Take 7

For those of you curious what Take 7 is all about, here's a brief synopsis:

Lars, a young Danish man suffering a ‘quarter-life crisis’, isn't enjoying his holiday on the Costa del Sol. On a whim, he travels to Los Baños de Calderón, a small town in Andalusia, where he is mistaken for a film maker. The mayor reckons the Dane (Lars von Trier?) can put the once thriving, but now run-down spa town back on the map by making a film. Mobilising his friends from Copenhagen and using his old film camera – which may or may not be broken – Lars embarks on his new project. Under the gaze of the Danish film team the town starts to believe in itself and gradually begins to flourish again. 

‘This time I was watching people flourish before my very eyes. Not only had they turned up on set dressed in their finest, but they seemed to have brought out the best in themselves. Thanks to me. Thanks to the attention I gave them. It’s that simple’ (p. 135)

All this is observed by Lydia, a Dutch woman living just outside the town. Acting as an interpreter between the film makers and the townspeople, she begins to suspect that all is not what it seems.

A delightful tale of (self) deception and regeneration, Take 7 tells the story of a small Spanish town in decline and a thirty-something Danish man in crisis. When a case of mistaken identity prompts the Dane to (pretend to) make a film about the once celebrated spa town, both parties flourish. Although originally published in 2007, and thus predating the Eurozone crisis, the story seems more relevant than ever as it reflects the plight of many cash-poor towns and their disenfranchised people. Its recognizable yet surprising set-ups and funny as well as touching scenes should dispel fears that a book that was not only originally written in a European language but also features a cast of European characters (Danish, Spanish, Dutch) might put British readers off. It also worth bearing in mind that this book about the illusion of film would translate very well to the big screen!

Any budding film makers out there? It would make a great film!