Thursday, 29 June 2017


My obituary of Michael Nyqvist is up at the Guardian online; you can link to it here. Sometimes it feels wrong that an actor should be so identified with a character, but in the case of Nyqvist and Mikke Blomkvist it seems appropriate. Nyqvist caught the crucial thing about Blomkvist's sensitivity, and the ambiguity of it, but where the character Stieg Larsson wrote about seems more of a wish fulfillment, Nyqvist made him seem less heroic, which made him even more heroic.

I've written about this before, but when I went to a preview of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I was sitting right behind John Landis. When it was over, one of his companions asked what he thought of it, and very loudly he said 'It's an episode of Columbo!'. Which was true, in a sense, at it was, at least half of it, a who-dun-it, one almost set in an isolated building. Of course, Landis wasn't paying much attention to the Salander part of the story, go figure.

The piece is pretty much as I wrote it. A couple of literals snuck in: as far as I know (and I wasn't able to find the names of either set of his parents) his given names were Ralf Ake Mikael, and Nyqvist was his adopted family name. Also the name of the Matthew Ross film is Frank And Lola. And I had mentioned the film You Disappeared,  but that didn't make the final cut.

There was a lot of his filmography of which I hadn't been aware; Jan Guillou's books about the Crusades are good, so I'd like to find Arn. And there were two TV series after Blomqvist, not just Zero Hour, but a Swedish/German co-production called 100 Code.  I'd also like to see The Girl King, a bio-pic of Queen Kristina, in which Nyqvist plays the Chancellor.

I'd also like to read his memoir now, because he seems to have had such a balanced, contemplative attitude toward life, and especially toward identity. I can't help but think that helped make him such a good, and appealing actor.


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