July 3, 2007

SAGALICIOUS:

REVIEW: of Jar City: Myrin (Iceland-Denmark-Germany) (EDDIE COCKRELL, Variety)

A taut police procedural that craftily blends ripped-from-the-headlines genetic issues with foreboding Icelandic stoicism, "Jar City" reps a supremely confident stride into mass-appeal genre fare for Icelandic hyphenate Baltasar Kormakur. Already the country's most successful local production, pic reps a refreshingly commercial change-of-pace for fests, could be bottled in any market where crime sells and is a natural for ancillary.

Celebrated Icelandic crime writer Arnaldur Indridason's 2000 novel "Tainted Blood," which was initially translated into English under the moniker "Jar City," follows weary cop Erlendur (played by Ingvar E. Sigurdsson) as he struggles to link the mysterious 1974 death of a little girl to the recent murder of a reclusive lowlife. "A typical Icelandic murder," he sighs. "Messy and pointless."

Common thread unravels via a national genetics database, hacked by Orn (Atli Rafn Sigurdarson), a dad distraught at the death of his own daughter. As the methodical Erlendur tracks down leads with fellow investigators Oli (Bjorn Hylnur Haraldsson) and Elinborg (Olafia Hronn Jonsdottir), he also grapples with the drug addiction of pregnant daughter Eva Lind (Agusta Eva Erlendsdottir).

Kormakur's no-nonsense approaches dispenses with any reverence toward characters that have captured the Icelandic imagination, instead favoring a gimlet-eyed look at the messiness of crime and the straight-ahead practicality employed to solve them.


The books are terrific, not just mysteries but archaeological digs into Iceland's past. Can't find the movie at Amazon, Peerflix or Netflix though.


Posted by Orrin Judd at July 3, 2007 9:14 AM
Comments

Can't tell if the German PAL DVD has English subtitles; may just not be out yet in English.

http://www.amazon.de/Tote-aus-Nordermoor-Ingvar-Sigurdsson/dp/B000PWRCKE/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/303-4593182-1764267?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1183486587&sr=8-1

Posted by: Q at July 3, 2007 1:19 PM
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