Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Masterful Mourinho's Mighty Men Muffle FC Barcelona

Another great victory was achieved by the famous Special One in the Champions League semi-final.  Jose Mourinho pulled off another tactical win over last year's champions and this year's clear favourites. Although Inter Milan, or Internazionale Milano, lost one nil on the night they won 3-2 on aggregate. (They stunned and prevailed over Barcelona at the San Siro Stadium in Milan earlier this month.)  Mourinho's mighty men played with a man short when the Argentinian defender Thiago Motta was shown the red card in the first half.  That makes the victory all the more special. There was a rather special performance by Sergio Busquets. It is amazing to see that a finger tap on the face was able to fell the powerful 1.89m defensive midfielder.  Barcelona could not produce the expected brilliance.  They were stiffled for most of the match and Julio Cesar was very rarely troubled.

Gerard Pique livened up the match when he scored for Barca towards the end of the second half, but Inter remained resolute until the end. Exceptional defending carried Inter through.

Inter Milan are heading for the final in Madrid and are probably now favourites to beat Bayern Munich next month. Well done Inter.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Carey Mulligan as Lisabeth Salander?

There are reports that Carey Mulligan is set to play the role of Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She will have her work cut out if she is to play the role as well as Noomi Rapace in the original Swedish film version. Noomi has established herself in the three Swedish films as the definitive Lisbeth Salander.  Carey seems just too cute for the role. Noomi really worked out for the part and has an authentic punk look and anti-social attitude.  She looks like she could sort out angry criminal bikers etc.  It's going to be tough for Carey. I doubt if she can do it, but I may well be proved wrong.  These forthcoming Hollywood movies are about big bucks and reaching a wider audience, even if we get inferior versions.

The article in The Sunday Times by John Harlow says that the new version "will not reach cinemas until all three books have been turned into Swedish language films by the team behind the televison hit Wallender."  Well, I have told The Sunday Times that all three films have already been filmed in Swedish; the final two have not been released yet in the UK with English subtitles.

Fans of the Millennium trilogy will be pleased to know that the final two Swedish films, starring Noomi Rapace, are due to be released in the UK later this year.  (I saw one without subtitles on YouTube.)

Freddy Amigo, an amazing talent.

Hi folks!  Please see this video of Freddy Amigo on the Swedish TV talent show Taleng 2010.  I was moved by this performance.

M3: The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest

Stieg Larsson's final book in the Millennium Trilogy has been brilliantly translated by Reg Keeling, who deserves credit for making the English version such a good read. Fine fiction.  One of the best thrillers that I have read.

I love a bargain and I feel really pleased that I bought the paperback for only £3.99 at Sussex Bookshops and Stationers in Romford. It has over 700 pages.  So much pleasure for only £3.99 and saving of £4 as the recommended retail price is £7.99. (I also bought a paperback of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel for only £4.99.  Another great bargain!)

I note that M3, as I call the book published by Quercus, has been at the top of the paperback fiction charts for the last two weeks. It has sold 201,420 copies in the UK and that number will certainly rise dramatically this summer!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Luftslottet som Spra"ngdes

I've just seen the Swedish film of The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (Luftslottet som Spra"ngdes).  It is very good, but it is not as good as the book. That's usually the case.  (Some Inspector Morse TV programmes are arguably the exception.)  If you enjoyed the book then I don't think that you'll be too disappointed.  The film when it is released will be a tremendous success in the UK.  It will have English subtitles.  (Dubbing is an abomination!) The book is currently at the top of the fiction charts, which is no surprise at all. Hollywood will no doubt make an English language version of the Millennium Trilogy. The Swedish version will be a hard act to follow.  I'll be very surprised if the American film comes close to this Swedish production.  In my opinion, the Wallender TV programmes, in the original Swedish, are vastly superior to the BBC version with Kenneth Branagh.

I thought photographs of Stockholm's Central Station may be of interest.  Perhaps you will remember my photographs when you see the film.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

I have just finished reading the third novel in the Millennium Trilogy, The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.
I enjoyed reading the previous two books, but I consider the third to be the best. Five stars. One of the best books I've read. It's that good! Wonderfully gripping. You cannot ask for anyone more from a crime thriller.  There is a socio-political dimension with a good insight into journalism.  The book also asks the question, who guards the guardians? What is the role of the secret police and security services in a democratic state?  Throughout his trilogy there is a strong sense of justice for women harmed by men, notably those involved in the sex trade and trafficking.  Sadly Larsson died in 2004, so we won't see any more great thrillers from this great Swedish author.There are rumours of an unfinished fourth book featuring Lisbeth Salander.

I saw the film of the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which is in Swedish (Ma"n som hatar kvinnor) with English subtitles.  I have been learning Swedish since 1992, so I loved it.  I've visited Stockholm several times and this has made the Millennium Trilogy even more enjoyable.

Please click within the photographs to enlarge them.  Enjoy!

Gamla Stan is a fascinating part of the city. The other two books have been filmed but they are not yet released in the UK. You can see them in Sweden without the subtitles.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Osteenism, religion with a veneer of Christianity

Bzel333 has again taken Joel Osteen to task for preaching a sub-Christian message.  I have come to see that Osteenism is presenting a sugary sweet religion with a veneer of Christianity, a version of the prosperity gospel.

Please see Bzel333's YouTube video on Joel Osteen's Easter sermon message.  Joel Osteen fails again and again to proclaim the true Gospel message.  Where is the teaching about repentance?   Where is there sound and substantial teaching on the resurrection and what it really means?   You will not find it at Joel's place because Osteenism does not present the whole counsel of God at all and it has very serious shortcomings.  Some have called it Christless Christianity.  It is pseudo-Christianity; it is closer to self help and self improvement teaching.


River Stour