Gloomy Crime Drama Showdown!! UK vs Scandinavia

March 18th, 2014 by Barak

A new gloomy crime show starring Chloe Sevigny called Those Who Kill is premiering in the U.S. It’s yet another remake of a Scandinavian series titled likewise (after The Killing, The Bridge and Wallander). Is Scandinavia stealing England‘s status as the masters of quality gloomy crime dramas? We’ll take the best 5 British ones and the 5 best Scandinavian ones and try to decide – Who’s got the best gloomy crime shows in Europe?

Those Who Kill VS. Prime Suspect

those who kill-prime suspect
Those Who Kill (Den som dræber) is a suspenseful edge of your seat show that has some very intense and difficult to watch scenes. It’s about a female police detective and a male legal psychiatrist who together try to track down and take down serial killers. Prime Suspect starred Helen Mirren as a tough law enforcer who has to deal with a sexist police environment along with a murder investigation. These two titles actually prove that blondes have less fun.

Winner: Prime Suspect, probably Helen Mirren’s best role ever.

The Killing VS. Broadchurch

The Killing (Forbrydelsen) is a slow burn series that demands patience. It’s about a murder investigation that uncovers secrets, power struggles and cover ups. It’s quite unique in the sense that it focuses on the story of the victim’s family who needs to cope with the tragic event almost as much as it focuses on the police investigation.

Broadchurch is another slow burn series that uses the beautiful landscapes in which the series was shot to create a haunting atmosphere. It’s about a small town murder that shocks the community. Everyone’s a suspect among the many characters of the series.

Winner: A draw. Both shows are quite similar – the plot, the mood and the quality.

Wallander VS. Cracker

Wallander is a grumpy and slightly depressed middle aged Swedish detective who tries to apprehend psychopathic killers. Skillful cinematography add to the chilling atmosphere of the series.

Cracker’s main character was called Fitz – an obese, chain smoking, gambling addicted alcoholic who’s also an excellent criminal psychologist. This clever and suspenseful series had an American remake that failed miserably.

Winner: Cracker. One of the best crime shows ever made.

Beck VS. Luther

Beck is a long running Swedish detective series about the detective Martin Beck and his colleagues. Beck is not especially heroic or courageous, but what motivates him and makes him a good detective is probably a strong sense of responsibility for human beings.

Luther, played by Idris Elba, is a police detective on the edge, with a strong tendency toward vigilantism. It’s a gritty and gripping show with strong performances all around.

Winner: Luther. Especially because of Idris Elba’s charismatic performance.

The Bridge VS. The Shadow Line

bridge-shadow line
The Bridge (Bron/Broen) is a mesmerizing show, the lead female detective is one of the most fascinating/weird/funny characters ever seen on TV screens. The plot has many twists and turns and the 2 main characters are flawed in a way that makes it easy to relate to them. The show has its own atmosphere and style (right from the opening theme) that distinguishes it from any other similarly themed shows.

The Shadow Line stars three excellent actors who all give fantastic performances: Chiwetel Ejiofor as a detective suffering from memory loss, Christopher Eccleston as the nicest drug lord you ever saw and Stephen Rea as an ultra-professional hitman. It’s an amazingly stylized, tense and complex Neo Noir Crime series.

Winner: A draw between these two masterpieces.

3-0 to the British series! The queen must be happy (although if she’ll watch an episode of one of these shows she might get sad). All these shows are dark and gloomy and go hand in hand with the weather in Scandinavia and in the UK. No wonder the suicide rate is considered high in those regions. If you are a British or Scandinavian resident and you are considering to end your life you’re not thinking clearly… Aren’t you just dying to know what will happen next in all of those intriguing murder mysteries?!

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Jinni Wins the Oscars!

March 4th, 2014 by Ben

2 Weeks ago we here at Jinni published our predictions for the winners of the biggest categories of the 2014 Oscars. The predictions were based on a genetic comparison of the nominees Entertainment Genome profiles against those of the past category winners. We also put out a little teaser infographic the day before the ceremony based on our predictions from two weeks prior.

So here we go Jinni readers! This is us officially tootin’ our own horn!


We just did it as a fun little experiment as we were getting in the spirit of the awards here at HQ, but guess what boys and girls?  Jinni nailed it! 6/6 predictions FTW!

When taking a closer look at all the common threads that come together, some very interesting trends pop out at you and not only shine a light on who may win but also on the industry as a whole.

Of course, we didn’t develop the Entertainment Genome to predict awards, we were just out to help people discover what shows and movies suited to them they were missing out on. We do get approached from time to time by Hollywood folks inquiring about other ‘off-label’ uses.

This is all just a little fun and games to us, but it begs the question, “Can any other Discovery Engines understand movies well enough to make predictions?”

Consider the gauntlet thrown! Have at thee!

Till the next time

Jinni Team out! [Drops the mic]




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Girl, You Got Style…

March 4th, 2014 by Asaf & May


There are many many women out there (and yet some would say not enough). Each with her own unique personality, with her own unique habits, with her own unique style… There are also many many movies and TV shows out there, each with it’s own unique style as well.  So for the International Woman’s Day we thought we’d combine the two. Here are 10 recommendations for strong women on the big and small screen, each with her own unique style.

The Talky One -

Symptoms – This type of woman has many thoughts, many of which transform into words. Any type of ear would satisfy her.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003 – )


Just this week Ellen DeGeneres talked a lot at the Oscars which probably wouldn’t hurt the ratings of her hit TV talk show. Ellen’s show is like the perfect woman – she’s sincere, she’s witty, she’s humorous, she makes you feel good and every now and then she bites. The perfect combination.

Rachel Getting Married (2008)

This Independent drama shows a different type of talky woman, the gloomy kind. Rachel’s getting married and it makes her sister (Anne Hathaway in an award winning role) talk a lot – about couples relations, about her past, about estrangement and basically about everything that makes a critically acclaimed bittersweet drama.

The Surreal One –

Symptoms – this sort of woman might drive you to insanity as her reality is kind of out there. You’ll enjoy the ride but probably bend your mind in the process.

Ashes to Ashes (2008 – 2010)


If you’re looking for a clever woman try police detective Alex Drake from Ashes to Ashes. The only problem is when you’ll meet her because at the beginning of this crime drama Alex is shot and wakes up in 1981. And so she’s trying to get back to the future and in the meantime she investigates the crimes related to the past which is her present… mind bending like we said but a captivating one.

The Cell (2000)

If meeting Alex Drake would be difficult, meeting Catherine Deane (Jennifer Lopez) seems almost impossible because she spends most of her time in a coma. Not her coma, other peoples comas. Catherine is an expert in getting into the mind of people lying in that state and so she enters the mind of a psychopath who kidnapped a young girl. In a scary and stylized race against time Catherine must extract any information about the victim’s location before it’s too late.

The Girl On The Road -
Symptoms – this type is the one who likes to travel. In fact she can’t even sit still. She’s walking while she’s reading this blog. You better keep up.

Tabatha Takes Over (2011 – )


Tabatha Coffey knows about Hair. Tabatha Coffey knows about business. Tabatha Coffey knows how to make good business out of hair. And so she spends her time on the road, giving advices to workplaces with financial problems. In recent seasons Tabatha became an overall top notch expert and so she helps all sorts of businesses, not just hairy ones. So if you’re looking for a reality show to help improve your business, catch a ride with Tabatha.

Philomena (2013)

First of all, who wouldn’t want to be on the road with Dame Judi Dench? Such elegancy, such style. And when the cause is to help her find her long lost child even more so. In this recent Oscar nominee Dame Judi plays the incredibly optimistic Philomena, an aging woman whose child was taken away from her when she was young and now, with the help of a cynical journalist she’s trying to track down her son and uncover the truth about her past. a touching and emotional journey that’s based on a true story.

The Twisted One –

Symptoms – The twisted woman isn’t necessarily twisted, she’s just filled with twists and turns. If you know this kind of woman then you already know to expect the unexpected.

Top Of The Lake (2013)


Holly Hunter is a woman full of secrets. Secrets that Elizabeth Moss must uncover. Secrets relating to a missing child, police investigation and dishonesty.  In this mini series from last year Moss plays a police detective sent to a small town to investigate the disappearance of a pregnant suicidal teen. As she delves into the crime surprising and disturbing revelations are revealed. A twisted road ahead.

Mulholland Drive (2001)

If Mulholland Drive was a woman she’d probably drive her husband crazy trying to figure out what she wants (like many woman do anyway). Mulholland was made 13 years ago and it’s still an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in manipulations wrapped in mysterious characters wrapped in… Well, you get the main idea. David Lynch’s film is the definition of mystery – A woman loses her memory and her identity.She encounters an ambitious actress and together they get involved in the filmmaking industry where nothing is as it seems. Nothing.

The Campy One -

When this woman walks in the room, any room, she’s the only thing in it. You’ll notice her immediately. She’s over the top, she exaggerates, she’s got something about her and the world better look and listen!

Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? (2011 – )


This reality show follows the extra ordinary life of “The queen of comedy”, Joan Rivers, as she’s moving in with her daughter and grandson to create a campy dysfunctional family. A humorous look at celebrity culture and showbiz in the shadow of family life. And fashion of course.

Death Proof (2007)

The women in Tarantino’s pictures worth a discussion on it’s own but in the meantime we’ll settle for this campy thriller which seems to represent both types of female characters from his films – the submissive and the strong. In the first half of “Death Proof” we see how stalker-serial killer Kurt Russell seduces and abuses a young woman and in the second half we see how such young women fight back. Lots of car chases, witty dialogues and one accident scene that’ll make you wish you’re never involved in a car accident (if you hadn’t already).

And that seems like the appropriate film to sum it up – there are many types of great women out there and whatever type of woman it is, if you don’t treat her right you’ll end up by the side of the road. You go girl…

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In Memory of Alain Resnais

March 2nd, 2014 by Ran

Alain Resnais Collage

Legendary French filmmaker Alain Resnais passed away today at the age of 92. He was known mostly for idiosyncratic, clever and contemplative films that deal with memory, human nature and the subjectivity of truth, but his filmography is surprisingly diverse. He was a very influential figure for the French New Wave movement of the late 50s, although he did not consider himself as a part of it.

After directing mostly documentaries and short films in the 1930s and 1940s, his breakthrough came in 1959 with the controversial Hiroshima, mon amour, which tells a brief love affair on the background of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, using groundbreaking methods of flashbacks and nonlinear storytelling. Last Year in Marienbad in 1961 and The War Is Over in 1966 continued this obsession with the nature of memory.

In the late 90s Resnais developed another passion – musicals, inspired by Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective. Same Old Song from 1997 and Not on the Lips from 2003 are the most notable of this new trend, in which his second wife Sabine Azema became a prominent figure. He was an active film maker until he passed away, and his new film Aimer, boire et chanter is about to be released later this month in France.

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Short Films for a Short Month

February 28th, 2014 by May

When I first started my cinema studies, I was told feature films usually last around 90 minutes. Years passed, and today it seems if a film is not at least 120 minutes it can hardly call itself a film! Just look at the recent list of Oscar nominations with The Wolf of Wall Street (180 min.), American Hustle (138 min.) and 12 Years a Slave (134 min.).
But cinema does not have to be that long to be masterful, as this list will try to prove. Each of the following shorts is captivating, touching or unique  in its own way. So as we finish up the shortest month of the year – here are 10 great short films.

The Red Balloon (1956)
Touching on the verge of sentimental, this is a story about a young kid and a red balloon in Paris. With no dialogue at all the film lets us see and understand the kid from the balloon’s point of view.

Facing Fear (2013)
Nominated for best documentary short in the upcoming academy awards, this short tells an amazing story of a former neo-Nazi and one of his gay victims when their paths collide. The way it continues is surprising, to say the least.

The ittle Matchgirl (2006)
If this short won’t make you cry, you have a heart of stone. This adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story beautifully captivates the hardships and loneliness of a poor young girl dreaming of a better world.

Strangers No More (2010)
Sincere and uplifting, this best documentary short Oscar winner for 2010 revolves around an exceptional school in Israel, where refugee children struggle to fit in to a sometimes unwilling society.

Vincent (1982)
One of the shorts which launched Tim Burton‘s long, fruitful career deals with an eccentric boy who love everything gothic, dramatic and surreal. Burton’s unique visual style is apparent even in this early effort.

La Jetee (1962)
One of the most well-known and acclaimed shorts ever, Chris Marker‘s La Jetee is an atmospheric and bleak tale about time travel after a 3rd world war. Using unique cinematic language Marker managed to create a film every cinema lover knows.

9 (2005)
A surrealistic future dystopia is the setting of this amazing short, which deals with strange puppets who come to life. Creator Shane Acker was approached to make a full length feature of this short, which unfortunately failed to remain as tight-scripted as the original.

Un Chien Andalou (1929)
The famous collaboration between Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali is not meant for the faint of heart. Without any real narrative this short follows Dali and Bunuel’s dreams and sub consciousness to create something that wasn’t seen on the screen until then.

Get a Horse! (2013)
One of this year’s nominees for best animated short, this film does a masterful job in showing how 3D can be used. A hilariously comical clash between cartoon characters of the past and special effects of the present.

Room 8 (2013)
This year’s BAFTA winner in an eerie tale of a convict, a prison cell and one strange box. Telling anything more will be a spoiler, but believe me – you don’t want to miss this one.

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