I’m lucky enough to be spending the year on research sabbatical at the Danish Film Institute, but while everyone else is busy with the first day of term at UCL I’ve grabbed the microphone to circulate a few bits and bobs.
Most importantly, just in case you haven’t seen it yet, the provisional programme for Nordicana (1-2 February) is out, and features lots of big names, exciting conversations (not least with our great Book Club friend Barry Forshaw), screenings, and Nordic food and drink: http://nordicnoir.tv/nordicana/
Over here, the post-new-year conversation around the water cooler (well, actually, round the coffee machine – this is Denmark after all) has been all about a new drama serial called Arven efter Veronika. The series has already been bought by UK television, as per this report in The Guardian, and it looks as though the title in English will be The Legacy. As you would expect, the characters are complex and the basic premise is simple but ingenious….so that’s something to look forward to after The Bridge.
We’ve been having an unusually mild winter while our North American friends shiver, but I’ve been enjoying a new documentary series on Norwegian channel NRK called Brøyt i vei. It’s all about the snow plough service which keeps Finnmark on the move in winter. Fascinating characters, gorgeous landscapes, and often gently funny. I think we should start a campaign to persuade BBC4 to buy this series! If you understand Norwegian, you may be able to follow it here.
Finally, if anyone is in or around Edinburgh (and a bit of a documentary geek like me), I’ll be screening and introducing some short Danish documentaries and art films from the 1940s-60s at the Danish Cultural Institute on Doune Terrace, Thursday 6 February, in the evening. More details will be available soon at this link.
Godt nytår / happy new year!
Readers of The Guardian may have spotted a follow-up to Jesper’s recent Danish language for Killing fans video. Readers were encouraged to post queries about Danish culture, politics, language, etc., and these were answered by a multidisciplinary team of staff and students from UCL Scandinavian Studies. The Q+As are here. We’re now discussing how to mark the long-awaited return of Borgen in January…
For those of you looking forward to the new series of The Killing, starting on BBC4 tomorrow evening, have a look at this short film with a crash course in Danish, featuring Jesper Hansen (with obligatory Forbrydelsen-style sweater) from the UCL Scandinavian Studies. Co-starring our departmental Polar Bear Skull.
Full details here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/video/2012/nov/16/danish-the-killing-video
Hello everyone — hope you’re all having a lovely summer. I’ve been contacted by a Danish journalist at Politiken newspaper, and I hope you may be able to help me answer her question, which I’m finding quit tricky to answer in an objective way. The journalist is wondering whether the British are increasingly interested in Nordic culture because of something in the Zeitgeist. She mentions, in particular, cycling, childcare, working hours, and healthy lifestyle. Playing devil’s advocate, I must admit I’m a little bit sceptical about the Zeitgeist idea. Isn’t it just fashionable for journalists to write about Scandinavian lifestyles at the moment? And isn’t it just fashionable because people are discovering Nordic crime fiction and television? Or do you think there is something more essential going on — are these the values and practices that British people secretly aspire to? If so, why are people aspiring to the Nordic way of life at precisely this point in history? Please let me know what you think, and I’ll pass your comments on to the journalist (maybe we’ll all get quoted in Politiken — fame at last!)
Hello Nordic Noir folk! Hope you are all having a good summer, despite the weather. I have been using the rainy evenings to plot a big autumn event to celebrate August Strindberg’s centenary. We’ll be taking over the North Lodge — a small but beautiful exhibition space at the main entrance to the UCL quad — and transforming it into The Red Room, the salon where August Strindberg would meet his friends to discuss politics, art, science and literature (and of course it gave his most famous novel its title: here is a freely available translation from 1913, and here is the new-ish Norvik Press edition). We are looking for people to lead discussions and give bite-sized presentations on any topic. Would any Nordic Noir Book Club members be interested in presenting on their work or interests in The Red Room between 22 September and 21 October? If so, please contact me to discuss further: firstname.lastname@example.org. And please check out the event blog as it develops.