Month: September 2018

My Film Notes: ‘The Silent Revolution’ (‘Das schweigende Klassenzimmer’), 2018 written and directed by Lars Kraume

DE / 111 min / Colour / Akzente Film und Fernsehproduktion, ZDF, Zero One Film, Studiocanal Film Dir: Lars Kraume Pro: Miriam Düssel, Susanne Freyer Scr: Lars Kraume, based on the book by Dietrich Garstka Cin: Jens Harant Mus: Christoph M. Kaiser, Julian Maas Cast: Leonard Scheicher, Tom Gramenz, Lena Klenke, Jonas Dassler, Isaiah Michalski, Ronald Zehrfeld, Carina Wiese, Florian Lukas, Jordis Triebel, Daniel Krauss, Michael Gwisdek, Burghart Klaussner Synopsis: A group of sixth-grade pupils decide to show their solidarity with the victims of the 1956 Hungarian uprising by staging a minute’s silence during lessons. Release dates: 20 February 2018 (Berlin International Film Festival); Germany: 1 March 2018; France: 2 May 2018; Spain: 20 July 2018. IMDb Rating: 7.5.

220px-The_Silent_Revolution_2018_posterPlot Summary: 1956. During a visit to a cinema in West Berlin, East German high school pupils Theo and Kurt see disturbing newsreel footage of the uprising in Budapest. Back in Stalinstadt, one of the GDR’s flagship workers’ settlements, they have the idea of holding a minute’s silence in class for the victims of the Hungarian struggle for freedom. Neither the boys, nor their parents, nor the school’s administration are prepared for the minor and major reactions that their expression of solidarity unleashes. The school principal tries to dismiss the incident as juvenile mischief and deal with it internally, but the pupils find themselves snared in the political machinery of a state determined to make an example of them. Condemning their act as counter-revolutionary, the education minister demands that the pupils name their ringleader. They are faced with a decision that has dramatic consequences for their future. Director and screenwriter Lars Kraume has cast up-and-coming actors in the leading roles and established actors in supporting roles for his adaptation of Dietrich Garstka’s eponymous book in which Garstka recounts his own personal experiences and those of his 18 classmates. A moving chapter in German post-war history. (Source: Berlinale archives)

My take: Begoña and I had the opportunity to see this week The Silent Revolution, a solid film I very much enjoyed.

Lars Kraume Biography: Born in Chieri, Italy in 1973, he grew up in Frankfurt am Main in Germany. After working as an assistant to advertising and portrait photographers, he directed his first short film in 1992. In 1994 he took up a degree at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb) where his graduation film, Dunckel, won the Adolf Grimme Award. A writer and director, his recent directing work includes episodes for the German TV crime series, ‘Tatort’ . His films No Songs of Love (2005) and Good Morning, Mr. Grothe (2007) have screened in Panorama and his political thriller The People vs. Fritz Bauer won the 2016 German Film Award.

Filmography (selection): 1993 3.21 Uhr; short film 1995 Bernie; short film 1996 Zahltag; short film 1997 Life Is Too Short To Dance With Ugly Women; short film · King Of The Elephants; short film · Einsatz Hamburg Süd; TV series, several episodes 1998 Dunckel; TV movie ·Der Mörder meiner Mutter; TV movie 2001 Viktor Vogel – Commercial Man 2004 Tatort; TV series, one episode 2005 Tatort; TV series, one episode · Keine Lieder über Liebe (No Songs of Love) · Der Elefant; TV movie 2007 Guten Morgen, Herr Grothe (Good Morning, Mr. Grothe) · KDD – Kriminaldauerdienst; TV series, several episodes 2008 Der frühe Abschied 2010 Die kommenden Tage (The Coming Days) 2011 Tatort; TV series, one episode · Tatort; TV series, one episode 2012 Tatort; TV series, one episode 2013 Meine Schwestern 2015 Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer (The People vs. Fritz Bauer) · Familienfest 2016 Terror; TV movie 2017 Das schweigende Klassenzimmer (The Silent Revolution).

The Hollywood Reporter film review

The 28 Maigret Short Stories

14077841BXDQZ7QSL._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_The majority of Maigret short stories translated into English are available in two books: Maigret’s Pipe: Seventeen Stories by Georges Simenon and Maigret’s Christmas: Nine Stories. Three of this stories, previously untranslated into English, are now available at the excellent website Maigret Forum: The Group at the Grand Café (1938); The Unlikely Monsieur Owen (1938) and Death Threats (1942). The maths don’t work, there’re actually eighteen stories in the first book and in the second there’s a non-Maigret story and another listed now among Maigret novels.

Following the order suggested at Maigret Forum, the 28 short stories are:

La Péniche aux deux pendus, 1936. English title: Two Bodies on a Barge (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

L’Affaire du Boulevard Beaumarchais, 1936. English title: The Mysterious Affair in the Boulevard Beaumarchais (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

La Fenêtre ouverte, 1936. English title: The Open Window (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories.

Monsieur Lundi, 1936. English title: Mr. Monday (tr. Jean Stewart)in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

Jeumont, 51 minutes d’arrêt, 1936. English title: Jeumont, 51 Minutes’ Stop! (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

Peine de mort, 1936. English title: Death Penalty (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

Les Larmes de bougie, 1936 English title: Death of a Woodlander (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

Rue Pigalle, 1936. English title: In the Rue Pigalle (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

Une erreur de Maigret, 1937. English title: Maigret’s Mistake (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

L’Amoureux de Madame Maigret, 1939. English title: Madame Maigret’s Admirer (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

La vieille dame de Bayeux, 1939. English title: The Old Lady of Bayeux (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

L’Auberge aux noyés, 1938. English title: The Drowned Men’s Inn (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

Stan le tueur, 1938. English title: Stan the Killer (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

L’Étoile du Nord, 1938. English title: At the Étoile du Nord (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

Tempête sur la Manche, 1938. English title: Storm in the Channel (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

Mademoiselle Berthe et son amant, 1938. English title: Mademoiselle Berthe and her Lover (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

Le Notaire du Châteauneuf, 1938. English title: The Three Daughters of the Lawyer (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

L’improbable Monsieur Owen, 1938. English title: The Unlikely M. Owen (tr. Stephen Trussel)

Ceux du Grand Café, 1938. English title: The Group at the Grand Café (tr. Stephen Trussel)

L’Homme dans la rue, 1939. English title: The Man in the Street (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Christmas: Nine Stories

Vente à la bougie, 1939. English title: Sale by Auction (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Christmas: Nine Stories

Menaces de mort, 1942. English title: Death Threats (tr. Stephen Trussel)

La Pipe de Maigret, 1945. English title: Maigret’s Pipe (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Pipe: Seventeen Stories

On ne tue pas les pauvres types, 1946. English title: Death of a Nobody (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Christmas: Nine Stories

Le Témoinage de l’enfant de chœur, 1946. English title: The Evidence of the Altar-Boy (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Christmas: Nine Stories

Le Client le plus obstiné du monde, 1946. English title: The Most Obstinate Customer in the World (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Christmas: Nine Stories

Maigret et l’inspecteur malgracieux (malchanceux), 1947. English title: Maigret and the Surly Inspector (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Christmas: Nine Stories

Un Noël de Maigret, 1951. English title: Maigret’s Christmas (tr. Jean Stewart) in Maigretʻs Christmas: Nine Stories

I will be adding a link to my book notes on each title, soon. Stay tuned.

My Book Notes: Maigret’s Christmas (1951) by Georges Simenon (Trans: Jean Steward)

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

A short story included in Maigret’s Christmas (Harvest/Harcourt, 2003). Format: Paperback. 410 pages. Translated from the French by Jean Stewart, 1976. Original title Un Nöel de Maigret published by Presses de la Cité, in 1951. ISBN: 978-015-602853-0. Maigret’s Christmas was written on the 20th of May 1950 and was the last work that Simenon wrote whilst living at Carmel-by-the-Sea in California. It is also the twenty-eighth and the last one of Maigret short stories, and it is the longer short story in the canon. Maigret’s Christmas aka The Girl Who Believed in Santa Claus was published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (US edition), Vol. 23, N° 122, in January 1954, translated by Lawrence G. Blochman, however this version is slightly abridged and freer in translation compared to Simenon’s original, though this text was reprinted a number of times by various publishers. This 1976 translation by Jean Stewart follows Simenon’s French text closely without any abridging or additions. The original title is also a collection of short stories by Georges Simenon published by Presses de la Cité, in 1951.The said collection is made up of three tales, recently published in English by Penguin in 2017, translated by David Coward: A Maigret Christmas, Seven Small Crosses in a Notebook and The Little Restaurant near Place de Ternes, originally written between 1947 and 1950. The latter two short stories do not involve Maigret, but they are all linked by the fact they take place in Paris, during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

descargaSynopsis: The story unfolds in Paris where we find Commissaire Maigret comfortably installed in the tranquillity of his home one Christmas Day. Unexpectedly, he receives the visit of a couple of ladies who live in an apartment building right opposite his place on Boulevard Richard-Lenoir. One has an adopted daughter, her husband’s niece, whom they take care of since her mother’s death. The girl is presently bedridden with a broken leg, and she claims she received the visit of a man disguised as Santa Claus, the previous night. This man, who she believed was Santa Claus himself, gave her a doll, which somehow proves she is not lying. Before leaving, the man in question, with the excuse of visiting the house downstairs to leave his presents, raised the planks of the floor, as if he was looking for something. Intrigued, Commissaire Maigret decides to go and question the little girl.

My take: The odd behaviour of the little girl’s adoptive mother arouses Maigret’s suspicions who decides to investigate her past. The investigation is carried out mainly from Maigret’s home, serving Simenon to show more closely the familiar environment of Maigret and his wife, on such a meaningful date. This will also allow Simenon to evoke the joy and nostalgia usually associated with Christmas time. The absence of our loved ones is perhaps more evident than ever in those days. To which we can add the fact that Maigret and his wife are childless, a fact that becomes more important in these festivities. All this without overlooking the role a little girl is playing in the story. In short, a short story that turns out to be both fascinating and really evocative.

My Rating: A (I loved it)

About the Autor: Georges Simenon was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century, capable of writing 60 to 80 pages per day. His oeuvre includes nearly 200 novels, over 150 novellas, several autobiographical works, numerous articles, and scores of pulp novels written under more than two dozen pseudonyms. Altogether, about 550 million copies of his works have been printed. He is best known, however, for his 75 novels and 28 short stories featuring Commissaire Maigret published between 1931 and 1972.

Un Noël de Maigret

Maigret of the Month: December, 2006

La Agitada Navidad de Maigret, de Georges Simenon

Sinopsis: La historia se desarrolla en París, donde encontramos al comisario Maigret cómodamente instalado en la tranquilidad de su hogar un día de Navidad. Inesperadamente, recibe la visita de un par de mujeres que viven en un edificio de apartamentos justo enfrente de su casa en el Boulevard Richard-Lenoir. Una tiene una hija adoptiva, sobrina de su marido, a quien cuidan desde la muerte de su madre. La niña está actualmente postrada en la cama con una pierna rota, y dice que recibió la visita de un hombre disfrazado de Papá Noel, la noche anterior. Este hombre, que ella creía que era el mismo Santa Claus, le regaló una muñeca, lo que de alguna manera demuestra que no está mintiendo. Antes de irse, el hombre en cuestión, con la excusa de visitar la casa de abajo para dejar sus regalos, levantó las lamas del suelo, como si estuviera buscando algo. Intrigado, el comisario Maigret decide ir a interrogar a la niña.

Mi opinión: El comportamiento extraño de la madre adoptiva de la niña despierta las sospechas de Maigret que decide investigar su pasado. La investigación se lleva a cabo principalmente desde la casa de Maigret, sirviendo a Simenon para mostrar más de cerca el ambiente familiar de Maigret y su esposa, en una fecha tan significativa. Esto también le permitirá a Simenon evocar la alegría y la nostalgia generalmente asociadas con la época navideña. La ausencia de nuestros seres queridos es quizás más evidente que nunca en esos días. A lo que podemos agregar el hecho de que Maigret y su esposa no tienen hijos, un hecho que se vuelve más importante en estas festividades. Todo esto sin pasar por alto el papel que juega una niña pequeña en la historia. En resumen, una historia corta que resulta fascinante y realmente evocadora.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sobre el autor: Georges Simenon (Lieja, Bélgica, 1903 – Lausana, Suiza, 1989) escribió ciento noventa y una novelas con su nombre, y un número impreciso de novelas y relatos publicados con seudónimo, además de libros de memorias y textos dictados. El comisario Maigret es el protagonista de setenta y cinco de estas novelas y veintiocho relatos, publicados entre 1931 y 1972. Célebre en el mundo entero, reconocido ya como un maestro, hoy nadie duda de que sea uno de los mejores escritores del siglo XX.

My Book Notes: The Unlikely M. Owen, 1938 (Maigret s.s.) by Georges Simenon (translated by Stephen Trussel) revisited

The Unlikely M Owen (original title: L’Improbable Monsieur Owen) is a short story by Georges Simenon, published in 1938. It is part of Maigret series. The story was written in Neuilly during the winter of 1937-1938 or in Porquerolles in March 1938. A first version was published in the weekly Police-Film/Police-Roman, No. 12 of July 15, 1938. A final version was published in book form in 1967, Œuvres Complètes, Éditions Rencontre. The story, translated into English by Stephen Trussel in 1999, is available here.

maigret_Improbable Owen 1Synopsis: Maigret has accepted an invitation from his old friend M. Louis, to spend some days at the Excelsior hotel in Cannes. Maigret is retired and has seized this opportunity because Madame Maigret has had to go to take care of her aunt  Ëmilie who is mortally ill. But one day, at the request of his friend, Maigret finds himself involved in a strange murder that has happened in the hotel. An unidentified young man has been found drowned in the bathtub of one of the suites occupied by an elderly gentleman known as Mr Owen. But the gentleman in question, who was supposed to be Swedish has disappeared, and the Sweden consulate denies any knowledge that a man with that name from Sweden, could find himself in Cannes, at that time.

My take: In my view this is a quite engaging short story that can be considered a locked room mystery, or an impossible crime as I prefer to call them. Its originality, perhaps, lies in a rather peculiar ending which is quite surprising and in its stylish solution to the mystery. It’s well worth reading it. This story appeared first in the weekly, Police-Film/Police-Roman, in 1938. These stories and other written in 1936 for another journal, Paris-Soir-Dimanche, were collected into the anthology, Les Nouvelles Enquêtes de Maigret, published in 1944 by Gallimard. We may wonder why L’Improbable Monsieur Owen, along with Ceux du Grand-Café,  were excluded from this collection. Certainly, I don’t believe their merits to be inferior to those of some short stories that were included in that edition. In any case readers had to wait until 1967 when they were finally published by Rencontre.

My rating: B (I liked it)

About the Author: Georges Joseph Christian Simenon was a prominent twentieth century Belgian-born French language author. He wrote prolifically and produced nearly 200 novels and other works of fiction. The fictional French detective Jules Maigret is one of his best known creations.

L’improbable Monsieur Owen 

Maigret of the Month: October, 2011

L’Improbable Monsieur Owen , de Geroges Simenon

L’Improbable Monsieur Owen es una historia corta de Georges Simenon, publicada en 1938. Forma parte de la serie Maigret. La historia fue escrita en Neuilly durante el invierno de 1937-1938 o en Porquerolles en marzo de 1938. Una primera versión se publicó en el semanario Police-Film/Police-Roman, núm. 12 del 15 de julio de 1938. Su versión definitiva apareción en 1967, Œuvres Complètes, Éditions Rencontre. La historia, traducida al inglés por Stephen Trussel en 1999, está disponible aquí.

Sinopsis: Maigret ha aceptado una invitación de su viejo amigo M. Louis para pasar unos días en el hotel Excelsior en Cannes. Maigret está jubilado y ha aprovechado esta oportunidad porque Madame Maigret ha tenido que ir a cuidar a su tía Ëmilie, que está mortalmente enferma. Pero un día, a petición de su amigo, Maigret se ve involucrado en un extraño asesinato que sucedió en el hotel. Un joven no identificado fue encontrado ahogado en la bañera de una de las suites ocupadas por un anciano caballero conocido como el Sr. Owen. Pero el caballero en cuestión, que se suponía era sueco, había desaparecido, y el consulado de Suecia niega tener conocimiento de que un hombre con ese nombre de Suecia, pudiera encontrarse en Cannes, en ese momento.

Mi opinión: Esta es una historia corta muy atractiva que puede considerarse un misterio de habitación cerrada, o un crimen imposible, como prefiero llamarlos. Su originalidad, tal vez, radica en un final bastante peculiar que resulta muy sorprendente y en su elegante solución al misterio. Vale la pena leerlo. Esta historia apareció primero en el semanario Police-Film/Police-Roman, en 1938. Estas historias y otras escritas en 1936 para otro diario, Paris-Soir-Dimanche, fueron recogidas en la antología, Les Nouvelles Enquêtes de Maigret, publicada en 1944 por Gallimard. Podemos preguntarnos por qué L’Improbable Monsieur Owen, junto con Ceux du Grand-Café, fueron excluidos de esta colección.  Ciertamente, no creo que sus méritos sean inferiores a los de algunas historias cortas que se incluyeron en esa edición. En cualquier caso, los lectores tuvieron que esperar hasta 1967, cuando finalmente fueron publicados por Rencontre.

Mi valoración: B (Me gustó)

Sobre el autor: Georges Joseph Christian Simenon fue un destacado escritor del siglo XX en lengua francesa nacido en Bélgica. Autor prolífico publicó mas de 200 novelas y varias obras mas de ficción y no ficción. El detective francés de ficción Jules Maigret es una de sus creaciones más conocidas.

My Book Notes: The Group at the Grand Café, 1938 (Maigret s.s.) by Georges Simenon (translated by Stephen Trussel) Revisited

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

The Group at the Grand Café (original title: Ceux du Grand Café) is a short story by Georges Simenon, published in 1938. It is part of the Maigret series. The story was written in Neuilly during the winter of 1937-1938 or in Porquerolles in March 1938. A first version was published in the weekly Police-Film/Police-Roman, No. 16 of August 12, 1938. A final version was published in book form in 1967, Œuvres Complètes, Éditions Rencontre. The story, translated into English by Stephen Trussel in 1999, is available here.

ceuxSynopsis: Maigret. following three years of retirement at Meung-sur-Loire, doesn’t know what to do to spend his afternoons and lets his wife convince him to join the card players at the Grand-Café. One night after the game, one of the regulars, Hubert the butcher of Meung, is found killed with a bullet in his chest, on the road, on the edge of town. Apparently, he was on his way to the notary to deposit a large amount of money that he had displayed publicly and imprudently at the Grand Café

My take: Despite the insistence of the local authorities, so that he takes up the investigation of the case, Maigret refuses categorically and locks himself up in his house, giving up card-playing at the Grand Café. However this doesn’t prevent that everyone will come and see him to discuss the case, but he makes clear to Madame Maigret that it is far better to keep quiet though he already has settled the case. The official inquiry leads nowhere and, three years later, Maigret explains his wife the reasons for having remain aside in the investigation.

Perhaps as Murielle Wenger explains, ‘this story is also interesting in that it unfolds over a long period of time. Most of the stories have their action concentrated in a very short time… ten stories take place in one day, seven in two days, four in three days, and only six stories take one week or more. This shows us the talent of the writer, who knows as well how to handle the short text to construct a condensed time plot as to describe one taking place over an extended period. Note that the length of the text is independent of that of the action… ‘

Another interesting short story that I have very much enjoyed. And a superb example of Georges Simenon’s talent as writer and storyteller.

My Rating: A (I loved it)

About the Author: Georges Joseph Christian Simenon was a prominent twentieth century Belgian-born French language author. He wrote prolifically and produced nearly 200 novels and other works of fiction. The fictional French detective Jules Maigret is one of his best known creations.

Ceux du Grand Café 

Maigret of the Month: November, 2011

Ceux du Grand Café, de Georges Simenon

Ceux du Grand Café es un relato breve de Georges Simenon, publicado en 1938. Forma parte de la serie Maigret. La historia fue escrita en Neuilly durante el invierno de 1937-1938 o en Porquerolles en marzo de 1938. Su primera versión se publicóen el semanario Police-Film/Police-Roman, n.º 16 del 12 de agosto de 1938. La versión definitiva apareció publicada en el Volumen IX de Éditions Rencontre en 1967. La historia, traducida al inglés por Stephen Trussel en 1999, está disponible aquí. Hasta donde yo se no se ha traducido al castellano.

Sinopsis: Maigret. después de tres años de jubilación en Meung-sur-Loire, no sabe qué hacer para pasar las tardes y deja que su esposa lo convenza para unirse a los jugadores de cartas en el Grand-Café. Una noche después del juego, uno de los clientes habituales, Hubert el carnicero de Meung, es encontrado muerto con una bala en el pecho, en la carretera, en las afueras de la ciudad. Aparentemente, se dirigía al notario para depositar un gran cantidad de dinero que había exhibido pública e imprudentemente en el Grand Café

Mi opinión: A pesar de la insistencia de las autoridades locales, para que se ocupe de la investigación del caso, Maigret se niega categóricamente y se encierra en su casa, dejando de jugar a la cartas en el Grand Café. Sin embargo, esto no impide que todos vengan a verlo para discutir el caso, pero le deja claro a Madame Maigret que es mucho mejor mantenerse callado aunque el ya haya resuelto el caso. La investigación oficial no lleva a ninguna parte y, tres años más tarde, Maigret explica a su esposa las razones por las cuales se ha mantenido al margen de la investigación.

Tal como explica Murielle Wenger, “esta historia también es interesante porque se desarrolla durante un largo período de tiempo. La mayoría de las historias tienen su acción concentrada en muy poco tiempo … Diez historias tienen lugar en un día, siete en dos días, cuatro en tres días, y solo seis historias tardan una semana o más. Esto nos demuestra el talento del escritor, que también sabe cómo manejar el relato breve tanto para construir un argumento condensado en el tiempo como para desarrollar uno que tenga lugar durante un largo período de tiempo. Tengan en cuenta que la extensión del texto es independiente de la de la acción  …

Otra historia interesante que he disfrutado mucho. Y un magnífico ejemplo del talento de Georges Simenon como escritor y como narrador.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sobre el autor: Georges Joseph Christian Simenon fue un destacado escitor del siglo XX en lengua francesa nacido en Bélgica. Escritor prolífico publicó mas de 200 novelas y varias obras mas de ficción. El imaginario detective francés Jules Maigret es una de sus creaciones más conocidas.