onsdag 14 december 2011

Films I prefer to read about

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander.
I still haven't seen the movie, but now I've read David Denby's review of David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. And the first thing he says is about her: "You can’t take your eyes off Rooney Mara, who plays the notorious punk hacker Lisbeth Salander in the American movie version of Stieg Larsson’s page-turner. Slender, sheathed in black leather, with short ebony hair sticking up in a tuft, her fingers sticking out of black woollen gloves as they skitter across a keyboard, Mara cuts through scene after scene like a swift, dark blade."

These words tell me two things: that once more the object that primarily attracts the eye is a woman in a provocating attire. It's the woman in a low cut red dress, it's Jezebel, it's Scarlett wearing an evening dress on an afternoon picnic, it's the femme fatale, Vampirella, Nikita, all dressed to kill. She could be inspiring and amusing, even for me, a woman who always have loved to watch strong, beautiful women on the screen. But this, with all its leather, tatoos, agressive sexiness... it get's so boring! Every time a woman is used for action, power and murder in the movies it is treated like something brand new all over again.

Which brings me to the second thing David Denby's text tells me: His words remind me of the other Salander, the Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, whose performance could be described in almost exactly the same words Denby uses to describe Roony Mara's Salander. She too was a "swift, dark blade".  

As I said before, some movies are best when read about. The experience of reading about films, and perhaps not only of the films one hasn't seen, has a sizzling quality attached to it, a kind of combined nostalgia and naughtiness - as if one would be peeking into things that one is not supposed, or allowed, to look at. The words are a mask, hiding things from sight. It makes the actual viewing of a film, that one hasn't seen or may never ever see, more exciting.

And I wonder if she, the woman "with many piercings—of herself and of others" is not a mask, standing in front, partly protecting, partly hiding, the real things that we need to see. In this story, those things are about Sweden as a community falling apart in a world where evil no longer can be shut out by clever diplomacy and staging one of the world's first closed communities with the invention of the "people's home" - "folkhemmet".

We Swedes, we all felt so secure within our home made boundaries. Now, in a globalized world where anything goes and not even girls are nice, we get scared and hibernation seems a very good alternative. That is probably why, like Denby also points out, this film is mainly set on the private island of the disturbed family Vanger, and not in the big city of Stockholm where Salander and Blomkvist, the male hero of the film, seem to be more at home.

And that is probably why I'll see this film, after all. I won't see it because the characters of Salander and Blomkvist interest me, or because I'm curious to see how Roony Mara's Salander och Daniel Craig's Blomkvist differ from the way the Swedish actors Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist played them. What I want to see is how this film fits into the urban dystopias of David Fincher, and how he interprets the urban collapse of Sweden - a place where we always believe the country side will save us.

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