I ♥ books
I ♥ books
I ♥ books
*SPOILER ALERT* - BORGEN/THE KILLING I & II
I played catch up last night on BBC4’s new political thriller, Borgen, and I’m officially hooked. It’s the Beeb’s new prescription for us since us addicts went cold turkey on The Killing (aka Forbrydelsen) and The Killing II, which you must surely by now be aware of unless you’re not in the UK or have been hanging out under a rock. Of course I wrote about The Killing like, ages, ago, if you care to delve into the archives, and since March I’ve become monosyllabic around friends and family, I no longer take any notice of authority, and have been incapable of leaving the house unless wearing a woolly jumper and wellies, under the cover of darkness, and torrential, persistent rain.
Borgen is brought to us by The Killing’s producers and the channel DR, and I will say that at this point though nothing will EVER match up to the wonderful The Killing, I’m feeling pretty good about where it might be headed.
Though not strictly speaking a crime drama like its trailblazing forebear, we have a dead body by the end of episode one, but granted, no horrific and brutal murders. Yet. And everything is so joyously subtle and understated. There’s no drama for drama’s sake.
A strong female lead- the formidable, recently-crowned prime minister Birgitte Nyborg (the lady with the electric smile, Sidse Babett Knudsen)- and political intrigue are other similarities, as is the expert portrayal of the intricacies of human relationships. Oh, to have a marriage like Birgitte’s and her supportive and sex-on-a-stick husband (played by The Killing actor Mikael Birkkjær who played lucky Lund’s luscious sidekick-turned-psycho Strange, photo included above because surely your eyes deserve a feast), although we already have a hint in the form of one of his rather stunning students that all may not be as it seems.
The disdain of Birgitte’s teenage daughter and Birgitte’s battle to fit into her posh suit for the TV debate humanised the prime minister and were somehow comforting. Finally another woman who puts weight on rather than loses it when under stress! It’s also in stark contrast to the women protagonists in the equally brilliant Homeland, who all look like they need to eat something, NOW.
In addition to the gorgeous Mikael, Borgen stars a few more familiar faces- are there not enough actors to go round in Denmark?- and a few new ones, including Claudia Schiffer lookey-likey the gorgeous Birgitte Hjort Sørensen who plays journalist Katrine Fønsmark.
Loving it so far. Let’s see shall we?
I have just realised that reindeer must have been christened so because they are basically deers that love to wear reins. Slash were forced into wearing them by us evil humans and got lumbered with the moniker. I often have these mini epiphanies that seek to disprove the theory that achieving success in higher education equals brains and common sense. I was definitely sleeping off a hangover in my uni hall cell during the common sense module.
Oh dear, it has been a while hasn’t it. Soz. In my defence I was a little tied up over the festive period. And not in a ribbons at the wrists tacky sexy Santa outfit and hot man, or weird CSI-style kidnapping scenario, kind of a way.
No, perhaps disappointingly for you lot- though not for me re kidnapping thing- I have no such tales to tell. I have simply been working flat out on the day job. You know, what writers have to do to put a bit of roof over their heads until someone notices their brilliance, which of course is likely to be never.
I stole a few hours for myself on Christmas Day or thereabouts to chat to my mum etc., down a couple of Miniature Heroes and a lot of kir royales, tuck into some delicious turkey and Nana’s famous Xmas pud- only had a spoonful but try telling my waistline that- and grab a bit of Christmas telly (the wonderful Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake and a gazillion different flavours of Cirque du Soleil being notable highlights) before getting my nose right back firmly up against that grindstone.
Such deprivation of partying and sleep (in that order) makes Raspberry Charlotte an ill girl, and has inevitably led to me winding up with an evil virus where I now feel like I can only imagine poor old Pat ‘The Earrings’ Butcher did last week. Poor, poor me, I can no longer partake in my favourite pastime, talking, as my throat now produces a purry kind of croak a la Mariella Frostrup. Actually this is the only identifiable bonus of said debilitating virus- the sexy Mariella growl is an improvement on my usual drone.
Good news is I’m on the mend so expect more words here very soon, from another continent most likely- tres exciting. Watch this space etc.
I’m also listening to this as I’m researching on this miserable cloudy lovesick Saturday afternoon..
1 // Cinnamon // Fatima // 2 // Trips To The Moon Feat. Ed Black // Opolopo // 3 // I’ll Be Gone Feat. Jazzu (Album Redo) // Mario & Vidis // 4 // Kill Me (John Talabot’s Killed in Room 616 Refix) // The Golden Filter // 5 // Shopping Cart (Maxxi Soundsystem Remix) // Parallel Dance Ensemble // 6 // Welcome To Daytrotter // Toro Y Moi // 7 // Get The Get (Mia Dora Remix) // Roots Manuva // 8 // Flow // Disclosure // 9 // Mama Grizzlies // Graphics // 10 // Liiines (XXXY Remix) // Ghostpoet // 11 // Foreign Language Feat. Jess (Elizabeth Rose Mix) // Flight Facilities // 12 // The Keeper (Banks Remix) // Bonobo
If this is what it’s like to live in Cloud Cuckoo Land, I’m checking in.
British artist Xenz, whose new solo exhibition ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ showed this weekend, describes his work as Monet with traffic lights. His stunning fantastical landscapes are stolen from the depths of his imagination and expressed through a marriage of techniques, where fine art welcomes graffiti in for a bit of slap and tickle and lets Xenz record the results for our viewing pleasure.
When DPO’s editor and regular Jim’ll Fix It asked me to attend Xenz’s new show at Blackall Studios in the ‘Ditch, which featured a collection of his works from the last couple of years, I pretty much bit his hand off. Ask him to show you: if I did my job properly he’ll still bear the scars. The PV itself was a nice, standard affair - nice set-up, nice people, lots of fashion and beards, ran out of booze early - and in addition to seeing Xenz’s brilliance in the flesh, as an added bonus I was looking forward to picking up tips for some incoming sartorial trends from the arty types in the know. At one point I was delighted to see a girl with a long, grey fox tail affixed to her rear end, and was just making a mental note to dig out my furry cat’s ears hairband and jump on the fake-animal-attribute bandwagon when I realised that alas it was not a tail but just her big furry scarf trailing from her handbag. The disappointment.
I believe the exhibition was pretty much sold out when I arrived fashionably not that late at all, and with good reason. Xenz’s beautiful mob of mosaics and murals come to life via a smattering of exotic species and natural wonders, released into the wild through his passion for ornithology and an appreciation of the sheer volume of species that share our planet. Should you allow yourself to be immersed in one of his paintings it’s both highly possible and very easy to believe that you have in fact stepped inside of one of his dreams. Speaking metaphysically, of course. And in these darkest of days, where in the run up to the festive period most of us are wondering how we’ll muster up more than a Terry’s chocolate orange as a prezzie for our mums whilst the one percent throw Heston-branded Christmas puddings from their ivory towers having bought them on eBay for £200 because they sold out and they really are a must-have, shouting “Let Them Eat Pudding!” as they shower down on us like no-doubt-delicious-tasting little bombs, to be swallowed up inside one of Xenz’s phenomenal and luscious bird-of-paradise-filled utopias seems a welcome relief. In addition to the numerous smaller-scale canvases Xenz is now working with large-scale murals and IMHO the bigger the Xenz the better, although they are still capable of being broken up into bite-sized pieces for credit-crunched living rooms like mine. All in all it was a great show, and I’m now no longer an interested bystander. I’m a devotee.
'Socrates', by the hugely talented fine art illustrator Finn Campbell-Notman.
In depth interview coming soon, I promise.