It quickly goes for the Icelandic fiction. Until recently, it was internationally completely unknown, but two years ago won the misdaadreeks Trapped the Prix Europa for Best fiction series (also shown on Canvas). And now there is a new outstanding series from the high north: Stella Blomkvist.
The creators are partially the same as that of a Trapped – it couldn’t be otherwise in a small productiedomein as Iceland – but the two series could hardly be more different from one another.
Trapped was a rather traditional detective story about a busty police officer in a frozen and thick snow-covered Icelandic backdrop.
Stella Blomkvist is a stylized and glossy thriller in the urban area of Reykjavik. The main character is the eponymous lawyer and femme fatale that there aren’t too many moral principles like, but has a weakness for the underdog. As she becomes involved in a murder case in the highest echelons of Icelandic politics.
The six-part series was created by producer Sagafilm and is based on the books of an unknown author with the pseudonym Stella Blomkvist. About her/his identity, hangs a haze of mystery. According to some, behind the pseudonym of no less a lie than the former Icelandic prime minister and societyfiguur Davíð Oddson.
The title role is played by Heida Reed, former fashion model, and for us to see in the historical BBC drama Durkheim on One.
From Saturday 3 march to 20.35 you. on Canvas and vrtnu.be.
In the early hours is advocate Stella Blómkvist in Reykjavik call to an old client to defend. Saemi is a third-class-drug dealer who is suspected of Halla killed, the right hand of the Icelandic prime minister. He was, after all, about her body, curved, covered with blood. Yet Stella is not sure of his guilt, especially when a mysterious unknown of her sensitive information. Halla played apparently a dangerous game with a very influential, powerful people. The politics and the police want the case as quickly as possible to hush up, but that is outside Stella counted. She digs deeper and deeper and collides with a tangle of sex scandals, drugs, and murder, in the beating heart of the government….
The series is based on the first book of Stella Blomkvist: Murder in the ministry (Morðið ═ stjórnarráðinu). That appeared in 1997, but for the television series was the context adapted to a more contemporary, albeit fictional political situation in Iceland. The Icelandic politics came in 2016 by the publication of the Panama Papers in turbid water, to the extent that the prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson dismissal had to take. The atmosphere of political mismanagement and corruption is in the series is further developed. For example, Iceland has the krona is replaced by the dollar and an island sold to China. The Icelandic prime minister is the series of a trendy hipster.
Stella Blomkvist was directed by Óskar Thór Axelsson, who also worked on Trapped, just as the script writer Jóhann Ævar Grímsson. That last said about Stella Blomkvist: “She is a detective and femme fatale at the same time. She combines melancholy and eroticism in a person. She smokes and drinks, has a flexible morality, is smart and ruthless, but she also has a conscience and a soft spot for the underdog. She lives in her own world.”
And that you can actually also about the series itself to say. She leans to the tradition of the ‘Scandi Noir’ (Wallander, The Killing, The Bridge), but differs in there at the same time far away from it. The dark, naturalistic, slow style of that series takes place for neon colors, intense light, rapid cameravoering and a flashy montage. Use is made of flashbacks, accelerated and still images, special close-ups and voice-overcommentaar of the main character.
But there is also place for humour in Stella Blomkvist, among others, when it comes to its digital awkwardness, about her use of public transport instead of a chic or vintage car, her commitment of stiletto heels as a weapon or the collection of her friend Gunna.
Their inspiration were the creators in the British series Sherlock, but also partly in the original LA Noir, the film Chinatown, and the books of Raymond Chandler. ‘Neo Noir’ would you, according to some, may call.
Stella Blomkvist could the Icelandic viewers already love it. The series was offered on the betaalkanaal Síminn Premium and broke all records with 150,000 views in the first week. With a total Icelandic population of 330,000 that count.