Killing_us_softly_Investigating_in_the_aesthetics_philosophy_and_influence_of_Nordic_Noir_television

Aspects of nordic noir can now also be found on

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Aspects of Nordic Noir can now also be found on television, some are literary adaptations (such as Wallander [2005-14], based on the novels of Henning Mankell), while others like Forbrydelsen ( The Killing ) (2007-12), Livvagterne ( The Protectors ) (2008-10), Broen ( The Bridge ) (2011 - ) and Den som dræber ( Those Who Kill ) (2011 - ) were specifically written for the medium. 3 These dramas are typified by a dimly lit aesthetic (hence its implicit reference to film noir ) that is matched by a slow and melancholic pace, multi-layered storylines and an interest in uncovering the dark underbelly of contemporary society. The genre has also been associated with serials that span a large number of episodes, allowing their central murder mystery to act as a catalyst around which a whole number of other storylines and themes (often of an ethical, social and political nature) can revolve. These issues are frequently reflected in an intense sense of place, their enigmatic and barren landscapes often seen as symbolising the psychological mood of its frequently troubled detectives. There are numerous Scandinavian publications on Danish television and Nordic Noir (see, for example, Gunhild Agger [2012a] and Eva Jørholt [ed.] [2011]) and a recent German monograph devoted to the genre by Lea Gamula and Lothar Mikos (2014). In terms of English language analysis, Barry Forshaw’s Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction (2012) and Steven Peacock’s Swedish Crime Fiction: Novel, Film, Television (2014) have recently provided excellent introductions to the field, although words,’I AM A SADISTIC PIG, A PERVERT, AND A RAPIST’ on his abdomen. 3 I will not be examining Borgen (2010 - ) because it is a political drama and does not come under the heading of Nordic Noir , although in terms of its narrative structure and aesthetic style there are clearly similarities. 2
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the space given to television in both is still relatively small. 4 For small screen analysis, this journal recently published a ‘dossier’ on Danish television drama that included work by Matthias Bauer, Tobias Hochscherf & Heidi Philipsen (2013), Gunhild Agger (2013), Eva Novrup Redvall (2013a), Tobias Hochscherf and Heidi Philipsen (2013) and Pia Majbritt Jensen and Anne Marit Waade (2013). 5 However, it is perhaps Redvall’s Writing and Producing Television Drama in Denmark: from ‘The Kingdom’ to ‘The Killing’ (2013b) that offers the most comprehensive English language account to date, its production based methodology giving a comprehensive overview of how Danish television is now made and produced. Whilst this focus on Danish TV is understandable, it means that important dramas made elsewhere in the Nordic region are sometimes overlooked in comparison to those made by DR (Denmark’s public service media provider). 6 It also means that the influence of Nordic Noir on television outside of Scandinavia is left surprisingly unexplored.
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