Wednesday 23 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Sweden's 'The Girl with the...

Sweden's 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' leaves an indelible mark on crime cinema

Rod Lott May 27th, 2010

Stephenie Meyer's not the only novelist moving millions upon millions of copies these days. So is Stieg Larsson, although he sadly died before his books saw print.Nonetheless, the Swedish author becam...

Stephenie Meyer's not the only novelist moving millions upon millions of copies these days. So is Stieg Larsson, although he sadly died before his books saw print.

Nonetheless, the Swedish author became an instant crime favorite with "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," first published on these shores in 2008. "The Girl Who Played with Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" soon followed, international best-sellers all.

Director David Fincher ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") is prepping "Tattoo" for an American adaptation, but Larsson's homeland already beat him to the punch, releasing all three movie versions last year overseas to big box office and critical acclaim.

The first film screens Friday through Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. If you're the type of moviegoer who views the museum theater as a site for snobs, it's time to rethink that. "Tattoo" holds wide appeal, from "CSI" couch potatoes to well-read literature lovers. The film may be foreign, but nothing is lost in translation. (Yes, it's subtitled; you'll quickly not notice.)

As "Tattoo" opens, high-minded magazine journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is found guilty of libeling a corporate bigwig. With his honor now sullied in the public eye, Mikael takes a most unusual freelance gig from the aged, wealthy Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube).

Forty years ago, Henrik's beloved niece, Harriet, abruptly disappeared, never to return. She's assumed dead, possibly even murdered by a member of his own family " someone who's toying with him to this day. Henrik hires Mikael to stay on his island estate for a year, to crack away at this cold case so the old man's curiosity can be assuaged before departing this earth.
Meanwhile, punky, funky computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is tasked with digging up dirt on Mikael for the supposedly libeled industrialist. Checking out the journo's e-mails and hard drive, she senses what he's up to and becomes an ally (and, occasionally, a bed partner).

Our mismatched Woodward and Bernstein quickly dig up Vanger family secrets of the past that still poke at the nerves of the clan's current members. Suddenly, prison seems more comfortable than the constant threat of death hanging over their every move.

Admittedly, director Niels Arden Oplev spends a little too much time setting up the story, but once it gets going, immersion is a near-guarantee. The mystery unfolds at a teasing pace, doled out in small scoops to keep audiences strung along for the duration.

Yet in hindsight, while absorbing, the plot's not all that complex. The strength of "Tattoo" lay not in cleverness or concept, but character. And, in particular, Lisbeth.

A damaged-goods delinquent hiding a past of abuse behind heavy eyeliner, an emo haircut and a perpetual frown, she is rough, tough and not to be effed with. When wronged by the lawyer in charge of her bank account, the inked, pierced young woman takes revenge in a manner that will make many audience members squirm (even if the details of the act, thankfully, are left just out of frame). Rapace disappears into the role; even as you side with her, you fear her.

With the intelligent action of "Tattoo," Swedish cinema can shed its stuffy reputation of Death playing chess on the beach. It, too, can do widescreen thrills. While this offering may not quite equal the catch-your-breath factor as France's recent "Tell No One," it proves that the other side of the world can do goose bumps as skillfully as Americans. (Although I have a sneaking suspicion that given his track record in the genre " from "Seven" to "Zodiac" " Fincher is going to do it even better.) "Rod Lott
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