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Sunny side of Västra Hamnen

Shot this calm sunny side of Västra Hamnen earlier this morning from the bank of a small manmade island called Saltimporten in Malmö harbor. I used this exact spot when I hired a drone pilot for the cover shoot of the book, Västra Hamnen 2014 and I’ve had an urge to return ever since buying my own a while back. It’s a bit tricky to get the right angle to capture the reflections of both the little lighthouse and buildings along the waterfront. The Mavic’s camera gimbal has been a bit finicky recently for some reason, so it takes some fiddeling before I found the sweetspot.

According to the photo’s EXIF data, it was shot at 1/800sec at f2,8 and ISO 106.


Chat with Restauranteur

This is from a casual chat I had with our neighborhood’s newest restauranteur, Eduardo Mondolfi of the Italian eatery, V.E.S.P.A. G.R.A.N.D.E.. I feel confident that Eduardo and his team will add both substantial culinary and atmospheric value to Västra Hamnen in a way that either of the previous owners of the restaurant were capable of

Aside from the drone footage somewhere in the midle of the segment, everything else in the intervju was shot on the new Sony A7III using just two prime lenses; a Zeiss 85mm (f1.8) and the Zeiss 18mm (f2.8) and recorded with a lavelier microphone wired to a Zoom H6. All edited in Final Cut Pro X.


Turtles on Seychelles

Met these creepy dudes on the Seychelles last summer. Not sure if they’re tortoises or turtles. Seem to have missed that class (too) in Biology… I can, however, assure that those I met during our ten day stay were surprisingly curious and relatively harmless. As slow as they were, though, if you got too close to their snappy snout whilst feeding them with some leaves, you might risk losing a finger or two. Lots of pressure but no teeth required.

At some point as a child, I had a few baby turtles in a shoebox. I don’t remember how I got them or whatever happened to them. But I suspect they’d managed to tip the lid of the cardboard box under my bed and climb onto our carpet, venture into the dining room and there attract the attention and killer instinct of our otherwise sleepy house cat, Cesar.

Shot with at 24mm with a Canon 5Ds and the ultimate small zoom, 24-70 f2,8L.


Malmö Live at 100m
Malmö Live from about 100 meters. Still fascinated and impressed by how today’s drone technology allows me to with relative ease capture totally new and exhilarating perspectives.
Each time I hit the “Home” button on the RC unit, I feel increasingly confident that my little capable quadcopter will actually find its way back to a safe landing by using the GPS coordinates it registered during takeoff. That alone boggles the mind and makes we wonder about how far, far ahead and advanced drone tech is within military surveillance and national security use cases…

Sunset Season

After several gorgeous evenings without much wind, I feel comfortable proclaiming that were now ostensibly in the sunset season. At least here in Sweden, where the sun has been so rare for the past six months and like after most winters, we’d almost given up hope about ever seeing it again. Once again, everything is forgiven. Especially on evenings like tonight’s where those distinct Scandinavian hues show up as an incredible gradient covering the deepest to the lightest of blues.

Shot this with the Canon 5Ds and a Sigma 8-16mm with a 5 second exposure at fstop14 and ISO 100.


Malmö

Malmö. I shot the scene yesterday through a wireless remote control unit that connected me to the lens of a really, really small camera hovering steadily about 105 meters straight above me.

The live view over Malmö was spectacular and I used up most of the juice in my drone’s battery to compose an image that felt just right. Aside from the gorgeous light and beautiful green spring hues, the photo encapsulates three of my favorite landmarks; Malmö Castle (where Elle and I spent many, many weekends when she was a toddler), the skyscraper Kronprinsen (that arguably has almost boringly simplistic architectural design that would hardly be noteworthy in a city like New York, but is unique here in Malmö and therefor interesting) and the magnificent Öresund Bridge (which thankfully makes leaving from and arriving back to Malmö so much easier). More images from Malmö here.


Stairway to Heaven

Shot yesterday during a 8k walk around Lisbon.

For Charlotte. one of the main missions with our visit is to visit newly opened hotels to make a first hand assessment of if they live up to the self-proclaimed hype. Of the half dozen we’ve visited so far, both VERRIDE –  PALÁCIO SANTA CATARINA and The Independente Suites & Terrace could really back up all the superlatives, and then some.

The stairway above leads to a rooftop terrace with a bar, a pool and a 360 degree view of the Portuguese capital.

I’m starting to appreciate the minimalist approach for how interior designers, decorators and architects are pushing the envelope and redefining the whole industry – starting with how a hotel lobby can look like and function. At least insofar that the approach doesn’t ensue too much confusion and chaos during checkin and checkout.


Back in Lisbon

It’s just over three years since my last visit to Lisbon Portugal. Interestingly, there’s something indefinably pleasant about this city. For a European capital, it’s  relatively small with only about a half a million people living within the immediate city limits. Maybe that’s it. Lisbon doesn’t seem dauntingly large or difficult to navigate. It’s walk-able.

I  remember from my last visit that Lisbon has a whole lot of charm. Like the cute, narrow red or yellow trams that climb up and down the steep, winding cobblestone streets. And all the beautiful buildings decorated with colorful, patterned tiles that I seem not to be able to get enough photographs of.

After getting installed in the apartment, we walked over to Pois, one of Lisbon’s popular, laid-back, shabby chic café with great ambiance and an almost perfect Greek salad. Only almost perfect? Well, in my book, serving small, tasteless black olives instead of juicy Kalamatas, disqualifies it from  being called a Greek salad. However, the feta cheese and sour dough bread were both luscious and succulent.
The sun has been shining off and on since we arrived. It’s warm, but not hot. Perfect weather for a weekend of exploration.


Peter Madsen and the Drone

On my way to pick up a package from Amazon earlier tonight, I took the Mavic with me for a short photo flight to see if I could capture the amazing sunset over Denmark. It had rained for most of the day, so when the sun came out, I felt compeelted to get out and see if I couldn’t somehow get a good evening shot to share on my popular Facdbook group, I Love Västra Hamnen. An image that would work for an apt headline like, Peter Madsen and the Drone. But boy, was it a wind blown drone I had to navigate!

I was actually a little freaked out at 110 meters height as the powerful gusts of wind up there were occasionally throwing the little quadcopter across the sky and way off my course. But after self-correcting, I didn’t have much trouble getting a few shots.

The Peter Madsen trial ended today. At least until we know if the appeal goes through to a higher court. I don’t think the prosecution team will be celebrating tonight. Neither will the family and friends of Kim Wall. In a criminal case like this, where the perpetrator of such horrendous crimes has been thoroughly tried and then found guilty on all or at least most accounts, there’s only really cause to appreciate the judicial justification. I was hoping until the very end that Madsen would confess – if for no other reason than to at least attempt to alleviate the pressure from the guilt that must dwell somewhere deep in his conscious. As it turns out, the man’s mind and emotional being is distorted beyond what is measurable.

Today started with a cold, windy rain. It ended, thankfully, with a beautiful sunset over Copenhagen. I couldn’t help but see the poetic symbolism of the sun over Denmark forcing the dark, surrounding clouds to recede and make way for the light.


Intro for Yogi Jenn Russell

Here’s an intro for yogi Jenn Russell who is one of Bamboo Yoga Retreat’s resident yoga and meditation teachers. She’s not only an inspiring instructor, Jenn’s also a successful businesswoman whom designs and produces retreats all over the world.

The above intro for Jenn’s forthcoming YouTube channel was shot with the Sony A7III one late afternoon on Agonda Beach in South Goa – only a day or so before she was to fly off to yet another one of her popular retreats – somewhere on the Indonesian island of Bali. Check out her elaborate website here.

 


Bananas & Street Photography

Street photography of my banana dealer at the local market in Chaudi, some twenty minutes or so from Agenda Beach in south Goa. What you don’t see or feel from the picture is the heat. Sauna level heat.

It’s the start of the monsoon season in South East Asia and unlike most westerners visiting India this time of year, the savvy locals dress loosely, keep relatively still and don’t seem to be nearly as discomforted by the humidity.

I remember adopting the same slow-paced mode when we were living on Koh Samui back in 2006. And a few years ago, during our prolonged stay in Bangkok, I would inevitably pace myself whilst moving outdoors. Especially in situations where there was little shade or even worse, no way to escape the scorching sun.

Truth be told, I had to negotiate with the woman above for her to agree to let me take a few street photography portraits. I paid a small premium for the batch of bananas and she posed for me. I tried to get her to smile, but apparently, that was not part of our contract.

This street photography shot was taken with the Zeiss 85mm at f1,8 and ISO 400 using the new Sony a7III. After importing the image to Lightroom Classic, I converted it to black and white using SilverFX and made just a few minor adjustments to brightness and contrast before exporting it to Photoshop CC where a few more tweaks were made. I’m one of those photographers that doesn’t like using higher ISOs. But ISO 400 looks really, really great.

Grandma Agnes’s eyes

Often when I photograph older women and particularly with the above shot, I am reminded of my maternal grandmother, Agnes Andersson, a farmer’s wife and mother of four who lived most of her life on the outskirts of a small city called Trollhättan in Sweden.

Agnes projected so much of her soul through here eyes. And I want to remember her look as being both serious and mild – yet never contemptuous or distrustful.

Like my banana dealer, Agnes’ eyes had seen and recorded a lifetime of happiness, sadness and tragedy. Of her four daughters, Solveig (my mother), Elvy, Lillian and Lillemor, only one remains alive today. At least as far as I know. An adopted son passed away just a couple of months ago.

As I look at the market woman, I wonder what her life has been like. Whats stories would she choose to share with me. What universal wisdoms would she convey – if we could connect and speak in a common tongue.

Street Photography vs Landscapes

I think there’s a level of surmountable anxiety involved in street photography. I thoroughly enjoy the genre, but don’t always feel up to the ineludable invasion of privacy associated with it. A prerequisite for taking “honest” portraits, regardless of where they are shot, is connecting with your subject on some level. There needs to be a mutual agreement that there are – if not objective, than at least honest intentions at hand.

It happens once in a while, but I rarely pay my subjects in any tangible currency. Instead, I either spend a few minutes with them and then, when the time feels right, ask for a short portrait session. Or, in more sporadic situations, where there is limited time to capture a unique yet fleeing moment or situation, I’ll flip on a huge American smile and nod intently their way – as if to coerce them into letting me take just a few quick shots. I’d say both methods work equally well. I’ve been rejected hundreds of times, but only once do I remember feeling a little threatened and being chased away by a woman that misinterpreted my nodding as an agreement of something entirely different.

Interestingly, of all my photographs, the ones of locals in their natural environments provide me with the fastest path to recollecting a particular trip. Using some fuzzy logic, I would then argue that the connections I make with my subjects help create a more vibrant neural path to my personal cloud storage facility – located a few centimeters behind my eyes – then say, a landscape or architectural image.

Map to Chaudi


Buffalo of South Goa

From the hillside farms of southern Goa where I spent some time around the small rice fields and buffalo grazing grounds a few days ago. Hotter than hell, but beautiful, too. When I look at farm animals these days, I often feel a level of concern rise with in me about their well-being and if their treated respectively.


Thoughts on Sony A7III

I’ve been a Canon photographer for close to two decades. I was an early adopter of digital imagery and saw the potential with the underlying technology. In my mind, there was just no looking back. Digital photography was going to take over. Way back in 2002, I had one of Canon’s first fully digital SLR camera DSLR bodies, the 6.3 megapixel EOS D60. Today, compared with the new Sony A7III, my first Canon seems almost ancient. Before the Canon, I had primarily been a Minolta shooter, starting with their 100 series in the early 1980s.

Adding the new Sony A7III to my gear box

I currently shoot commercially with one of Canon’s top-of-the-line camera bodies, the 50 megapixel, medium format-wannabe, Canon EOS 5Ds, together with a meaningful range of the company’s professional L series lenses. Over the years, in between the D60 and 5Ds, I’ve owned a half dozen pro level Canon cameras, including the workhorses, Canon 1Ds Mk III and 5DMk III.

Today, for travel, I’m perfectly content with the full frame Leica Q I bought last year. It’s fixed 28 mm lens, and though basic, adequate feature set, fits most of my needs splendidly. It shoots decent video, though unfortunately not at 4k.

After selling my previous video camera, Canon’s C100Mk II, last year, I’ve been yearning for a replacement that would add excellent quality, flexibility and mobility – with emphasis on the latter. A seemingly utopian camera.

Honestly, up until just a few months ago, I’d never even considered Sony as candidate when musing about my »dream camera«. I was just too mentally invested in Canon yet frustrated that they refused to listen to their pro customers demand for more versatile camera with relevant features for those of us that had ventured into the wold of motion pictures.

First of all, I desperately wanted to keep enjoying the cinematic look and color reproduction I enjoyed my Canon lenses provide so wonderfully. Especially those beautiful skin tones and gorgeous bokeh I loved from the Canon 135mm f2 or Canon 35mm f1.4.

Secondly, I didn’t want to be forced into an additional brand’s eco-system. Canon and Leica are already very far apart insofar that each company has their own distinctive operating system as well as approach to things like color rendition and user experience (UX).

A few months ago, I happened to hear about the announcement of the Sony A7III. And since the leading third party lens adapter company Metabones had just come out with a new version of their Canon EF adapter which would allow me to use my L lenses without losing too many crucial features, or, more importantly, image quality, I started researching the camera – primarily by watching dozens of the overwhelmingly positive reviews about the Sony A7III on Youtube.

Though it’s been with me here in India, the Metabones adapter or either of the two Canon lenes I brought with me have left my camera bag.

The new Sony A7III, on the other hand, I’ve been using on a daily basis, testing it, checking out some of the umpteen available settings and numerous options. I needed to get a feel for the praised AF performance and overall handling to assess if it really can become my go-to video camera.

I bought the camera just a few days before I left Europe, together with two new lenses, a Sony E-mount Zeiss 18mm f2.8 and a Zeiss 85mm f1.4. I figured that if I also packed my Canon 35mm f1.4 and Canon 135mm f2.0, I’d be more than covered for most situations.

During the ten days I’ve been here, I’ve transitioned from skeptical to optimistic and finally to enthusiastic about the Sony A7III.

It turns out that the camera delivers astonishingly beautiful footage and stills – regardless of what I throw at it, including filming in near darkness, erratically moving subjects, or, even really harsh mid-day sunlight.

The auto focus is superbly adjustable (from slow to lightning fast), focus lock is fully reliable (locks on and focus tracks the subject in any direction) and the 5-axis stabilization means handheld shooting and filming is actually a usable feature. The battery life is phenomenal, the touch screen is very useful for tapping and locking focus and using the internal microphone is good enough to record reference audio (to use later when syncing with higher resolution audio recordings).

Werner, oh Werner!

Legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog once said something to the tune of that he never lets his camera equipment get in the way of creating movies. I can’t find the exact quote, but the essence is nevertheless something I always think about. As long as your story is worthy of watching and your camera doesn’t thwart or obstruct the path you want to take the viewer on, even the simplest gear will suffice. The Sony A7III’s features and functions aren’t remotely simple to master, but once you do, the camera is genuinely uncomplicated to operate.

As film assignments by far outnumber my still photography engagements, a development or evolution I’m happy about and embrace, the Sony A7III is going to fit just nicely in my potpourri of creative tools.

It’s small enough, robust enough and competent enough to meet the technical requirements that allow me to work organically within my own artistic projects and also enable me to reach my clients goals and visions.

The shot above was taken with a two and a half year old iPhone 7.


Easy Breakfast Sandwich

When it comes to food, I’m a reasonably easy fellow to please. An simple omelet, a few pieces of toast and a bowl of baked beans works just fine for breakfast. And a strong mug of coffee, of course.

And being that I have genes from two countries that eat almost anything on a single piece or in between two slices of bread, it’s no wonder I convert my breakfast ingredients into a sandwich of sorts without even thinking about it.

I’ve been eating extraordinarily healthy food whilst here in India. Especially during filming and after yoga classes. Aside maybe for the last couple of breakfasts in Agonda where I’m still enjoying local cuisine, but not eating as much raw veggies as I usually do.


Fresh Air with James Comey

I strongly recommend listening to former F.B.I. Director James Comey’s interview on NPR’s formidable Fresh Air. Mister Comey has written a book about key events leading to his falling out with President Trump and subsequent firing from the F.B.I.

As I’ve written in at least two previous posts, there is an ongoing norm shift taking place in the USA – noticeable now more than ever before – which is being sanctioned and spearheaded by the current president and his many buddies – many with dubious work ethic and often nefarious, self-serving intentions.

Norm shifts fueled by a kind of Darwinism

I see the current political events led by Trump as nothing less than a precursor to a seismic shift of long-lasting social norms with wide-reaching economical and environmental repercussions. We may be heading into a new era where sound moral guidance has been interchanged with an acceptance of the use of blatant lies by elected and appointed officials and an increase of corruption and nepotism. Though Venezuela instantly comes to mind, you could probably pick any country in South America right now as an example of what happens when all forms of checks and balances are tackled and benched. I think the trust in and soul of democracy is at stake. Hope I’m wrong.

The Fresh Air interview with James Comey is obviously self-serving as he’s on a promotional tour for his first book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, And Leadership. But it’s still well-worth listening to as you’ll soon understand why Comey sees Trump more as a cheesy boss in “La Cosa Nostra” than someone morally fit to be the Commander in Chief of the United States of America. I couldn’t agree more.

 

South Goa, India

Aside from a morning shoot on Thursday, all principle footage has been shot and I now have a couple of days before it’s time to head back to Europe. That said, as soon as I see something that I think could be interesting to include in the final edit, I almost instinctively whip out a camera and capture it. And here in colorful Goa, that means there’s a camera in my hand basically all of the time.


Full House with David Crawley

Came across this poker themed portrait with vertical safety climber/mountaineer David Crawley shot in the old studio a few years ago. I have no idea why poker, but it might have something to do with the beautiful card table with green fllt that I borrowed from artist, Johan “Giovanni” Carlsten.


Budhas Kafferosteri

From Lycksele with lots of coffee love. I visited Budhas Kafferosteri, Budha and Katarina Johannsson’s cool café last fall for a story and learned among many things, how much more flavorful coffee is than, for example, wine. I spent about three hours shadowing Budha, watching him make coffee and listen to him talk enthusiastically with customers and tirelessly evangelize about the benefits of avoiding traditional, big brand coffees and atrocious brewing methods in favor of more mindful and taste enhancing ways to enjoy a more fulfilling sipping experience.


Amigos in Vejbystrand

My easter exhibit with photos of some of my favorite places and scenes from the quaint, seaside village of Vejbystrand went spectacularly well. Not only did all of the larger prints sell out, an additional four orders were placed on Sunday, the show’s final day. Most importantly, the winery’s owner Jeppe, master chef Frida and I proved our point that Vejbystrand decidely deserves more attention than it currently enjoys. And with the huge turnout, locals and visitors alike proved they appreciated our event.

As our usual overnight cottage/converted barn is still inhospitable, impractical and unhygienic (mildew, rot) and in unquestionable need of either being torn down entirely or being gutted and rebuilt, Charlotte and I took the opportunity to experience the comfort and generous hospitality at Vejbystrand’s Vandrarhem/Hostel. Truly inspiring to see how the owners have transformed their ideas and passion into something that so many make use of and write rave reviews about. The place is so genuinely focused on making guests feel at home.

I’ve collected some of my favorite motifs from Vejbystrand here.


Slow Barbecue

Shot during one of Chef Frida Nilsson’s preparations for the exhibit’s delicious culinary offerings. She slow cooked lamb, cabbage and grilled a whole bunch of other tasty treats in the Weber grill.


Easter in Vejbystrand

Frida Nilsson, one of Sweden’s most respected chefs, and Jeppe Appelin, a wine connoisseur and owner of one of Skåne’s boutique wineries and myself have joined forces this Easter weekend and produced an event focused on; fine food, fine wine and fine art photography. The exhibit is in the small seaside village of Vejbystrand (about an hour north of Malmö) at Jeppe’s cozy wine tasting local and right beside his small vineyard at Vejby Vingård.


Learning to Fly a Drone

After years of hiring drone pilots and watching a few of them crash their aircrafts – and my cameras – to smithereens, I was understandably apprehensive about buying one of my own.

But as leaps in technological advancments in this category (obstacle avoidance, battery life, ease of use) trickled down to the smaller, more reasonably priced drones, I started taking serious notice. And about a month ago, I took the plunge and bought one.

It’s still surprisingly cumbersome to get the controller, the mandatory phone app and the drone itself all configured, updated and connected to each other. Keep in mind, I’m a Mac user, so the tinkering most PC/Android users are adapted to is foreign territory for me. I’m used to things working more or less straight out of the box without having to go through a bunch of reverse engineering just to figure out how to get it all to work. Like a computer, a drone is a tool. And if the tool is too hard to understand how to use, I’ll just find some other way to get the job done. Fortunately for those of us with limited patience and technical savviness, there are dozens upon dozens of tutorials available on Youtube. Some are genuinely pedagogical, too.

Once past the initial stage of frustration whilst trying to get the hardware and software to rock n roll, the flying while filming and shooting stills is fairly straightforward. I’m getting the hang of it now and letting go of my previous distrust issues – so that I can focus on the drone as a creative tool to allow me to get unique perspectives.

What I like best about the flying experience? Possibly using the “Home” button so that the drone flies exactly back to where it took off from – with out any involvement on my part.


Falsterbo & Skanör

Despite bone-chilling weather, I had an inspiring couple of hours of drone flying down by the cabanas at Falsterbo and Skanör (approx 30 minutes south east of Malmö).


With Madsen and Evil at Maxi

[This text is also available in Swedish here]

The other day, while walking up and down the isles in our local grocery store, a huge supermarket called Ica Maxi, trying to figure out something interesting to make for dinner, I was struck by a ghastly thought. A thought that wouldn’t subside for another week.

That morning, I’d read a few local and foreign newspaper articles about the first trial day of Peter Madsen, the suspected murderer of Swedish journalist Kim Wall. As I plowed through the various accounts, I felt uncomfortable  by how most of the journalists referenced Madsen, almost respectfully, with the nicknames that the Danish media has given him over the years. Sometimes he was called rocket Madsen, sometimes inventor Madsen or submarine builder Madsen. If he is convicted of all the crimes the prosecutor has accused him of, then shouldn’t he reasonably be referred with more relevant epithets, like, kidnapper Madsen, rapist Madsen, butcher Madsen or murder Madsen?

As a father to a daughter in her late teens with journalistic ambitions, it’s been tough to read about this case. The descriptions of what Peter Madsen is alleged to have done to Kim Wall makes me feel physically ill. And it didn’t get any easier when I realized how arrogant and disrespectful he was in court, especially when responding to special prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen’s questions.

I also became aware of how tranquil he was – seemingly undisturbed by the horrific death of Kim Wall, the case itself and the fathomless sorrow among family and friends it continues to generate. Is it the apparent unbridled malevolence that helps him shield against having a guilty conscience, take inventory of his actions, and in essence enable Madsen to be so emotionally detached from what happened during the night between August 10 and 11 last year?

As I walked around Maxi with the plastic red basket rolling somewhat reluctantly behind me, I met several other customers and neighbors who looked as disinterested at the task at hand as I likely did.

Even though the sun had shown up for a peek during a few precious moments, spring still seemed mostly like a bleak idea. The afternoon darkness conspired with gusty, northeastern winds to keep an ice-cold winter’s grip on Västra Hamnen where we live, just a few miles from Peter Madsens’ workshop and where he had descended into the Öresund Sound, the body of water separating Denmark and Sweden, with his homemade submarine and its unsuspecting passenger Kim Wall, some seven months earlier.

Like many others in both Sweden and Denmark, we’ve followed the case from the very first day and often discussed it  during dinner. Not as an only topic, but it’s undeniably been one of our family’s more common dinner table subjects. Many of our friends have mentioned similarities to the Danish TV drama series, “The Bridge”. But since I haven’t seen it, I don’t get that reference. And even if I had, I know from first hand experience that reality almost always exceeds fiction.

I sometimes worry that we are slowly but surely becoming tainted by all the evil that surrounds us. That all the ongoing armed conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Myanmar and terror attacks as well as mass shootings in the United States will ultimately be too much for us to absorb. That we’ll stop caring and hide our eyes, ears and hearts from it all.

And it was just this, the thought of malicious, unrestrained evil which could inevitably lead us into a boundless, terrible darkness that mesmerized me as I walked under the supermarket’s bright lights. Can it be argued that the result of such abysmal perversity, which Peter Madsen seems to be so intensely consumed by, is within the realm of what we no longer get surprised by and can idly brush away – as if such horrific thoughts or events could never enter our lives?

Of all that has been divulged from the investigation against Madsen, I was particularly taken aback by how he and several friends from his Copenhagen workshop had cultivated an idealized fandom for the characters in the 1980s film, “Das Boot”, in essence a portrayal of the claustrophobic life seen from the crews perspective onboard a German submarine during World War II.

Together with the so-called snuff movies, videos where people are filmed while suposedly being murdered, which were found on one of the hard drives in the aforementioned workshop, the amount of violence Madsen consumed seems to have awoken a dormant psychosis which led to an addiction to the very concept of murder and, ultimately, an obsession to enact it.

Now I don’t think video games or even the most vicious movies evoking realistic depictions of violence affect the vast majority of “normal” people. At least not to the degree that they yearn to be physically aggressive.

That a few individuals with latent mental issues are influenced by immersing themselves into violence as their main source of entertainment over a long period of time, is at least for me, beyond any reasonable doubt.

Though perhaps a high price to pay, it’s something I suppose we just have to accept, at least in a free, democratic society. That a few people will take their liberties to an excessive, and unfortunatly sometimes tragically violent level, is, for lack of a more humble way to say this, inevitable.

While standing in line at the checkout counter, patiently waiting for my turn at the cashier, I more or less consciously scrutinized a few of those in front of me. On the surface, everyone looked perfectly normal. Neither happy nor sad, angry or visually displeased. We all had that bland, neutral look from what had been an unusually cold and windy spell.

No one seemed to be capable of any violence, except maybe when the person in front forgot to use the square rubber divider stick on the conveyer belt to separate their stuff from the guy behind.

 

 


PCH & Lincoln Blvd

Two super interesting film projects in various stages of pre-production and some other travel related assignments means I’ll have to postpone amassing new material for my documentary of Pacific Coast Highway (above) and L.A.’s ecelectic yet mostly unpopular Lincoln Boulevard, a throughway that runs from Santa Monica, via Venice close to LAX, for a few months.