Killing_us_softly_Investigating_in_the_aesthetics_philosophy_and_influence_of_Nordic_Noir_television

In this way its surroundings and the relatively slow

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home town (it is set in Ystad, Scania near the southern tip of Sweden). In this way, its surroundings and the relatively slow pace of the drama become a mirror image of the detective’s psychological state of mind (see McCorristine 2011: 81). This is a theme, however, that has not always been understood by international remakes. Barry Forshaw points out, for example, that while the location for the original Swedish series of Wallander was presented in a ‘flat naturalistic fashion with absolutely no attempt at importing extra aesthetic appeal’, its British reinvention (also shot in Ystad) tends to foreground the ‘intense beauty of the country, presenting it as waving fields of wheat, russet-coloured sunsets and so forth’ (2012: 6). Such a contrast shows just how important the portrayal of setting is, revealing how the same location can be presented in different ways and for entirely different reasons. The significance of location can be clearly seen in The Killing . The dark and gloomy shots of Copenhagen reflect not just the sombre and desolate mood of its gruesome murder, but also the personality and disposition of its central detective. Indeed, Sarah Lund is a particularly mysterious figure who is given precious little backstory and remains consistently reserved and uncommunicative throughout. 23 This sense of remoteness is then reflected in her surroundings, her brooding and contemplative mood mirrored in a landscape that also appears strangely cold, distant and isolated. The understated colour pallet, the lingering long- shots, the floating camerawork and the quiet but unsettling soundtrack all combine to express the deep loneliness and isolation at the heart of her dysfunctional personality (see Povlsen 23 In contrast, the American version of The Killing has been criticised for giving its female lead too much backstory and thereby losing much of its overall sense mystery (see Redvall 2013: 175). 11
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2011: 97 and Agger 2013). This aesthetic style also hints at a ‘metaphysical’ subtext which underlines many of the drama’s philosophical concerns. Such a claim is also best understood through Lund and her ‘uncanny’ connection to the case, set up in the first few minutes of the drama. The opening credit sequence of episode one shows the half-naked figure of Nanna (Julie R. Ølgaard) being pursued through dense woodland and waterways. As it ends, so we see Lund suddenly wake up startled in bed, as if from a nightmare. The cut, then, between the detective and the girl’s final moments implies an inexplicable association between them. Although she is clearly uneasy about her move to Sweden with her fiancé, there is the subtle suggestion that her nightmare is also related to the girl. In fact, her obsession with looking for her body long after Meyer assumes that the search is futile, suggests she has an almost ‘subliminal’ connection to the case. This is further compounded when she unexpectedly spies children carrying fishing rods, the combination of an eerie musical leitmotif and her intense
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