As a Danish author, you would have to be very courageous or very stupid to name your novel “Hundehoved”. (Why? Because “Hundehoveder!” – “Dog Heads” – is one of the insults Egon Olsen in Captain Haddock-like manner hurls at his clumsy co-conspirators in the Olsen-Banden films at regular intervals. “Hundehoved” has some seriously comic connotations)
But Morten Ramsland did just that in his warped tale of an – erm – unusual Danish-Norwegian family and he succeeded. Let me just say this about the book: It starts in an odd way, then it gets strange, and when you think things can’t possibly get any stranger, the plot takes a weird turn.
I read it in two sittings during the Easter holiday and enjoyed every single page. I hope the English translation is good.
Danish TV finally took a plunge in the deep end and has screened some serious drama on Sundays recently. During my visit to Denmark, I managed to watch the third and fourth episodes of Per Fly’s drama series “Forestillinger” – the title is a little difficult to translate into English because forestilling can mean both performance, presentation and conception. The ambiguity is deliberate.
Fly has a tendency to overdo his artistic effects but give him actors like Pernilla August, Harriet Andersson or Jesper Christensen (no relation) and you’ll see serious cinematic fireworks. Even though the episodes I missed are available on the web – DR’s streaming service doesn’t work very good with a Mac – I hope that I can catch the series on Swedish TV in the near future.
Lone Scherfig’s new film “Hjemve” (Homesick) – well, the joke was funny for about 10 minutes and then the story started to meander aimlessly. The actors were good and there was some nice photography but if you haven’t seen it, you can give it a miss.
Some twenty years ago, I sat through Edgar Reitz’s mammoth series “Heimat” which dealt with German 20th century history as seen from the backwaters of the (fictional) village Schabbach in South-Western Germany. I managed to miss the successor “Die Zweite Heimat” about Hermann Simon’s youth in avant-garde 1960s Munich but Danish TV threw all six episodes of “Heimat 3” – dealing with the post-reunification era, again from a Schabbach perspective – at us during Easter.
It was massive, interesting and deeply fascinating.
The series had some problems, though: First, Clarissa and Hermann are supposed to be the main characters but they often appeared strangely pale in comparison with many of the side characters. Second, Reitz appears to have had a problem with the East German – or rather Saxon – characters Gunnar, Udo, Toby, Jana and Petra. Gunnar (or should that be Gönnar?) has a central role in the second episode and then disappears completely, only the re-emerge as a convicted drunk-driver in the final episode.
Or maybe it was simply Uwe Steimle‘s acting as the uprooted Saxon that made me curious for more?