Really?

Oct. 23rd, 2009 09:58 pm
baleanoptera: (Norge Floating)
The Norwegian Black Metal scene has always been one of small and large scandals, but I've never heard of something like this before. Apparently Harald Nævdal, of the band Immortal, has been receiving threatening letters and now somebody has kidnapped his cat! His cat!? Surely that is a new low.

Quarrel with people, by all means. But leave the animals alone, yeah?

The story is here, though only in Norwegian.

ETA: Cat returned, but with serious cuts and bruises. Veterinarian is hopeful that it will survive, but says nothing is certain.

So um, we have cat kidnapping and cat torture!? *rage*
baleanoptera: (Mood stars)
Hey! The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to give the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama!

Congrats to all the Americans on my flist.
baleanoptera: (Norge hytte)


I'm currently utterly in love with this Norwegian artist, Rockettothesky, which is the name of the one-woman band of Jenny Hval.
She describes her music as surrealist folktales, and I find that quite apt. Haunting and a bit esoteric, with a video that is pretty cool as well.
baleanoptera: (WWII Lady marine)


Max Manus is a film about the Norwegian Resistance fighter and saboteur by the same name. He was part of the resistance group based in the capital during the Second World War, and his main task was to plant bombs and blow things up - be it supply ships or registers used by the Nazi bureaucracy. The film based on his exploits premièred in Norway just before Christmas, and quickly became one of the highest grossing films in Norwegian history. We do love our history in this country - particularly WWII.

++++ )

Flammen og Citronen

Apparently Scandinavia is caught up in a trend of producing excellent films about WWII. This is fine by me. This is the Danish film Flammen og Citronen (it means the Flame and the Lemon, the aliases of main characters), and deals with the part of the Danish resistance that effected liquidations of Danes suspected to be collaborators. spoilers )

The Kingdom

Perhaps I should have known better than to watch a Peter Berg film about an FBI team investigating a terrorist attack on the American compound in Saudia Arabia – aka The Kingdom. But the mean fact is I had to. You see the Kingdom claims to fall under the banner war films, and therefore watching it was part of my job.

Thankfully The Kingdom isn’t one of those "so bad I want to stab my eyes out to avoid the pain" type of films. But it is a bit peculiar.+++ )

----

Films seen in 2009.
baleanoptera: (WWII Lady marine)


Max Manus is a film about the Norwegian Resistance fighter and saboteur by the same name. He was part of the resistance group based in the capital during the Second World War, and his main task was to plant bombs and blow things up - be it supply ships or registers used by the Nazi bureaucracy. The film based on his exploits premièred in Norway just before Christmas, and quickly became one of the highest grossing films in Norwegian history. We do love our history in this country - particularly WWII.

++++ )

Flammen og Citronen

Apparently Scandinavia is caught up in a trend of producing excellent films about WWII. This is fine by me. This is the Danish film Flammen og Citronen (it means the Flame and the Lemon, the aliases of main characters), and deals with the part of the Danish resistance that effected liquidations of Danes suspected to be collaborators. spoilers )

The Kingdom

Perhaps I should have known better than to watch a Peter Berg film about an FBI team investigating a terrorist attack on the American compound in Saudia Arabia – aka The Kingdom. But the mean fact is I had to. You see the Kingdom claims to fall under the banner war films, and therefore watching it was part of my job.

Thankfully The Kingdom isn’t one of those "so bad I want to stab my eyes out to avoid the pain" type of films. But it is a bit peculiar.+++ )

----

Films seen in 2009.
baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)


The Sagas tells it like this: The Queen Ragnhild had great dreams, she was a wise woman. Once she dreamt that she was in her garden, and pulled a thorn from her dress. The thorn fell to the ground and a tree started sprouting. At the roots the tree was blood red, the trunk and lower branches were green, but the upper branches were white. The tree was so great and large that it seemed to the Queen it stretched out over all over Norway.

That story appears in Halvdan the Black's Saga, one of the first sagas in Heimskringla, or kringla heimsins meaning the circle of the world. It was written by Snorri Sturlason around 1230 and is a compilation of the Old Norse Kings' Sagas.

During the peak of the Norwegian independence movement, from around 1890 to cessation from Sweden in 1905 - these old sagas became a focal point in the emerging national sentiment. As a result of that a special edition of the saga was published - lavishly illustrated by the who's who of Norwegian artists at the time.

+++++ )
baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)


The Sagas tells it like this: The Queen Ragnhild had great dreams, she was a wise woman. Once she dreamt that she was in her garden, and pulled a thorn from her dress. The thorn fell to the ground and a tree started sprouting. At the roots the tree was blood red, the trunk and lower branches were green, but the upper branches were white. The tree was so great and large that it seemed to the Queen it stretched out over all over Norway.

That story appears in Halvdan the Black's Saga, one of the first sagas in Heimskringla, or kringla heimsins meaning the circle of the world. It was written by Snorri Sturlason around 1230 and is a compilation of the Old Norse Kings' Sagas.

During the peak of the Norwegian independence movement, from around 1890 to cessation from Sweden in 1905 - these old sagas became a focal point in the emerging national sentiment. As a result of that a special edition of the saga was published - lavishly illustrated by the who's who of Norwegian artists at the time.

+++++ )
baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)
Now this is just cool. The US Library of Congress has uploaded hundreds of old tourist photos from Norway. Not only are they from around 1890 to 1900 but they are in photochrome! Please, allow me to geek out and be a nerd, but I love the strange colours of photochrome.



But the most fascinating thing is that the tourist images of the 1890's are more or less exactly the same as the tourist images of today. With a few of these images all that differs from the modern postcard are the strange colours and the odd font exclaiming: "Wish you were here!"

And of course there are more images behind the cut. the fjords are alive etc )
baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)
Now this is just cool. The US Library of Congress has uploaded hundreds of old tourist photos from Norway. Not only are they from around 1890 to 1900 but they are in photochrome! Please, allow me to geek out and be a nerd, but I love the strange colours of photochrome.



But the most fascinating thing is that the tourist images of the 1890's are more or less exactly the same as the tourist images of today. With a few of these images all that differs from the modern postcard are the strange colours and the odd font exclaiming: "Wish you were here!"

And of course there are more images behind the cut. the fjords are alive etc )
baleanoptera: (Fairytale White lady in snow)
It's possible its all the work but several things have amused me greatly recently:

1. The Norwegian royals. They used to be boring and rather predicable, and the most exciting thing that happened was that stuff like Old King Olav taking the tram during the 1970's petrol crisis, so that he could go skiing. Olav on tram )

But then Olav died, and his son Harald became king - and bless his little soul but Harald is rather dull. Thankfully he had kids, and his oldest daughter Martha Louise - previously famous and controversial for starting a new age school dedicated to communicating with angels* - has now given birth to her third child. The child will be called Emma Tallulah, and for some reason this has made the shit hit the fan. One Name-scholar went out and said he thought the name sounded too much like Abdullah (really? Really? Because I'm not really seeing that), then someone interviewed Harald and he said he would probably just call her Emma. Subsequently the papers managed to dig up the only other girl in Norway called Tallulah and write about her under the headline: "Tallulah is sad because the king won't use her name".

* She is also somewhat famous for marrying the so-called writer Ari Behn, who is basically famous for being a douche and paying some prostitutes in Las Vegas to do drugs so that he could film it for his documentary. He also showed up a bit stoned to a live television interview and kept on and on about how he had just shot a moose. Apparently this made him feel very manly.

It's event like these that make me reconsider my rather negative attitude to the fact that we have a royal house.

2. The blog called Strange Maps. I love cartography, and so this blog is perfect. Among other gems it includes :
+++ )
The American pop vs. soda map. American f-lister, does this match your experiences? Sitting here as I do, in my little fishing village somewhere near the arctic circle, I have no way of knowing.

Also there is this glorious map about how the world looks when viewed from Paris:
+++ )
One map detailing the Lost Rivers of London, which I find absolutely fascinating:
+++ )
And one map of Canada made out of cheese:
+++ )
baleanoptera: (Fairytale White lady in snow)
It's possible its all the work but several things have amused me greatly recently:

1. The Norwegian royals. They used to be boring and rather predicable, and the most exciting thing that happened was that stuff like Old King Olav taking the tram during the 1970's petrol crisis, so that he could go skiing. Olav on tram )

But then Olav died, and his son Harald became king - and bless his little soul but Harald is rather dull. Thankfully he had kids, and his oldest daughter Martha Louise - previously famous and controversial for starting a new age school dedicated to communicating with angels* - has now given birth to her third child. The child will be called Emma Tallulah, and for some reason this has made the shit hit the fan. One Name-scholar went out and said he thought the name sounded too much like Abdullah (really? Really? Because I'm not really seeing that), then someone interviewed Harald and he said he would probably just call her Emma. Subsequently the papers managed to dig up the only other girl in Norway called Tallulah and write about her under the headline: "Tallulah is sad because the king won't use her name".

* She is also somewhat famous for marrying the so-called writer Ari Behn, who is basically famous for being a douche and paying some prostitutes in Las Vegas to do drugs so that he could film it for his documentary. He also showed up a bit stoned to a live television interview and kept on and on about how he had just shot a moose. Apparently this made him feel very manly.

It's event like these that make me reconsider my rather negative attitude to the fact that we have a royal house.

2. The blog called Strange Maps. I love cartography, and so this blog is perfect. Among other gems it includes :
+++ )
The American pop vs. soda map. American f-lister, does this match your experiences? Sitting here as I do, in my little fishing village somewhere near the arctic circle, I have no way of knowing.

Also there is this glorious map about how the world looks when viewed from Paris:
+++ )
One map detailing the Lost Rivers of London, which I find absolutely fascinating:
+++ )
And one map of Canada made out of cheese:
+++ )
baleanoptera: (WWII Shorpy riveter yellow and blue)
In 1928 there was a huge fair in this city, and part of the attractions of this fair was a photograph stand. It was called Pictures while you wait, and was literary that. In its time it was cutting edge technology, and people flocked to have their photos taken – and took the images home with them.

Now the years pass, and the fair and its photos were more or less forgotten – until someone uncovered boxes upon boxes of the photo negatives. Suddenly, by developing the negatives, you could see all the different faces of the people visiting the fair. Young and old, rich and poor. There was one problem though, and that was that none of the negatives was marked or named. So the people in the photos were by and large unknown.

Lots of fascinating pictures! See them while you wait! )
baleanoptera: (WWII Shorpy riveter yellow and blue)
In 1928 there was a huge fair in this city, and part of the attractions of this fair was a photograph stand. It was called Pictures while you wait, and was literary that. In its time it was cutting edge technology, and people flocked to have their photos taken – and took the images home with them.

Now the years pass, and the fair and its photos were more or less forgotten – until someone uncovered boxes upon boxes of the photo negatives. Suddenly, by developing the negatives, you could see all the different faces of the people visiting the fair. Young and old, rich and poor. There was one problem though, and that was that none of the negatives was marked or named. So the people in the photos were by and large unknown.

Lots of fascinating pictures! See them while you wait! )
baleanoptera: (Goonies)


The Rock'n'Roll Wolf or Mama.


Continuing the trend of odd children's television that few have heard of. Hee. This is the rock’n’roll version of an old Romanian fairytale. It is a French/Romanian/Soviet co-production from 1976, and when I was a kid they used to send this on telly all the time. You see Norwegian television didn’t have that much money and they were afraid of what they saw as American commercialism – so instead they bought and broadcasted lots of Eastern European productions. This was one of them. +++ )

It tells the story of Mother Goat (here called Rada), and her kids. Naturally there is an evil wolf (Titi Suru), who in this version dresses in black, tight leather and sings rock songs. Incidentally the wolf character was recently voted "most disturbing pre-teen sexual experience" by a rather large number of Norwegians. Interpret that as you wish. more wolf under cut )

So tell me - does this look familiar to any one? [livejournal.com profile] alexandral, do you have any recollection of this?
baleanoptera: (Goonies)


The Rock'n'Roll Wolf or Mama.


Continuing the trend of odd children's television that few have heard of. Hee. This is the rock’n’roll version of an old Romanian fairytale. It is a French/Romanian/Soviet co-production from 1976, and when I was a kid they used to send this on telly all the time. You see Norwegian television didn’t have that much money and they were afraid of what they saw as American commercialism – so instead they bought and broadcasted lots of Eastern European productions. This was one of them. +++ )

It tells the story of Mother Goat (here called Rada), and her kids. Naturally there is an evil wolf (Titi Suru), who in this version dresses in black, tight leather and sings rock songs. Incidentally the wolf character was recently voted "most disturbing pre-teen sexual experience" by a rather large number of Norwegians. Interpret that as you wish. more wolf under cut )

So tell me - does this look familiar to any one? [livejournal.com profile] alexandral, do you have any recollection of this?

joik

Mar. 3rd, 2008 08:08 pm
baleanoptera: (Mood dark harbour)
Yesterday I went to an evening of lectures about Norwegian culture, and the problems of researching Norwegian culture while being a Norwegian. the main problem is how to distance yourself from the material enough to be critical. There were quite a lot of interesting lectures, but the highlight for me was the concert at the end by the band Adjagas. (and I'll admit that the concert was one of the reasons I went in the first place. Hee)

The two members of Agjagas are indigenous Saami, and their music is a mix of the old Saami song technique of Joik (pronounced yoik) and modern, jazz inspired music. The result is some really gorgeous music.

This is their most famous song Mun ja mun. I'm including the video and not the song here, and I'm doing that for two reasons. One, the video is absolutely stunning. There is nothing fancy about it, but the black and white photography is gorgeous and the light nearly translucent. (Have I mentioned how black/white is possibly my favourite photo medium? Hee) Secondly Adjagas' primary income is a cultural scholarship from the Norwegian state, and this is based on the numbers of cd's they sell. So uploading a song feels a bit wrong. It is one thing to share music when the artist has a wide audience, another when the band strives to get attention in tiny Norway.

So please, take a break and listen & watch. It's worth it, I promise.

Mun ja mun )

joik

Mar. 3rd, 2008 08:08 pm
baleanoptera: (Mood dark harbour)
Yesterday I went to an evening of lectures about Norwegian culture, and the problems of researching Norwegian culture while being a Norwegian. the main problem is how to distance yourself from the material enough to be critical. There were quite a lot of interesting lectures, but the highlight for me was the concert at the end by the band Adjagas. (and I'll admit that the concert was one of the reasons I went in the first place. Hee)

The two members of Agjagas are indigenous Saami, and their music is a mix of the old Saami song technique of Joik (pronounced yoik) and modern, jazz inspired music. The result is some really gorgeous music.

This is their most famous song Mun ja mun. I'm including the video and not the song here, and I'm doing that for two reasons. One, the video is absolutely stunning. There is nothing fancy about it, but the black and white photography is gorgeous and the light nearly translucent. (Have I mentioned how black/white is possibly my favourite photo medium? Hee) Secondly Adjagas' primary income is a cultural scholarship from the Norwegian state, and this is based on the numbers of cd's they sell. So uploading a song feels a bit wrong. It is one thing to share music when the artist has a wide audience, another when the band strives to get attention in tiny Norway.

So please, take a break and listen & watch. It's worth it, I promise.

Mun ja mun )
baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)

A carved dragons head found in the Oseberg burial


I'm currently reading a very interesting book called The Idea of North, which deals with all manner of folklore and legends in the Polar region. One passage reminded me why I LOVE the old Norse Sagas:


"The verse narrative of The Waking of Angatyr, interprolated in the Saga of King Heindrik the Wise, takes place on a burning offshore island which is simultaneously the place where the noble dead are buried and an otherworld to which the living can travel at their peril. Hervor travels there to demand of her father Angantyr the supernatural sword that has been buried with him. As with almost all ghost narratives of the north, the early waning of the winter daylight is crucial. In the zone between the living and the dead in which the poem opens, there is a terse dialogue between the heroine and a herdsman, on the dangers of being benighted in such a place:

To have come hither, all alone
To this land of shadows was sheer folly,
Over fen and fold fires are soaring,
Graves are opening: let us go quickly.


But she is fearless: she curses and threatens the waking dead until they yield to her the sword that has been buried as part of Angantyr’s grave goods, but not without the prophecy from its dead owner that it will "Destroy your kindred, kill them all" To which she replies:
Churlish cowards! )
baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)

A carved dragons head found in the Oseberg burial


I'm currently reading a very interesting book called The Idea of North, which deals with all manner of folklore and legends in the Polar region. One passage reminded me why I LOVE the old Norse Sagas:


"The verse narrative of The Waking of Angatyr, interprolated in the Saga of King Heindrik the Wise, takes place on a burning offshore island which is simultaneously the place where the noble dead are buried and an otherworld to which the living can travel at their peril. Hervor travels there to demand of her father Angantyr the supernatural sword that has been buried with him. As with almost all ghost narratives of the north, the early waning of the winter daylight is crucial. In the zone between the living and the dead in which the poem opens, there is a terse dialogue between the heroine and a herdsman, on the dangers of being benighted in such a place:

To have come hither, all alone
To this land of shadows was sheer folly,
Over fen and fold fires are soaring,
Graves are opening: let us go quickly.


But she is fearless: she curses and threatens the waking dead until they yield to her the sword that has been buried as part of Angantyr’s grave goods, but not without the prophecy from its dead owner that it will "Destroy your kindred, kill them all" To which she replies:
Churlish cowards! )
baleanoptera: (Norge hytte)
Cut for video )


I'm not sure if I should find this scary or not - but Michael Moore has done a report from Norway. Apparently this will be an extra on the Sicko dvd, but as I haven't seen that film I cannot comment on the context. But I say watch this to learn how Norwegian beer drinking is saving the environment - and also to experience the wonderfulness of true Norwegian-English. (the always lovable Norw-English)

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