GOMORRAH, INSPECTOR NARDONE & FOGS AND CRIMES Various directors/Arrow The question I am always asked (if I’m doing an event relating to Scandinavian crime film and TV ) is: what’s next ? Well, here’s your answer: Italian crime. Arrow Films’ Noir label continues to scour the globe, bringing UK viewers accomplished foreign language film and television. Following the unprecedented success of the Danish dramas The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge, and French title Braquo, Nordic Noir have been responsible for the arrival of a host of new Italian shows to their roster of Noir titles. Such is the strength of Italian crime television that Arrow Films have launched Criminale Italia, a new subsidiary of their Noir label. Alongside the acclaimed modern-day Italian gangster epic Gomorrah, the label are showcasing the popular Italian shows Gomorrah, Inspector Nardone and Fog & Crimes on DVD. Based on a real figure, Mario Nardone was a true legend in Milan during the 50’s and 60’s. Straightforward, persistently stubborn but also endowed with a strong moral code and a great sense of humanity, Nardone has deep loves; including his long-suffering family, good cuisine and cracking jokes at every opportunity. The best bet in this batch? The lacerating Gomorrah.
SPIONE; Fritz Lang, director Eureka Blu-ray Eureka have made available an early classic, Fritz Lang’s immensely stylish (and influential) Spione/Spies; its progeny were many.
TAXI Luc Besson, director/Second Sight While its tone is sometime uncertain (how seriously do we take parts of this broad comic thriller?), there is no denying the appeal of this celebrated French car chase thriller Taxi, the product of acclaimed writer/director Luc Besson. The new Blu-ray (appearing for the first time courtesy of Second Sight) is an action comedy about a speed-obsessed, just-legal taxi driver obliged to cut a deal with the police or forfeit his licence. The film has given birth to three sequels, a remake and a TV show. Now the original film, with its lively car chases makes its debut spruced up in high-definition Blu-ray.
THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES Mikkel Nørgaard, director/Picture House Entertainment One of the elements that distinguishes the remarkable crime novels of Jussi-Adler Olsen is the distinct quirkiness of their vision, and it is very much a literary vision (albeit filtered through translation for English speakers); it is also, inevitably, one of the most difficult elements for which to find a cinematic equivalent, and it is to the director Mikkel Nørgaard’s credit that that it is something that has been largely accomplished here; ensuring that the film is not a simple generic crime movie but something more complex and interesting (though it still undoubtedly looks as if its real home is on a TV screen). The writer himself kept a close watch on the film’s screenplay, and the results have undoubtedly paid off (Nikolaj Lie Kaas is distinctive if low key as the author’s copper Carl Morck) — The Keeper of Lost Causes, apart from pleasing a film audience may well help Jussi Adler-Olsen achieve the kind of sales in the UK that he already enjoys in Germany and the Scandinavian territories.