Friday, 25 February 2011

The Killing - Stills, Characters, Soundtrack

I'm in eager anticipation of the US adaptation of The Killing. While AMC keeps excluding us from viewing their videos, I'm quite excited about the newest stills, pictures and on-location shots. Enjoy the characters Mitch (Michelle Forbes), Stan (Brent Sexton), Sarah (Mireille Enos) and Stephen (Joel Kinnaman):

Also, Veena Sud and Patty Jenkins on set:

(Photos by Chris Large and Frank Ockenfels - © AMC)

According to IMDb they'll be using the original Forbrydelsen soundtrack composed by Frans Bak. Wonderful! Last week I made a video with pictures and stills of the Danish characters, listen to this haunting theme tune on Youtube:

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Official Portrait Photos of The Killing Cast published an exclusive first look at the official photos of The Killing cast:

Michelle Forbes (Mitch Larsen)

Brent Sexton (Stanley Larsen)

Mireille Enos (Sarah Linden)

Billy Campbell (Darren Richmond)

(Photos by Frank Ockenfels/AMC)

Visit the official AMC site for more pictures, videos and news.
Follow The Killing on Twitter or Facebook.

My first impression after the first videos, interviews and photos: It looks fantastic, the adaptation does work for me.
Looks like they stay close to the original story line, the atmospheric depth and to a character driven drama with an authentic look. And I hope that Mireille Enos will make Sarah her very own, unique character. It's futile trying to copy the  - at least in Europe - iconic Sarah Lund portrayed by Sofie Gråbøl :)

To our UK visitors who are approaching episodes 9 and 10 of Forbrydelsen this weekend: Stay away from Twitter. Avoid the IMDB and any discussion boards. Forbrydelsen aired several times the last years all over continental Europe, and is out on DVD. Some viewers tend to give away the killer, the twists and plot.

The Guardian on Forbrydelsen:
"... TV of the absolute finest quality...
... the drama is allowed to breathe. Events don't unfold at breakneck speed: so far we've ventured down a number of apparent dead ends with detectives Sarah Lund and Jan Meyer; Lund has reneged on promises to leave for Sweden more times than Meyer has sparked up cigarettes in the office; and mayoral candidate Troels Hartmann has sported a number of ever-more perturbed looks. But most importantly, we've also spent a great deal of time around the Birk Larsen kitchen table; the one that Pernille and Nanna carefully crafted together one holiday...
This focus on the family is one of The Killing's greatest strengths. Its portrayal of a couple ripped apart, trying to come to terms with the violent death of their daughter while keeping the family, home and business on track is heartbreaking – I have yet to get through a single episode without at least a solitary tear escaping down my face. The acting is wonderful: Ann Eleonora Jørgensen brittle, contained, silently screaming as Nanna's mother; Bjarne Henriksen gentle, loving, and occasionally menacing as her father Theis. Parental guilt and grief perfectly played.
The writing helps, of course. It's odd to talk about the dialogue given the number of Danish words I speak. (That would be none.) But not only does the translation feel full of personality and verve, the spareness of the dialogue does not need translating. Silences hang. People stare. The light fades yet further. Not everything is about exposition and moving the story on."

Friday, 11 February 2011

Killer Television

Ready for some 'Killing' news?

* AMC has five new teasers online.
As expected, they're restricting again the videos to US citizens.

* The Killing will debut with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, April 3 beginning at 9pm ET/PT. Subsequent episodes will be one-hour long presentations on Sundays at 10pm ET/PT.

* From an interview with Veena Sud:
"Sud was cagey about whether viewers will learn The Killing's secret by the time the first 13 episodes are over.
"At this point, we're going to organically follow the story, and whether or not it gets solved at the end of the season is a mystery."
The Killing is set in a more violent societal milieu than Forbrydelsen, and that will mark one major stylistic difference between the two versions, Sud suggested.
"We live in a society that is incredibly violent, much more so than Denmark. Amber Alerts are the norm, it seems, so much so, that a missing child, a missing teenager in a major American city, never makes the news. So the biggest challenge is to make us, as Americans, care about this young girl over a long period of time. I don't know if it's a cultural sensibility per se, but there's a clear societal difference between America and Denmark.
"We're creating our own world. We are using the Danish series as a blueprint, but we're diverging, as well, and creating our own world — our own world of suspects and, potentially, our own solution and resolution to the mystery.
"I love the qualities of the Danish version, but we're blessed, too, with our own actors, like Mireille, who has come in with all her own strengths and qualities, creating a deeper backstory for our main character, for Sarah."
The Killing may be many things, but one thing it will not be, when it finally sees the light of day, is exploitative, Sud vows.
"The most important thing to me is not pornographize murder," Sud said. "I want to show the real cost . . . when a child is lost. What you see on the screen, in the clips that are already out there, is incredibly graphic, and heartbreaking.
"But we're not spending time looking at a dead child's body and just analyzing that. We're spending time with all the people who have lost her, the impact of this loss on her mother, on her siblings, on her father.
"Again, every episode is one day, about what happens every day in the moments and the hours after you've lost a child — what it's like to pick out a dress, what it's like to have to identify your daughter at the morgue, what it's like to make breakfast for her younger brothers the next morning. What do you tell them?
"When I was doing research for the pilot, I spent a lot of time with parents who had lost their children, expressly for the purpose of telling this story in a way that is authentic and respectful. Most television overlooks the victims. And what I kept hearing, over and over again, was not, 'Tell our story,' but, 'Tell our story in a truthful way.'
"If The Killing does one thing, I want it to be that."

And since AMC excludes us on purpose from viewing their video teasers, I'll bring you some Forbrydelsen news.

The UK joined Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, Australia, Belgium and The Netherlands: BBC 4 began airing season one of the orginal Danish series Forbrydelsen some weeks ago, with subtitles. A DVD will be available on on April 4th.
Viewers and critics are absolutely thrilled:
"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, put a few beers in the fridge and book a pizza delivery; you're going nowhere on Saturday nights for the next ten weeks. The Killing is, indeed, thrilling ..." RadioTimes

The Killing is one of the most intense, brooding and dark thrillers ever to make UK TV.
What a contrast between the characters and personality of the two main detectives - poles apart yet inextricably bound together. Politicians full of outward charm, mastery of spin and easy deceit. The bereaved family are the third part of this outstanding series. The father mostly dark, silent and brooding - his emotions waiting to erupt. The mother so desperately trying to hold herself together after her daughter's murder drawing on every ounce of her physical and mental resources to keep the family together. And the two small brothers, part innocent and part aware of what might have happened to their elder sister. Like another reviewer, I watched the funeral with tears pouring down my cheeks ...

Stunning. Having watched six of twenty episodes, this,so far, is by some distance quite the best crime drama I have ever seen on television. The plot,characterisation,acting and cinematography are all outstanding.

'The Killing' is just pure, perfect, quality television. I have loved the Swedish and Branagh versions of 'Wallander', and have been watching a number of Danish films recently (especially recommend 'After the Wedding', starring Mads Mikkelson - brothers of Lars Mikkelson ('Troels Hartmann')). What ties all of these things together is: outstandingly subtle, understated but heartfelt acting performances, nuanced mood and atmosphere, intelligent direction, slow pace and naturalistic production values. However, I think 'The Killing' is quite definitely the best TV I've ever seen.
The storyline, and the performances of Sophie Grabol as 'Lund', and the dead girl's parents are hypnotising to watch, and as others have said - make the viewer really face up to what grief does to people (and what it looks like). It is painful to watch, but also beautiful. I can not recommend this highly enough.

Addictive crime drama at it's best. I started watching this series after the "radio times" said it was one of the best crime dramas on TV...they weren't wrong. I'm six episodes in and I can honestly say it's brilliant...I can't wait for Saturday night and the next two episodes.

Thank God for Scandinavian crime / the BBC. - I thought my withdrawal symptoms once Swedish Wallander had finished on Saturday nights were going to require therapy then Hallelujah! the Scandinavians have come up trumps again. This is wonderful stuff, totally addictive. When the parents sat the two little boys down to tell them that Nanna had gone to heaven, I sobbed like a baby. Four episodes in and I don't want it to end.

I thought it was excellent. It's one of the few times I've been presented with a PC-character who didn't make me feel like I was being lectured and wasn't forced. Sarah is decent and treats people with respect because that's who she is and because it gets her results. She's not self-righteous with it, nor are the writers. More than that, she is not at odds with her superiors. She recognised as good at her job. Meyer, the more usually-seen Callahan-like maverick detective, is shown up as the liability that such a person realistically would be. I liked too that the senior Larsens are a happily married couple - much less rare in the real world than TV would suggest. Even Hartmann the politician isn't a cliché.
Totally engrossing. The two hours just flew by.
The emotional impact of the daughter’s death on those left behind is something you rarely see to this extent in TV drama as all too often the 45/60 minute slot just doesn’t allow the space to show it in a realistic fashion. The time constraints of single episode drama or even a mini-series demands that the parents have to be totally composed and talkative almost in the very next scene (Law & Order I’m looking at you!) after they’ve just learned of the tragedy. Real life isn’t like that and with The Killing the skilfull work of the two actors playing Nanna’s parents really does convey the massive emotional trauma of her death in such a convincing way that as a result we, the audience, are completely sucked into the piece and involved in a way that we simply cannot be with something lasting just an hour or 90 minutes.

Loving the double act of Meyer and Lund. Thank God they’re double-billing this show! I only wish it were three or four eps a time instead of only two.
I can only begin to imagine the crushing grief of losing a child, particularly in such horrific circumstances but the portrayal of the Larsens is masterful acting, understated yet deeply moving. As you say, it adds an extra level of involvement and authenticity.
6 episodes so far. The US version got to do well to compete with the Danish version ...
Like everyone else I have been glued to all opening 6 episodes of The Killing. It's a great murder mystery, I love the fact that it's Danish, somewhere I've been a few times, and I've found it really emotional at points. I think this is partly because of the strength of characterisation but also just because it is written over 20 hours. There's so much quality time spent on Nanna's family and friends and their grief. Also Sarah Lund, without saying or doing much, is clearly affected by the tragedy. It's clear why she's putting her own family on the back burner.
State of Play is the nearest we’ve come to this kind of programme. Prime Suspect at it’s best and Cracker also compare well but that said none of those committed 20 hours to one story.
The Killing is riveting stuff and beautifully acted, the best thriller I've watched in a long time.