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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Spider" or "Edderkoppen" )


directed by Ole Christian Madsen
Denmark 2000


Eager to move up to the crime section, cub Social Democrat reporter Bjarne Madsen (Jakob Cedergren, TERRIBLY HAPPY) takes an interest in Copenhagen's Black Market, which he insists is much larger and more organized than the trading and selling of butter coupons along the waterfront. When he oversteps boundaries by responding to a report of two bodies washed up on the beach, he is taken to task by seasoned crime editor H.C. Vissig (Bent Mejding, A ROYAL AFFAIR) until Bjarne offers him evidence to refute the police statement that the faceless bodies belong to two Russian fishermen and that crisis response officers Ramsing (Max Hansen, FLICKERING LIGHTS) and Pedersen (Henrik Koefoed, BROTHERS) are part of the cover-up (having encountered them on the black market). Believing the bodies to actually be those of two men who worked for gangster Hjalmar (Bjarne Henriksen ,THE HUNT), Madsen and Vissig discover that their murders might not have to do with their black market dealings but with the five-year-old " Hermitage Murder" of Meyer who smuggled two tons of gold into the country for the Nazis and was murdered by a Resistance group lead by the legendary Zemich (who some believe is not a real person but the underworld mythical embodiment of ultimate evil). Working off sparse information supplied by police informant Walters (Troels Lyby, ACCUSED) and charitable Oxford House magnate Vanbjerg (Flemming Enevold, ID:A) – whose firm provided uniforms for the Germans and Danish collaborators while also secretly supplying the Resistance – Bjarne's and Vissig's mounting evidence that members of the police force including Superintendent Gordon (Peter Steen, THE INHERITANCE) are directly involved or entangled with Hjalmar and the Black Market makes them unpopular with the police and their colleagues as their ethics and patriotism is called into question. While Vissig's dedication to his work as a crime editor has left him alone and embittered, Bjarne is also starting to find his personal life incompatible with his professional one as he romances Gordon's actress daughter Lisbeth (Stine Stengade, FLAME AND CITRON) and discovers that his former Nazi collaborator brother Ole (Mad's brother Lars Mikkelsen, HEADHUNTER) is falling in with Hjalmar's gang in an effort to open Copenhagen's first jazz club. Every time Bjarne seems to be getting closer to the identity of Zemich – the spider at the center of an expansive criminal web – his likely suspects turn up dead and he finds himself shadowed by public prosecutor Jensen (Lars Brygman, UNIT ONE), Hjalmar's right-hand enforcer Arthur (Lars Bom, PUSHER), and a sinister CitroŽn that might belong to Zemich.

Set in a post-war Denmark seeking to move on to the fifties and distances itself from the shame of German collaboration (which may have robbed some of the glory achieved and suffering ensured as part of the resistance movement), THE SPIDER is not quite as vertiginously disorienting as it would like to be despite the constant twists. While the motives of Zemich are a surprise (and there is an ambiguity as to his conviction about them), his identity will be easily guessed despite the possibility that he just might be entirely mythical. Viewers may find the show best taken in on disc all at once rather than by installment as the first episode's setup may be too leisurely (even by the standards of later "Nordic Noir" in which the attentive setup is usually worth savoring). Stylistically, the show is less gritty than its Nordic counterparts and has more in common with the rich colors and art deco design of ITV's POIROT series with David Suchet but with more violence and canted expressionistic angles. Made before the "Nordic Noir" craze hit the English-speaking world, the publicity materials for the UK release highlights Thomas Bo Larsen (THE CELEBRATION), THE KILLING's Lotte Andersen, DANCER IN THE DARK's Paprika Steen, RECONSTRUCTION's Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Trine Dyrholm (LEGACY) in smaller roles over Mejding and Louise Mieritz (Van Trier's IDIOTERNE) as Bjarne's "girl Friday".

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 26 March 2000 - 30 April 2000 (Danish TV)

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DVD Review: Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 5:50:32 (4% PAL speedup)

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: ~5.9 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Danish Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Disc One:
� Episodes:
� - Part 1 (58:32)
� - Part 2 (58:30)
� - Part 3 (58:26)
� Start-up Trailers

� Disc Two:
� Episodes:
� - Part 4 (58:32)
� - Part 5 (58:32)
� - Part 6 (58:04)

DVD Release Date: June 15th, 2015

Chapters 36





Presented on two dual-layer discs, THE SPIDER looks as noisy as other circa-2000 SD digital masters of Nordic titles, but the soft detail is exacerbated by the deliberate period haze of several scenes. The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track serves the dialogue and scoring well enough with restrained atmosphere and occasional directional effects like gunshots or speeding cars. There are no extras apart from start-up trailers on the first disc.

  - Eric Cotenas


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL


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