Friday Feature: Top 5 Scandinavian Crime Films
Today, Magnus Martens’ Jackpot hits cinemas (read our interview here) To celebrate, we’ve collated a rundown of five of our favourite Scandinavian crime films, a blooming genre that has been affectionately dubbed ‘Nordic Noir’. Let us know what your favourite films from Scadinavia are by tweeting us @Film3Sixty or leaving a comment on our Facebook page.
This list would be incomplete without a mention (or two) of Norwegian crime fiction sensation Jo Nesbo, whose Harry Hole books have sold phenomenally both domestically and abroad. Director Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters is the first big screen adaptation of Nesbo’s work. A twisting tale of deception that is as violent as it is whacky, the film garnered enough attention to see a Hollywood remake green-lit while it was still in production. Apparently, Mark Wahlberg was so keen on the original that he approached the studio who hold the rights to the US version right after seeing it. We’ll see how that develops.
Another Jo Nesbo adaptation – though from a story proposal rather than a novel – this recently released crime caper is part dark comedy part bloodbath. The film unfolds in retrospect, following the unfortunate events that lead Oscar Svendson to end up in a strip club called Pink Heaven, surrounded by dead bodies, holding a shotgun. Henrik Mestad is particularly great as Solør, a detective who wears his hair like a tidal wave – we’d be happy to see that character resurface in later works. Numerous Coen Brothers comparison have been drawn with Martens’ film, it’s not hard to see why.
OK, we know that Iceland isn’t in Scandinavia, but Jar City is definitely still a Nordic Noir and earns itself a place on this list (although, if you believe Wikipedia, Iceland is within the extended usage of Scandinavia). Baltasar Kormákur’s brooding murder mystery is a superb slice of dark drama from popular Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur. The film was a huge national hit, becoming the highest grossing domestic title in Iceland to date. Internationally it caused less of a box office storm, but garnered enough attention to get the remake rights purchased by Overture Films. Kormákur is apparently producing the US remake, which will relocate to Louisiana, but no casting news has been revealed as of yet.
Here’s another film to have received the US remake treatment. In 2002, Christopher Nolan took Erik Skjoldbjærg’s Norweigan thriller, relocated it to Alaska and added an A-list cast that included Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank; the result was a global hit. However, the cast of the original film are not all unrecognisable faces – Stellan Skarsgård plays protagonist detective, since then he’s appeared in The Avengers, Thor, Good Will Hunting, and David Fincher’s remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; The Girl Who Played With Fire; The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest
The man many credit with the recent Nordic Noir craze, the late Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson, has had his trilogy of Millennium novels adapted into three feature films – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. The films starred Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker with a troubled past. Since then, Rapace has shot into the public eye, landing roles in Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows and most recently the lead in Ridley Scott’s blockbuster Prometheus.
Jackpot is in cinemas today.