Aug 5, 2010

Jar City on Netflix

I've read three of the Arnaldur Indridason books that have been translated into English--the fourth, Arctic Chill, is on my shelf waiting to be read. When I read his first Icelandic thriller, Jar City (also published under the title Tainted Blood), I liked it fairly well, and hoped that the series would improve with each book. Others liked it even more: it won a number of awards, the Reykjavik Murder Mystery series have been translated into many languages, and they do well on the bestseller lists. I find Erlendur, the main character, engaging and sympathetic, I enjoy the occasional flashes of humor, and like the descriptions of Iceland, but the books are a bit too bleak to be my personal favorites.


I've been waiting a long time to see the (2006) film version of Jar City, and it finally became available on Netflix. The movie version is very bleak as well. But it does provide wonderful glimpses of Icelandic culture and scenery, and the casting is excellent. For a more in-depth review of the movie or the books, check out Professor Batty's pages. Fans can look forward to the English version of Hypothermia, due out in September 2010.

4 comments:

Professor Batty said...

I thought the casting of Jar City was excellent, it really helped "flesh out" the characters. I've seen most of the actors in numerous other roles, but I was won over, especially with Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson as Erlendur. Ingvar is actually much younger than the character he plays, hopefully he will age gracefully in further films. (Ingvar was Jon Hreggvidsson in the celebrated production of Íslandsklukkan at the Þjóðleikhúsið last season.

Rose said...

Now that is a production I'd like to see! I'd have to do as we used to when we went to operas before supertitles--we had to study the libretto really carefully. To see this in the Icelandic I'd have to study the book really carefully! Interesting that he is a younger man ...
Oh, and an American version of Jar City is in production. Wonder how that will be.

John said...

I really liked this film, bleak as it is. My favorite part (other than the younger detective being repeatedly compared to a piece of female anatomy) was when Erlendur came to the drive-up window of a fast food restaurant and ordered "the usual" -- a sheep's head. We then got to watch him eat the blasted thing out of its Styrofoam box.

The U.S. version is set in Louisiana and is in pre-production: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1303239/

Professor Batty said...

I just got Hypothermia, and will read it at the cabin next week- just the thing to start the winter season (although it was 87° in Mpls today!)