All 4

The Lens S1 (All 4) [2014]

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the-lensIt’s only natural that we should have preconceived ideas about what a drama from Sweden, Denmark, Norway or Iceland should be like; or equally, a production from France, Germany, Italy, Australia or even from Britain or the US. For sure, those expectations may very well end up being confounded or overturned, but we generally still have a certain sense of what’s coming.

I have to confess that this was very much not the case when it came to what to expect of crime thrillers from the Czech Republic, and as a result I was intrigued by the prospect of The Lens (original title Clona), the story of wannabe filmmaker Roman (a likeable turn from Krystof Hádek) who fails to win a place at film school and instead grudgingly follows his father into working as a police traffic officer. When his father is a victim of a hit-and-run attack, Roman joins a small elite band of detectives as their photographer, cameraman and video forensics officer. Read the rest of this entry »

The Passenger (All 4)

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Contains some spoilers

passenger-1Just in case there isn’t enough foreign language drama currently being broadcast in the UK, Channel 4 have set up their own special streaming service called Walter Presents, available via their All 4 catch-up on demand platform, which gives access to even more productions from around the world.

One of the latest additions to the service is The Passenger, a six-part thriller from France starring Jean-Hugues Anglade and Raphaëlle Agogué as psychiatrist Mathias Freire and police captain Anaïs Châtelet respectively who team up to investigate a series of killings of local vagrants, with all of the bodies staged to resemble stories from classical mythology such as Prometheus, Oedipus or Icarus. It’s an unusually Hollywood set-up for a French production, given that the country is fiercely proud about doing things the Gallic way and not giving up its cultural heritage in the face of an influx of media from the English speaking world. Read the rest of this entry »