1 Comment

Case Histories, The Wire and Film Noir

Just finished the last Case Histories, kind of a Scottish Wallander, with Jason Isaacs perfectly playing yet another world weary detective in a beautifully photographed landscape, this time Edinburgh. And of course it makes me rue the time I was in Liverpool and did not add on a few weeks and wander over Scotland.

Apart from just being very good, Case Histories as a huge advantage of having one of the more intelligent and subtle actors today and the narratives are based on the brilliant books of Kate Atkinson. See this dialogue of the two of them..

Isaacs is one of those Brits who have created near iconic American roles (see Brotherhood) just like Dominic West on The Wire)

Case Histories like may other British shows of this ilk has a fondness for bluesy country music ala Lucinda Carpenter. The tune that struck me in this last one which I misidentified as Rachel Yamagata was actually Kris Delmhurst’s Since You Went Away. (Speaking of Rachel, check out this cut (video below) from her latest Chesapeake.)

But as much as I love this show, after The Wire it pales.

I’m into the second last season of The Wire and I’ve noticed that effect of many great shows in that it isn’t so much the involvement in the show itself but how other shows seem so weak after. I had heard that Once Upon a Time was worth a look but a few minutes in I just could not be bothered with this juvenalia in comparison to the deeply drawn characters and context of The Wire. Its almost impossible to find film that can compare when you realize how much resonance can build up when you have 30 hours of development versus 90 minutes.

But if I am stuck with film I will go old these days. I’ve been catching up on my noirs and what pleasures they are and like The Wire, they make a lot of modern films seem like crap. More on the next post on the specific pleasures of watching older films.

One comment on “Case Histories, The Wire and Film Noir

  1. […] when it comes to crime television – see Wallander (both the Swedish and British versions) and Case Histories. Or before that the British Prime Suspect. In fact, we might have the Brits to thank for really […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: