Killing_us_softly_Investigating_in_the_aesthetics_philosophy_and_influence_of_Nordic_Noir_television

This scene is then intercut with paul spector jamie

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mirror and fully reveals herself to the camera for the first time. This scene is then intercut with Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) breaking into a women’s home and taking a slow, ominous 17
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look around her property. His head covered in a black balaclava, he switches an overhead light on in the bathroom, looks in the mirror and slowly reveals his face to the audience. This, then, is no normal whodunit. Not only is the killer revealed in the first few minutes but action and suspense is instantly replaced with silence, solitude and reflection. Furthermore, it turns out that Spector is an unlikely serial killer, a handsome, happily married bereavement counsellor who appears devoted to his two young children. In this way, its enigmatic and contemplative tone perfectly captures its philosophical and political subtext. Perhaps hinted at in the early revelation of both faces in a mirror, it appears to carefully craft a meditation on the nature of identity, examining the many ‘masks’ we all wear and exploring the hidden and sometimes dangerous spaces that exist between our public and private selves. A similarly sombre and meditative mood can be sensed in True Detective (2014- ). Written by Nic Pizzolatto and directed by Cary Fukunaga, it revolves around two diametrically opposed detectives, a partnership so volatile that it eventually erupts into violence. While Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) is a tough, down-to-earth married local cop, Rust Chole (Matthew McConaughey) is a haunted, troubled, pessimistic and single outsider. Not just representing two contrasting approaches to policing, they also seem to embody different aspects of American culture. For Marian St. Laurent, ‘Marty represents the dying middle class’, while ‘Rust is his nocturnal opposite, a symbol of the deterioration and chaos of post-collapse America’ (2014). Its story is told partly in flashback, the two detectives interviewed in the present-day by police about an earlier murder investigation they conducted in the mid-1990s. 28 This means that an already intricate mystery is made increasingly complicated by the two separate accounts given by its two unreliable narrators. Such a structure certainly allows for a strong ‘philosophical’ layer to gradually emerge, its central 28 There are pronounced resemblances between True Detective and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo . Both involve a bleak view of humanity, a number of ritualistic killings and a rural setting with a troubled history (Sweden with its Nazi connections and Louisiana with its slavery past). 18
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enigma only acting as a catalyst that generates all manner of metaphysical discussions. Like Broadchurch and The Fall , it strips society of its respectable veneer and allows the narrative to delve deep into its dark and dangerous underbelly. True Detective is also leisurely, expansive and often contemplative in tone. ‘With no hurry to get to the end’, wrote Robert Lloyd, ’there is time for slow, detailed storytelling with lots of room for conversation and for silence’ (2014). At the start of the first episode, for
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