Gender Politics In Nordic Noir

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Nearly every attempt to define film noir as a genre has established the visual style as the coherent thread that ties these diverse films together. Some scholars have however also pointed out that film noir could be perceived as a movement rather than a genre, mainly because it is generating a world view that is not yet understood and is shaking the foundations of the established, and therefore normal perceptions of the social order (Place, 1998, p. 49). Many critics point to the fact that like other film movements, “film noir emerged from a period of political instability (1941-58)” (Hayward, 2013, p. 149). I want to argue that for fully understanding gender politics of film noir and subsequently Nordic Noir, it is important to recognise how …show more content…
588). By applying this to film noir, it can explain the significance of the genre and movement by developing a narrative – including its gender politics – that can create awareness with the audience as well as it plays into their fantasies. This concept helps us understand specific depictions of gender, supports the corresponding fantasies that the films convey, and how this is further developed into Nordic Noir. It evidently suggests that the characters of both film noir and Nordic Noir are not measures of exact cultural change, although seeming, but are mostly useful in measuring a social fantasy or imagination. In this way, film noir and Nordic Noir were based on material that were found in an existing society, and were altered to make it a suitable subject matter by focussing on what was found important by its …show more content…
society’s crisis in the cultural regulation of masculinity: “shabby, defeatist and alienated” film noir heroes suggest a problematic connection to the cultural representation of the ideal, conservative masculine hero as aggressive, dynamic and tough (Krutnick, 1991, p. 90). Similarly, the Nordic Noir female detectives indicate a problematic relation to the culture’s ideal of femininity. The male hero’s paranoia was a sign of the “disjunction between, on the one hand, the contemporary representational possibilities of masculine self-image and, on the other, the traditional cultural codification of masculine identity” (Krutnick, 1991, p. 91). This implies an image of a ‘man’ becoming difficult to live up to, while in Nordic Noir’s case, the female detective who denies the feminine stereotypes that society has exposed to, is admired for her ability to never give up and to solve the case, no matter what that would mean for her personal affairs. This confirms that the patriarchal concerns are absent, and that the relation of femininity and masculinity is revised. Much like how the femme fatale was a product of her environment, the Scandinavian female detective is a product of a collective fantasy of a society that denies all gendered

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