Monday, 11 October 2010


Here we have the protagonists from the Swedish film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which I watched last night. Like several people before me, I prefer the original title of the novel which translates as the far more appropriate The Men Who Hate Women. I've also read the novel, all three of the trilogy in fact, only a few months ago so they are relatively fresh in my mind which meant there weren't any real surprises for me in the film. More a case of: ah this where such and such happens.

It's a faithful, albeit relatively filleted, version of the book, excising major subplots such as the protagonist's complicated private life and numerous supporting characters, making it a two-hander and also a showcase for actor Noomi Rapace as the complicated and not a little disturbed Lisbeth Salander the genius computer hacker. Rapace is now poised as a breakout international movie star.

It's well-made with some lovely photography of the wintery Swedish countryside, the pace is sedate and action sequences are few and far between. I started watching the dubbed version because I thought I'd need to follow the plot quite closely without an added layer of distraction but quickly switched to Swedish with subtitles as I found the American accents just too irritating.

Like Let The Right One In (the brilliant Swedish vampire movie), it's currently being remade in America. Unlike that one, however, the location is staying the same which makes this remake even more redundant than the other.

This is the cover to Neil Young's Trans, one of his most critically derided albums, and one of my favourites of his. By 1982, no-one was sure what he'd come up next except that it would either be a rocker or a more acoustic folksy set or maybe a little of both. What no-one expected was a mostly synthesiser-vocoder dominated set which not only transformed Young's voice into something unrecognisable but also his guitar albeit less so. There are a couple of more standard Young songs such as the final Cortez the Killer style workout on the excellent nine-minute Like An Inca and the opening jaunty number Little Thing Called Love.

But after the deceptive opening we get Computer Age with terrifically Trans-formed vocals and nifty guitar work. After that we get a series of songs about transformational (computer) technology and what also seems to be a look into the soul of the machine. I think it works brilliantly and the songs are all of a high standard. I love it.

Oh, and the reason I'm reviewing it here and now is because I've only just bought the CD two decades after getting rid of all my vinyl albums. It's as good as I remember and hasn't dated at all which you might think it would bearing in mind that it's 28 years old. Young singing, while altered drastically, is still recognisable. I love it.

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