I have fallen in love with this tee-shirt by Russian casual wear designer Alexander Konasov. It features the lead singer of one of my favourite bands Viktor Tsoi from Kino with the phrase 'Цойжив', translated into English as 'Tsoi alive' (Tsoi died in a car accident in 1990 aged 28.) I find it so cool that this tee-shirt has been made; Tsoi really is such an influence to so many musicians and just ex- Soviet people in general. One of the Soviet Union's first rockstars, it had been said that,
Tsoi means more to the young people of our nation than any politician, celebrity or writer. This is because Tsoi never lied and never sold out. He was and remains himself. It's impossible not to believe him... Tsoi is the only rocker who has no difference between his image and his real life, he lived the way he sang... Tsoi is the last hero of rock. I think it is certianly true that Tsoi, even today lives on.
Instead of putting my favourite shows and films into an 'about me' page that may or may not be glanced upon, I've instead decided to include them as an integral part of the blog.
I've therefore decided to start this weekly announcement to the blog with one of my favourite tv shows 'Spiral' ( Engrenages) which is quite apt as season 4 of the show is due to be shown on BBC4 this spring (I presume after Borgen Season 2 although I'm not sure so don't quote me on this). It's rare for a French show to be exported beyond francophone countries, even rarer for a series to be exported to over 70 non-francophone countries! After living in France I can say for the most part French tv isn't exactly the worlds finest (neither is Russia's so I can't be too biased) but 'Engrenages' and the shows such as 'Braquo' which have followed it are rare exceptions.
Set in Paris it follows the life of 6 people working in law & order professions; Judge Roban, lawyers Josephine Karlsonn & Pierre Clement and police officers Laure Berthaud, Gilou & Tintin alongside other regulars such as Szabo, Wagner, Machard and Samy.
Le juge: Roban
Every time I watch Spiral (which is quite a lot) I feel quite sorry for judge Roban. He's committed to his work, to bringing justice to the world yet seems to have lost everything; his love interest(s), family (including his talked about but never seen son) and he's even losing his battle against all the evil things in the world. Still he can be quite inhumane and heartless at times, reminiscent of those people who've seen too much to now care, who've heard so much they don't know lies from the truth.
Les avocats: Josephine & Pierre
The fact that Josephine and Pierre *spoiler alert* are working in their own law firm by season 3 is quite a shock but not at all unrealistic. As they're polar opposites, they can balance out each other; Pierre, the handsome ex-prosecutor who believes in justice, in the good of people and Josephine, the equally beautiful yet twisted and corrupt lawyer who started off like Pierre, fairly optimistic yet with clients pointing guns at her face and threatening to rape her, soon lost her naivety and realised the world doesn't work like that. These two, especially the supremely bitchy Josephine are my two favourite characters in the show. And between them, the chemistry is just palpable.
Les flics: Laure, Gilou, Tintin & all the rest
The police have gone from being my favourite characters (well Laure anyway) to being my most disliked. It has nothing to do with the acting which is superb but due to their violent methods, their xenophobic attitudes, their moodiness and temper tantrums and quite frankly, their growing inabilities to successfully solve cases without a million mistakes (or cock-ups as they'd be likely to put it). I guess my problem with the police really lies in that fact that they seem truly reminiscent of police attitudes; of course the police do good work (no doubt about it) but it seems evident that a foreigner who automatically looks more suspicious is more likely to be arrested and treated poorly in custody. At the same time, the writing has changed Laure from a strong independent women who appeared almost in every way as the confident 21st century in-control woman to emotionally vulnerable, willing to have sex with whoever she sees in order to feel loved and who is crying out in need of help. Dommage.