A UK release has been announced for EASTERN BOYS, the acclaimed sophomore feature from Robin Campillo (THEY COME BACK (Les Revenants)). Having played London Film Festival in 2013and winning the Venice Horizons award for Best Film, it arrives in cinemas December 5th. Crafting a striking blend of genres, Campillo deals with the world of East European immigrants hustling and dealing around the Gard Du Nord station in Paris, and the life changing implications for one middle-aged businessman, Daniel (played by Olivier Rabourdin).
Crimes of Passion is markedly different crime drama from the dark, moody Scandicrime which has characterised the genre for so long. But this sunny, unclouded mystery series was seeded in in a different way from The Killing or The Bridge. Its creator (in the novels on which the series was based) was one of the earlier writers in Swedish crime fiction, Maria Lang (whose real name was Dagmar Lange, and who died in 1991). She was part of the old guard which younger, more socially committed Sandivain crime writers felt the need to react against, despite the considerable success she enjoyed in her day with such books as The Murderer Does Not Tell Lies Alone, 1949. Lang’s inspiration was (unsurprisingly) the English crime Queen Agatha Christie, and Lang was undoubtedly enjoyed by many readers by presenting a similarly unrealistic picture of her country, where crime is not the deeply destabilising force it is for later writers. The adaptations in the series Crime of Passion inhabit a Christie-like Nordic universe, and offer more relaxing entertainment that deserves attention alongside the edgier fare. Crimes of Passion Various Directors/Arrow
The subtitle of The Sherlock Holmes Companion says it all: ‘An Elementary Guide’. This handsomely produced, attractively illustrated volume is aimed more at the novice Holmesian than the dedicated hard-core enthusiast, but it’s none the worse for that, as Smith’s lively and intelligent text will stimulate both levels of Holmes enthusiasts (and it shouldn’t be forgotten that there is an army of new admirers courtesy of a certain Mr Cumberbatch; what fans of the actor will make of the matchless original stories if they ever get round to them remains to be seen). Daniel Smith’s book also has a section on the various films and TV adaptations featuring Baker Street’s most famous resident, which, though nothing like as comprehensive as similar work by Holmesian Extraordinaire David Stuart Davis, is well done. And films and TV are the mediums via which – let’s face it – many people first encountered The Great Detective.
The Sherlock Holmes Companion is published by Aurum Press
The cinema is littered with great musicals that were shorn of some of their best songs in the transition from stage to screen, from Rodgers and Hart’s Babes in Arms and Leonard Bernstein’s On The Town to Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. That doesn’t, of course, mean that the resulting films, were not be solid pieces in their own right, but aficionados of the musical always regret this filleting process. The film of Kurt Weill’s musical One Touch of Venus (written with the participation of top American humourists Ogden Nash and SJ Perelman), though shaved of most of its songs, was a perfectly creditable piece of work with a radiant Ava Gardener, but it is a real pleasure to welcome this famous – but previously difficult to see — 1955 telecast of the show which retains most of the songs and even the Agnes DeMille ballets. It’s an absolute must for admirers of musicals (crude though the technical quality is), not least for the presence of Janet Blair, incandescent in the title role and being allowed to sing such Kurt Weill tunes as Speak Low. (VAI DVD)