Nordic Noir: Summer Crime Series – Varg Veum
Scandinavia House continues with the ever-popular crime series, Varg Veum, featuring film adaptations of Norwegian writer Gunnar Staalesen’s crime novels. The contemporary thriller series about hard-boiled private investigator Varg Veum is distinguished by dark humor, sharp characterization and unremitting tension.
During the last two decades Gunnar Staalesen has published 13 Varg Veum novels and 2 collections of short stories, and has become a household name with the Norwegian crime audience. Publishers have recognized the fine talent for hard-boiled noir of the Norwegian writer, and his Varg Veum novels are now being published in 13 countries, among others Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France, England and Italy. Staalesen has written more than 35 books and has received a number of prestigious Scandinavian awards. In 2004 Varg Veum was honored as the Norwegian crime hero of all time. Staalesen is known for his talent to create complex and exciting crime plots, and at the same time displaying a consciousness of the social injustices through his lone-wolf hero.
Varg Veum – Bitter Flowers (Varg Veum – Bitre Blomster)
Wednesday, July 8, 6:30 pm & Thursday, July 9, 2:30 pm. Directed by Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen, 2007. Karsten Aslaksen, chief engineer of a large chemical company, disappears without trace. His married lover, a successful Christian politician named Vibeke Farang, approaches private investigator Varg Veum to trace him. Discreetly. Varg finds Karsten dead in a cabin in the woods. The police arrest Vibeke’s husband for the murder, but Varg is convinced they have the wrong man. He starts to investigate Aslaksen and the chemical plant where he worked, and uncovers a deadly international conspiracy in which the principals will stop at nothing to protect their interests.
Varg Veum – Sleeping Beauty (Varg Veum – Tornerose)
Wednesday, July 15, 6:30 pm & Thursday, July 16, 2:30 pm. Directed by Erik Richter Strand, 2008. After extricating 17-year-old Lisa Halle from a life of prostitution in Copenhagen, private investigator Varg Veum becomes ensnared in a tangle of parental neglect and bad love when he is hired to locate her boyfriend, Peter Werner. Varg finds him stabbed to death in a seedy hotel. As he strives to save Lisa from perdition and to find Peter’s killer, he is forced to confront the city’s most dangerous dope dealers.
Varg Veum – Yours until Death (Varg Veum – Din, til døden)
Wednesday, July 22, 6:30 pm & Thursday, July 23, 2:30 pm. Directed by Erik Richter Strand, 2008. Private eye Varg Veum is on a routine mission searching for his client Jonas Andresen’s stolen car. The car is found having been used in a brutal robbery and not long after that the client himself turns up dead. The cops’ prime suspect is the ex-wife Wenche, but Varg believes the case to be more complex. When the perpetrators end up dead one after the other, Varg soon begins to fear for the life of the beautiful widow.
Varg Veum – Fallen Angels (Varg Veum – Falne engler)
Wednesday, July 29, 6:30 pm & Thursday, July 30, 2:30 pm. Directed by Morten Tyldum, 2008. Jakob Aasen has hired his old friend private investigator Varg Veum to spy on his wife Rebecca, whom he suspects of infidelity. Against his better judgment Varg takes on the job, and in an ironic twist he and Rebecca rekindle their former love. Meanwhile a serial killer begins to target the members and families of Jakob’s band, and the second of his victims is Rebecca… In a race against time, Varg strives to halt the killer before he strikes again – and in the process he uncovers the dark secret behind the killings.
Varg Veum – Woman in the Fridge (Varg Veum – Kvinnen i kjøleskapet)
Wednesday, August 5, 6:30 pm & Thursday, August 6, 2:30 pm. Directed by Alexander Eik, 2008. An international oil drilling company hires private investigator Varg Veum to find their missing systems designer, Arne Samuelsen. Varg discovers the headless body of a woman jammed into the fridge in Arne’s apartment – and is promptly knocked unconscious. When he wakes up the body is missing. Varg has to clear his name and confront a ruthless extortionist in a maze of deception and sexual ambiguity.
Varg Veum – Buried Dogs (Varg Veum – Begravde Hunder)
Wednesday, August 12, 6:30 pm & Thursday, August 13, 2:30 pm. Directed by Alexander Eik, 2008. Racial tension is running high in Bergen after a young black asylum seeker dies at the hands of the police. Shortly afterwards, a right-wing politician is targeted by a gunman at a public rally, and his wife is fatally wounded. The Party is about to hold a leadership election. One of the candidates, Marit Holm, comes to private investigator Varg Veum, insisting she is being stalked. Varg is drawn into a web of conspiracy and betrayal at the heart of the political establishment, in which spin doctors and political players will do anything to achieve their ends.
There are six films in the series and they will be screened on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm and again on Thursdays at 2:30 pm. The series starts on July 8 and runs through August 13. All films are $9 ($6 ASF members). For further information visit: www.scandinaviahouse.org