The boy who loved schlager

Girl who played with fire movie poster at Dendy, Newtown, Sydney

Girl who played with fire movie poster at Dendy, Newtown, Sydney

Grant and I went to see “The Girl Who Played With Fire” at the Dendy in Newtown, this afternoon.

It’s the second film in the Stieg Larsson “Millenium” trilogy that has already screened on Swedish TV, but which has been a cinema release here in Australia.

I found the first film quite hard work – perhaps because I first saw it in Swedish without English subtitles – but absolutely loved this one.

Although it’s about two hours in length, it flew by, and I never found myself distracted.

The plot concerns the planned revelation by the “Millenium” magazine of sexual exploitation traffic, mostly from Eastern Europe.

The plot-line was intricate enough to provide enough surprises, and with the right combination of intrigue and action, so that I was always on the edge of my seat. On a couple of occasions, some of the more violent scenes in the film, I actually had to turn away.

Several people left the cinema during the movie, and I wonder if it was perhaps the violence, which was really quite graphic. Or perhaps it was the early lesbian sex scene which was also quite graphic? :)

Stieg Larsson exhibition at Stadsmuseet in Stockholm

Stieg Larsson exhibition at Stadsmuseet in Stockholm

Grant and I also enjoyed the film for its gratuitous scenes of Stockholm. The views from the apartment occupied by Lisbeth Salander on Södermalm (looking over to Gamla Stan) were terrific. And there were lots of locations I recognised instantly, such as the pressbyrån at the bus terminal at Slussen.

If you go upstairs from there, you’ll find the Stockholm City Museum which, when I visited in March, was housing an exhibition based around the “Millenium” series, including quite a few photographs from the filming of the trilogy.

For Grant and I, it was interesting to watch the film with some knowledge of the Swedish language: we were able to identify the moments where the film’s subtitles were somewhat simplified for an English-language audience. A case in point was where Lisbeth was described as having an apartment in Stockholm, whereas the dialogue was more specific, mentioning Södermalm.

I’m guessing they assumed English language viewers may not have needed that level of detail. A bit like a couple of years ago when the T-bana (Stockholm subway) provided English language translations to a point. They would say something like in Swedish… “next stop Slussen, then take the train to…. blah blah blah..” while the English translation just said, “next stop Slussen”.

Julia Gillard on Swedish TV

Julia Gillard appeared briefly on Rapport on Swedish TV

After the film, we caught up with Graeme for a bite to eat. It was then Graeme gave me my present from Stockholm. All I asked him to bring back was a couple of Swedish newspapers. It’s all very well to read them online, but something entirely different to have a real hard copy version. This will be weeks of entertainment for me.

Also today, I watched SVT Play – the Swedish equivalent of the ABC’s Iview – and I was quite surprised to see the faces of both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard on Swedish TV’s “Rapport”. Although it was only 25 seconds in duration, I was still surprised to see them report on the outcome of yesterday’s cabinet announcement by the Prime Minister. The focus was on Kevin Rudd becoming Foreign Minister.

Who would have thought?