Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. -
Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo
In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.).
BRAVEMOUTH, LIVING WITH BILLY CONNOLLY | BOOKS BIOGRAPHY
LAST RITUALS by YRSA SIGURDARDOTTIR | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
An Icelandic lawyer helps investigate the murder and mutilation of a witchcraft-obsessed student.
Þriðja táknið was published in 2005, 'Last Rituals' in US in 2007 and in the UK in 2008. English translation by Bernard Scudder:
When wealthy German student Harald Guntlieb is found dead in the history department of his Reykjavik university, his parents are dissatisfied with the police investigation and unconvinced that the drug dealer they have arrested is the actual culprit. For th epolice it is an open and shut case. But the family send a business associate and family friend, Matthew Reich, to Iceland to conduct his own investigation but he struggles with language- and Icelandic procedural barriers and thus hires local lawyer and single mother Thóra Gudmundsdóttir to assist him.
Harald was killed by asphyxiation and it is suggested Harald experimented, alone or with others, in sexual practises that may lead thus to his death. But suicide or misadventure can soon be ruled out as his eyes were also gouged out and a bizarre symbol was carved on his chest....
Matthew and Thóra question the members of the group and find them suspicious and not overly enthusiastic in cooperating with the inquiries. But tensions start to play a role.
Thóra is drawn back to the homefront when she finds out that her 15-year-old son is going to be a father.
The fact that Thóra is anything but a heroine, but balks at gruesume details appearing in the investigations as any normal person would do and struggles with all aspects of a single mother of two including her empty bed, is for me one of the attractions of the Yrsa Sigurðardóttir novels.
MANHUNT | TV CRIME DRAMA
Manhunt is a British tv drama based on the true story surrounding the investigation into the death of French student Amélie Delagrange, a 22-year young woman, who suffered a deadly attack on Twickenham Green.
The London Metropolitan Police selected Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton (an excellent role here by a stern Martin Clunes) to lead a large task force as Senior Investigating Officer.
No forensic evidence could be procured from the scene, and there was no links in Delagrange's past that could indicate a motive.
There had been several previous attacks and murders of young women in the area. Within 24 hours, the investigation established that she might have been killed by the same person who had killed Marsha McDonnell on 03Feb2003.
The subsequent manhunt eventually led to the arrest of Levi Bellfield for Amélie's murder, and several other high profile, yet previously unsolved cases.
This first series was produced in 3 episodes. Since it is an authentic reproduction of events there is little insight in the character or motivations of the murderer Levi.
I am glad to learn that the show was renewed for a 2nd series, expected to premiere in 2020.
Alexander Martin Clunes, OBE (born 28 November 1961) is an English actor, television presenter, film director and comedian.
MIDDLE ENGLAND by JONATHAN COE | BOOKS LITERATURE FICTION
PUT ON BY CUNNING by RUTH RENDELL | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
'Put on by Cunning' was first published in 1981 and features Rendell's popular series protagonist Inspector Wexford. It is the 11th in this series.
When the esteemed flautist Sir Manuel Camargue slips on a snowy path one dark night and falls into an icy river, his death seems like an open and shut case. However, when Wexford discovers that the old man's long lost daughter has just arrived in anticipation of the reading of his will, suspicions of foul play arise!
Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE (née Grasemann; b.17Feb1930 – d.02May2015), was an English author of thrillers and psychological murder mysteries.
THE VICTIM | TV SERIES CRIME FICTION
The Victim is a four-part Scottish thriller miniseries starring Kelly Macdonald (as Anna Dean), James Harkness (as Craig Myers) and John Hannah (the first 'John Rebus', as DI Steven Grover).
The series was first broadcast on BBC One in April 2019. Filming was on location in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Port Glasgow and Largs.
Anna's son Liam in her first marriage was murdered 14 years ago, the killer convicted and given a new identity after finishing his sentence, with which she can't live. Through social media she exposes the murderer, now living as Craig Myers with a family of his own. Someone takes it upon himself to assault Craig, who ends up seriously injured in hospital.
Gradually it becomes apparent that Craig is not the killer Eddie J. Turner, but the damage is done as everyone eyes him as the killer, even his own marriage slowly unravels.
Anna is the last one to become convinced, cajoling people even after she ends up in court: not as the victim but as the accused.
Very strong character play by Kelly Macdonald and James Harkness.
LUST FOR LIFE, by ED VAN DER ELSKEN | PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION
The Nederlands Fotomuseum, the national museum of photography in Rotterdam (the Netherlands), has restored the colour slides of photographer Ed van der Elsken from destruction due to long time storage in poor condition.
Ed van der Elsken was a unique figure. The first true Dutch street photographer, he roamed cities like Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Tokyo seeking out colourful personalities, head-turning young women and wayward youth. Ed van der Elsken both chronicled, and influenced, the Zeitgeist. In his work, he developed a bold, unconventional and personal style.
The oeuvre of Ed van der Elsken is mentioned in the same breath as those of legendary international photographers Robert Frank (1924, CH) and William Klein (1928, VS) and his legacy inspires contemporary artists such as Nan Goldin (1953, US) and Paulien Oltheten (1982, NL).
A SEA OF TROUBLES by DONNA LEON | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
THOSE WHO KILL, SEASON 2 | TV CRIME FICTION DRAMA
Den som dræber - Fanget af mørket
In my Blog 2012Q4 I reviewed Those Who Kill, the first series, a Danish-German-Swedish-Norwegian 2011 co-production.
The final episode premiered in Danish cinemas on 15 March 2012, and was being aired as a final, 6th episode of the series in many other countries, such as the UK and Germany.
Police detective Katrina Ries Jensen and profiler Thomas Schaeffer, investigate a series of gruesome murders.
At the time, in spite of optimistic plans, Danish TV2 announced that no further seasons would follow due to falling viewer shares after the first few episodes.
So imagine my surprise that in 2018 a decision was made for Those Who Kill to return to the screens in 2019 with a new separate season, this time starring Kenneth M Christensen and, as a profiler, Natalie Madueño (whom we remember from Follow The Money).
A serial killer is identified who abducts, abuses and kills young women who all resemble a young woman who disappeared many years ago after a schoolball, wearing a yellow dress. The profile seems straightforward, but things become more complicated while the investigation progresses: are two serial killers on the prowl?
Police detective Jan Michelsen has difficulties facing two realities: his relation is on the rocks and he made promises to find the abducted girls but fails to deliver. Profiler Louise Bergstein made a career change and is reluctant to work for the police again after having made a fatal mistake in an earlier case abroad.
Perhaps the character of the fiendish mastermind is the most fascinating in this 2nd season of Those
We may yet see more seasons to follow!
DON McCULLIN RETROSPECTIVE | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOK
A few years ago I was visiting London (UK) and was shopping for photobooks at various locations. I was on the brink of buying my first photobook by Don McCullin, but I opted for two or three different books. In early-2018 I watched the BBC documentary 'The Road to Palmyra', following Don McCullin (82) and historian Dan Cruickshank among the ruins, which in turn instigated reading Don McCullin's biography, 'Unreasonable Behaviour', soon afterwards.
This photobook, simply titled 'Don McCullin', is a retrospective of McCullin's work and accompanied the exhibition at Tate Britain in London (which I have yet to visit) of this iconic photographer.
Sir Donald McCullin, CBE, Hon FRPS (born 9 October 1935), is a British photojournalist, particularly recognized for his war photography and images of urban strife.
"In my photography I always lean towards the underprivilgeded because that's where I came from."
The book contains essays by Aïcha Mehrez, Shoair Mavlian and Simon Baker. As well as chapters Directors Foreword, Chronology, List of Exhibited Works, Further Reading and Credits.
Very, very pleased I came across this book.
STHLM REQUIEM | TV CRIME FICTION SERIES
SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN by NICCI FRENCH | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
THOUGHT AND REFLECTION
Amsterdam, may 2019
'In an era when television's ubiquitous visual flow bombards us with footage, the arrest of time in the photograph offers space for thought and reflection' ¬Susan Sontag
WORLD PRESS PHOTO 2019 | PHOTOGRAPHY WORLD NEWS
Since 1955 the annual World Press Photo Contest has awarded the best visual journalism of the year.
CARDINAL, 2nd SEASON | CRIME FICTION DRAMA TV SERIES
Cardinal is a Canadian crime drama television series, first broadcasted on 25Jan17.
Season 2, 'Blackfly Season', concerns a young woman who suffers from amnesia after having been shot in the head and is brought to the hospital in Algonquin Bay.
At the moment I am recording the 3rd series ('By The Time You Read This') of Cardinal from BBC Four. Looking forward watching those soon!
KIRI | CRIME FICTION DRAMA TV-SERIES
DE KLEINE TOCQUEVILLE by MARTIN SOMMER | HISTORY WORLD
Atlas Contact, 2019; 94 pages
Tocqueville was born an aristocrat, whose role in society was to rule and protect. But he saw the change coming where the common people would get more rights and an increased rol in society.
He retired from political life after Louis Napoléon Bonaparte's 02Dec1851 coup and thereafter began work on 'The Old Regime and the Revolution'.
BAPTISTE | TV-SERIES FICTION CRIME DRAMA
KARPPI (a.k.a. DEADWIND) | TV-SERIES FICTION CRIME DRAMA
CHINA REVEALED by BASIL PAO
Basil Pao Ho-Yun is a Hong Kong-based photographer. He has been the stills photographer on the BBC filming teams that made Michael Palin's television travel programmes.
The book is an all encompassing portrait of China, compiled during extensive travelling in 2005 (mainly) and 2006, the provinces captured in the chapters The Middle Kingdom, The Silk Road, North by Northeast, On the Waterfront, The Tribal Mountains and The Tibetan Plateau.
Each province is detailed in some 'Wikipedia'-type information at the start, concerning geography, climate, population, major cities, agriculture, main industries, annual per capita income, important historical sites and food. The pages with photos have captions including general information about the shown subject(s) and information on the actual (numbered) photos.
Art direction & design is by Basil Pao himself, a very clean cut design and the information proportional and easy to take in. The photography is superb, I can get quite lyrical about it in fact!
KONINGSDAG | CULTURE TRADITION NETHERLANDS
Koningsdag, or King's Day, is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
ONS SOORT AMERIKA | BOOKS WORLD CULTURE
ARCTIC CIRCLE (IVALO) | SCANDI NOIR TV CRIME DRAMA
'Arctic Circle' (Finnish: Ivalo) is Finnish-German crime drama, which premiered on Finnish streaming service Elisa Viihde on Christmas 2018 and later on Yle. I watched it on NPO3.
Set in snow covered Finnish Lapland, police officer Nina Kautsalo (Iina Kuustonen) finds a nearly dead prostitute in a cabin in the wilderness. The case takes a surprise turn when a deadly virus is found in the prostitute's body. Nina and German virologist Thomas Lorenz (Maximilian Brückner) start investigating the case.
Nina is a single mother with a small child who has Down syndrome. The father, Esko, is a truck driver and small criminal; he refuses to acknowledge Venla for he never wanted children from the relationship.
While Thomas wants to set up a large scale bloodtest to analyse how widespread the virus (deadly for pregnant women) is in the remote Lapland area, he encounters opposition from the KRP (Keskusrikospoliisi, Nat'l Bureau of Investigation) for not seeing 'the bigger picture', from those who exploit Russian prostitutes (they travel on 'whore busses' through the North) as well as from religious sects.
The scenery of Lapland in winter is breathtaking and various aspects such as the humor sets this series 'Arctic Circle' in a league of its own. The ending would make a 2nd series possible... I hope so!
IN EXTREMIS: MARIE COLVIN | BIOGRAPHY JOURNALISM
Lindsey Hilsum, a friend and fellow war reporter, details Colvin's hard-drinking, hard-living decades and her impressive career covering one humanitarian disaster after another.
Superbly written and highly informative!
HUIS KINESIS - HOME FOR PHOTOGRAPHY | PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION
Today I visited 'Huis Kinesis', a new adress for me to enjoy photography on display.
I found most documentaries very interesting, e.g. four photos showing expats having breakfast: that is a pretty unique subject I thought. And I liked the elderly couple (91 + 89 years old, top, in photo above)
DELFT - HISTORIC CITY | NETHERLANDS
Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. It is located between Rotterdam, to the southeast, and The Hague, to the northwest. Together with them, it is part of both Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area and the Randstad.
72th FLOWERPARADE (2019) | TRADITION CULTRURE NETHERLANDS
DARK HEART | TV CRIME DRAMA FICTON
The dark side of DI 'Staffe' is an interesting one as well as his relation to the women surrounding him: his sister Juliette ('Jules', role by Charlotte Riley), his colleague Josie (Anjli Mohindra) and Sylvie with whom he has a noncommittal sort of relationship (played by Miranda Raison, whom I remember from the series Spooks).
ENDEAVOUR MORSE | BRITISH TV CRIME DRAMA
Endeavour is a British television detective drama series. It is a prequel to the long-running Inspector Morse (starring John Thaw) and, like that series, is set primarily in Oxford.
Shaun Evans portrays the young Endeavour Morse beginning his career as a detective constable, and later as a detective sergeant, with the Oxford City Police CID.
This is the 6th season and it numbered 4 episodes.
The storyline starts in July 1969, with Morse sporting a moustache for the first time. We see the news dominated by the Apollo moonlanding.
Morse has been given a uniform post out in the sticks. He investigates a report of a missing horse and a report of someone sleeping rough, allegedly an addict. But the death of a schoolgirl brings Endeavour back in contact with the Oxford constabulary.
DS Jim Strange (Sean Rigby) pursues the murder of the young DC George Fancy (finale of series 5) on
his own. He tries to involve Morse in his own investigation but Morse is bitter and unwilling. Nevertheless, Strange uses his influence to get Morse back to the Oxford police and the young detective is assigned a desk in the basement (' the bunker') of Castle Gate Police Station.
While seperate murder investigations dominate each episode, there are continuous plotlines: the investigation into the murder of George Fancy and deaths of addicts out on the streets due to bad drugs, while Fred Thursday (Roger Allam) gets drawn into the influence of his superior DCI Ronnie Box meanwhile Fred's marriage is becoming bleaker and bleaker (his wife Winnifred blaims him for squandering their savings, however noble the cause, without consulting here).
Joan Thursday (Sara Vickers) makes her appearance in about each episode but the relation between Morse and Fed's daughter seems to have lost the required chemistry. Morse seems more introvert and morose than in previous series, growing to the character portrayed by John Thaw?
PCS Reginal Bright (Anton Lesser) is assigned to Traffic and features in a tv commercial for the police, featuring a pelican. At the staion he is the butt of many jokes but he finds himself popular and recognized in the streets. His wife is terminally ill which very much effects Bright's outlook on life and his career.
DCI Ronnie Box and his sidekick DS Alan Jago seem to run a racket on the sly.
Dr. Max DeBryn (James Bradshaw) recognizes a special confidentiality among the group of former Cowley police station (although Fred Thursday is kept out of the loop at times for a quantity of distrust) and shares his findings accordingly. DeBryn is made hostage in the last episode and the finale is a showdown much akin to that of the O.K. Corral!
CHIN.IND.SPEC.REST. by MARK VAN WONDEREN | PHOTOBOOK CULTURE
As a reporter in Noord-Holland Mark van Wonderen travelled criss-cross through the province for many years. Walking through neighbourhoods he noticed that even the smallest village had a church, a local pub but also a Chinese-Indonesian Restaurant.
The Chinese-Indonesian restaurant is a very Dutch cultural phenomenon, might even be considered a cultural heritage!
However times, they are a-changin'...
MISSING (SAKNAD) | TV CRIME DRAMA FICTION
Police superintendent Maja Silver (Helena Bergström) goes back to her old hometown Bogesund, in the Swedish Bible belt, to see her daughter and enjoy a well deserved vacation. Nothing much happens in this small town, until...
Many of the close knit community are involved in the deeply religious conservative congregation and everybody eyes each other, gossip is widespread and plentiful. The congregation is led by a popular, enthralling young priest, Stein.
Four episodes of drama and interesting twists in the plotlines.
BIRDING | PHOTOGRAPHY BIRDS
Exploring the possibilities of 'birding', photography mainly. Not yet sure if this will work for me.
RECHTER TIE (JUDGE DEE) MYSTERIES | HISTORY CRIME FICTION NOVEL
Ever since China sparked my interest during the 1980s, I find occasion to read or explore something on the subject, in whatever form. The 'Rechter (=Judge or Magistrate) Tie Mysteries' by Robert van Gulik offer an easy insight in China in historic times.
Dutchman van Gulik wrote historic crime novels in English; the translations into Dutch (including the name of the magistrate change from Judge Dee to Rechter Tie) are mostly by others.
Judge Dee (also, Judge Di) is the eponymous protagonist of Robert van Gulik's series of detective novels. The series is set in Tang Dynasty China and deals with various criminal cases solved by the upright Judge Dee (judges often play the investigator role in ancient Chinese crime stories).
Robert Hans van Gulik was born in 1910, in Zutphen,Netherlands and spent most of his youth in the Dutch East-Indies.
About this particular book, The Phantom of the Temple (Het Spook van de Tempel):