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Montalbano – A Delicate Matter

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Salvo is back in Vigata, Sicily! Livia will have to get used to coming home to Salvo not being there when she comes home from work. The many faces of Livia are somewhat confusing for the audience so it is as well they make the character names obvious in the exposition of the first scene with them both. “Exasperating!” as Livia would say. (Played this time by Sonia Bergamasco.)

Montalbano is visiting Livia in Boccadasse when he is called back to Vigata to investigate the murder of Maria, a 70-year-old prostitute – as well as disturbing accusations at an elementary school.

Mimi as usual is overly keen to interview an attractive female witness and goes down the route of deviant sex as the motivation/explanation of the murder. Salvo is unimpressed by this and also the American style of victim/suspect photos on the wall of the police station. Catarella has a theory about the son of a prostitute being the client.

Of course things are more complex than that. Maria has been preparing for retirement with her husband and as a waiter he won’t stop working until she does as he wants to have the continued respect of the community, not one associated with being a ruffian who lives off immoral earnings.

Meanwhile a young male teacher is rumoured to be overly affectionate towards the young daughter of a fellow teacher. The woman is living alone with her daughter while her husband works away from home. The young male is good looking and unblemished until this new rumour takes hold.

Salvo learns to send picture attachments in his phone and Mimi’s latest infidelity is discovered due to leaving his gun behind.

Adelina takes it upon herself to teach Livia to cook and Livia’s new dog takes over the household more and more.

One suspect ends up dead narrowing down the possibilities.

Salvo, of course, solves the case while we feast our eyes on the scenery.

Salvo Montalbano Luca Zingaretti
Giuseppe Fazio Peppino Mazzotta
Livia Burlando Sonia Bergamasco
Mimi Augello Cesare Bocci
Catarella Angelo Russo
Pasquano Marcello Perracchio
Nicolo Zito Roberto Nobile
Teresita Gaudenzio Miriam Dalmazio
Maria Castellino Ileana Rigano
Serafino Lollo Franco
Preside Vasilico Sebastiano Tringali
Mimmo Tavano Giancarlo Barbara

 

Lady MacBeth

Trailer

Broadchurch 3

My preferred way of watching TV series these days is to binge watch most of the episodes so I can omit the adverts. Watching the intro to Broadchurch 3 was harrowing. Picking up the story in the aftermath of a rape and watching the rape kit procedures being carried out focused the attention fully. An unreliable witness due to concussion made the teasing of details difficult. Police evidence bags, moving camera work, the victim’s hand gripping the gloved hand of the healthcare worker made us immediately on the side of the woman. The help offered after the probing, showering and dressing was an important message to the viewer that the reporting of crime might be traumatic but that there is support “out there”. Trish the victim’s only question was, “Do you believe me?” Ellie believes her to the extent that she circumvents protocols again and gives out her mobile number.

It’s not until episode 4 that the narrative uses the recollections of Trish to have flashback scenes. By then we know Trish has had sex with someone else the same morning and has been getting abusive texts warning her to be silent and gifts of flowers saying “Thinking of you”.

 

 

Trespass Against Us

The film Trespass Against Us starring Michael Fassbender  revolves around the Cutler family who live a life of chaos and criminality centred around their caravan site. The film jolts the audience into this life from the first moment when we see a young boy sitting on his father’s knee while driving over a field chasing a hare. In the car are others of the Cutler gang whooping for joy and egging each other on. Car chases and wanting what is best for the children are recurring themes in the film. Fassbender portrays the gentler criminal who agrees with his wife that his children should get an education, something he never had. His lack of ability to read has heavily impacted on his life leaving him no option but to follow the ways of his father who is not a likable character. Despite the appearance of poverty the Cutler family have access to lots of money due to their willingness to pull off another heist.

At the heart of the story is control and family love and knowing who really is acting in the best interests of their son.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/feb/27/trespass-against-us-british-gangster-movie-michael-fassbender

Tenement life

They say that some memories are false so this may be a construct but when I was little we lived in a room and kitchen in a Glasgow tenement in the early 60s before moving to the Ayrshire coast. I remember various snapshots of the experience such as green tiled walls in the “close”, a cludgy which was shared with other families, sleeping in the kitchen and keeping the “room” for visitors. No doubt this was considered an acceptable way for my parents to begin family life but in retrospect it is no wonder that the Glasgow overspill to Irvine was such a popular choice.

The stairwell needed to be scrubbed with the banister buffed and the white line paintwork on stone needed to be kept pristine. The kitchen overlooked a more open area where, I think, children played, bins were stored and washing was pegged out. Further across the back trams went up and down the road.

We didn’t live there long but I remember 4 events that occurred before we moved. The first was a woman with a sturdy Silver Cross type pram who was bumping her baby/pram up the stairs when the unsecured baby fell out and hit his head on the stone steps. The second was an over-sized teddy of mine which had seen better days. For some reason my mother threw it out and, as I watched out the window boys rescued it and ran off with their new playmate. The third was the time my father got up early for work and was so tired that when he was getting washed at the sink he pulled it off the wall when he leant on it. Chaos! Finally there was some child knocked down by one of those trams and the adults talked in hushed tones.

So poverty and hardship, certainly, and yet we had a telephone, a coal bunker and a television. Not bad for an impoverished life.

Photos

From Darkness

16 years after leaving the force Anne Marie Duff’s character is pulled back in to a cold case when the bodies of sex workers are found trussed up “like meat”. As if that weren’t enough fresh meat has been found to show that the murderer is still at large. Not only is (s)he still at large the officer ID number she wore then has been found in the hands of the latest victim.

Leaving behind her husband and daughter on their teal-cast island idyll. Claire Church decides to go back and work with former colleagues, and new ones, against her better judgement. 4 bodies, 4 lines of investigation. The killer is still out there, goading Claire to capture him.

Scared of seeing the bodies, Claire is told in no uncertain terms that it is not the dead she should be scared of. She is sent with an Oxbridge fast track officer for protection to talk to the family of Mimi, a victim. He is not up to the job.

A stuffy hotel room only serves to remind Claire about how much she has left behind. A phone call from her husband makes it clear to us that Claire has been on medication to control mood for years, despite her husband thinking she had beaten her demons with running and solitude.

The horror of death in the morgue is mostly conveyed by extreme close-ups of Claire’s body parts juxtaposed with theirs. Only Claire spots differences between the latest victim and the cases years ago.

Beck – 302

Rum 302

Beck 302 opened with “bad Arabs” robbing a man, Peter Ahre, of his car and wallet at gunpoint closely followed by a very young girl’s corpse being discovered by a hotel maid next morning.

A new boss has joined the team – Klas – and he made it clear from the off that he was a “hands-on/foot on filing cabinet” sort.

There are two references to “not being afraid to get your hands dirty” within the first ten minutes.

The ex boyfriend of Denise was the first prime suspect but the first arrests are the Arabs seen holding up Peter at the start. They are pictured using drugs and the arrests cause riots in an immigrant enclave. The new boss makes obscure racist comments about Star Wars being better than Ali Baba.

As the episode continues it becomes apparent that things are far more complex than the original mugging suggested. Timelines or phone calls and credit card payments prove that things were not as they appeared and family dynamics are explored but at the heart of it all is loss and sorrow.

Sunday lunch – Gailes Hotel, Irvine

The SimpsInns franchise owns various hotels and restaurants across Ayrshire. Last week we went to Si in Irvine and I ordered more or less the same thing. The chef at Gailes did it better. The beef was succulent and the Yorkshire pudding perfect at Gailes. At Si, unfortunately, it was a dried out version with a slightly charred Yorkshire. Consistency between establishments is difficult to pull off and it all comes down to who is working on any given day. On this experience, it would be Gailes for us next time.

Beck – BBC4

Beck is the latest ScandiNoir programme to hit our TV screens in the UK. Shown last night as the first in a series of new Scandanavian police procedurals it brought with it a sense of giddy excitement to those of us who like forests, sweaters and flawed police officers who will not give up till they get their man or woman.

The opener started with a woman stopping off at a garage forecourt to buy something from the shop and to get the car washed in the automatic carwash before going off to see her sick mother in her nursing home. Now, hitherto I have never been afraid of carwash brushes but as she was attacked from behind by a mask wearing hoodie while the soapy brushes muffled her screams I vowed to never go through one at night.

Beck was a lead officer with a police team who seem to love him – perhaps literally – and a boss who isn’t quite ready to back off and leave him to it. The body has been discovered in a coffin under some sand in a children’s play park. The woman has been buried alive and unfortunately by the time the discoverer waits for the police to arrive the woman is dead. As a prosecutor she has her fair share of suspect murderers who may have done this.

The bodies rack up in number with a frequency that suggests that if the team don’t get their act together there will soon be no-one left in Sweden to keep the home fires burning. Beck, unfortunately, has a fear of enclosed spaces so it is fairly certain that at some point he will be the victim of a live burial. The viewer can only hope that the team gets its act together before he joins the ranks of the dead.

There was one genuinely “heart in the mouth” fright even although I know how these things work.

Certainly worth a watch.

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