Friday, April 06, 2012

James Thompson's "Helsinki White," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Helsinki White by James Thompson.

The entry begins:
Good question, since the film rights for the first three books in my Inspector Vaara series have been optioned, and the fourth soon will be. The first novel is a murder mystery set in Kittilä, a small town in the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, next to the ski resort, Levi. The next two books take place in Finland, are centered in Helsinki, but include the city of Turku and the islands of Åland as settings. One might think of it as a Millenium Trilogy-type project, but set in Finland rather than Sweden (note: same type of project, but not storytelling. My writing style and Larsson’s have little in common).

The great challenge for actors taking the leading roles is language. As is becoming increasingly common practice, the language that would naturally be spoken by the characters is spoken in the film. Finns speak more languages than any nationality on the planet, with an average of four. The most commonly spoken, after Finnish, are Swedish (a second national language), English, and Russian. The series protagonist, Kari Vaari, speaks all of these fluently, with the exception of his Russian, which is weak.

Kari, a policeman, is married to an American named Kate. She hasn’t lived in Finland long enough to learn to speak the language, which is notoriously difficult, and so Kari and Kate speak English with each other. In the rest of his life, Kari speaks Finnish. I’m co-screenwriter, by the way, and I’m sure we can write it in such a way that the actor playing Kari need only speak those two languages, although in the book, he speaks a few words of Russian and Swedish.

I must admit that...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at James Thompson's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Snow Angels.

The Page 69 Test: Helsinki White.

Writers Read: James Thompson.

My Book, The Movie: Helsinki White.

--Marshal Zeringue