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About Kothel

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  1. Correction, or at least dispute. I don't think the movie has any real Christian overtones. Nor do I think the rainbow to hell (or hel) is homophobia. As far as I could tell, the rainbow flag didn't become an LGBT symbol until 1978. Since this movie came out five years later, I don't know that it would be common knowledge to associate a rainbow with being gay (particularly if you're a very weird writer-director from Italy) in the early 80s the way it would be by the 90s. I think it's more likely a reference to Iris, one of the messenger gods who if I recall correctly traveled on a rainbow. Also, the word Hell has become Christian, but I think this is more of the writer misremembering Greek Mythology. In Greek mythology, if you're awesome you go to the Elysian Fields and if you were bad you go to Hades. Hel is from Norse mythology. There's a goddess named Hel, who presides over Hel where cowards and shitty people go. If you're awesome you go Valhalla and I think there was also some middle ground for people who were okay, but not heroic enough for Valhalla. So this is mixing of mythology. Incidentally, Jesus never talks about Hell in the bible. He uses Gehenna (where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth), which was also the name of the place in Jerusalem where they burned trash.
  2. Okay, I listened to the rest of the episode and have a few more corrections, omissions or additions. There is little Norwegian Nationalism/pride in the Harry Hole Books. In fact, Nesbo goes out of his way to dispel the idea that all Norwegians resisted the Nazis. One of his pet projects seems to be referencing Norwegians who collaborated during the War. The American Character telling them about technology is likely a reference to Harry going to study serial killers at Quantico with the FBI. The Snowman is Norway’s first serial killer, and Harry is the only detective in Norway with serial murder experience (See the novel The Bat). Obviously, the woman who worked on the film was one of the best parts of the podcast, but she clearly had read the script, not the books. Harry does not kill a kid at any point. He has lots of guilt for death’s that took place, but he is directly responsible for a few of them. It does explain why he was so eager to connect with donkey face girl though. Also, if it wasn’t clear, Val Kilmer is someone who solves the mystery 9 years earlier, but when he confronted Matthias, he is killed. Because he is not found until 9 years later, he is assumed to have murdered the women that winter. This is part of Katrine’s motivation to find the real killer. I’ll also reiterate, even if he is supposed to be in the movie, Harry is NOT Oleg’s father. Harry meets Rakel when Oleg is like 10. They bond over their mutual interest in heavy metal and Tetris. Finally, a correction for Brian. The Christian reviewer is not alluding to Passover. They were alluding to King Herod’s “massacre of the innocents.” This is the incident described in the Gospel of Matthew. When Herod hears that the Messiah has been born, he kills all the children in Jerusalem between 0 and 2. God warns Joseph (Jesus’s Harry Hole) in a dream and Jesus is saved. In Brian’s defense, the massacre of the innocents is probably not historical fact and is meant to parallel the story of Passover.
  3. Maybe they go into these details later in the episode, I had to take a break because they were trashing Harry Hole's abilities too much. Harry Hole or Hoola, (as he is called by different official audiobook readers) is the greatest detective in all of Norway. Paul, these are great books well worth reading. He isn't Sherlock Holmes. Harry Hole's detective philosophy is that you should essentially brainstorm. You do a lot of guesswork and free association and this gives you leads. In the book, he follows those leads down doggedly, while succumbing to his alcoholism and being deeply flawed. In this movie, he is useless. While the purpose of the Black Mold guy is not clear in the movie. In the book, an offhand remark he makes about his outfit leads Harry to understand that Matthias is the killer. Harry dated Rakel for several books. He is NOT Oleg's father (though the movie is not as clear on this). Oleg's father is supposed to be a Russian diplomat Rakel met when she was working for Norway's version of the state department, and in book four or five, he sues for custody. She is a state department official and lawyer. In the movie, she is a gallery owner, a job few outside of New York or Santa Fe are involved in. Anyway, while she is working for Norway's diplomatic service, she is banging two dudes. One is a Norwegian state official. The other is Russian. The Norwegian guy is married already or not interested in getting married, and so she tells the Russian he is the father, even though he isn't. This is revealed in response to an article saying that some ridiculously high percentage of Norwegian children are not actually being raised by the men who sired them. Matthias, the Snowman, is one of these children being raised by a father who is not actually his father. He starts killing women who have essentially tricked these men into raising kids that are not theirs (Including in the book, his own mother. It has been a while since I read the book, but I believe he murdered her; he didn't just watch her die. (Please correct me if I'm remembering that wrong fellow Nesbo heads. BTW, the audiobook readers always say it as Nesba. But if he did watch her die; he's happy about it, so he would be smiling not she). Also, Harry does not kill him at the end of the book. Matthias starts plotting this scenario where Harry will accidentally kill Rakel (who is cheating with Harry during this case) to punish him. He doesn't fall for it, and as in the movie, saves her at the expense of a finger or two. Matthias is dying of a rare disease which disfigures you (melts you like a snowman) and is very painful. He hopes to die but Harry keeps him alive to deliberately punish him. In the next novel, Harry is helped by a now disfigured Matthias and slips him drugs to OD on, because he hopes to die. I should add that Erin's instinct that this movie and these novels are misogynistic is on point (see the above info about all Norwegian women tricking men into raising their babies), as is her idea that Harry is an alcoholic for something beyond just the disease (though that is the main reason; one day at a time...) Women are constantly, needlessly in danger or brutally murdered. To the Alcoholism, Harry has seen his Mother die of cancer (and maybe helped her die?), first real girlfriend commit suicide, another one be killed, killed another police officer in a drunk driving accident, accidentally shot an American secret service agent who wasn't doing his job, lost a female partner to a corrupt cop's pro-gun and white nationalist organization, and been told he could no longer investigate his sister's rape. His sister, by the way, has, and I quote here, "a touch of down syndrome." Not to mention, another male cop he mentors is killed leaving a female friend of his left pregnant and alone, and then eventually also killed, and a whole lot of other fucked up shit. Possibly the most infuriating part of The Snowman is the end where he says, "I'll take the case." In the book, Rakel and Oleg leave Norway for the Netherlands to get away from the horror they experienced. Harry, horrified by all he has seen dealing with Norway's first serial killing, moves to Hong Kong and becomes an opium addict. He eventually pulls it together and comes back a different hot female detective flies out to tell him his dad is dying and another serial killer is baffling Norwegian Police (the one alluded to in the details of the file, the Leopard). The movie made no sense unless you read the book. It was as if everyone seeing the movie would go, "Oh of course! Oleg. Harry's essential stepson!" Oh, one detail of the novel I remember is that they go to a heavy metal concert, not the weird concert in the film. I want to say it was Slipknot, but I'm not positive. The creepy looking doctor character (Toby Jones?) worked with Matthias and went to the same school at the same time, so Matthias deliberately frames him as the Snowman (and Harry buys it because Matthias seems super boring and the other guy has piles of evidence that he is guilty). Katrine's dad (Val Kilmer) figures it out 9 years earlier but is killed by Matthias. The Creepy doctor guy is friends with JK Simmons as well. I can't remember what he does for him to get invited to the cool parties in society. The doctor is alleged to have been involved in a sex ring/pedophilia, but it turns out he was just treating Norwegian prostitutes for diseases and I think getting off on it because he's a creep. Maybe JK Simmons is running this. Definitely, the movie does not make this clear. Katrine Bratt (AKA Rebecca Fergusson) is the female detective. As Paul noted, she does not die. She is alive as of the most recent novel. One thing to note about her is I felt she was played as a mousey, insecure detective. In the novels, she is a confident sex kitten who garners Harry's respect almost immediately (and to be clear, Rebecca Ferguson is a gorgeous woman, but she played this role way different from the way Bratt is in the novels). She makes a few attempts to seduce Harry Hole, all of which he resists because of his on the spectrum personality and his love for Rakel. At the end, because she dresses as a dominatrix and tries to torment the JK Simmons character into confessing the Snowman crimes he did not commit she is placed in a mental institution. She helps Harry out on his next case using her hacking ability, and eventually, makes it out to help him more directly on cases. The little girl in the donkey mask does not exist and Harry hates small children. He has nothing but contempt for the male child whose mom is killed. He does not make a special connection with him by re-enacting Pinnochio. That kid sucks the whole way through. That's all I can remember right now. Interestingly, while the Snowman is the most popular of the Novels (certainly makes sense for why Scorcese wanted to make a movie) it was my second least favorite (after Cockroaches). I would recommend starting with The Bat. Not the best novel, but a great introduction to a dark character. Then skipping to Redbreast (book 3 after Cockroaches aka 2) and reading the rest. Harry is a compelling and entertaining character. I might remember more, but I hope this puts me in the running to win absolutely nothing.
  4. Kothel

    Apocalypse Now

    I really agreed with this. I've read Heart of Darkness at least 3 times (I think maybe 4) and each time I get something new out of it. Almost anything written in the 1890s is going to be problematic, but I think overall Conrad is on the right side of history, at least in this work (I didn't read his book for that is entitled simply "The N-word" but using the actual word, so I don't want to defend everything he did in his life). I think his argument about Imperialism is similar to the argument that Frederick Douglass (and others) made about slavery. That it corrupts to the core, and destroys the humanity of everyone involved, not just the colonized. But I also think Heart of Darkness, and to a less degree AN, gets at something about humanity that I can't quite put my finger on. Something awful about our nature that is never stated too clearly. But like few other books, this book stirs both fear and inspiration in me every time I read it, and the movie makes me feel the same way. I think this is a truly great movie, and much as I love Paul Scheer (more for HDTGM) and have no issues with Amy Nicholson, I thought they were wrong on this one, and I felt like even though they said stuff like, "I don't expect AN to be a woke movie," they did have a lot of expectations going into it. They seemed like they couldn't get past the background. I didn't know anything about the filming the first few times I saw it, and I still think it's a great movie, so it being on the list is not like DiCaprio getting the Oscar for The Revenant. They also seemed to want to categorize it as a "war film" which I really don't think it is. It's a glimpse at the darkness that all humans are capable of. I find it riveting. I'm not giving up the podcast or anything, but come on. This is better than Titanic.