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Fortitude

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 9:07 pm
by Kari Salonen
"The safest place on Earth" (or not, as it soon transpires).

The season one of this Sky Atlantic series is currently aired here, we are five episodes into the story. I have a soft spot for suspense that uses the nordic winter as both a setting and an element to sustain a chilling tableau of events and characters (think of "Let The Right One In"). I love "Fortitude" for that. Maybe just because I know a little about winters, frostbites and polar nights...

The series has been called "The Northern Twin Peaks". All nonsense: there is none of that wilfully nightmarish quality in "Fortitude". Everyone is fully, if reluctantly, awake - although there are moments when I wonder how there can be characters who don't know each other in such a small community.

As almost always in a suspense story, a good number of the characters have unspoken secrets, something they try to avoid telling, and a good deal of the villagers/citizens are suspect and unsavoury or they behave in unnerving, erratic ways. Even when they probably have nothing to do with the crimes being investigated.

In a certain fashion the story moves like a western: The outsider, a criminal investigator called Morton, arrives in a small town, whose mayor also doubles as the head of police, and challenges the local sheriff. Morton also has a coolly no-nonsense personality and professional gravitas he uses to cut through the maze of unrevealed secrets and anchor down the various subplots.

I just might get the DVD box set when it will be released.

About the running comic relief about lutfisk: as one of the characters quips, "the truth about lutfisk is it should never be eaten". True. It is vile stuff.

Re: Fortitude

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 3:58 pm
by Hugh Weldon
"Where the pickerel and the mackerel and the lutfisk go swimming by...."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKPCHC6aqgI

Re: Fortitude

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 5:29 pm
by NormanD
posted twice - edited out

Re: Fortitude

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 5:30 pm
by NormanD
I remember Garrison Keillor mentioning the dread fish:
"Lutefisk is cod that has been dried in a lye solution. It looks like the desiccated cadavers of squirrels run over by trucks, but after it is soaked and reconstituted and the lye is washed out and it's cooked, it looks more fish-related, though with lutefisk, the window of success is small. It can be tasty, but the statistics aren't on your side. It is the hereditary delicacy of Swedes and Norwegians who serve it around the holidays, in memory of their ancestors, who ate it because they were poor. Most lutefisk is not edible by normal people. It is reminiscent of the afterbirth of a dog or the world's largest chunk of phlegm"

Re: Fortitude

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 6:29 pm
by Kari Salonen
I had an elderly aunt who adored lutefisk and out of politeness towards her it was served among the other christmas dishes on our big christmas eve dinners. I never touched it though, but I remember the kitchen windows being wide open while it was cooked.

So I found the lutefisk tasting scene on episode six most amusing.

Nordic delicacies aside, many have noted the relentlessly slow pacing as one of the strengths of Fortitude. I think so too. Cliffhangers are evidently a mainstay in suspense serials, and Fortitude feeds them to the viewer quite well.

But I admit that to enjoy this you have to, among other things, take for granted that mammoth cadavers may lead to mysterious, trance inducing illnesses (or maybe it is the something the mines have accidentally dug up. Or maybe it is really the polar darkness.). i truly enjoy stories like that.