Another Visit to the Theatre

My foreign flick frenzy continued unabated on Tuesday evening, when I watched The Wave, (the Norwegian title for which is Bølgen).  Unlike some of the previous flicks, this one cannot be accused of being in the same state, much less the same neighborhood, as an art-house film. No, it is most definitely of the action adventure genre. It was moderately entertaining, but it felt too much like low-creativity mass market American action adventure films for my taste. Quick synopsis: a geologist whose job involves monitoring geologic activities of the steep mountains/crevasses surrounding a fjord. He is about to leave to take a job with an oil company, but just as he is about to leave, the potential for an avalanche, which would cause a giant tsunami, becomes severe. You can imagine (I am sure you can…I know I did) what happens as the geologist tries to save the day, and his family.

Watching the film, though, sparked a recollection of watching, last year, a season of another Norwegian television series called Occupied (the Norwegian title is Okkupert). I loved Occupied and I hope the producers (including the Swedish co-production company that was behind The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) decide to extend it. It happened again; I got sidetracked. Ane Dahl Torp is the reason watching the film ignited a memory; she is a co-star in The Wave and starred, as well, in Occupied

My wife reminded me of another series that she said I’d like (and which I started to watch a year or so ago but got sidetracked and didn’t) called Borgen. Alas, the Danish series was available on PBS, and my wife recorded it, but she watched it and deleted the recordings (or, maybe, we changed providers and lost all the recorded episodes). According to something I read last night, Stephen King said something to the effect that it was his favorite television series. So, maybe one day I’ll find it and discover I like it; or maybe I’ll discover that my taste does not mirror Stephen King’s. That would be a shame; it would rain all over my parade.

Watching these foreign films and series, especially the Norwegian offerings, has adjusted my mental landscape. I am ready to move to Norway, where I will become moderately proficient in the language and will write compelling books and stories about the country’s foods, its ragged coastline, and the characters who inhabit the inlets and fjords.  Speaking of language, my interest spiked when I learned (while exploring why she seemed so familiar to me) Ane Dahl Torp is the daughter of Norwegian linguistics professor Arne Torp. Aha! Another incidence in which the subtleties of the universe always seem to make their way round to language.

The news this morning says Trump will order, today, the building of “the wall.” Perhaps he not remember the ultimate outcome of Regan’s entreaty, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The Soviet Union came tumbling down not long after; the wall was breached only two and one-half years after the speech. History has a way of repeating itself, searing its lessons into our minds like angry acid, bent on teaching us lessons we refused to learn when given easier opportunities. I can see the headstone now: “Donald J. Trump: American strongman, murderer of democracy, died under the crushing weight of the U.S./Mexico border wall, after it collapsed on him, his family, and his entire administration.” (See, I couldn’t help myself. Even foreign cinema brings out my loathing for would-be dictators.)


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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