I have just finished a really good book over a cup of coffee (in a Christmas mug of course) and a lussekatt (saffron bun), and I thought that maybe I should recommend it to you, as it is translated to both Swedish and English.
Undtagelsen is the Danish original title to Christian Jungersen’s book, (Undantaget / The Exception, I read it in Swedish) and it is a psychological thriller about 4 women who work in a centre for information on genocide in Copenhagen. It is a very interesting story about harassment in the work place (so-called mobbing, I was surprised to hear O use that word but I can’t find it in any dictionary – is it an English word??) and what desperate people are prepared to do in certain extreme situations. The book mentions quite a few real psychological studies done on people concerning evilness, as well as quotes from the book Ordinary men by Christopher Browning – which is another fascinating book which I read during my Peace & Conflict studies at Lund University. I can recommend both books, the first one is a book of fiction, and the second one is a book on history and psychology.
Offside (2005) is a Swedish film with Jonas Karlsson (Den man älskar, Hans och hennes) and Torkel Peterson (Jalla, Jalla), and tells the story of a small community somewhere close to Gothenburg in Sweden and its football team that has seen better days (and better players…). It is a typical Swedish comedy with ordinary people who are unemployed, depressed and drunk, and playing football… It is funny even if I hate football! O also liked the film, he is fascinated by Swedish films which he finds very different from Spanish & American ones (the dvd has English sub-titles, a big plus!). Speaking of good Swedish films to show any foreign friends, O and I have enjoyed watching:
- Masjävlar – O’s favourite so far. A woman goes back home north for her father’s birthday, and old tensions with the two other sisters re-emerge.
- Ondskan (Evil) – about a boarding school in the 1950’s and its bullying initiation rites. This film was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film in 2004.
- Grabben i graven bredvid – a librarian falls in love with a farmer (not really a Hollywood setting, but it is quite funny).
Breaking and entering (2006) with Juliette Binoche and Jude Law, set around King’s Cross in London and tells the story of a Bosnian woman, her son who is a thief and the architect whose office gets burgled. I would not recommend this film if you are not completely in love with Jude Law (I am not, and O doesn’t like him at all as an actor) – Juliette Binoche plays her part as a Bosnian refugee very well but the story just doesn’t hold according to me.
Catch & release (2007) with Jennifer Garner (Alias) and the sexy Timothy Olyphant (Go – a very good film by the way! and one episode of Sex and the City – Valley of the twenty-something guys) is quite a simple love story about a girl whose fiancé dies just before their wedding and she ends up moving in with his flatmates. Simple but I liked it – maybe because I really enjoy watching Timothy Olyphant… However, O chose the film (thinking of me) and he liked it too (I don’t know what it says about his taste in films, ha ha).