Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Baby Reindeer

This was recommended to me by a reliable Facebook friend.  Every thing he has recommended has been well worth the effort.  "Baby Reindeer" was different and in some ways disturbing.  It is worthwhile to watch some series that challenge your comfort zone and "Baby Reindeer" forces one to realize not everyone lives like we do.

Based on the experience of the author, in this case Richard Gadd who wrote acted  and was also an executive producer in it.  From the little I knew I expected to see about an annoying stalker.  Gadd's experience had a profound effect on him, but it is admitted that some details were changed to be dramatic, and also I suspect to protect others.  

Sex plays a pivotal role.  Not so much pornography, but explicit enough to make some cringe and feel some of his vulnerability.  But that does reflect a real part of the world.

One impression is that Richard was a very vulnerable person and was identified as such.  He is aware of his weakness.  The first three episodes we are confronted with his stalker and find her very annoying.  By the fourth episode we learn about a previous experience that perhaps made him vulnerable.  Along the way he had girlfriends, one of whom was trans and a therapist for sexual violence.  

This difficult story required a lot talent.  Here are a few of the contributors.  

Richard Gadd plays really himself.  He is the writer and an executive producer.  He took the one year course at the Oxford School of Drama.  He is a Bi-Sexual Ambassador for We Are Survivors.  He has 30 credits as an actor, 5 for writing and 2 as a producer including a one episode writing stint for "Sex Education" (2020).

The two directors both started their career in foreign markets.  Weronika Tofilska started in Poland and moving to the United Kingdom developed a record of 12 directing credits, 8 for writing and 2 for Assistant Directing.  Josephine Bornebusch got her start in Sweden and has since compiled 8 directing credits, 7 for writing and 35 as an actress.

The team of two brothers, Evgueni and Sacha Galperin have composed backroom scores over Europe including Russia, France, United Kingdom and United States including "The Family" (2013), "Loveless" (2017), "Paterno" (2017), "The Whole Truth" (2017) and "The Undoing" (2020).  Check http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2023/01/the-undoing.html

Two experienced  cinematographers handled the photography.  Krzysztof Trojnar with 24 cinematography credits and Annika Summerson with 45 credits manged the seven episodes.

Three experienced editors took responsibility for the editing; Benjamin Gerstein with 40 editing credits, Peter Oliver with 54 credits and Mike Holliday with 41 credits.

Jennifer Gunning played  the aggressive stalker. Martha.  She has 38 acting credits including "Pride" (2014) and 6 episodes with "Prime Suspcct" (2017). 

Nava Mau plays  Teri, his trans girl friend who is also a sexual violence therapistt which is some of her real background.  She has 6 acting credits, 4 as a producer and 2 as a director.

Nina Sosanya plays Liz, another of Gadd's girlfriends.  She started in theatre in England.  She has 78 film  acting credits including "The Jury" (2003), "Love Actually" (2003),  "Last Tango in Halifax" (2012-2015, 18 episodes), "Shetland" (2014) and "Juliet, Naked" (2018) .

Tom Goodman-Hill played Darrien, an unscrupulous sexual predator.  Before his acting career took off he was a school teacher.  He has 109 acting credits including "The Imitation Game" (2014).

First staged as a one man show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, re-written a few times before becomin this television series script.

If you are curious about abnormal sexual behavior this will perhaps satisfy you or possibly whet your appetite.  For me it is enough to know that such behavior does exist and it is good to  know reality.

Available on Netflix in English.

I have bolded the first mention of films I have seen.

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