A Relative Success? : Notes on the circulation and wider reception of Scandinavian Crime

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A Relative Success? Notes on the circulation and wider reception of Scandinavian Crime
In this paper Scandinavian crime, or Nordic Noir, in its filmic and televisual incarnations, will be considered on its relative merits as a transnationally successful, but regionally based popular cultural expression. The inquiry will be conducted against a backdrop which briefly traces the history and some of the obstacles which historically have limited the transnational circulation of European popular culture. Consequently, and despite the accomplishments, it is still possible to identify how the reception abroad of Scandinavian crime is, in certain ways, simultaneously marked by lingering forms of suspicion and limited tolerance in ways traditionally associated with the reception of indigenous forms of European popular culture. What has been termed the cultural discount effect is thus very much detectable when a broader reception environment is taken into account, implying that the transnational circulation and viewing, at least of the Scandinavian version of Nordic Noir, conceivably is not as widespread as may have been assumed. Here, the remake industry and the geographically relocated adaptations that Scandinavian crime have so far propelled, must also be considered in an ambiguous light. On the one hand, remakes seem to work as some kind of acknowledgement of recognition. On the other hand, however, the Anglophone remakes are also testimony to the view point that the original Scandinavian productions are in some sense lacking or, put another way, too associated with the effect of cultural discount. Despite strategies of cultural adaptation, transculturation and attempts at making the geographic margins familiar, efforts to create transnational audiovisual popular culture beyond the Anglophone sphere still seem hard fought. Somehow, the remnants of a traditional national identity and language remain as an obstacle.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Arts
  • Media and Communications


  • Nordic noir, audiovisual production, Scandinavian film and television
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
EventCRIME PAYS, CRIME DAYS, Aalborgs universitet - Aalborgs
Duration: 2015 Oct 12015 Oct 2


ConferenceCRIME PAYS, CRIME DAYS, Aalborgs universitet