• Bron/Broen, the Pilot Episode as Space between Cultures, and (re)negotiations of Nordic Noir

    Tobias Steiner (see profile)
    MS Screen Arts and Culture, MS Visual Culture
    Film noir, Scandinavia, Television--Study and teaching, Scandinavia
    Item Type:
    Meeting Title:
    Media Mutations 9: The Format Factor. Television Shows, Brands and Properties in the Global Television Scenario
    Meeting Org.:
    University of Bologna, Dipartimento delle Arti.
    Meeting Loc.:
    University of Bologna, Dipartimento delle Arti.
    Meeting Date:
    Television Studies, Noir Fiction, Television Formats, Nordic Noir, Television format, Scandinavian noir
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    Nordic Noir has, since the early-2000s, evolved into a globally-popular genre that now easily transcends media-specific boundaries. Television has always been at the forefront of that development: Scandinavian TV productions either turned literary successes into distinct and easily-recognizable television scripts, or developed independent shows which, with foreign adaptations such as The Killing (US) (AMC/Netflix, 2011-14) – themselves grew into international format successes. The most recent wave of Nordic Noirs – including blockbuster shows like Bron/Broen [The Bridge] (DK/SWE, 2011-), Blå ögon [Blue Eyes] (SWE, 2014), Herrens veje [Rides upon the Storm] (DK, 2017-) or Kongen af Danmark [The King] (DK, in development, 2017-) – continues to employ a particular Nordic Noir template. But while doing so, many of these shows also simultaneously transform Nordic Noir through processes of remaking and adaptation that become evident in examples such as Gomorrah (ITA, 2014-) and Les Témoins [Witnesses] (FR, 2015-), within correspondingly-changing generic, narrative, and locational contexts such as ‘Italian’ or ‘French Noir’. This most recent wave thus both affirms and dissolves the specificity of Nordic Noir as a genre. My presentation is particularly interested in the status that Nordic Noir as a genre has as a source for formatting within television, and the specific (re)negotiations that take place when Nordic Noir is transferred to different cultural settings. Following a brief introductory framing of Nordic Noir and its role in larger processes of the global format trade, I will employ Navarro’s understanding of format adaptation as processual ‘space between cultures’ (2012), and try to identify the onsets of this liminal space in the specific setting of the pilot. Subsequently, I will illustrate this perspective via a comparative analysis of Bron/Broen’s pilot and two of its international iterations – The Bridge (US), and The Tunnel (FR/UK).
    Last Updated:
    6 years ago


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