Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nordic and Italian Crime Fiction: BBC Programs

For our UK friends, Barry Forshaw has sent the news on the following programs will be shown on BBC4. US showings are planned, and Barry Forshaw will certainly update us! Thanks, Barry, for the information!


Draw the curtains and dim the lights for a chilling trip north as Timeshift investigates the success of Scandinavian crime fiction – and why it exerts such a powerful hold on our imagination.

‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ is a literary blockbuster that has introduced millions of readers to the phenomenon that is Scandinavian crime fiction – yet author Stieg Larsson spent his life in the shadows and didn’t live to see any of his books published. It’s one of the many mysteries this programme investigates as it travels to Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland in search of the genre’s most acclaimed writers and memorable characters.

The program looks at Henning Mankell’s brooding Wallander series, with actor Krister Henriksson describing the challenge of bringing the character to the screen, and it asks why so many stories have a political subtext. Nordic Noir finds out how Stieg Larsson based the bestselling ‘Millennium’ trilogy on his work as an investigative journalist and it reveals the unlikely source of inspiration for his most striking character, Lisbeth Salander. The programme also meets Jo Nesbo, the Norwegian rock star turned writer tipped to inherit Larsson’s mantle, and Karin Fossum, an author whose personal experience of murder has had a profound effect on her writing.

Producer/Director: ROBERT MURPHY


Timeshift profiles a new wave of Italian crime fiction that has emerged to challenge the conventions of the detective novel. There are no happy endings in these noir tales only revelations about Italy’s dark heart – a world of corruption, unsolved murders and the mafia.

Italian Noir features exclusive interviews with the leading writers from this new wave of noir including Andrea Camilleri (Inspector Montablano Mysteries) and serving Judge Giancarlo De Cataldo (Romanzo Criminale) who explains how his work as a real life investigating judge inspired his work. From the other side of the law, Massimo Carlotto talks about how his novels were shaped by his wrongful conviction for murder and years spent on the run from the police.

The film also looks at the roots of this new wave. First Carlo Emilio Gadda (That Awful Mess) used the detective novel to expose the corruption that existed during Mussolini’s fascist regime and then after the Second World War Leonardo Sciascia’s crime novels (The Day of The Owl) tackled the rise of the Sicilian mafia. They established the rules of a new kind of noir that draws on real events and offers no neat endings.

Shot on location in Rome, Bologna and Florence, the film also features Italian writers Carlo Lucarelli and Barbara Baraldi and uses rarely seen archive from Italian television.

Produced and Directed by Francis Welch


vallerose said...

I hope these programs come over here. I'm also waiting for the Donna Leon Series that was hot in Germany to come here. I'm a hue fan of rhe international mysteries shown on TV.

Priscilla said...

Really want to see these programs. And Donna Leon series? Wow! Needless to say, I am grateful to "vallerose" and you, Janet, for alerting me to the international mysteries on PBS. The DVD folks at B'con in SF were a real find too. I got the Helene Tursten series. Wish Soho would translate more of her.

Janet Rudolph said...

Priscilla, I missed the DVD person. Would love to see the Helene Tursten series. She is such a pleasure, and I love her books. Will do a search. thanks so much for letting me know.

Vallerose is Vallery Feldman. She is responsible for the fabulous Left Coast Crime Hawaii and Monterey book bags, as well as the program books!

Priscilla said...

The DVDs in the PBS series come from MHZ at and the Turstens are listed under Irene Huss. When I talked to the MHZ reps at B'con, they said their DVDs are also sold through Amazon.
Vallery is a treasure!

Janet Rudolph said...

Thanks, Priscilla, will order now. Loved when she was here for the Lit Salon. Tall Swedes in my house of small people :-)