Day: January 23, 2018

Film Notes: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) directed and written by Martin McDonagh

US –UK / 115 min / Color / Blueprint Pictures Dir: Martin McDonagh Pro: Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, Martin McDonagh Scr: Martin McDonagh Cin: Ben Davis Mus: Carter Burwell Cast: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek, Caleb Landry Jones, Clarke Peters, Samara Weaving, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Sandy Martin, Amanda Warren, Brendan Sexton III, Kerry Condon, Kathryn Newton, Darrell Britt-Gibson Synopsis: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a darkly comedic drama from Academy Award® winner Martin McDonagh (In Bruges). After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes (Academy Award® winner Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, commissioning three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (Academy Award® nominee Woody Harrelson), the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement is only exacerbated.(Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures) Release dates: 4 September 2017 (Venice Film Festival) 10 September 2017 (Toronto International  Film Festival) 20 September 2017 (Helsinki International Film Festival) 24 September 2017 (Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival) 10 November 2017 (USA) 12 January 2018 (Spain and UK) Spanish title: Tres anuncios en las afueras IMDb Rating:  8.3.

Begoña and I had the opportunity to watch yesterday Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, one of these films that makes you love the cinema. Something I badly needed, after a very disappointing film we went to see lately.

MV5BZTZjYzU2NTktNTdmNi00OTM0LTg5MDgtNGFjOGMzNjY0MDk5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTMxODk2OTU@._V1_SX675_CR0,0,675,999_AL_McDonagh was inspired to write Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri after seeing billboards about an unsolved crime while traveling “somewhere down in the Georgia, Florida, Alabama corner“. Of the event that inspired the film, McDonagh stated “the rage that put a bunch of billboards like that up was palpable and stayed with me“. Eventually he was inspired to create a fictional scenario around such a situation, noting, “Once I decided, in my head, that it was a mother, everything fell into place.” The character of Mildred was written with Frances McDormand in mind. McDormand initially wanted the character to be a grandmother which McDonagh disagreed with, feeling that it would change the story too much. Eventually McDormand’s husband Joel Coen convinced her to take the part regardless. McDormand took inspiration for her character from John Wayne. This eventually inspired Sam Rockwell to take inspiration for his character in part from Wayne’s co-star in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Lee Marvin, noting that he wanted to make his character “the exact opposite” of Mildred.  As with Mildred being written for McDormand, the character of Dixon was specifically written for Rockwell. (Source: Wikipedia)

Martin McDonagh (who won an Academy Award for his debut short film) has created a darkly comic drama that is smart, narratively unpredictable, and filled with superb performances. As with McDonagh’s previous work (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths) the focus of Three Billboardsis on character-driven plot. Even McDonagh’s most irredeemable characters are momentarily sympathetic and evolving, allowing us to embrace the hopefulness that implies. On its surface, Three Billboards is a film about grief, forgiveness, anger, and resilience. Yet McDonagh layers in myriad observational moments about racism, war, sexism, and a deeply divided society, all captured in this fictional Missouri town. Ever present is a low-simmering tension that occasionally bursts into violence but always in the service of releasing emotion that a character is unable to articulate. (Source: TIFF, written by Jane Schoettle)

About the director: Martin McDonagh was born in London to Irish parents. He is a renowned playwright and filmmaker, and won an Academy Award for his debut short, Six Shooter (06). He subsequently directed In Bruges (08) and Seven Psychopaths (12), which played at the Festival and received the Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (17) is his latest feature.

Martin McDonagh on Directing ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ and Writing for Frances McDormand

Martin McDonagh on the real-life inspiration behind ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’

The Hollywood Reporter

Review: A Nest of Vipers (Inspector Montalbano mysteries Book 21), by Andrea Camilleri. Trans.: Stephen Sartarelli

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Mantle, 2017. Format: Kindel edition. File size: 1872 KB, Print Length: 274 pages. Originally published as Un covo di vipere by Sallerio Editore in 2013, though it was written in 2008. Translated by Stephen Sartarelli. ISBN: 978-1-4472-6600-6. ASIN: B06WVJ3X1H.

9781447265986a nest of vipers_6_jpg_266_400A Nest of Vipers is the twenty-first novel in Andrea Camilleri’s irresistible Inspector Montalbano series. Quite a family, you had to admit! A nest of vipers might be a better description . . .

Synopsis: On what should be a quiet Sunday morning, Inspector Montalbano is called to a murder scene on the Sicilian coast. A man has discovered his father dead in his Vigàtan beach house: his body slumped on the dining room floor, his morning coffee spilt across the table, and a single gunshot wound at the base of his skull. First appearances point to the son having the most to gain from his father’s untimely death, a notion his sister can’t help but reinforce. But when Montalbano delves deeper into the case, and learns of the dishonourable life the victim led, it soon becomes clear half of Vigàta has a motive for his murder and this won’t be as simple as the Inspector had once hoped…

My take: It is well known that Andrea Camilleri, above all, is a dramatist, a man of theatre. This facet becomes evident in the importance of the dialogues in his novels, to the point that we might say his novels are driven by its dialogues. This is also one of the reasons that explains the success of the TV series based on his character, Montalbano. But in this novel in particular, I’ve noticed a certain degree of thematic similarity with a classical Greek tragedy. Though allow me not to say anything else to avoid giving away too many details of the story.

I fully agree with Ricardo Bosque (see below his review at Calibre.38) when he writes that although reading Montalbano is to read the same story over and over, however there’s is nothing more pleasant than visiting an old friend. The important thing is to feel at home, to enjoy a perfect structure, uncomplicated, full of great characters and better dialogues, nimble and witty.  In a nutshell, a Montalbano novel is the best antidote against boredom and apathy and certainly helps to overcome any reading tedium we might have fallen into.

Needless to say I’m looking forward to meeting Montalbano once again.

My rating: A (I loved it)

About the author: Andrea Camilleri is one of Italy’s most famous contemporary writers. The Inspector Montalbano series has been translated into thirty-two languages and was adapted for Italian television, screened on BBC4. The Potter’s Field, the thirteenth book in the series, was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association’s International Dagger for the best crime novel translated into English. He lives in Rome.

About the translator: Stephen Sartarelli is a contemporary poet and prize-winning translator. He has written three books of poetry and translated over forty works of fiction and poetry, focusing on French and Italian. Though born in Ohio, he currently lives with his wife in southern France.

A Nest of Vipers has been reviewed at the crime segments.

Panmacmillan publicity page

Penguin Random House publicity page 

Un covo di vipere, Sellerio publicty page 

An Interview with Andrea Camilleri

audible

Un nido de víboras, de Andrea Camilleri

Un nido de víboras es la vigesimoprimera novela de la irresistible serie protagonizada por el Inspector Montalbano de Andrea Camilleri ¡Una gran familia, débe admitir! Un nido de víboras podría ser una descripción. mejor….

Sinopsis: En la que debería ser una tranquila mañana de domingo, el inspector Montalbano acude a la  escena de un asesinato en la costa siciliana. Un hombre ha descubierto a su padre muerto en su casa de la playa en Vigàta: su cuerpo desplomado en el suelo del comedor, su café mañanero derramado sobre la mesa y una sola herida de bala en la base de su cráneo. Las primeras apariencias apuntan a que es el hijo quien tiene más que ganar con la muerte prematura de su padre, una idea que su hermana no puede más que reafirmar. Pero cuando Montalbano profundiza en el caso, y se entera de la vida deshonrosa que llevaba la víctima, pronto queda claro que la mitad de Vigàta tiene un móvil para asesinarlo y el caso no será tan simple como el Inspector esperaba …

Mi opinión: Es bien sabido que Andrea Camilleri es, sobre todo, un dramaturgo, un hombre de teatro. Esta faceta se hace evidente en la importancia de los diálogos en sus novelas, al punto que podríamos decir que sus novelas están impulsadas por sus diálogos. Esta es también una de las razones que explica el éxito de la serie de televisión basada en su personaje, Montalbano. Pero en esta novela en particular, he notado un cierto grado de similitud temática con una tragedia griega clásica. Aunque permítanme no decir nada más para evitar dar demasiados detalles de la historia

Estoy completamente de acuerdo con Ricardo Bosque (ver abajo su reseña en Calibre.38) cuando escribe que aunque leer a Montalbano es leer una y otra vez la misma historia, sin embargo, no hay nada más agradable que visitar a un viejo amigo. Lo importante es sentirse como en casa, disfrutar de una estructura perfecta, sin complicaciones, llena de grandes personajes y mejores diálogos, ágiles e ingeniosos. En pocas palabras, una novela de Montalbano es el mejor antídoto contra el aburrimiento y la apatía, y ciertamente ayuda a superar cualquier tedio de lectura en el que hayamos podido caer.

No hace falta añadir que estoy deseando encontrarme nuevamente con Montalbano.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sobre el autor: Andrea Camilleri nació en 1925 en Porto Empedocle, provincia de Agrigento, Sicilia, y actualmente vive en Roma, donde impartió clases en la Academia de Arte Dramático. Durante cuarenta años fue guionista y director de teatro y televisión. En 1994 crea el personaje de Salvo Montalbano, el entrañable comisario siciliano protagonista de una serie que en la actualidad consta de veintiséis novelas. Todos sus libros ocupan habitualmente el primer puesto en las principales listas de éxitos italianas. Andrea Camilleri es hoy el escritor más popular de Italia y uno de los más leídos de Europa. En 2014 fue galardonado con el IX Premio Pepe Carvalho.

Un nido de víboras ha sido reseñada en Calibre.38, Solo Novela Negra, y Mis queridos sabuesos, entre otros.

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