We share a round-up of the best of what we’ve been enjoying in the last month.
June brought us Box 21 from Walter Presents, a hard-hitting Swedish crime thriller. Meanwhile, Netflix continues it’s Nordic mission with a fun movie called Dancing Queens, based in gorgeous west Sweden and featuring an excellent Molly Nutley (directed by her mother) in a feel-good dance story about grief and identity.
Aside from these two, here are the other Nordic treats we discovered and digested this June:
TV SHOWS – KATLA
Netflix’s Katla has lived up to all our expectations as we got through the series in just one week and that was being disciplined, it’s very binge-able.
The story took us by surprise in that we weren’t entirely sure what genre it could be best described as – dystopian sci-fi, religious, horror, philosophical, the list of genres it merges are really endless which makes it really stand out from the crowd.
It is without doubt a slow-burn TV show asking for your patience as events unfold within the Icelandic coastal town of Vik, involving ash covered clones of people associated to those visiting or living in the area. Where have they come from? Why are they here? Why is pretty much everyone so chilled about it?
A lot of your questions get answered within the 8 episodes, and the series is at times very dark, with scenes of suicide and violence .
The casting in this is really quite special – each character has a key role to play and deliver it convincingly. From the old guard of the Icelandic actors including Ingvar Sigurdsson, Þorsteinn Bachmann, and Björn Thors (who we spoke to recently about the series HERE).
Joining them are fresh faces including Icelandic singer GDRN (Guðrún Ýr Eyfjörð) who plays lead role Grima with heartbreaking conviction, alongside her is Íris Tanja Flygenring who plays her sister Asa who also delivers a stunning performance. Amongst the Icelandic faces is Swedish actress Aliette Ophiem – star of such shows as Thicker than Water and Caliphate (currently on Netflix and worth a watch if you have not caught it). We swear that each performance we see Aliette in she just gets better and better.
Katla is out now on Netflix – it is a deep soul-searching rough ride but its pay off is rewarding.
FILM – SWEAT
We’ve been patiently waiting for Swedish director Magnus Von Horn’s Sweat, which has now finally arrived to UK screens this month and we really enjoyed it.
Despite being by a Swedish director, the film is actually based in Poland and in Polish, and follows celebrity fitness guru Sylwia (played brilliantly by Magadelana Kolesnik) who is also a social media star and influencer. Adored by thousands online, she suffers from loneliness in her personal life away from the camera.
Magadelana puts in an outstanding performance, managing to convey a myriad of emotions caught by the camera lens that seems to never leave her side. Whether busting a gut in the gym, trying to fit in with her family, or finding herself in a dangerous (and awkward) situation, the handheld camera dizzies you as if you were there feeling it with her.
A film that subtly explores a lot of interesting themes that will spark debate, particularly around social media.
Sweat can be found on Curzon Home Cinema and is also available to watch in selected cinemas
BOOK – GIRLS WHO LIE
Next month sees the paperback release of Eva Björg Ægisdóttir’s ‘Girls Who Lie‘, her follow-up sequel to the brilliant ‘The Creak in the Stairs‘ which was her debut novel.
Once again we follow Elma, the local detective in the small town of Akranes, where seemingly not a lot happens until a body is found with absolutely no clues and no suspects.
Eva shows her debut was not a one-off, and here she builds her key characters story arcs whilst unravelling a heart-breaking story of which the twist will catch you off guard after the story’s slow build.
With summer upon us, this is a must for crime fiction fans of the Nordic noir variety, so pack a copy in your (staycation) suitcase!