My birthday (September 17) is big news, but four days before, September 13, MHz Networks makes small-screen history when they premiere 1864on its streaming service MHz Choice. This Danish drama of love in the time of war, reaches across eras to connect individual lives, confront a nation’s trauma, and examine the events of an epic war that formed the self-image of Denmark. Internationally renowned “Danish New Wave” director Ole Bornedal, read the letters of the soldiers to create a factual fairy tale.
Shot as a feature film and available as eight episodes, this sweeping drama reflects Borndal’s renowned mix of stylistic experimentation with engrossing stories, as seen in his thriller Nattevagten (1994), which screened at the Cannes, Toronto and Sundance film festivals; the American remake of Nightwatch;I am Dina, winner at the Montreal Film Festival; Just Another Love Story; The Substitute and Deliver Us From Evil, all winners of international prizes and acclaim. Bornedal also directed the top American horror film of 2012, The Possession, and co-produced Guillermo del Toro’s Mimic.
Bornedal has gathered the top acting talent of the current golden era of Denmark’s film and television, such as Sidse Babett Knudson, seen in the hit television series Borgen and Westworld, who delivers an unforgettable performance alongside her Borgen costar Pilou Asbæk, also known for Game of Thrones and The Borgias. A TALE IN TWO ERAS
Following victories over the Prussian Empire in the war of 1848-51, Denmark is emboldened and begins scheming to annex Schleswig into the Danish Kingdom. Armed with nationalist furor, the leader of the Parliament dismisses the country’s European treaties and throws Denmark into war with Prussia. Amid escalating conflict, two peasant brothers grow up and fall in love, both with the same well-read and beautiful woman. When the war erupts, these two young men volunteer for service, setting the stage for a sweeping drama.
Meanwhile, in 2014, a young girl suffers the loss of her brother to the war in Afghanistan. Depressed and despairing, she takes a position as aide to an aging Baron, who happens to reside in the same countryside inhabited by the brothers in 1864. Here, she discovers a diary and encounters the extraordinary love triangle. She becomes an eyewitness to history, powerfully connected to the brothers—and thousands of Danish soldiers—who fought one of the nation’s bloodiest battles, a slaughterhouse that changed Denmark forever.
It’s worth the wait. On Tuesday, June 27, MHz Networks premieres the latest installments in the long-running Italian TV series, Detective Montalbano, A Nest of Vipersand According to Protocal. Both will be released Day-and-Date in the United States on its SVOD platform, MHz Choice and on its DVD imprint, MHz on DVD.
Based on the blockbuster crime novels by Andrea Camilleri, the episodes depict life in the fictional Sicilian town of Vigata–where the pace of life is slower, there are few cars and home cooking abounds. (Seconds are mandatory.)
Detective Montalbano (portrayed by Luca Zingaretti) heads the police department, solving crimes with his always loyal and sometimes effective police squad who find themselves crossing paths with housewives and fisherman, priests and liars, saints and Mafia dons. MHz Networks will also release the first two seasons of the French detective series, Caïn on DVD. Bruno Debrandt stars as the wheelchair-bound Captain Fred Caïn who’s smarter, quicker and more mobile than most able-bodied people.
Detective Montalbano: Episodes 28 & 29
Murder, betrayal, office politics, temptation . . . it’s all in a day’s work for Detective Salvo Montalbano. With intuition and a cadre of police officers, Montalbano solves crimes in the fictional small city of Vigata. This work brings him across the paths of unforgettable characters who could only come from Sicily. He also wages a personal war with his own demons, which fight against his professional ideals and personal commitment to beautiful long-distance girlfriend, Livia. Yet there’s always time to indulge a long-standing flirtation with his ultimate temptress, Italian cuisine. The series is filmed in the ancient, sun-washed Sicilian city of Ragusa, and is based on the international best-selling mystery novels by Andrea Camiller.
A Nest of Vipers A man arrives at his father’s home to find him dead, murdered with a shotgun while drinking coffee in the kitchen. With no sign of forced entry, it’s clear the victim knew his murderer. Finding locals with possible motives is easy, because he spent a lifetime exploiting young women and making enemies of fellow townspeople. Montalbano also discovers that the victim wasn’t just shot, but had been poisoned hours earlier. It’s as if two murderers had decided that night, independently of one another, to kill him.
According to Protocol A beautiful, beaten woman manages to drive herself to an apartment building, where she collapses and dies in the foyer. Her intent seems to have been to direct investigators to one of the building’s tenants. During the investigation – in which Ingrid and Livia meet for the first time–the team uncovers a world of vice and hypocrisy that leaves them all in shock. Montalbano also strikes up a friendship with his new neighbor, a retired judge haunted by the idea that true justice and objectivity may not be possible.
Caïn: Season 1 and Cain Season Season 2 In this darkly comic French crime series wheelchair-bound police captain Fred Caïn (played by able-bodied Bruno Debrandt) is quicker and more mobile than most able-bodied people. In his investigations, he spins circles around suspects and digs deep inside the darkest hidden corners of the human mind. A motorcycle accident caused by speeding and his own use of narcotics has left him unable to walk, but clear-eyed about criminality and motive. He’s left the drugs behind but a dark sense of humor remains, and his disdain for ‘bipeds’ can make him difficult to work with. He uses his disability to his advantage by breaking with convention and the law without an ounce of shame or trepidation. Only army veteran Lucie Delambre can handle him as a partner, and his friend and boss Jacques Moretti runs interference for him with the higher-ups. Set in Marseille, Caïn is a crime drama with a twist, a police procedural that focuses on psychology and the human being behind the criminal. Season 1 includes: Jealousy Justice Judge and be Judged The Attacker Confusion Under The Skin Hostages Innocence
Season 2 includes: Suicide Ornella Cain and Abel, Part 1 Cain and Abel, Part 2 The Island Bad Boy Duels God, Caïn, etc…
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We continue to share the wonderful releases MHz Choice offers U.S. viewers with streaming access to MHz Networks’ expanding library of the best international television mysteries, dramas, comedies and documentaries subtitled in English. MHz Choice delivers a high quality experience to a growing list of subscribers who watch online and across a suite of apps and services, including Amazon Channels, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, iOS & Roku. New customers receive a free 30-day trial. For more information or to subscribe, go to mhzchoice.com.
Some of the latest . . .
The Bridge Season 3
Since its initial release in 2011, The Bridge has been captivating audiences all over the world. Starring Robert Award-winning actress Sofia Helin as the socially awkward but brilliant police investigator Saga Norén. The Telegraph hails The Bridge as “a masterclass in tone, plot and characterization.” FYI: The Robert Awards are given out by the the Danish Film Academy and are regarded as “The Danish Oscars”.
When a famous Danish gender activist and owner of Copenhagen’s first gender-neutral preschool is found murdered, Saga is assigned to the case. The murder sparks the beginning of a series of spectacular crimes reaching back into Saga’s own past. With her career at risk, and the question of personal responsibility haunting her, it looks as if she might be pulled from the case. When her mother unexpectedly re-enters her life, Saga must also cope with unforeseen and unwanted demands.
Murders at Barlume
The hit Italian TV show, Murders at Barlume is a colorful new series of quirky mysteries based on the novels by Marco Malvaldi and produced by the same team that brought Detective Montalbano to the small screen.
Set in the idyllic beach resort town of Pineta on the beautiful Tuscan coast, the show stars Filippo Timi as Massimo Viviani, the recently-divorced owner of the local watering hole, Barlume. Massimo loves puzzles of all kinds, and his sharp mind comes in handy as he frequently finds himself moonlighting as an amateur detective, solving strange crimes along with the gossipy gang of eccentric septuagenarians who frequent his establishment.
Filmed on the magical island of Elba, Murders at Barlume is an irreverent mix of twisty mystery, outlandish comedy and Italian charm.
Agatha Christies’s Family Murder Party Agatha Christie’s iconic novel Hercule Poirot’s Christmas is delightfully adapted in the four-part French mini-seriesAgatha Christie’s Family Murder Party.
It’s sexy, witty and definitely addictive! Superintendent Larosière and Inspector Lampion are the lead investigators in this delicious prequel to The Little Murders of Agatha Christie. The mystery begins when chateau owner Simon Le Tescou is found dead in his home . . . and all of his grown children have motives for murder.
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