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The Entangled Media Geographies of the Nordics : Contemporary Scandinavian Production Practices through the Prism of Audio-visual Nordic Noir

Hedling, Olof LU (2017) Tracing Entanglements in Media History Tracing Entanglements in Media History
Abstract
The Entangled Media Geographies of the Nordics: Contemporary Scandinavian Production Practices through the Prism of Audio-visual Nordic Noir.Olof Hedling, Lund UniversityAlthough predominantly contemporary in its outlook, this paper attempts to grabble with a particular development in media history, namely the gradual de-nationalization, or, perhaps more accurately, the increasingly transnational character of contemporary media production in general and the film and television kinds in particular. In a very influential piece of scholarship, Andrew Higson once attempted to set out in what possible terms a national cinema could be defined and discussed (1989). One of Higson’s tentative delineations was with regard to: “establishing a... (More)
The Entangled Media Geographies of the Nordics: Contemporary Scandinavian Production Practices through the Prism of Audio-visual Nordic Noir.Olof Hedling, Lund UniversityAlthough predominantly contemporary in its outlook, this paper attempts to grabble with a particular development in media history, namely the gradual de-nationalization, or, perhaps more accurately, the increasingly transnational character of contemporary media production in general and the film and television kinds in particular. In a very influential piece of scholarship, Andrew Higson once attempted to set out in what possible terms a national cinema could be defined and discussed (1989). One of Higson’s tentative delineations was with regard to: “establishing a conceptual correspondence between the terms 'national cinema' and 'the domestic film industry', and therefore being concerned with such questions as: where are these films made, and by whom? Who owns and controls the industrial infrastructures, the production companies, the distributors and the exhibition circuits?” As the processes of globalization, conglomeration and the parallel movement towards the individual nation state’s geographical borders becoming ever more permeable, questions like those articulated by Higson, has, however, become increasingly difficult to answer. One way, nonetheless, to attempt to shed light on this knotty field is through the term transnational and its variety of implications.Accordingly, in response to the sometimes bewildering ways in which the term transnational has been used, Mette Hjort, in 2010 attempted to outline what she called a “typology of transnationalisms” – or, in a sense, of entangled, international collaborative practices – in connection with contemporary audio-visual production (2010: 12–33). Hjort’s explicit purpose here was to more precisely illuminate and contextualize the increasingly used concept of transnationalism. As a result, she consequently identified nine specific forms of cross-border collaboration. These forms, moreover, seem eminently usable when describing and examining the increasing practice, both in Hollywood and in world cinema in general, of co-production within the audio-visual field. In this talk, Hjort’s typology will be used and scrutinized in order to shed light on the various production strategies employed during the making of Scandianvian film’s by far most financially successful venture during the last few decades. The widely discussed and distributed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) was consequently an international co-production, shot and post-produced at particular locations in Sweden, including at the geographical sites of two major regional film funds. Simultaneously, the production represented collaboration between four mayor public and private broadcasters in Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden while also involving two of those countries’ public film funding agencies as well as various film production companies. In addition, the production was able to attract substantial private equity, an increasingly rare occurrence in present both Scandinavian and European film production. Similarly, though nearly all actors were Swedish and the dialogue was spoken in the domestic language of that country, virtually all the so-called “A-functions” behind the camera was being handled by Danes, including a Danish director, director of photography, producer, editor, sound designer, production designer and music composer. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – both a feature film and part of the later released Millennium television serial - consequently represents an alliance of different domestic and international organizations and agents informally negotiating their diverse interests in the Swedish and Scandinavian audio-visual production sphere. As a kind of conclusion, some sort of a historical rejoinder to the question of how and why a contemporary individual project can attract such an alliance of diverse agents and organizations will briefly be attempted.BibliographyBondebjerg, I and Redvall, E. N. (2013) “Transnational Scandinavia? Scandinavian Film Culture in a European and Global Context,” in M. Palacio and J. Türschmann (eds.) Transnational Cinema in Europe, Zürich and Berlin: Lit Verlag, pp. 127-146.Elsaesser, T. (2015) “European Cinema into the Twenty-First Century: Enlarging the Context?,” in M. Harrod, M. Liz and A. Timoshkina (eds.) The Europeanness of European Cinema: Identity, Meaning, Globalization, London: I.B. Tauris, pp. 17-32.Hedling, O. (forthcoming) “Contemporary Scandinavian Cinema between Art and Commerce” in R. Stone, P. Cooke, S. Dennison & A. Marlow-Mann (eds.) The Routledge Companion to World Cinema, New York and Oxon: Routledge.Higson, A (1989), “The Concept of National Cinema”, Screen 30 (4), pp. 36-47.Hjort, M. (2009) “On the Plurality of Cinematic Transnationalism,” in N. Ďurovičová and K. Newman (eds.) World Cinemas, Transnational Perspectives, New York and Oxon: Routledge, pp. 12-33. BiographyOlof Hedling teaches film studies at Lund University, Sweden and has published extensively on the phenomena of European film policy and regional film and television production. He has co-authored and co-edited several books. Hedling is a member of the advisory board of Routledge’s new book series Remapping World Cinema: Regional Tensions and Global Transformations and a contributor to the series’ forthcoming flagship volume The Routledge Companion to World Cinema (2017). (Less)
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Scandinavia audio-visual production,, film history, television history, media industries studies, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
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7 pages
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Tracing Entanglements in Media History Tracing Entanglements in Media History
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@misc{d7ea05a8-dd9c-483a-8679-e3d2e1b56cd9,
  abstract     = {The Entangled Media Geographies of the Nordics: Contemporary Scandinavian Production Practices through the Prism of Audio-visual Nordic Noir.Olof Hedling, Lund UniversityAlthough predominantly contemporary in its outlook, this paper attempts to grabble with a particular development in media history, namely the gradual de-nationalization, or, perhaps more accurately, the increasingly transnational character of contemporary media production in general and the film and television kinds in particular. In a very influential piece of scholarship, Andrew Higson once attempted to set out in what possible terms a national cinema could be defined and discussed (1989). One of Higson’s tentative delineations was with regard to: “establishing a conceptual correspondence between the terms 'national cinema' and 'the domestic film industry', and therefore being concerned with such questions as: where are these films made, and by whom? Who owns and controls the industrial infrastructures, the production companies, the distributors and the exhibition circuits?” As the processes of globalization, conglomeration and the parallel movement towards the individual nation state’s geographical borders becoming ever more permeable, questions like those articulated by Higson, has, however, become increasingly difficult to answer. One way, nonetheless, to attempt to shed light on this knotty field is through the term transnational and its variety of implications.Accordingly, in response to the sometimes bewildering ways in which the term transnational has been used, Mette Hjort, in 2010 attempted to outline what she called a “typology of transnationalisms” – or, in a sense, of entangled, international collaborative practices – in connection with contemporary audio-visual production (2010: 12–33). Hjort’s explicit purpose here was to more precisely illuminate and contextualize the increasingly used concept of transnationalism. As a result, she consequently identified nine specific forms of cross-border collaboration. These forms, moreover, seem eminently usable when describing and examining the increasing practice, both in Hollywood and in world cinema in general, of co-production within the audio-visual field. In this talk, Hjort’s typology will be used and scrutinized in order to shed light on the various production strategies employed during the making of Scandianvian film’s by far most financially successful venture during the last few decades. The widely discussed and distributed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) was consequently an international co-production, shot and post-produced at particular locations in Sweden, including at the geographical sites of two major regional film funds. Simultaneously, the production represented collaboration between four mayor public and private broadcasters in Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden while also involving two of those countries’ public film funding agencies as well as various film production companies. In addition, the production was able to attract substantial private equity, an increasingly rare occurrence in present both Scandinavian and European film production.  Similarly, though nearly all actors were Swedish and the dialogue was spoken in the domestic language of that country, virtually all the so-called “A-functions” behind the camera was being handled by Danes, including a Danish director, director of photography, producer, editor, sound designer, production designer and music composer. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – both a feature film and part of the later released Millennium television serial - consequently represents an alliance of different domestic and international organizations and agents informally negotiating their diverse interests in the Swedish and Scandinavian audio-visual production sphere. As a kind of conclusion, some sort of a historical rejoinder to the question of how and why a contemporary individual project can attract such an alliance of diverse agents and organizations will briefly be attempted.BibliographyBondebjerg, I and Redvall, E. N. (2013) “Transnational Scandinavia? Scandinavian Film Culture in a European and Global Context,” in M. Palacio and J. Türschmann (eds.) Transnational Cinema in Europe, Zürich and Berlin: Lit Verlag, pp. 127-146.Elsaesser, T. (2015) “European Cinema into the Twenty-First Century: Enlarging the Context?,” in M. Harrod, M. Liz and A. Timoshkina (eds.) The Europeanness of European Cinema: Identity, Meaning, Globalization, London: I.B. Tauris, pp. 17-32.Hedling, O. (forthcoming) “Contemporary Scandinavian Cinema between Art and Commerce” in R. Stone, P. Cooke, S. Dennison & A. Marlow-Mann (eds.) The Routledge Companion to World Cinema, New York and Oxon: Routledge.Higson, A (1989), “The Concept of National Cinema”, Screen 30 (4), pp. 36-47.Hjort, M. (2009) “On the Plurality of Cinematic Transnationalism,” in N. Ďurovičová and K. Newman (eds.) World Cinemas, Transnational Perspectives, New York and Oxon: Routledge, pp. 12-33. BiographyOlof Hedling teaches film studies at Lund University, Sweden and has published extensively on the phenomena of European film policy and regional film and television production. He has co-authored and co-edited several books. Hedling is a member of the advisory board of Routledge’s new book series Remapping World Cinema: Regional Tensions and Global Transformations and a contributor to the series’ forthcoming flagship volume The Routledge Companion to World Cinema (2017).},
  author       = {Hedling, Olof},
  keyword      = {Scandinavia audio-visual production,,film history,television history,media industries studies,The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  pages        = {7},
  title        = {The Entangled Media Geographies of the Nordics : Contemporary Scandinavian Production Practices through the Prism of Audio-visual Nordic Noir},
  year         = {2017},
}