Advertisement

Melancholy and Murder

Feelings, Atmosphere and Social Criticism in Television Crime Series
  • Gunhild Agger
  • Anne Marit Waade
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave European Film and Media Studies book series (PEFMS)

Abstract

From Antiquity to modern times, the concept of melancholy has challenged and inspired thinkers within different disciplines. This is also the case in modern TV drama, not least the kind that has been inspired by Nordic noir. In the article, the authors demonstrate how different aspects of melancholy can be applied as a distinct analytical approach to contemporary crime series. The serial Southcliffe (2013) is the primary case, but references are drawn to other examples. The authors investigate the relationship between melancholy and place, and show how melancholy traits are an important part of characters as well of atmosphere and mood. Last, they point out how distance and metatextual layers form a part of melancholy.

References

  1. Agger, Gunhild. 2016. Nordic Noir—Location, Identity and Emotion. In Emotions in Contemporary TV Series, ed. Alberto N. Garcia. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Agger, Gunhild, and Anne Marit Waade. 2011. Media and Crime: Fiction and Journalism. Northern Lights 9: 3–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Akbar, Arifa. 2013. ‘TV Review: Southcliffe Might Not Be Cheery, but Rare and Brilliant Sunday Night Viewing.’ Independent, 5 August 2013. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/tv-review-southcliffe-might-not-be-cheery-but-this-is-rare-and-brilliant-sunday-night-viewing-8745428.html. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  4. Andermahr, Sonya. 2011. Mourning, Melancholia and Melodrama in Contemporary Women’s Grief Fiction: Kim Edwards’s The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. Hecate 37 (1): 27–45.Google Scholar
  5. Bale, Kersti. 1997. Om melankoli. Olso: Pax Forlag.Google Scholar
  6. Bell, Matthew. 2014. Melancholia. The Western Malady. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bordorff, Maria. 2014. ‘Den flygtige nordiske melankoli’, Kopenhagen Magasin, 20.10.2014, interview with the curator Andreas Emenius. http://kopenhagen.dk/magasin/magazine-single/article/den-flygtige-nordiske-melankoli/. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  8. Bowring, Jacky. 2017. Melancholy and the Landscape: Locating Sadness, Memory and Reflection in the Landscape. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Cardwell, Sarah. 2005. Television Aesthetics and Close Analysis: Style, Mood and Engagement in Perfect Stangers (Stephen Loikoff, 2001). In Style and Meaning—Studies in the Detailed Analysis of Film, ed. John Gibbs and Douglas Pye. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Channel 4. 2013. Shirley Henderson—Claire Salter. Interview, 31 July 2013, online article on Channel4.com. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/southcliffe/articles/all/shirley-henderson-claire-salter/745. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  11. ———. n.d. Southcliffe/Pictures. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/southcliffe/pictures/all/southcliffe/39. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  12. Creeber, Glen. 2015. Killing Us Softly: Investigating the Aesthetics, Philosophy and Influence of Nordic Noir Television. Journal of Popular Television 3 (1): 21–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. DSM-5 2013. 2013. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. DSM online library: ‘melancholy’. https://dsm.psychiatryonline.org/action/doSearch?AllField=melancholy. Accessed 2 Sep 2018.
  14. Freud, Sigmund. 1917. Trauer und Melancholie. Kleine Schriften II, Chapter 4. Spiegel Online, Projekt Gutenberg, unpaged. http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/kleine-schriften-ii-7122/4. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  15. ———. 2005 [1917]. On Murder, Mourning and Melancholia. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  16. Gibbs, John. 2012. Balancing Act: Exploring the Tone of the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. New Review of Film and Television Studies 10 (1): 132–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gumbrecht, Hans. 2012. Atmosphere, Mood, Stimmung. On a Hidden Potential in Literature. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Helvacıoglu, Banu. 2013. Melancholy and Hüzün in Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul. Mosaic 46 (2): 163–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hornbek, Birgit Rasmussen. 2006. Renæssancens omvurdering af melankolien. In In Renæssancens verden: tœnkning, kulturliv, dagligliv og efterliv, ed. Ole Høiris and Jens Vellev. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Hippocrates. 400 bce. Trans Francis Adams. The Internet Classics Archive. http://classics.mit.edu/Hippocrates/aphorisms.html. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  21. Jefferies, Mark. 2013. TV Drama Murder Spree Echoes Derrick Bird’s Gun Rampage. Daily Mirror, August 24. http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/southcliffe-channel-4-drama-revives-1276599. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  22. Johannisson, Karin. 2010. Melankoliska rum. Om ångest, leda och sårbarhet i förfluten tid och nutid. Stockholm: Albert Bonniers Förlag.Google Scholar
  23. Klibansky, Raymond, Erwin Panofsky, and Fritz Saxl. 1979 [1964]. Saturn and Melancholy. Nendeln and Lichtenstein: Kraus Reprint.Google Scholar
  24. Kold, Anders. 1991. The Great Northern Doubt. In Melankoli. Nordisk romantisk maleri/Melancholy. Northern Romantic Painting, ed. Jens Erik Sørensen. Aarhus: Aarhus Kunstmuseums Forlag.Google Scholar
  25. Kristeva, Julia. 1998. Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia. New York: Columbia University Press (Original title Soleil Noir: Dépression et mélancholie, 1987).Google Scholar
  26. Luhr, William. 2012. Film Noir. West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. MacDowell, James. 2010. Notes on Quirky. Movie: A journal of Film Criticism. http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/film/movie/contents/notes_on_quirky.pdf. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  28. ———. 2012. Wes Anderson, Tone and the Quirky Sensibility. New Review of Film and Television Studies 10 (1): 6–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McClanahan, Erik. 2014. Review: ‘Southcliffe’ May Be the Best New Series on Netflix You Haven’t Yet Watched. IndieWire, September 26. http://www.indiewire.com/2014/09/review-southcliffe-may-be-the-best-new-series-on-netflix-you-havent-yet-watched-271862/. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  30. Nabokov, Vladimir. 1990. Commentary to Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin. Eugene Onegin. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Nestingen, Andrew. 2008. Crime and Fantasy in Scandinavia. Fiction, Film, and Social Change. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  32. Oxford Dictionary. n.d. ‘Melancholy’ and ‘English Melancholy’. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/melancholy. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  33. Pamuk, Orhan. 2005. Istanbul: Memories of a City. London: Faber.Google Scholar
  34. Pye, Douglas. 2007. Movies and Tone. In Close-Up 2, ed. John Gibbs and Douglas Pye, 1–80. London: Wallflower Press.Google Scholar
  35. Redvall, Eva Novrup. 2013. Writing and Producing Television Drama in Denmark: From The Kingdom to The Killing. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Reijnders, Stijn. 2011. Places of the Imagination—Media, Tourism, Culture. Surrey: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  37. Roberts, Les. 2016. Landscapes in the Frame: Exploring the Hinterlands of the British Procedural Drama. New Review of Film and Television Studies 14 (3): 364–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Robinson, John. 2013. Southcliffe: The Most Harrowing Drama on TV. The Guardian, July 26. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2013/jul/26/southcliffe-harrowing-tv-drama. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  39. Smith, Greg M. 2003. Film Structure and the Emotion System. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sørensen, Jens Erik. 1991. Introduction. In Melankoli. Nordisk romantisk maleri/Melancholy. Northern Romantic Painting, ed. Jens Erik Sørensen. Aarhus: Aarhus Kunstmuseums Forlag.Google Scholar
  41. Tapper, Michael. 2014. Swedish Cops: From Sjöwall & Wahlöö to Stieg Larsson. Bristol: Intellect.Google Scholar
  42. Thorsen, Niels. 2010. Geniet. København: Politikens Forlag.Google Scholar
  43. Waade, Anne Marit. 2017. Melancholy in Nordic Noir: Characters, Landscapes, Light and Music in The Killing. Critical Studies in Television, The International Journal of Television Studies, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1177/1749602017729629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Waade, Anne Marit, and Pia Majbritt Jensen. 2013. Nordic Noir Production Values. Academic Quarter. http://www.akademiskkvarter.hum.aau.dk/pdf/vol7/13a_AWaadePMJensen_NordicNoir.pdf. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
  45. Williams, Raymond. 1977. Marxism and Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Aarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

Personalised recommendations