25 April 2010

the girl with the dragon tattoo.

movie reels.
Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
Saturday nights are traditionally movie nights with the hubby. One of our favorite venues is The Rialto in Raleigh. Originally built in 1942, The Rialto is a charming time warp of a theater which usually features foreign and Indy films, in addition to Friday night's Rocky Horror Picture Show. As my cousin manages the place, I recently got a behind the scenes tour of The Rialto's projection room, seen in this photo.

Last night's showing was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family.

"The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is based on the trilogy of books by Stieg Larsson and has sold over 7 million copies worldwide. Tragically, Larsson did not live to see the phenomenon his work has become as he died suddenly in 2004 soon after delivering the manuscripts to his Swedish publisher.

Although I haven't read the book, the film was brilliant, thoroughly engaging, and suspenseful, even for a 3 hour Swedish film with subtitles. According to my husband Kevin, who did read the book, the movie was pretty much right on the mark with the first novel.

Despite my love of reading, I'm one of those people who loses all interest in a book once I've seen the movie. I realize that movies almost always differ from the novels they're based upon and are never as good as the original written format, however, once I know the basic outline and the ending, I just can't make myself to commit to the book. --I'm also a one-reader; that is to say, I never read a book more than once no matter how enthralling it may have been nor how long since I read it. Just me.

One almost exception to this quirk of mine, would be Shutter Island. After seeing the movie with it's bizarre, draw-your-own-conclusion ending (nope, no spoilers here), it left me even more curious about what additional depth and insight the author may have revealed in his final pages. Did the author have a slant?... I may just have to pick up a copy to humor myself.

Likewise, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film left me extra curious about the following two books in Larsson's trilogy. I think I'll have to start with the second book before the next film is released.

Meanwhile, if you dig foreign films, murder-mysteries, and captivating dramas, do yourself a favor and see this one. Whether or not you've read the book, it's likely you will not be disappointed!

"Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. Wouldn't you say, she asked, that killings like this are influenced by violent movies? No, I said, I wouldn't say that. But what about 'Basketball Diaries'? She asked. Doesn't that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun? The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office, and it's unlikely the Columbine killers saw it. The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. Events like this, I said, if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; These two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn't have messed with me. I'll go out in a blaze of glory."

...Roger Ebert

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