Thursday 19 February 2015

On DVD (1) - Sebastian Bergman - More Scandi Crime

"Bergman" says the aging, overweight crime profiler when asked his name the morning after by a woman he has preyed upon/picked up at a group therapy class he's attending at the suggestion of his shrink. "Like the film director" says she trying unsuccessfully to make polite conversation with a serial womaniser whose backstory involves the death of his wife and child in the tsunami and which still haunts him. Bergman is another creation of Hans Rosenfeldt of The Bridge  fame, this time working with Michael Hjorth who co-writes and directs one of the two feature length episodes that make up this Brit issue DVD. (You'll have to get it through Amazon or other supplier in the UK.)

While the bleakness of the mighty Ingmar's work lurks all about, the series takes a cue from Silence of the Lambs in setting Bergman after a particularly devious serial killer whom he put away in jail but whose mastery of crime is such that he is committing crimes via surrogates. Bergman has been a wreck for awhile but his skills are such that the wallopers who are nonplussed are forced to recall him for his ability to see through the fog of information and intuit evil intent. The fact that he has had an horrendous personal life which makes him hate everybody, good and bad, is one of the tropes of this particular part of the trade.

There are two directors used in this two film but interlinked set but both work seamlessly. The camera is mostly hand held, very edgy and the cutting takes you backwards and forwards. This lesswens the impact of the violence itself and strangely enough it is further minimised by a decision to render much of it via still photographs of the murder scenes and victims.

I'm not sure why SBS has passed on this one (if indeed it has) and nobody among the indie distributors has picked up any rights apparently from my observation of the shelves at JB Hi-Fi. But definitely up to the standard. A well constructed crime, an intriguing criminal, a fallen detective, an angelic associate, the cool Swedish light. Excellent viewing.

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