Women in The Silence of the Lambs

This last week has resulted in me re-watching The Silence of the Lambs not once, but twice. I also saw a comment made that has prompted a lot of discussion amongst those who watch Hannibal and have seen The Silence of the Lambs, which states that Clarice Starling, the main character and awesome FBI-agent from TSOTL, is a ‘generic female character’.

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The double viewing and, frankly, strange comment started me thinking on a topic that is discussed quite often with regards to this film, and that is how women are portrayed in TSOTL.

Warning: Spoilers ahead, as well as some generalisations. I want to make clear now that I don’t think all men are evil, nor do I think all women’s experiences are the same; I am making generalisations. Please don’t hit me with really mean comments.

Like Alien, TSOTL is often used as an example of a film that has a strong leading female character. However, I think TSOTL is actually a better portrayal of how women live day-to-day. Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, and the characteristics of that role, arguably could have played a man or a woman. I like that as there are many situations where there are no differences between men and women, but Clarice Starling could only have been played by a woman, not because of what she does, but because of how others treat her.

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I will start by claiming that every time I watch TSOTL I dislike Jack Crawford a little more (which conflicts with how much I like the character in Hannibal, but I digress), because upon each viewing I notice new ways in which he underestimates Starling. When he first sends Starling to see Hannibal Lecter he doesn’t tell her his true objective of trying to get Lecter to help with the investigation, later justifying this by claiming that had she known the real purpose, Lecter would have guessed straight away. The problem here is that, firstly, he assumes that Starling would be unable to trick Lecter, that he would see right through her. Secondly, Starling already guessed. He underestimated her ability to, you know, think. When Miggs dies, Crawford says that Hannibal got him to commit suicide for his own amusement, that Lecter couldn’t have been punishing Miggs for his “rudeness” towards Starling. Towards the end of the film Crawford says he won’t forget her help and then hangs up straight away. He undermines Starling too, when he tells a Sheriff of the small town that there are matters that shouldn’t be discussed in front of a woman. It might not be that she is a woman, of course, that causes him to do these things: she isn’t a full agent when he sends her to meet Hannibal, so he may have a right to be wary of what she can do. We don’t know if Starling mentioned in her report about Hannibal’s threat on Miggs. And he might have just been busy on the plane as they were heading to the suspects house. However, his utilisation of Starling being a woman to get the trust of the police makes me wary about his motivations. Yes, he did win their trust, but it didn’t seem to bother him that she was made to look inferior just so he could.

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Other men treat Starling differently because she’s a woman. Surrounded by police in the funeral parlour after being left out of the conversation ‘unsuitable’ for women, there is an officer leering at her. She goes to get the insect checked out and is asked on a date. When she visits Lecter, Dr. Chilton hits on her (in the creepiest way. Gah, I hate him). Were she a man it is unlikely that the constant sexual attention would be so obvious, or that it would be so common. It is also an accurate portrayal: how many women could say they have never had someone staring at them in a creepy, sexual way that has made them uncomfortable.

Roger Ebert says of Clarice that she has “less self-confidence than she pretends”. As much as I don’t want to disagree with an industry great and someone so well respected, and whom I respect, I actually believe it is the opposite. There are moments with Hannibal Lecter where we see her confidence as she becomes comfortable with him, and with her friend Ardelia. Starling in fact has self-confidence, but hides it in order to appear unassuming and non-threatening. The film also demonstrates how women can use their gender to strengthen their position. After having Dr. Chilton walk her down to Lecter’s cell, to try and calm his anger at being asked not to go in, she flirts with him: “I would have been deprived the pleasure of your company Doctor”. When The Dark Knight Rises was released I remember reading some comments that Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman was essentially a bad person for screaming and pretending to be scared when she wasn’t in order to avert suspicion from herself. I don’t think this manipulation makes her a bad person necessarily; she just knows how most men think and is playing up to assumptions about women in order to get away. Starling manipulates men’s assumptions too, so do many women, and it is refreshing to see that on screen as it is not often shown.

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Finally, I would be wrong to talk about TSOTL and women, and not mention the victims of Buffalo Bill. All are women, all kidnapped and killed (bar one). The film demonstrates, maybe, the weak and vulnerable position of women – maybe a man would have been able to fight back in the van, unlike Catherine. However, even these women aren’t demonstrated as purely weak, and they are more than simply plot devices. The victims try to climb the wall, tearing off fingernails. Catherine tries to orchestrate an escape by kidnapping Bill’s dog, quite impressive when all you have to work with is a rope, a bucket and a bone. Even more impressive when you’re stuck down a hole. Bill is also drawn to his crimes because he “covets” the first victim and her sewing. Catherine’s mother, the senator, is not weak. She is strong and works hard to try and free her child, ignoring comments from Lecter about her breastfeeding. The film doesn’t even allow its victims to be worthless.

I don’t believe any of this is coincidental. I think the director, Jonathan Demme, wanted to show what it is like to be a woman as a part of the story. I think he wanted to make Jack Crawford a bit unlikeable. In his 1991 review of the film Ebert says that “rarely in a movie have I been made more aware of the subtle sexual pressures men put upon women with their eyes”. I would agree and I appreciate this about TSOTL. Alien does not have these pressures, and in that film they are not needed as Ripley is an equal to the rest of the crew. The makers of TSOTL could have decided not put in these touches as well, but it would have been a lesser film as a result. The film’s main character is a woman. It is nice to actually see some of the every day things that actually happen to women appear on screen.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.

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Claustrophobia and travel in Jane Eyre

“I desired more practical experience than I possessed … I shall be called discontented. I could not help it … [human beings] need action”.

Jane Eyre, Chapter 12

I have to admit that when I first read Jane Eyre I didn’t really ‘get it’ (though I didn’t realise that at the time). I really enjoyed it, but Jane would sometimes irritate me when she would say how discontent she was, how she felt so restless. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t simply happy with her situation – after a few years (and actually thinking about it) I now understand: of course she’s restless, how could she not be!

Thinking back, I should have realised straight away why Jane felt so claustrophobic. Before reading Jane Eyre, I had felt similarly trapped in my surroundings, wanting to travel. When I did read it I had travelled across the globe to Nepal, and was halfway through spending a month there, feeling a sense of freedom from being able to travel freely and explore the beautiful country. I now see this is what Jane wished for, though on a smaller scale – this was, of course an era where travelling by plane wasn’t exactly a reality. Travelling and freedom of movement was denied to her by her status, limited wealth and gender. I understand how ironic it was now – there I was, relaxing and enjoying my time exploring and yet I was unable to adequately comprehend the situation of a woman who longed for this but was unable to realise her dreams.

What caused me to finally see the light? Well, for a start I reread the book. While I enjoyed it the first time I read it, I found that revisiting the story really helped me to appreciate Jane and her situation. It may have also helped that I had returned from the wonders that were Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara and had landed straight back into my day to day life, comfortable and fun but with the claustrophobia always drawing closer. Away from the idyllic setting where I had first visited the book I was able to sympathise with Jane’s troubles. I also did a lot of growing up, and discussed the book with friends who helped me to explore her world more deeply and to think about it further.

Jane Eyre is now a book that reminds me how lucky I am. I have grown up in a world where I can travel freely, comparatively cheaply and with relative ease. My gender is not a barrier to travel – though it does still hold some restrictions on what I can do I am not stopped from journeying in my own society. Unlike Jane I am not limited by the gates of the grounds. I did not have to contemplate marrying someone when I travelled to the African continent.

I would recommend Jane Eyre as a novel: it has a strong storyline, interesting characters and is eloquently written. While Rochester irritates me sometimes the love story between him and Jane is different to most and intriguing for that. I’m not sure what else people would see in it but for me it also serves as a reminder about how the world has changed and how lucky I am. Jane is a strong person, trapped by the circumstances of the day and unable to experience freedom alone. I admire and feel pity for her. It must be suffocating to be so trapped.

Buses in Nepal

Please, don’t get too excited by the title of this post. I know, Nepali buses, thrilling stuff. Try to control yourselves.

I’ve been trying to write a different post for about three weeks now and it is just not working so I thought I’d talk about something a little bit different. And I chose buses in Nepal. Only really makes sense to me to be honest.

Two things need to be made clear at the beginning so that you can fully understand how I feel about buses in Nepal. Number one is that the first long distance bus I travelled on in this beautiful country (approx. 8 hours, Kathmandu to Chitwan) I was extremely hungover. Having gone out the night before to enjoy my last evening in the capital, I drank far too much tequila (Tequila Sunrises, tequila shots, a tequila blend drink called Yak Attack), I was feeling more than a bit fragile. The second is this: I hate heights.

If you are thinking of heading to Nepal and are planning on doing a bit of inter-city travelling while there, keep this in mind. In a country made of mountains there are terrifying drops everywhere.

The Man in Seat 61 tells me there is one train in Nepal, a small line that leads to India. Other than that there are no trains. It just isn’t possible; there are too many mountains. The roads are small and windy – again, it’s in the middle of the Himalayas. I would also recommend to anyone thinking of driving through Nepal to already be a very confident driver in what are frankly chaotic driving conditions.

Nepal - I think the only place I have been thus far that has a pool exclusively for monkeys.
Nepal – I think the only place I have been thus far that has a pool exclusively for monkeys.

These are not critiques of Nepal, just facts (the driving is crazy, that is the truth). While I do prefer to travel by train, there is something quite amazing about the inability to have a railway system because a mountain is in the way. And I love the craziness of the driving, here and in other countries I’ve visited where it’s a mad game, but I don’t think I would be brave enough to drive in Nepal, especially with those sheer drops I mentioned earlier.

So, I need to get from Kathmandu to Chitwan. I have limited options. The bus it is.

Now, imagine being severely ill (read: hanging) and terrified of heights, travelling in a bus and there is a sheer drop down your right hand side. You’re on the left hand side of the road so you’re coping just fine even if you are a bit groggy. There is an oil tanker ahead of you painted a lovely bright colour as all lorries are in Nepal. This is still good. Then your bus driver decides to overtake the oil tanker. On a blind corner. Remember that sheer drop on your right? It’s suddenly a lot closer. And then there’s a car coming the other way.

Of all the things I remember about travelling by bus in Nepal, this is one of two moments that stands out. The confidence with which everyone drives usually reassures me, but in this instant I was not happy. I can’t really remember what happened next apart from the bus driver emergency stopping and me closing my eyes. In my defence I usually don’t get scared that easily, but I really, really hate heights, and I thought we were about to plunge off the side of a mountain.  I can’t say it was my favourite part of my trip.

However, this experience didn’t put me off travelling by bus in Nepal, partly because there is no other way to travel from city to city, and I still had to go to Pokhara before heading back to Kathmandu (lovely long journeys there too).

I didn't take any pictures of the view from the bus. This is Lakeside in Pokhara. It too was extremely beautiful and this photo does not do it justice.
I didn’t take any pictures of the view from the bus. This is Lakeside in Pokhara. It was extremely beautiful and this photo does not do it justice.

I said before that I best remember two things about travelling by bus in Nepal. The first was my near-death experience (while that is written sarcastically it didn’t make it any less scary at the time). The second is also the main reason I wasn’t put off travelling by bus in Nepal despite almost falling off a mountain. Quite simply, Nepal is absolutely stunning. I have never seen views that even come close to rivalling those I saw in Nepal. As you sit on the bus, travelling through the tallest mountain range in the world, it doesn’t matter that the driving is erratic. It is so peaceful to sit and watch the beauty unfold. The views are awe-inspiring, even when hungover having been defeated by that most evil of all liquors.

I loved Nepal and am desperate to go back. I loved the people and trying to navigate the traffic. I have some great memories, and I would like to try Yak Attack again (though not the day before a 8 hour drive). But what I really need to return to see are those views again. It was breath taking.

Celeste and Jesse Forever: Thoughts

Warning: Just so you know, spoilers ahead.

I was going to post something else today, but then I watched Celeste and Jesse Forever and I just had to write about it. This isn’t going to be review, instead it will be me just talking about the film, what I liked, what I didn’t, really just what I thought about it. If you haven’t seen Celeste and Jesse Forever I would recommend watching the film first and then reading this.

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This is not my usual sort of film. I’m not a big romantic film fan as a general rule unless they’re really good (Casablanca comes to mind). This is not Casablanca, but it’s highly enjoyable and quite surprising, a positive and unusual trait for a rom-com to have. Is it a rom-com though? There’s romance, and there’s comedy, but this is a film not typical of the genre and so is deeply refreshing.

It follows, for want of a better word or phrase, anti-couple Celeste and Jesse. They separated 6 months ago and now are friends. In theory. In reality they are still acting as a couple. They are two people, both not quite ready to give up on their relationship, though Jesse is much more open about his hopes they’ll reunite than Celeste.

The speed with which this film moved away from the ‘non-relationship’ was not what I was expecting. I think that’s why I enjoyed this film so much; I couldn’t anticipate what this film would do, which directions it would turn. I thought it was going to be a will-they-won’t-they get back together situation, but it’s more and better than that. The end of the film still leaves the will-they-won’t-they situation rather ambiguous for me in fact. Personally, I can’t see Celeste and Jesse’s relationship ending in any other way than first destroying every other relationship they have, before they finally end up together or permanently apart. These aren’t two people who can just be friends in my opinion, and it will affect every relationship they have. Yes, this is a bit of a pessimistic view, but that’s how these two characters present themselves to me, and I am happy that the film doesn’t feel overly optimistic. It doesn’t feel like everything is solved nice and simply as is the case in most romantic comedies.

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What surprised me early on was the pregnancy of Jesse’s new girlfriend, and then how this film wasn’t actually about him dealing with this new situation, but Celeste having to cope (or not cope, dependent on where in the film’s timeline you look) with this momentous event. The fact that it’s not just a new relationship, but a baby, also gave the situation a sense of urgency. If she hadn’t quite moved on before, she had to now. Jesse whispers to her in the middle of the film how he can’t believe he’s not having a baby with her, and I believe that was one of the things she was struggles with most. Despite repeatedly saying she couldn’t have children with someone so unreliable, I think she had pictured them having a family together, even if only when they first got married. That he was now having a family and getting remarried, and when they weren’t even divorced yet, hurt her more, both because it was so quick and so unexpected.

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I was never really sure if Celeste was actually mourning their relationship or whether she simply wished she moved on first. At one point Jesse even asks her flat out if that’s the reason she’s angry; I don’t think she honestly knows the answer. I found that refreshing: how many times do we really know exactly what we’re feeling and why we’re feeling those emotions. Movies usually don’t allow this nuance; people on screen know how they feel by the end of the film even if they didn’t at the beginning. By the end I wasn’t convinced that either Jesse or Celeste knew what they wanted or how they felt, and I was happy with that. That’s reality; there are very few situations when you know what you want and why you want it. This uncertainty also reminded me of the end of Before Midnight, which had the most ambiguous ending of the three films in the Before series, something that I really liked about it.

Rashida Jones does a good job as Celeste, but Andy Samberg really impressed me as Jesse. I know the actor best from my new favourite show on the telly, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and while he has the same basic foundations in both characters – bit of a loveable goofball, not really in control of his life – the way he plays them are very different. Not being overly familiar with his work, and being familiar with critiques of him, I was expecting much the same character. I have heard from friends and seen on internet comment sections people who say that they were going to watch Nine-Nine because they didn’t like him. From what I can see, this critique of Samberg is uncalled for. He doesn’t play the same character every time as is shown in Celeste and Jesse Forever, so why should he alone put you off a new series or a film?In Celeste and Jesse he plays the role delicately, complimenting Jones’ much more obvious breakdown with a quieter one. That is not to say Jones’ portrayal is bad, it isn’t. But Samberg, an actor known to be loud and obvious, shows the indecision his character feels without having to force-feed his decision-making process to you. It’s not a flashy performance and allows Jones to shine.

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The soundtrack to the film was very good; it doesn’t overpower the film, rather adds to it. One of my favourite scenes was Celeste attending the wedding party of mutual friends. We see people dancing, laughing and then, cut to a beautiful shot of Celeste, outside the tent smoking a cigarette and looking a bit dishevelled. Her and Jesse had agreed to quit smoking (something that pops up again and again in the film), yet here she is, alone at the wedding, him with his pregnant fiancée, and she is outside the tent by herself, allowing herself something they had agreed together to deny themselves. Is it a bit heavy handed? Actually no, as the cinematography was lovely, but especially because the music in the scene was perfect. It had a smoothness that matched the atmosphere in the party as well as suggesting that Celeste was at ease with herself despite her questioning of past decisions. There isn’t really any moment in the film where the music jars; the songs and scores emphasis moments. The film opens with Jesse and Celeste singing along to a Lily Allen song, the lyrics allowing the opening to be both funny and awkward.

Celeste’s forays into dating were both amusing and relatable. While none of the men were complete idiots or bad people, they just weren’t for her. Disastrous may be too strong a word to use, but who hasn’t felt like a bad date is a complete disaster. After those (really bad) fumbles with unsuitable suitors, Paul, who seemed like such a bad match before suddenly is the person she actually might need in the future (Riley was right when she said Celeste was too quick to judge).

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What didn’t I like? Celeste’s friendship with Riley was enjoyable, but it seemed forced. Them crying and hugging at Riley’s house seemed too sudden, there felt like a step was missed in their relationship. When Jesse and Celeste cuddle on her sofa together it seems like an action those characters would take; Riley and Celeste’s relationship just wasn’t there yet. Then again, it might be a meta-comment on how rom-coms develop unnaturally, though that might be a bit deep! Elijah Wood’s character was sorely underused; I would have liked to have seen more of him. Also, not a big fan of the very last scene – I thought it was a bit too cute.

This was a really enjoyable film. Do I think these characters will have happy lives? I’d like to think so but I don’t – their relationship will get in the way. I’m a big believer in men and women’s abilities to keep things platonic but I don’t think that’s an option for these two. It was nice, though, to see a film with an ambiguous, and potentially unhappy, ending, and not feel cheated.

Review: Mr Smith Goes To Washington

About six months ago I watched this little gem of a film and fell completely in love. I am currently trying to watch all the films on IMDB’s Top 250 list, which I know is really cheesy, but it has introduced me to some wonderful films I didn’t know existed, such as this!

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It stars my favourite ‘Golden Age of Hollywood’ actor James Stewart. Before anything else, I have to admit one of the reasons I enjoyed this film so much is because of him. I love James Stewart. He brought an energy to every project he worked in and is simply likeable in everything he did, whether it be a grumpy photographer avoiding committing to Grace Kelly and suspects his neighbour of murder in Rear Window, or a man who may or may not be insane as he talks to his best friend, after who the movie Harvey is named, an invisible, 6ft tall bunny rabbit. I have yet to see Vertigo (for shame!), but even a film that I am not as enamoured with as everyone else seems to be, It’s a Wonderful Life, is made enjoyable because of him.

He plays Jefferson Smith a naïve, easy-going leader of a troop of boy rangers in an unnamed state in America. He’s well liked by the community and loved by the kids he leads. He is made a senator by group of corrupt officials, including the Governor and the other state senator, Senator Paine, as well as the man who controls them, Jim Taylor. They believe they can control him. They do not, however, understand how honest and good intentioned he is. Senator Paine doesn’t want to manipulate Smith more than is necessary – as a close friend to Smith’s deceased father, he is a father figure to Jeff and cares for him. He encourages Smith to create a bill of his own, not realising how it will affect his own corrupt plans. After Jefferson discovers Taylor and Paine’s corruption they turn against him, and he realises just how powerful these people are.

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The supporting cast is fun and important, especially ‘Diz’, a journalist, and the President of the Senate. Stewart infuses Jeff Smith with a joy that is uninhibited and infectious. It permeates the film. He can’t believe how lucky he is to be in Washington, to see and discover this great city. As soon as he gets off the train he goes to see the sights, his favourite being the Lincoln Memorial. The shot of Smith standing at the foot of Lincoln’s statue looking up into the marble face, both of them captured in profile, is beautiful, as is the sequence of Smith, a little boy and his grandfather as the child reads Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

As the film progresses you can feel the loss of Smith’s joy as his enemies attack from all directions. His discovery that the man he idolised and trusted, Senator Paine, isn’t the man he thought he was hurts him and the viewer alike, and as you witness Jeff become steadily more broken, it breaks you too.

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I have not yet mentioned another major character in the film as I felt she deserved some space devoted directly to her. For if James Stewart guaranteed that I would like this film, Jean Arthur’s character Saunders made me love it. She is his secretary and knows more about Washington than he probably ever will. She’s smart and sarcastic; if this film wasn’t both made and set in the 1930’s she would have been a senator herself rather than secretary to them. Cynical due to her surroundings Saunders falls for the idealistic Jeff. (But then, who wouldn’t? Of course, my bias towards James Stewart could be blinding my judgement.) The character is wonderful. Arthur allows her steely personality to be warm and not abrasive. Even when hurt she is strong and doesn’t fall to pieces – Smith relies on her far more than she relies on him, something rare in films even now. Funny and intelligent, she is a brilliant creation and makes the film for me.

This isn’t a pure comedy. It will break your heart (at least it broke mine) and cause you to question both those who are meant to lead us as well as the character of people in general. I would guess this is a film that would hold even more meaning if one were American (not being so, I can only speculate). It is funny, but there is more here than just laughs. It is bigger than that; it longs for more than to make you simply chuckle and that’s what makes it wonderful.

Review: The Bridge, Series 1

I began to watch The Bridge (or Broen/Bron in it’s Danish/Swedish form) originally as I thought it would start to heal the True Detective shaped hole in my life. With remakes made in the UK/France and America/Mexico (and apparently more planned) I decided to go for the original, if only to feel like a cultured Times reader. What I was expecting was something along the lines of CSI: Malmo with a little bit of Scandinavian flair and class – that it is not.

Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia

Starting with two bodies found on the bridge that links Sweden and Denmark lying exactly on the international line, two detectives from each country come together to solve the case. So far, so buddy comedy. The characters, however, are one of the reasons that I enjoyed this show as much as I did. Martin, the immediately likeable Danish detective, is funny, easy going and simply bemused rather than irritated with the antics of Saga Noren (more on her in a second) which makes you care about him even more, though it becomes apparent that he has some fairly major character flaws. (Another reason I appreciated this show – when characters made mistakes, it made sense that they made them, it didn’t feel like it was purely a plot device.)

Saga, on the other hand, is immediately much less endearing, though this changes with time. She is socially awkward, blunt and can appear unfeeling with her need to constantly obey the rules. In the first episode there is a woman asking to be let across the bridge so that her husband can receive a heart transplant – she refuses. When Martin lets the ambulance cross, she reports him. She also has difficulty lying, which turns out to be more important than could have originally be thought. There are hidden depths to her character though: there is one scene in which Martin comments that she doesn’t care what people think of her, assuming that to be true, and she denies this to his surprise: she cares what he thinks. There is a sweetness to her character as well as a naivety that is slowly pulled out and revealed to the audience, and with Martin her character develops. That is another thing: there is genuine character development throughout the series, and it feels organic and fresh. I also cannot remember a show where I felt so warmly about the supporting characters, in particular Hans, Saga’s boss, a gentle man who seems to genuinely care about her, and Martin’s family – his current wife Mette, their children, and his estranged son August from his first marriage – who suffer throughout the series as a result of his actions, both past and present.

No it wasn't tasty

So how does the show spin the solving of two dead bodies out into 10 episodes you ask? Well, the bodies aren’t the main focus – the crazed serial killer is. Brilliant, and seemingly uncatchable, ‘TT’ or the Truth Terrorist is always one step ahead of our duo, claiming to be demonstrating the ills in society by forcing innocent people to pay for them. He reveals himself and the start of his crazy schemes at the end of the first episode, and then is always present until the last, the spectacular finale. Seriously, that final episode is good. There are twists and turns as he kills people with no apparent connection between them. Scary, yes, but so enjoyable.

The first series of The Bridge is currently on Netflix (UK) and I binged through it in about three days. It is addictive and so much darker than I thought it would be. There is only one comment I would make, and this is not on the show but about the subtitles. Danish and Swedish are similar enough that you can speak in one and the other will understand you, which is what I know from my Swedish friends. However, not being able to understand either myself I would have liked to have known when someone was speaking Danish or Swedish, maybe through different coloured subtitles. Usually it doesn’t matter, but there were points when the difference in languages felt important. That is, however, a minor quibble to a very well made and entertaining show.

Though, I might have been put off visiting both cities for a while.

Hello

Hi! So, this is my obligatory introduction post. My name is Frances, I’m from the UK. Basically, I love travelling, reading and films, and this blog will hopefully be my way of sharing these passions with others. While I try to travel as much as possible, life gets in the way, so I will end up writing from time to time about where I want to go, as well as what inspires me (hint, it might involve books and films!) as well as where I’ve been. I’m planning on also reviewing books and films every so often.

But, hey, this could all change in a month, so stick around and let’s see where this blog takes us.

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As I do love films, I would like to share this beautiful photo with you, taken at the Oscars earlier this year. All credit to Christopher Polk for this stunning image of the very talented and stylish Lupita Nyong’o.

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