'Read Peril' when it comes to terror,
I recommend people to read this book (unfortunately only written in Swedish as far as I know).
It takes a broad and deep look into the history of Islam and the Arab origin of this world religion.
We get to follow the islamic influence in the history of Europe and we realize that
without Islam or muslims, Europe actually could have been
even more uncivilized than it today de facto is.
The contributions on every level - literature, music, science - are extensive and important.
Can Islam and muslims be said to share most ideas emerging from the Quran
or is the Holy Scripture interpreted differently depending on who you are,
where you live, your upbringing and historical circumstances?
I would say the latter even if both the fundamentalistic islamists
and the opponents to islam - for different reasons - tries to depict the muslim Umma as united.

This is an interesting book about the history of the Celtic women.
It displays the strong and independent women at the time when
an almost 'matriarchal' society could have been said existing.
We also get to see how men in reality and throught 'myth-making'
tried to diminish the female influence and power
displaying the women as dangerous and the source of evil.
Not much has changed!

This last book is interesting for all of you who think that meritocracy actually exists.
The author on the contrary displays how you reach a level of incompetence,
often the highest level of your career, more or less because of your incompetence
or the fact that you were competent at lower levels in the hierarchy
but not up to the highest post you've reached, as one confound certain competence with others.
This latter is explained with the facta that one can't allow
a competent person running a company or an organization.
I believe we've often noticed this phenomena.

onsdag, oktober 27, 2010


Metropia is a Swedish film made by Tarik Saleh and a film very spoken about, wherefore we decided to see it.

Purely aesthetically it's an interesting film, influenced by Metropolis (Fritz Lang), Blade Runner (Ridley Scott), Subway (Luc Besson) and many more.
I'm however not impressed by the screenplay.
It starts of well and the plot could have developed into a veritable dystopic saga à la 1984 (George Orwell) or Kallocain (Karin Boye) but it more becomes a rather 'sweet' and (to) polished story about the Surveillance Society.

This was also Saleh's debut as a feature film director, earlier having done documentaries and I think it's a very promising debut but next time I would like to see a more surprising and original (hi)story.

lördag, oktober 23, 2010


This film - 'Bröllopsfotografen' ('The Wedding Photographer') - is made by Ulf Malmroos who also directed one of my mother-in-laws favourite films, 'Den bästa sommaren' ('A Summer Tale').

The film contains a number of clichées concerning differences between the 'upper class' and the 'working class' (if these social markers could be said being relevant today), people living in a big city (metropolis) and on the countryside etc. but on a whole it's a rather charming story.
Robin (Björn Starrin), a young man from the countryside, wants to become a succesful photographer and he's convinced that this could be done by taking care of everything around a wedding. The work as a wedding photographer becomes his dream.
When arrriving to Stockholm he finds himself working in an environment with people who can't accept him. They look upon him as a kind of 'redneck individual'.
He on the other hand, finds the wealthy, 'upper class'-people being very superficial, hiding their problems under a surface of happiness and success.
In the small northern town where he had lived and worked, he had met an actor called Jonny Björk (Kjell Bergqvist), who he had hired to perform at a wedding between Robins brother and girlfriend. When coming to Stockholm Jonny - reluctantly - becomes his mentor, for good and for worse.
Of course he falls in love with the sister to the bride - Astrid (Tuva Novotny) - both being the daughters of the succesful business leader Claes (Johannes Brost).
Astrid also works as a photographher and Robin tries to enroll her in his businessplans.
Robin adapts himself to the situation but this adaptation is not well received when coming back to his small town on the countryside, where they find him having become somewhat 'high-hat'.

The director uses three actors that also participated in 'A Summer Tale', namely Anastasios Soulis, Rebecca Scheja and Kjell Bergqvist.

As I participated as an extra in this film, I tried to find myself at the wedding outside the church but unfortunately I couldn't see myself, though I had spotted my face (and body) in a trailer.
This did not mean that I judged the film differently though! :-D