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They made it to Skagen! A REPORT BY NIELS UNI nr jeg ser et rdt flag smlde DAM TANJA du m godt kalde mig klumpe GJRUP DANIEL der fik I det nok drligt, hva! HERMANSEN PIA CECILIE kan du tvivle HEDE MEISNER HEIDI ja, du gr mig varmTRIER PEDERSEN STARRING: KIM SCHRDER AS THE SUPER SUPERVISOR, LOUISE PHILLIPS AS THE PATIENT FEED-BACK SUPERVISOR, LANGUAGE holen sie da op


A project about postmodernism, irony and television

Coming to a university near you!

Isnt it Ironic
Niels Uni Dam Tanja Gjrup Daniel Hermansen Pia Cecilie Hede Meisner Heidi Trier Pedersen

Supervisor: Kim Schrder Autumn semester 1996 ICS II

If you cant beat a saying, then borrow it

(D.J Enright 1986, p. 3)

Table of Contents
1. Preface 8

2. Motivation and Problem Definition

3. Project Components and Structure

3.1 Theoretical Framework of the Project


4. Postmodernism

15 17 18 20 21 24 29 30 31 34 34

4.1 From Modernism to Postmodernism 4.2 Defining Postmodernism 4.3 Fredric Jameson 4.4 Jean-Francois Lyotard 4.5 Jean Baudrillard 4.6 Important Postmodern Features 4.7 Irony 4.7.1 The Background 4.7.2 Irony as a Postmodern Feature 4.7.3 Discussion of our Procedure 4.8 Postmodernism and Television

5. Theoretical Approach to the Case Study - Charlot og Charlotte

5.1 Introduction 5.2 Methods of Analysis 5.2.1 Micro Analysis 5.2.2 Macro Analysis

37 37 38 38

5.2.3 Theories Classical Narrative Structure Alternative Narrative Structures Postmodern Television & Film The Road Movie Signs and Signification 5.2.4 Structuralism and Binary Oppositions

39 39 43 44 46 47 49

6. Analysis of Charlot og Charlotte

6.1 Biography on Ole Bornedal 6.2 Summary of the Serial 6.3 Micro Analysis 6.3.1 Opening Extract The Role of Irony 6.3.2 Second Extract The Role of Irony 6.3.3 Final Extract The Role of Irony 6.3.4 Summing Up the Micro Analysis 6.4 Macro Analysis 6.4.1 Narrative Structure Narrative Angle Focus Relation Between Events Qualities of Characters Narrator 6.4.2 Intertextuality Fragmentation in Editing Stories and Events Mix of Genres References to Texts Reference to Culture and Society Fiction and Reality Summing Up 6.4.3 The Irony in the Serial on a Macro Level 6.5 Binary Oppositions 6.6 Is Charlot og Charlotte a Postmodern Television Serial? 6.7 Reflections on theSerial

51 53 57 58 64 66 77 79 86 87 88 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 94 95 96 98 103 106 107 108 111 114 115

7. Discussions and Reflections

7.1 Postmodernism in Society 7.2 Irony 7.3 Reflection on Theories

117 119 122

8. Working Process


9. Resum p dansk


10. Bibliography


Appendix I: List of Characters Appendix II: Going Through the Sequences of the Serial Appendix III: Index

1. Preface
This is a report about postmodernism, irony and the Danish television serial Charlot og Charlotte by Ole Bornedal. Before beginning the actual project report, we have chosen to present a quotation of D.J. Enright, as it relates to all the main parts of our project. It is from the book The Alluring Problem about irony. We see it as summing up, in one single sentence, what postmodernism is all about. Additionally it expresses the ironic attitude towards the technique of, for instance intertextuality, and towards the existence of copies without originals. It further relates to the serial, since Ole Bornedal uses intertextual references extensively as a way of presenting things; he borrows from everything and everybody.

2. Motivation and Problem Definition

Already when watching the Danish television serial "Charlot og Charlotte" for the very first time, one cannot help feeling completely fascinated with both the story and with the stylistic features. We believe it to be virtually impossible to watch "Charlot og Charlotte" without enjoying it in some way or another. It contains so many different aspects, and it functions on several different levels, which help make it fascinating for a large group of people. When analysing the serial we have watched it several times rather intensively, and yet we have managed to avoid getting tired of it. Every time we watch it, we discover new details which make it even more brilliant. We are touched as we follow Charlot and Charlotte on their journey through Denmark. We feel that we have got to know them so well and can relate to their feelings and behaviour, and after two months with "Charlot og Charlotte" we cannot have a single conversation within the group without someone quoting the serial. Our interest in postmodernism has also increased through our investigations. We feel that the subject has opened up to us, and we find it exciting to look into what is happening in our contemporary culture and society. Irony is also something, which we can relate directly to ourselves. Our motivation to work with irony is the realisation of the comprehensive use of irony today. As we have the idea that people from other cultures do not understand irony as we do, we wonder if irony is specific for a culture such as ours. This will however not be what we will investigate in this report. Our mutual interest in combining postmodernism and postmodernity with "Charlot og Charlotte" and relate it to irony has lead us to the following problem definition: We will look for postmodern and ironic features in the contemporary Danish television serial "Charlot og Charlotte", and see if and how the two concepts are interlinked. Presupposing that the serial is postmodern and thereby a cultural product that testifies the existence of postmodernism in society, our analysis will provide us with the basis to discuss what role irony plays in the serial, in postmodernism and in postmodern society in a broader sense.


First of all we see "Charlot og Charlotte" as a postmodern television serial, since it contains aspects which are characterised as postmodern features by postmodernists. With this in mind, we wish to examine what postmodernism and postmodernity actually is. We have decided to use this as a background for our analysis of the serial. We want to relate postmodernism, "Charlot og Charlotte", and irony to the society and culture we live in. We will include an examination of postmodern television, since we find it necessary to explain the framework for "Charlot og Charlotte", when considering that it is a television product. Our investigations should in the end of the project be able to show us whether or not it was correct of us to claim that the serial is postmodern. Secondly, we have a hypothesis which says that we do indeed live in a society, which can be said to be, if not entirely then partly, postmodern. We consider this as being the case, since we view our society as being very fragmented and full of choices. The link to society and culture will be dealt with all the way through the report, but especially in an overall discussion when summing up on the entire project. We have another hypothesis which deals with the role of irony. Since we consider irony as being a key feature of postmodernism, we will investigate this assumption, which is based on the notion that irony, as we see it, plays an important role in our society; a society which may or may not be postmodern. After explaining the concept of irony we will have to ask ourselves how irony is used in the serial, and how it relates to the other postmodern features found in "Charlot og Charlotte". In order to be able to answer this question, it requires that we discuss the relationship between irony, society and postmodernism. Our approach to the chosen problem will clearly be emphasised by our main focus on society and culture and thus our analysis of the serial should be viewed in this light. In the end we will reflect on how our project relates to our cluster theme, 'Discourse and Change'.


3. Project Components and Structure

The two previous chapters have been a general introduction to our report together with an explanation of motivation and a presentation of our problem definition. The first part of this chapter is meant to give an overview of the different parts included in the report; why they are important, and which functions they have. The second part of this chapter is a presentation of our theoretical framework, Norman Fairclough's theory of Critical Analysis of Media Discourse. The next chapter, chapter four, will deal with postmodernism and postmodernity in relation to society and culture in order to provide a background for the further analysis of "Charlot og Charlotte". It will contain a clarification of what is meant by the terms postmodernism and postmodernity in order to avoid any misunderstandings, when reading the report. In order to explain the concept of postmodernism, we have decided to include a chapter, which is meant to go through the development from modernism to postmodernism. We will then continue with an attempt to define postmodernism by first looking at definitions made by Dick Hebdige and Jim Collins. The last part of this section will consist of our own definition of postmodernism based on the already existing theories. Because of our focus on postmodernism, we will then present some of the main theorists within this field. This means going through some of the most important theories by Fredric Jameson, Jean Baudrillard and Jean-Francois Lyotard. We will explain the main points of these theories in order to give a view of what postmodernism is really all about. The next point will be an account of some of the most important postmodern features, which is necessary for the examination of our case study. As an important feature of postmodernism irony has been awarded an entire subchapter, since it is our main focus. We intend to go through the background of irony and discuss whether or not it can be seen as a key feature of postmodernism. This will help us investigate the role of irony on a micro as well as on a macro level in the serial. The last point in this chapter will be a look into the relationship between television and postmodernism. The chapter as a whole should provide us with the frame for later analysing a cultural product, the television serial, which is supposedly postmodern. With chapter five, we aim at explaining the theoretical approach to our analysis of the serial. The focus will be on methods of analysis and on the different theories available when analysing. We will include an explanation of classical and alternative narrative structure as well as postmodern television and film. Since The Road Movie is a highly relevant concept


in relation to the serial and since this genre is not as familiar as e.g. the love story, we have chosen to incorporate a short explanation of this concept. Signs and signification is an important part of the theoretical background for an analysis and will therefore be explained briefly. The last part of the theory behind the methods of analysis is an explanation of the function of binary oppositions. We will then continue with the actual analysis of Charlotte og Charlotte, in chapter six, which will be split up in two; first a micro analysis followed by a macro analysis. The former consists of a detailed analysis of three chosen extracts from the serial and the latter is an analysis on a more general level concentrating on the entire serial as a whole, such as the narrative structure and angle. When examining the narrative structure, we will consider the serial, which is divided into four episodes of about 50 minutes, as a film of 200 minutes, since we will apply film and television theories in the analyses. To begin with, we will present a biography about Ole Bornedal, the writer and director. Then a summary of the serial will be presented and then we will analyse it according to the theories explained in the chapter on methods of analysis. We will then look for the characteristics of postmodernism in the serial with emphasis on irony. The binary oppositions will serve as a form of explanation to the development of the two main characters in the serial; in a way as a form of presentation and characters sketch. The analysis chapter will end with a discussion and a summing up, where we consider the postmodern features including irony found in the analyses. On basis of this we will conclude whether or not "Charlot og Charlotte" can be said to be a postmodern television serial. The overall discussion and conclusion will be dealt with in chapter seven and here we will treat our problem definition and sum up on our entire report. As a part of the discussion, we would like to consider to what extend postmodernism is present in our society today. We will try to determine if our case study as a cultural product of postmodernity can be said to mirror as well as shape trends in society and therefore be a representative of a product shaped by and shaping society. Thereafter we will discuss the role of irony and postmodernity in our culture and society, and see if a product like "Charlot og Charlotte" reflects a certain ironic attitude and mode of thinking in our society. In chapter eight we present our working process, while chapter nine will contain a Danish summary of the entire project.

3.1 Theoretical Framework of the Project


As theoretical framework for our project as a whole, we have chosen to apply a theory by Norman Fairclough. The choice is made, since his ideas seem to view society and cultural products in a way, which is closely connected to the way we deal with it in the project. The main idea, we intend to focus on, is Fairclough's critical discourse analysis of a communicative event and the dynamics of discourse.

As the model shows, it deals with three levels: every discursive event involves a text, a discourse practice and a sociocultural practice. Discourse practice mediates between text and social practice, thus both levels help shape each other. The model explains the relationship between text and society. The main idea is that: A text is not only shaped by society, it helps shape society as well. As seen in the chapter on motivation and problem definition above, we have the hypothesis that "Charlot og Charlotte" is a postmodern television product. If this turns out to be a correct assumption, we can safely say that since the text is shaped by society, this serial must be shaped by postmodern tendencies in society. In relation to this, the society we live in will be affected by postmodernism. However, the theory also works the other way round. According to Fairclough, we can say that a text helps shape society as well, and if we

discover that "Charlot og Charlotte" is postmodern, we will be able to conclude that the serial will help shape our society in a postmodern way. We will not go into further details with the Fairclough model, but merely use it as the underlying theoretical framework throughout the entire project. However, we will return to Fairclough and his theory in the end of the report, when discussing our problem definition and relate it to our findings from the analyses.


4. Postmodernism
The purpose of this chapter is to explain postmodernism in order to have the framework when later analysing "Charlot og Charlotte". We are aware of the fact that an in-depth account of postmodernism would be a project in itself, and have therefore chosen to focus mainly on postmodernism in relation to cultural products of society such as television serials. We will attempt to define what postmodernism and postmodernity are, and how the terms relate to culture. This will lead us into a discussion of typical postmodern features, explaining what characterises postmodern cultural products. Since we have the hypothesis that irony is a key feature of postmodernism, we will try to explain this concept and its postmodern facets. Television is said to be a postmodern phenomenon; in the essay "Television and Postmodernism", Jim Collins states that "...television is frequently referred to as the quintessence of postmodern culture..." (Allen 1992, p. 327). Since we have chosen to work with a television serial, which we see as postmodern, and since television has developed immensely in this era of popular culture, we will proceed with discussing the medium of television as a mode of postmodern communication.

4.1. From Modernism to Postmodernism

Before trying to define and describe postmodernism, we will explain the relationship between postmodernism and postmodernity in order to avoid any confusion when using the two. Postmodernity is used when speaking of the epoch and describes the contemporary social condition. Postmodernism, on the other hand, is an aesthetic term used to describe the emergent culture of postmodernity. Postmodernism developed around the 1960s as a reaction against modernism (Storey 1993, p. 155), which up until that point in time had played a major role in society. Modernism appeared in European culture around the end of the 19th century (Schepelern 1989, p. 4). In the beginning modernism was characterised by elements, which functions were to upset and offend the middle class, the bourgeois society; "... modernism began as a criticism of nineteenthcentury bourgeois culture, a rejection of both its values and its most favoured style, namely realism" (Allen 1992, p. 328). Writers like James Joyce, Franz Kafka, and Bertolt Brecht, poets like T.S. Eliot and painters like Pablo Picasso were some of the leading modernists, who radically changed the picture of the world in art and later even the whole picture of the world with


their new thinking. Modernism was concerned with distinctive artistic movements like cubism, expressionism, futurism, and surrealism (Schepelern 1989, p.4). The artists and thinkers within these fields were seen as ingenious (Allen 1992, p. 328). Modernism appealed to the elite of society, meaning academics and upper class people with connections to universities and art museums, since it criticised everything popular and therefore mediocre. When first appearing, modernism gained an official status of being the high culture of the modern capitalist world, but later it developed into being canonised. Modernist culture had become bourgeois culture (Storey 1993, p. 155-156). However, modernism can be said to have failed as a dominant culture, it has not reached all of the public, it has not accomplished "...the sweeping social change by developing a revolutionary mass consciousness" (Allen 1992, p.329). Jrgen Habermas, the German philosopher, who believes that we still live in a modern world, defends the modern project. He states that the prime aim of modernity, which is the term for the epoch in which modernism could be said to be dominant, is to have eternal discourses in science, morality and aesthetics (the cultural spheres of knowledge) that reflect on values such as truth, moral goodness and beauty. These discourses should serve as guidelines to enrich everyday life. This aim has not been fulfilled yet, but Habermas still believes in it. (Lyotard 1984, p. 348). Collins introduces the idea that the fascination with everything new and innovating brought about a greater priority to the new forms of personal expression and communication and thereby neglected the interest of the masses; "...In trying to keep their distance to the familiar, modernists also kept their distance to the public they hoped to transform" (Allen 1992, p. 329). As mentioned earlier postmodernism developed as a reaction to modernism. Collins says that postmodernism was a reaction against the immense power of the modernist artists with their marginalised and increasingly smaller audiences (Allen 1992, p.330). In addition Storey states that to a certain extent the early postmodernism was ...a populist attack on the elitism of modernism... (Storey 1993, p.156). Postmodernism strove to obliterate the vast distinction between high (elitist) and low (popular) culture (Storey 1993, p.167) as the postmodern idea is that no discourse is of greater value than another (Schepelern 1989, p.5).

4.2. Defining Postmodernism


Postmodernism appeared as an aesthetic term, meaning a term describing elements in the art world, in the 1950s (Schepelern 1989, p.5). By the late 1980s it was established as the dominating critical and academic mode of this day and age (Schepelern 1989, p.5). It had developed from not only describing art forms but also into being a specific cultural phenomenon. This leads us to the discussion about what the term actually means. Explaining the term postmodernism is not an easy task since it covers many different aspects of one area and is used in various connections. It is a phenomenon found in connection with cultural studies and it stretches as far as to communications, such as television and film, architecture, literature, philosophy, art, music etc. Postmodernism is used to describe a lot of things in the realms of culture and society and can be said to be an overall condition. The Danish film critic Peter Schepelern explains, "...postmodernismen eller det postmoderne er navn p en hel ndelig situation, en tilstand, en stil og en livsstil, som ikke er s let at indfange" (Schepelern 1989, p.4) (...postmodernism or the postmodern is an entire spiritual situation, a condition, a style and a lifestyle, which is not easily captured). Dick Hebdige introduces postmodernism as a buzzword, meaning a word that describes or expresses something important, which can be hard to understand. When examining the examples listed by Hebdige, one can understand this description of the term. Postmodernism is among other things described as:

...the decor of a room, the design of a building, the diagesis of a film,, a television commercial,..., an anti-teleological tendency within epistemology,... a fascination for images, codes and styles, a process of cultural, political, or existential fragmentation and/or,..., the collapse of cultural hierarchies,..., broad societal and economic shifts into a media, consumer or multinational phase... (Hebdige 1988, p.181-182). Taking all the above mentioned examples into account, it is not difficult to see why postmodernism can be hard to comprehend or explain. The various definitions of the term have served as grounds for confusion to people, who are not familiar with postmodernism on a more advanced level. Collins states that no short definition of the term exists, and that it is often used in ways, which may seem contradictory. The basis for his statement is the listing of the following six examples: "(1) a distinctive style; (2) a movement that emerged in the sixties, seventies or eighties depending on the medium in question; (3) a condition or milieu that


typifies an entire set of socioeconomic factors; (4) a specific mode of political inquiry that throws into question the givens of a philosophical discourse; (5) a very particular type of politics; and (6) an emergent form of cultural analysis shaped by all of the above" (Allen 1992, p. 327). By comparing the explanations of the term given by Hebdige and Collins, one can recognise some identical points in the two essays. It should be noted that the many examples made by Hebdige are more extensive and the reason for this is that he tries to give the reader an idea of how far-reaching postmodernism is. Collins, on the other hand, focuses more on postmodernism in relation to television. They both consider specific styles as well as cultural aspects such as societal and economic factors, which relate to the media and consumer culture. In addition to this, cultural and political aspects are main factors when defining postmodernism according to Hebdige and Collins. It is evident that postmodernism influences all elements of society and therefore cannot be isolated as being just one thing. To sum up; postmodernism is many different things. First of all it is an aesthetic term which is specific to a culture and society such as the Danish. For instance it can be a mode of thinking, writing literature, painting pictures, living, building houses etc. In the report we will specifically use two definitions of the term. First of all, since we are looking into postmodernism and irony and the relation between the two in a contemporary Danish television serial, we will consider postmodernism as a way of presenting things and as a distinctive style in e.g. producing television. Nevertheless, we also feel that since postmodernism can be expressed in artistic forms, it must exist as a feeling, in the artist as well as in the receivers and consequently in society. Postmodernism is part of our culture, and culture can be described as a mode of producing meaning in society.

4.3. Fredric Jameson

Postmodern culture has definitely entered society and according to the American Marxist cultural critic Fredric Jameson, postmodernism is no longer only explaining a cultural style but also functions as a "...periodizing concept..." (Storey 1993, p. 167). Jameson is inspired by other theorists, who state that moving from one historical period to another does not necessarily mean that a new cultural mode will overtake the role of the former completely; what marks the cultural difference is the place of cultural modes in a sociocultural hierarchy. It is thus possible to isolate certain features of postmodernist culture within modernity, and certain features of modernist culture in postmodernity. Still, although many cultural modes can exist simultaneously one mode will dominate. Even though postmodernism can be said


to be the cultural dominant in Western capitalist societies, it is not necessarily the only form of cultural production and consumption (Storey 1993, p.167). We think that a lot of things in our contemporary society can be said to be postmodern. However, we definitely agree with Jameson when he says that in a society of postmodernity, where postmodernism is the dominant culture, certain modern features remain. Jameson is not a postmodernist, he is in fact rather critical towards postmodernism. However, he does recognise the existence of postmodernity, he just does not appreciate it. As a Marxist, Jameson is very much concerned with economics and capitalism. As we see it, Jameson's theory of postmodern culture is determined by capitalism, economics and ideology. He thinks that postmodernism was inevitable in the sense that it is "...the cultural dominant of late or multinational capitalism" (Storey 1993, p.167). Jameson agrees with postmodernists such as Jean Baudrillard and Jean-Francois Lyotard when stating that social development has suffered a break. He presents postmodernism as "...the cultural logic of capitalism..." (Kellner 1988, p.258) which involves two new stages of capitalism: a new cultural dominant and a new socioeconomic stage. Jameson's theories include many different aspects such as politics, economics, culture and sociology, and it was he, who developed the debate about postmodernism from being a cultural theory into becoming a social theory (Kellner 1988, p.258). He says that everything in social life can be said to have become cultural. Jameson still believes in the classical Marxism class politics, and thus he goes against what the postmodernists think, they do not believe in a divided class society (Kellner 1988, p. 261). Jameson wants to maintain the distinctions between the social classes, left/right etc. He sees the Marxian ideology as being a form of grand narrative, which people still believe in. His claim that there is indeed a form of grand narrative which he calls "...the Marxian Master Narrative..." differs from postmodernists (such as Lyotard) notion that the great truth claims no longer exist (Kellner 1988, p.262).


4.4. Jean-Francois Lyotard

Lyotard is the founder of the idea, which involves the decline of metanarratives, the grand narratives. He defines the postmodern " incredulity towards metanarratives" (Lyotard 1984, p. 330). We are not of the same opinion as Lyotard, who says that the grand narratives do not exist in a postmodern society anymore, but have been replaced by many small narratives which can be combined to one s own liking. The grand narratives are the many discourses of ideology, religion and theories of science etc. that have claimed to be absolute truths. In modernity people had a need to believe in something that would make the world a better place, something that would stay the same. In our day and age, Lyotard would say that people have accepted the decline of the grand narratives and are satisfied with creating their own meaning and their own personal truths (Storey 1993, p. 160). Nevertheless, we feel that this is only partly true. Some people do still believe in e.g. religion or science. They still need to believe that things have a purpose and a cause; that they are not just meaningless. For example many people turn to new alternative grand narratives such as different sects (e.g. scientology and Ba-hai) that provide them with a whole (new) way of thinking and living. This search for grand narratives could be a result of confusion created by the plurality and fragmentation in society. On the other hand we do not completely agree with Jameson either. We understand what he means by the Marxian ideology being a grand narrative that to a certain extent still exists, but we do not agree with his constant referring to the economic aspects of postmodern society, we feel that the change in society was caused by different things and not just capitalism as such. We, the members of the group, feel that we personally cannot believe in one absolute truth that explains everything. We prefer to make our own ideologies and philosophies of life. For example, the Ten Commandments in the Bible represent values that we approve of, but we do not agree with e.g. the condemnation of homosexuality. Our generation (a generation of postmodernity?) has always been taught to take a critical standpoint and as we see it, we need proof before believing in something. Personally, we do not believe everything to be meaningless, and that there is nothing to believe in anymore. It is just that we would limit ourselves and our possibilities, if we believed in only one ideology that determined what we ought to do or not. We prefer to pick out bits and pieces from different ideologies and religions. It might be confusing but it gives us a certain freedom to control our own lives.


In postmodernism the boundaries between high and popular culture have collapsed, with the result that nothing and no one is unique anymore. Everything seems to have been blended together. In this connection Jameson says that we are not free agents, rather we are products of language and culture. He talks about the "...death of the subject..." meaning that no one is individual, no one stands out from the masses. Everything has been thought of before. Consequently, the invention of anything original seems virtually impossible. New works of art recycle old works of art (Storey 1993, p.168, Kaplan 1988, p.16-17 ). However, when describing how norms are non existent in a postmodernist society, because the world is fragmented and we all create our own codes and do things our own way, he seems to contradict himself. We think that according to this, we are individual in the sense that we make our own personal perception of reality.

4.5. Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard, who believes that there has been an absolute break between the epoch of modernity and the epoch of postmodernity (Kellner 1988, p. 248), is considered by many to be one of the main theorists within the field of cultural theory and popular culture in relation to postmodernism and postmodernity (Storey 1993, p. 162). John Fiske states that Baudrillard is the only postmodernist, who has dealt explicitly with mass media and popular culture as such (Curran & Gurevietch 1991, p. 53). Baudrillard has actually stated that contemporary culture is television culture (Allen 1992, p.331).

Like Jameson, Baudrillard is concerned with the influence of economic as well as social factors: "it is no longer possible to separate the economic or productive realms from the realms of ideology or culture, since cultural artifacts, images, representations, even feelings and psychic structures have become part of the world of the economic" (Storey 1993, p. 162). Moreover, Baudrillard states that we no longer live in a society, which is arranged around the production of things, but instead one, which is based on the production of information (Storey 1993, p.162). We live in a culture of the media, which produces a plurality of images, that we are fascinated by(Curran & Gurevietch 1991, p.56). In accordance with this, Baudrillard introduces the concepts of simulacra and the simulacrum, which are significant for the theory of postmodernism. He discusses this by referring to an entire culture of the simulacrum.


Storey explains simulacrum as " identical copy without an original" (Storey 1993, p. 162), and Baudrillard states that there is no longer any distinction between a copy and the original, and this is the process of simulation. In everyday life we see examples of this relation between copies and originals. When buying a record, you buy a copy not the original and when watching a film in a movie theatre, you have not been watching the original but a copy purchased by the cinema to show to the audience. We live in a consumer culture, where consumption is more important than production; the main aim is to make more and more money. Everything is mass produced and reproduced and consumed. Baudrillard continues with his idea of hyperreality, which Storey claims is the "...characteristic mode of postmodernity..." (Storey 1993, p. 163). Here the distinction between reality and simulation continually fades, and there is a continuing merging of the real and the imaginary into each other. Baudrillard says that we cannot differentiate between copies and originals, which means that we are unable to identify what is real and what is unreal. What we are actually dealing with is the merge of the real into hyperrealism (Storey 1993, p. 165). The decline of reality can be seen in connection with Lyotard's decline of the grand narratives. There is no reality and no metanarrative of truth anymore. The hyperreal brings into one concept the real in which we live and our sense of experience of it; it is a hybrid of image, reality, spectacle, sensation and meaning. Fiske says that this hyperreality constitutes the postmodern condition. According to Fiske, Baudrillard is trying to explain the key defining condition of the era; that there is a constant flow of images in our culture. (Curran & Gurevietch 1991, p.56) These fragmented images come together arbitrarily, there is no structure, they refuse to be organised in genres (Curran & Gurevietch 1991, p. 58). The simulacrum acknowledges that reality exists, but denies that there is any difference between images and the real. Baudrillard believes that the image can no longer be controlled by reality or ideology:

"If a simulation is real in itself and not dependent upon its relationship to reality or ideology it becomes available for any use at any time in any context. The loss of both reality and ideology as grounding bases for images is another facet of the loss of the grand narrative". (Curran & Gurevietch 1991, p. 56). Again we recognise the connection to Lyotard.


Television plays an important role in what Baudrillard calls the "...dissolution of TV into real life [and] the dissolution of life into TV..." (Storey 1993, p. 163). The idea is that when watching television, it becomes difficult for us to distinguish between reality and simulation (copies and originals) and in a way they blend together. According to Baudrillard, it is not just a blurred distinction between the two we are dealing with, but that simulation becomes more real than reality. Storey gives the examples with actors receiving warnings or requests for help and advice as if they were in fact the characters they play (Storey 1993, p. 163). Also one might experience images through television that one would not have the possibility of experiencing in reality and consequently when one thinks of the particular image, one has no other association than the image, which was portrayed on television. Baudrillard claims that the postmodern world is devoid of meaning. He says that this endless stream of images/signs creates a meaninglessness which develops an indifference, a nihilism. Kellner explains: "...After the destruction of meaning and all the referentials and finalities of modernity, postmodernism is described as a response to emptiness and anguish which is oriented toward 'the restoration of past culture'..." As mentioned above (4.5 Jean Baudrillard) it is said that since everything has been done before, it is impossible to produce anything innovating. Therefore one must play with the pieces, which are left from past ideologies, histories and truths etc. reconstructing what one has destroyed (Kellner 1988, p. 246-247). As Storey states: "...According to Baudrillard, postmodernist culture is a culture of the present made from fragments of the past, a toying with historical ruins." (Storey 1993, p. 165). We do not agree with Baudrillard's statement that meaning (and in a sense reality) does not exist anymore. We realise that there is no universal meaning, but we do believe that people, when making their own choices from the fragmented plurality of virtually everything in society, create their own personal meanings; their own reality. Reality is subjective, and reality and meaning exist in as many versions as there are persons. As Fiske says: "...The failure of the concept of a final 'reality' or 'truth' to hold up in postmodern conditions does not require us to dispense with any notion of reality at all, but rather to reformulate the concept into one of multiple, differently experienced realities within which people live their everyday lives." (Curran & Gurevietch 1991, p. 63). After having had the discussion above, we feel that the dominant culture of our society is postmodernism, but that modernism still influences a lot of aspects in society today.

4.6. Important Postmodern Features


When discussing postmodernism and postmodern art specific terms appear. In this chapter we will explain terms mainly referring to the postmodern features of art. However, some terms can also be used to describe the conditions in society. When speaking of postmodern art we include literature, theatre, architecture, sculpturing, music as well as films and the media etc. It should be noted that most of the concepts are interlinked, and that they sometimes tend to overlap each other. Since this is the case it is impossible to define one concept without the use of the others. Peter Schepelern introduces the concept of meta-art (Metakunst). Meta is a prefix used when wanting to lift something to a higher level, the meta-level, it meaning higher or beyond. Meta-art is self-reflexive art, i.e. it reflects its own status as art work or fictional work by e.g. commenting on its creation and production or by referring to other creations of art with the use of quotations, allusions, clichs, pastiche, and parody. This aesthetic play is intertextual. Consequently, its form may appear complicated and rather artificial (Schepelern 1989, p.6). The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines pastiche as a "...literary, musical or artistic work in the style of another author, artist etc...[or]...a literary, musical or artistic work consisting of elements from various sources" (Crowther 1995, p. 847). In relation to this, pastiche has two main functions: one is to imitate, the other has to do with the idea that one has to create a whole by picking out pieces from different contexts and placing them in others. One can use different genres, which are "...a class of works of art, literature, or music marked by a particular style, form, or subject..." (Summers 1992, p. 541), in one and the same product. According to Jameson, pastiche is a key feature in postmodernism. He finds it necessary to explain pastiche in relation to parody, since these terms often are seen as synonymous. In fact there is a very significant difference. Both imitate other styles by especially concentrating on manners and stylistic features. Parody is concerned with mocking the original by focusing on the uniqueness of styles and on the eccentricism of the object in question. Parody is not necessarily without sympathy, but the general effect is to ridicule. In all forms of parody, satiric elements are present, but not necessarily on a conscious level (Kaplan 1988, p.15-16). Unlike pastiche, one of the devices of parody is exaggeration much like satire, which has the motive of showing how e.g. people and institutions are incompetent or foolish (Crowther 1995, p. 1042). Jameson states that the precondition for parody is a notion of something normal, which can be made fun of, and he considers parody as impossible in a society without norms. However, pastiche does not need this precondition. It imitates without


ridiculing, it "... is blank parody, parody that has lost its sense of humor...the modern practice of a kind of blank irony..." (Kaplan 1988, p.16). As we see it, Jameson points out that we live in a postmodern society, and that pastiche has overtaken the role of parody completely. Jameson believes that we are entering or have entered "...the world of pastiche..." (Storey 1993, p. 168), and that it is characterised by the fact that no new innovations can be made, and that we can only imitate old styles. In Schepelern's article "Spgelsets navn" pastiche is a meta-tendency (meta-tendens), which is characterised by a free disposal of history and of any chosen material (Schepelern 1989, p.13). Fragmentation is another feature of postmodernism, and it is very closely connected to pastiche. The definition found in the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary says this: "Fragment;...a small part or piece broken off something...[or]...a small part of something, not complete in itself" (Crowther 1995, p. 468). What is understood by fragmentation is that everything is divided into small pieces. When everything is fragmented it is easier to put together the puzzle of pieces of history, ideology etc. as mentioned above. According to Jean-Francois Lyotard the grand narratives are replaced by many small narratives (Bondebjerg 1989, p.45), and this is a clear example of fragmentation. The many small narratives create a plurality of possibilities and choices. Also works of art can be dissected into fragments and rearranged with fragments from other works. The method of choosing from a wide range of genres, ideas, and styles and creating a hybrid by combining different elements is called eclecticism (Crowther 1995, p. 367). Collins declares that eclecticism is closely connected to bricolage. As we understand it, eclecticism describes the process of collecting different pieces of information and creating a whole, whereas bricolage is the rearticulation and making of meaning of these different fragments. Because of the multiplicity of juxtaposed fragments the meaning is not fixed but rather individual. The bricoleurs (the ones trying to make meaning) choose things out of the already fragmented context based on their own personal needs in order to create their own meanings. According to Collins, culturalists believe that mass culture has only one meaning, but that the receivers do not just passively accept this message, they are in fact able to pick out what they can use and relate to and disregard the rest. Collins himself shares the opinion that people are active receivers, but he stresses that postmodernist cultural products are eclectic


and therefore encourage multiple readings. There are different dimensions of bricolage. The producer of a postmodern cultural manifestation, which is of course eclectic, has the position of a bricoleur when he/she collects his/her plural information, because he creates his own meaning of it in order to be able to re-articulate it and design his/her own context. The receivers are then in turn bricoleurs when they try to understand and rearticulate this new context with the new different multiple meanings. Collins calls this the "...sophisticated form of bricolage..." (Allen 1992, p.338) because the producer is aware of the fact that the product can be understood in several ways, and the product is effected by this, it in fact encourages different receptions with its eclectic form.

"Only by recognizing this interdependency of bricolage and eclecticism can we come to appreciate the profound changes in the relationship of reception and production in postmodern cultures. Not only has reception become another form of meaning production, but production has increasingly become a form of reception as it rearticulates antecedent and competing forms of representation"(Allen 1992, p.338). The juxtaposition of the fragments in a hybrid is important, because it shows the contrast between the seemingly opposed genres and styles. Apparently, the producer wants the contrast to be obvious and surprising. It should be noted that the different, often contradictory, discourses which a hybrid consists of, are of the same value and exist in the same text on an equal basis. (Haastrup 1994, p. 34) Another important feature of postmodernism is the use of references. It relates to many of the concepts we have defined until now; especially to pastiche. Postmodern products whether they are paintings, films, television programmes, or other well-known artefacts, constantly refer to other art pieces. The references are used very openly and deliberately in order to reassure the link to the already made. The receiver is supposed to realise this connection, but this of course presupposes a certain background knowledge. In an article about intertextuality in the Danish film magazine "Kosmorama" Helle Kannik Haastrup emphasises that the success of intertextual references depends on the receiver's intertextual knowledge, the receiver has to know the text which is being referred to in order to experience the supposed recognition (Haastrup 1994, p. 35). The producer is naturally aware of the fact that not everyone can have the same preconditions, but that is not really that essential. By having a numerous amount of references, the producer can make sure that some of the various references will be understood by parts of the audience, while others will understand other parts. The text as a whole does not loose its meaning.


Haastrup mentions Umberto Eco, who divides references into three categories which reflects the degree of intertextual knowledge that is demanded. First there is the explicit quotation, which is addressed to confirmed cultured film lovers, who can find joy in the recognition of features from another piece of art. Secondly, there is the stereotype quotation which requires a specific cultural knowledge (in order to know the stereotype) and a specific knowledge of other texts (in order to know the quote). By cultural knowledge is meant that one has knowledge of the world from e.g. media and literature. One can recognise a stereotype without knowing exactly where the knowledge comes from, it comes from experience. (Haastrup stresses that Eco finds the use of a stereotype quote ironic). Finally, Eco says that the receiver needs to possess an intercinematic/intermedial knowledge, because the media presupposes knowledge that was brought forth by other kinds of media. The intertextual knowledge exists not only of other similar texts but of all different kinds of texts within communication. After presenting these three types of quotations Haastrup finds it necessary to include a fourth kind of quotation; namely the direct quotation. A direct quotation is when a sequence from one film is directly shown in another film. (Haastrup 1994, p.35-36) In the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary a stereotype is defined as: "...a fixed idea, image etc. that many people have of a particular type of person or thing, but which is often not true in reality" (Crowther 1995 ,p. 1169). As we see it a stereotype is an exaggerated and simplified common shared idea e.g. of a culture or a community of how something or someone is, created by history and experience of the certain culture or community. An example could be national stereotypes. We as Danes have a certain idea of how other nationalities are e.g. Germans could be considered to be brusque and tyrannical (when remembering the Nazis). The problem with this kind of stereotype is that when considering a whole nation of people as being the same, one does not take into consideration the difference between individual people, and in fact this is very generalising and discriminating.


In films there are certain stereotypes, which have become stereotypes not because there is a direct historical background, but because the same features have been used repeatedly and finally become features, which are self evident. This is the case with the private investigator for instance, or perhaps the rebel without a cause etc. In this case the stereotypes are not usually discriminating, they are used as a tool to provoke recognition, and they are exaggerated for humorous reasons. Recognition also occurs when using clichs, which involves many of the already mentioned aspects of postmodernism; especially references and stereotypes. When stating a clich you e.g. use a well-known word or a sentence, which has already been used to the extent, where it has become too much. The same type of clich is often used in films and television. When something is classified as a clich it becomes something, which cannot be taken seriously. It can seem ridiculous and rather humorous even though it is not the intention. For instance, when saying "I love you" it is certainly a serious statement, but it might seem ridiculous, because the phrase is used so much, for instance you can say "I love cake". By using the word in several connections and at all times it becomes a clich and cannot really be taken seriously. The word 'love' loses its original meaning. Works of art can be described as being camp, which means that they are exaggerated and overdone. The term also classifies the cultlike and nostalgic obsession with naive 'bad' taste. It is recognised by someone ironically worshipping something (Schepelern 1989, p. 19), like Star Trek or Blues Brothers, which really does not deserve the attention if one should think of quality. Haastrup presents Collins' concept of the intertextual arena. The word intertextuality obviously refers to the relationship between texts. The intertextual arena is the atmosphere, where all texts exist and these texts (which can be everything from written to verbal and visual texts) all relate to each other. The terms which we have tried to explain in this chapter explain different forms of relations between texts, which all go on in this intertextual arena. When a text is intertextual it demands a certain cultural background knowledge of the receiver; a knowledge of other texts and of the culture in which they function in order to understand the references in the shape of pastiche, parody, etc. The cultural knowledge of the receiver is an essential part of the experience of a text, as s/he brings to the text knowledge of other texts and understands the text by connecting it with these other texts.


This text/other text-relation works both ways. In the creation of art the artist will draw upon his/her cultural background and the current available discourses. Likewise the receiver of the particular work of art will draw on his/her discourses in order to make his/her own meaning. The making of meaning depends on how great the intertextual knowledge is. This chapter has dealt with some of the main features used when discussing postmodernism. Many of the above mentioned traits contribute in creating an overlying atmosphere in almost everything postmodern. The atmosphere is one of irony, which we feel needs a separate chapter because it has so many implications, and because as once stated we see it as a key feature in postmodernism.

4.7. Irony
Starting out with the hypothesis that irony is a key feature in postmodernism and in the alleged postmodern society, we had a discussion about what this queer fish called irony actually was. We soon realised, as it is often the case with familiar concepts that each of us had our own 'correct' idea of what the precise definition of irony was. This lead to the conclusion that we would have to examine some of what was written about the subject, in order to clarify what we imply when we use the term irony. We started out looking for the word in the texts we had about postmodernism, and found that most of the authors of these texts agree that irony is actually a recurrent feature used when describing postmodernism. But they do not explain how and why, only state it as a fact. Consequently, the following chapter about irony as a postmodern feature will draw upon literature written about the 'traditional' use of irony, extracts from texts about postmodernism, and finally and perhaps first and foremost our own idea of irony and its specific relation to postmodernism. This approach could give rise to some critique, and in the end of the chapter we will have a discussion about implications involved in choosing this practice.


4.7.1 The Background

The word irony comes from the Greek word eirneia, which means simulated ignorance (Allen 1990, p. 627). According to the concise oxford dictionary irony is:

"Irony: 1 an expression of meaning, often humorous or sarcastic, by use of language of a different or opposite tendency. 2 an ill-timed or perverse arrival of an event or circumstance that is in itself desirable..."(Allen 1990, p. 627) This way of classifying irony in two main groups is consistent with the way D.C. Muecke does it in his book about irony in literature. Muecke explains that the difference between the two is that in verbal irony (1) we have an ironist employing the irony, whereas situational irony (2), is explained as an ironic situation with both victim and observer, but no specific person applying the irony. (Muecke 1970, p.28). A case in point of verbal irony could be that someone, who has just made a racist remark, gets a response - from the ironist - like: 'Oh, what I love about you is that you are always so open minded and tolerant!', when meaning the quite opposite. Situational irony could be illustrated if one imagines a pickpocket having her/his own pocket picked. As in the above mentioned examples there is a general idea about irony always implying something with two or more contradictory elements. For instance, as we saw in verbal irony, the contradiction lies in the fact that one says the opposite of what is actually meant. When this paradox or opposition is used to describe a specific relationship between an artist and her/his work, it is called romantic irony according to Muecke. For instance if one looks at the role of an author in connection to her/his novel. Suggesting that the author is trying to express a view of the world, there is an obvious contradiction in the attempt to describe something about the 'real world' by writing something fictional. When an author takes this ambivalent position into consideration, it is called romantic irony (Muecke 1970, p. 20-21). "...ved romantisk ironi forsts nemlig jeg'ets frihed i forhold til det frembragte..." (Thomsen 1986, p.73) ...what is meant by romantic irony is in fact the freedom of the ego in relation to what is produced... (Our translation) This means that the author's ability to distance her/himself from the work and look at it with the irony of the observer, makes her/him aware that s/he is in fact in a paradoxical situation.


This awareness enables the author to comment on the contradiction explicitly within her/his specific work. We find that this description of the artist's role in connection to his/her work, fits very well with the descriptions we have read about the role of the post-modern artist (4.1 From Modernism to Postmodernism). This suggestion will be elaborated on in the following.

4.7.2 Irony as a Postmodern Feature

We see irony, as a sort of 'meta-level' of postmodernism, as a sort of overlying atmosphere in everything postmodern. This is of course a very vague and abstract statement, but in the following we will try to clarify what we mean. As we saw in the chapter, where we discussed and defined postmodernism (4.2 Defining Postmodernism), the aspect of intertextuality is very important to be aware of when discussing postmodern art. In the book: "A Poetics of Postmodernism" about postmodern literature, Linda Hutcheon explains the existence of intertextuality by saying that postmodern authors have realised that everything has been said and done already, so instead of chasing a hopeless aim of innovation, postmodern fiction has opened up to history and draws upon what is already said and done (Hutcheon 1988, p.124) and of course invents new things but based on fragments or ideas from other texts or contexts. This is similar to the thought formulated by Umberto Eco who argues that: "...ironic articulation of the "already said" is the distinguishing feature of postmodern communication" (Allen 1992, p.333). He thinks that one has to use irony when saying something banal, because otherwise it will not be taken seriously. This is in fact a contradiction since the ironic statement also aims at laughter, but perhaps this could be seen as an indication that even though one uses irony, it is not in all cases saying the opposite of what is meant. But this referring to the already said is not simply a nostalgic return to the past, it is merely an ironic dialogue with the past (Hutcheon 1988, p. 4). This means that the postmodern artist does not just uncritically say exactly the same as her/his source/s, the artist uses bits and pieces from different antecedent contexts and combines them in a manner that creates a new and different product. The overlying air of the product will be ironic because of the many contradictory elements. In practice this could be illustrated by the way Ole Bornedal in "Charlot og Charlotte" has used fragments from different films, genres, cultural references etc. Of course we will elaborate on this point in our analysis of the serial, but for now it might serve as a hint of what is meant.


The artist's position - in our case Ole Bornedal's position as a director - is in itself also ironic. S/he is of course aware of her/his situation as an artist when 'reusing' old material to make a new product, at the same time the artist is aware of the limitations of the medium - for instance that it is 'only' a television-serial and not the real world - compare to the role of the romantic ironist (4.7.1 The Background). When this awareness again is made clear to the audience, it contributes to the ironic air about the product. According to Linda Hutcheon, postmodern art is only a part of a pluralist and fragmented culture or society (Hutcheon 1988), the use of irony in the postmodern society in a broader sense could perhaps be explained by this quote from Muecke's book about irony:

"...[irony is the] recognition of the fact that the world in its essence is paradoxical and that an ambivalent attitude alone can grasp its contradictory totality" (Muecke 1970, p. 20) This means that it is necessary to be ironic in order to relate to the frustrating fact that everything in life consists of contrasting elements. An example could be the awareness of the only thing that is certain, when one is alive, which is that one is going to die. Muecke takes the idea a bit further by saying that it is not only the irony in the obvious contradiction between life and death, but also the irony in the view that it is precisely our absurd rejection of taking our own death into consideration that makes us go on living our lives. People do this without giving it further thought that perhaps it is all meaningless since we are going to die anyway. (Muecke 1970) This realisation is of course not only topical in the postmodern society, but the point is that a vast number of opposing fragments in our society today as already explained (4.5 Jean Baudrillard), add to this idea of our entire culture consisting of little pieces that may or may not be opposing in some way or another. The current philosopher Peter Thielst argues in his book "Latterens lyst" (The joy of laughter) (Thielst 1988) exactly this point that the use of irony is more dominant in our society today than ever before. With a solid basis in the works of Kierkegaard1, Thielst explains the essence of irony as:

Sren Kierkegaard (1813-55) Danish philosopher who has written an essay about irony, but is mostly known for his ideas about the existentialist school of thought.


"...udadvendt nihilisme og indadvendt narcissisme...[ironi] bestr i at dkke sig ind bag distancerende og reducerende kvikheder. Latteren omslutter det fortvivlede og forngtende selv som en termojakke, der holder den besvrlige og udfordrende virkelighed ude..." (Thielst 1988, p.40) ...extrovert nihilism and withdrawn narcissism...[irony] consists in covering up behind distancing and reducing wisecracks. The ego in despair and denial is covered by laughter as a coat that keeps out the importunate and challenging reality... (Our translation) Thielst thinks that by saying one thing and meaning another, one signals a nihilistic attitude an air of 'I don't give a damn' that creates a distance to - or disguise that one is actually confused because the world presents itself as unstructured and fragmented. It must be noted that Thielst has not made any thorough investigations on the subjects, but is merely philosophising about his and other's theories. The point about having a nihilistic attitude to the world, we have actually come upon several other places where people mostly opposing the idea of postmodernism -have used it to describe a general 'postmodern attitude'. We agree with Thielst's point to a certain extent, but on the other hand we think that the pluralistic society might as well result in people feeling free to do whatever they please. We would also like to stress the importance of the humorous aspect in irony. Often laughter will be the goal of an ironic remark, and this does not indicate a negative attitude, it is perhaps rather an indication of the ironist's ability to see the humorous aspect in an otherwise confusing or paradoxical situation, and her/his attempt to deal with the situation in a more positive manner than just sitting back frustrated and apathetic. Finishing off this limited insight to the implications of irony, we want to return to the work of D.C. Muecke. He quotes a passage from Samuel Hynes' "The Pattern of Hardy's Poetry": [Irony is] a view of life which recognises that experience is open to multiple interpretations, of which no one is simply right, and that the co-existence of incongruities is a part of the structure of existence. (Muecke 1970, p.22) This quote sums up quite nicely what we mean when suggesting that irony is a sort of metalevel in everything postmodern. Whether it is about a postmodern artist or a citizen in an alleged postmodern society, the awareness of ones; ability to 'play with the pieces' (4.5 Jean Baudrillard) creates a wide range of possibilities for the individual. An ironic distance expresses explicitly ones awareness of this strange and boundless situation, and makes it all


easier to cope with because one is able to laugh about it, that is of course if one chooses to have a positive attitude towards it. Some would say that irony is nothing more than one persons surface, being uttered in disguise, because no one can really tell, what is actually meant. This leads to a quite complex discussion of the consequences of the use of irony, which we will not go into now but rather save to the final discussion in the project.

4.7.3 Discussion of our Procedure

In the previous chapter we have solely dealt with the aspects of postmodernism that would confirm our idea of irony being a key feature. There is of course a danger in doing this because it might lead us to conclude and generalise on a very narrow basis. On the other hand, we feel that we can defend this by saying that we did find other people expressing the same conviction about irony's role in postmodernism as our own. The problem is that none of the books we were able to get hold of had any discussions about how and why. We will also defend our procedure by saying that we have not been able to find any postmodern elements that appear completely without a trace of irony. This is of course not the same as saying that irony will always be a part of everything postmodern, but still we feel it is safe to say that in most postmodern features irony is implied in one way or another. In the following, we will now try to make an account of the relation of television to postmodernism in a broader sense. The chapters about irony and postmodern features will perhaps not appear as directly related, but we will later draw on both parts and show how irony plays an important role in determining whether a television serial or film is categorised as postmodern or not.

4.8. Postmodernism and Television

As we see it, television plays a major role in postmodernism and in the postmodern society, if it actually exists. The beginning of postmodernism is considered to be around the 1950s or 60s (4.1 From Modernism to Postmodernism, 4.2 Defining Postmodernism) and it is common knowledge that television came out in this period. We live in a world of information, very much dominated by the media, and as we consider the medium of television as postmodern, we can conclude that postmodernism also becomes a style within media products (4.6 Important Postmodern Concepts). It is this particular style, we intend to focus on in our


analysis of "Charlot og Charlotte" in order to try to see whether or not it tells us something about the society which we live in. A point that justifies our statement that television can be a postmodern phenomenon is when Fiske states that "...television is particularly suited to the culture of fragment,..." (Curran & Gurevietch 1991, p. 56). When examining the medium of television, it becomes clear that it is built up by segments or fragments in a large mix of genres, styles etc. dictated by narrative or textual requirements, economic requirements and the requirements of varied popular taste. Fiske's example is that fifteen minutes of soap opera contain up to five different narrative strands, several commercials, perhaps short presentations of other television programmes coming on and even news headlines. (Curran & Gurevietch 1991, p. 56). Television has also a large amount of different channels and a plurality of different programmes, there is something for everyone. The influence of television in a postmodern world also relates to the question whether or not the boundaries between high and low culture are disappearing or already have disappeared. As we saw in 4.3, Fredric Jameson deals with this assumption that the line between the two is getting difficult to draw (Storey 1993, p. 167). However, we do not see this as being entirely true. The boundary might have decreased to a certain extent but it certainly do still exists. The decrease of the boundaries could be due to the fact that more people get educated, and everyone has access to the same cultural products. The boundaries lie not in societal conditions as such, they lie in people that still like to differentiate themselves from people less intelligent and less educated. Mass culture, which tries to attract a large audience with the use of the lowest common denominator, is seen as low culture by any people. For instance with the American youth series "Beverly Hills 90210" or soap operas like "the Bold and the Beautiful" people do not like to admit that they actually watch and enjoy it, because it is considered bad taste by some and 'consequently testifies to a low IQ'. We believe that this division of high and low culture only happens with traditional discourses that could even be said to be modern, in this case traditional television programmes. It is different with postmodern television products. Although they can be said to aim at a large group of audiences as well as low culture does, it cannot be put within this category. It cannot be said to be only low culture or high culture, it functions on many different levels, with its many references, so that different people with different intertextual backgrounds are able to make meaning of it and enjoy it. It has multiple meanings and


multiple readings. An example of a television serial which attracts large groups of audiences is David Lynch's "Twin Peaks"2. According to Jim Collins, a serial like "Twin Peaks" reflects a new way of envisioning the audience. The particular audience is no longer considered to be only one group of people, but a wide range of small cultural groups with different traits. (Allen 1992, p. 342). Although, at this point, most television programmes still have quite traditional narrative structures and are very straightforward in their intentions - they might contain some postmodern features but they are not dominant - the entire media of television is postmodern with its many channels, its plurality of options which are offered to one simultaneously. The viewer can also experience fragmentation when using the remote control watching fragments of different programmes trying to find whatever is most interesting. When watching a postmodern television serial it is obvious that it is not trying to appear real, it emphasises its own status as fiction. However, we accept that it at times is quite exaggerated and uses the above mentioned intertextual tools constantly. We are able to enjoy the playfulness with fragments from here and there. We are used to being bombarded with information from all sides and to objectively judge what we can use. Furthermore we are used to make meaning of a plurality of signs and codes and we make the meaning that seems right for us.

American television serial from 1990-1991.


5. Theoretical Approach to the Case Study Charlot og Charlotte

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5.1 Introduction
In this chapter we will present the theoretical framework behind our analysis of the television serial Charlot og Charlotte. We will try to provide the reader with back ground knowledge of the theories we use.

5.2 Methods of Analysis

In order to investigate the television serial Charlot og Charlotte as thoroughly as possible we have decided to divide our analysis into three parts: a micro analysis of three extracts from the serial, a macro analysis of the whole serial, and finally, a structuralist analysis of binary oppositions.

5.2.1 Micro Analysis


In our micro analysis we will take three extracts from Charlot og Charlotte and make an in-depth analysis, going through three extracts scene by scene, looking for features of classical and alternative narrative structures. Furthermore, we will look for ironic and postmodern features.

5.2.2 Macro analysis

We will proceed with a macro analysis where we examine the serial as a whole. Using theories of narrative structure of film as well as television we will try to determine which category the serial fits into: classical, modern, or postmodern. We have chosen to use film theories since Charlot og Charlotte in many aspects draws on a film structure if one disregards the breaks. Television fiction has traditionally been made according to clear narrative structures and belonging to specific genres. However, there has been a tendency towards departure from the classical narrative to what could be called a television aesthetics with stories where the narrative has been fragmented ( Postmodern Television & Film) and where irony, pastiche, and the mixing of genres play a central role. This play has been known since the 1970s within a modernistic tradition, but with prominent names such as Dennis Potter (The Singing Detective) and David Lynch (Twin Peaks) the television medium has exceeded the traditional avant-garde fiction. Belonging to a postmodern avant-garde they have been enjoying the same audio visual play, but furthermore, they have been able to distance themselves from the modernistic antipathy towards trivial popular culture, and instead they have incorporated popular culture in their works thus treating it seriously and respectfully. Indeed, it is one of the most important characteristics of postmodern art is that it ...obliterates the line - or the brow - separating the high from the low. (Gitlin 1995). At this point we feel it is important to add that most fiction still seems to be structured around the classical narration schemes and belonging to one of the traditional genres. Thus we can conclude that only a proportion of the television fiction of today can be characterised as postmodern. Yet, the actual postmodern serials display an interesting direction which we will look into.

5.2.3 Theories


First of all, we will provide the reader with a description of the theories which our analysis will be based on. To begin with we will describe the classical narrative structure which most fiction follows, and secondly, we will give a description of the alternative narrative structures, which will lead us to a presentation of the postmodern narrative structure. Moreover, we have chosen to give a short introduction to the concept of the Road Movie, since the serial draws upon many of its features; thereafter we will provide the reader with an introduction to theories of signs and signification and an introduction to structuralism and binary oppositions. Classical Narrative Structure

(The chapter draws on Bordwell 1985 and Drotner et al 1996, chapter 12 and 13) The classical Hollywood film presents psychologically defined individuals who struggle to solve a clear-cut problem or to attain specific goals. In the course of this struggle, the characters enter into conflicts with others or with external circumstances. The story ends with a decisive victory or defeat, a resolution of the problem and a clear achievement or nonachievement of the goals. (Bordwell 1985, p 157). The structure used in the classical Hollywood film is known as the classical narrative structure. It dates back from the days of Aristotle3 and has developed and changed throughout time. It started out being a structure focusing on the plot with the characters as mere actors of the plot without individual personalities. With modernity this idea changed, and the description of the characters developed and became more individual. Still, the use of characters as types is common in films. They are described as flat if they are used as functions in connection to the plot (see description of the term syuzhet below) (usually stereotypes), and as round if they show diverse emotions and are portrayed as psychological beings. Plato4 speaks of two different ways of presenting a material: the mimetic where the narrator repeats the material without making himself explicit; the other way is the diegetic in which the narrator steps forward and makes his presence explicit. Traditionally, the mimetic belongs to the drama and the diegetic to the narration. In the classical narration of film, both levels are present. However, the mimetic level is given a higher status than the diegetic. The latter is more implicitly present in editing, background
3 4

Greek philosopher 384-322 BC. Greek philosopher 428-348 BC.


music and camera movements and thereby related to style (see below), but can be explicit by the use of an I-narrator. It can be a homo diegetic narrator who tells his own story or a hetero diegetic who places himself outside the narrative telling the story of someone else. The amount of knowledge of the narrator, the characters, and the receivers of stories vary and is related to genre. The narrators of action films possess more knowledge than the other parties, while in comedy and tragedy the narrator and the audience know more than the characters. Finally, the narrator and the characters of classical detective films have more information than the audience. (Drotner et al 1995, chapter 12) The film terms syuzhet and fabula originate from the Russian Formalists. However, we will make use of the film theorist David Bordwell who reinstates a modern distinction between them in Narration in the Fiction Film:

...the fabula embodies the action as a chronological cause-and-effect chain of events occurring within a given duration and a spatial field...The fabula is thus a pattern which perceivers create through assumptions and inferences... A films fabula is never materially present on the screen or soundtrack(Bordwell 1985, p. 49). The syuzhet (usually translated as plot) is the actual arrangement and presentation of the fabula in the film. (Bordwell 1985, p. 50) Bordwells defines the fabula as the narration that the viewers create through assumptions and a set of inferences on the basis of the syuzhet. What he means is that the fabula of a film can be different for various persons, and it is based on reception. According to Bordwell the syuzhet presents the fabula. It embodies the fiction film as a dramaturgical process, and arranges its events into certain patterns. One can divide these into narration, time, and space. Furthermore, he defines the concept of style which has a clear interrelation with the syuzhet. He describes it as the films use of cinematic devises or the technical embodiment of a film such as camera angles and editing. In order to understand the true relationship between the concepts of narration Bordwell provide us with a formal definition: the process whereby the films syuzhet and style interact in the course of cueing and channeling the spectators construction of the fabula. (His italics)


In the classical narration the plot has a central role and all events are motivated by this. In addition causality is a common feature which helps create a sense of probability. The use of causality with one event leading to the next creates a sense of linearity. Thus it is usually seen as a flaw if the causality within a film is broken, and its fictitious status thereby is made explicit. Not all sequences of a film are equally important to the plot. They can be split into two groups which can be called core and peripheral events. Traditionally, the makers of classical structured films have put greater emphasis on some events (i.e. the primary events) while others are given a lower priority (the secondary events). Therefore there is a hierarchic structure within classical film narration. Time in films can be different things. The time of the event is the time the narrative describes while the narrative time is the length of the film. In the classical film much effort is put into relating the time of the event to the narrative time. At some points within a film shorter or longer periods of time are summed up whereas the two terms necessarily have to approximate each other elsewhere in order to create a sense of intimacy. At some points the narrative time can be longer than the time of the event which can be used as a tool in order to create or stretch tension. The order of a film is of great importance: Synchrony means that the story follows a straight chronology, and this is the most frequently used form in classical narration. Anachrony involves flashbacks and flashforwards and is common in traditional films as well. Achrony describes narration which is without any chronological order, but follows a thematic one instead. This is rarely seen in classical fiction. Space is another important factor of film, Two aspects of the framed image are important: the limitations that the frame imposes, and the composition of the image within the frame (Monaco 1977, p. 151). Needless to say, the frame is always present and the space cannot be perceived without the frame or without awareness of the offscreen space (Bordwell 1985, p. 119) which is the space outside the screen which contributes to the entire experience of the film. The narrative of classical films is traditionally structured around the same model. The Model of Narration divides a narrative into seven parts:


The prelude establishes the theme of the story and aims to invoke the curiosity of the spectator. The presentation introduces the characters and their interrelation, the environment of the story, and hints at possible conflicts. Furthermore, it often involves a course of events which can be seen as a model for the entire film. The elaboration where themes and sub-themes unfold and the conflicts intensify. The character traits are further elaborated and the audience is made aware whom to side with. The point of no return characterises the place in a story when the conflicts are so intensified that the story has to be told to an end. It can be difficult to spot this point, but frequently it is when the end of the story is anticipated in an intense manner. The escalation of conflicts where the conflict is further intensified with moves and countermoves, attacks and counterattacks. The climax is the final struggle between the parties of the main conflict usually with a victor and a looser as the result. The fading out is where all conflicts have been solved and the new conditions of the main characters expressed. The structure described above helps keep the attention of the audience. However, other tools exist e.g. obstacles which can be divided into five sub-groups. Hindrances are physical obstacles. Complications are psychological obstacles Conflicts where the characters are counteracted by each other or others. These conflicts can be either persistent, momentary, rising, or notifying. Expectations which can be either fulfilled or not. Omens which are warnings of what is to come.

43 Alternative Narrative Structures

Dimensions: Narrative angle Focus Relation between events Qualities of characters Classical From without on act and plot Causality Functions of plot Flat Alternative From within on individual Stream-of-consciousness Conflicting impulses Round (Diagram based on Drotner et al 1995, p.247).

The diagram above illustrates the differences between classical and alternative narrative structures. All texts can be placed within this diagram. A film following a strict classical structure will be placed on the left side of the model. Similarly an extremely alternative film will follow the concepts on the right side. The diagram is to be considered as consisting of four different dimensions. The line between the two extremes of each dimension represents a scale and depending on the structure of a film the different elements can be placed anywhere on these lines. Most films will follow a relatively straight line as they are based on a specific structure. Postmodern films are hybrids of different genres are therefore not likely to follow a straight line. The elements of the left side have been described in the previous chapter ( Classical Narrative Structure), but the elements of the right side will now be elaborated on. Narrative angle from within describes the psychological sides of the characters. Focus on the individual which is needless to elaborate on since the term says it all. Stream-of-consciousness means that the associatively related thoughts and ideas of the main characters determine the structure of the narration. Conflicting impulses and round characters relate to a more complex character sketch.

44 Postmodern Television & Film

(The following is mainly based on Olson 1987, p.284-300)

METAFICTION IS FICTION that investigates its own nature. It does so, often, to deconstruct the illusion that the world presented in literature is a real one. (Olson 1987, p. 284) It means that postmodern television is self-reflexive. There are several ways of being selfreflexive, an one way to show this is by making the audience aware of the medium in use through actions or utterances of the characters. This can be seen when Charlot says: Were puppets on a string - vi gr bare hvad instruktren ber os om (Were puppets on a string - we simply do what the director tells us to) (21st sequence, 2nd episode) indicating that their actions are not actually happening while we are watching or made according to a free will, but have been predetermined by the director - Ole Bornedal - who is just pulling the strings. Of course, this could also be considered as a mere existential remark, indicating that our lives are predetermined by fate or by a director meaning a god or God. Still, we think that the choice of the word instruktr (director) is so strong an indicator of Ole Bornedals own role that this option cannot be disregarded. The breaking and exaggeration of the conventions of duration and order is another way of making its fictitious status explicit. A classical fiction will normally follow a chronological order of events on all levels of the film. In the 2nd episode of Charlot og Charlotte this is not the case since space does not follow time. The 16th sequence takes place on a bridge which they have crossed much earlier on their journey; more specifically in the 10th sequence. Time has moved on, but space is moved back: Order can be self-reflexive when the order of events is obviously and intentionally impossible (Olson 1987, p. 290). Furthermore, the characters can make us aware of the fictional universe by predicting their own future in a way that cannot be explained conventionally, for instance by predicting the actions of other characters much later on in the serial or film. Colourisation is another way of breaking the conventions. It is exaggeration of colours by the use of computer graphics and filters in order to draw attention to the style or the images. One could discuss whether this is pure style or a device used in connection to the shaping of the syuzhet or the plot. We believe that it functions as a means of glorifying the Danish landscape throughout the serial. An example could be the when the two women are skinny dipping in Vesterhavet (the North Sea on the west coast of Jutland) (8th sequence, 4th


episode) . In this sequence the beach resembles those often portrayed on post cards from far and exotic places like the Fiji-islands: the sand is pure and white, the sky is clear blue, and the water is almost turquoise. Bornedal calls this phenomenon ultra-technicolour. The use of intertextuality is again a way of making the nature of the medium explicit to the audience as we have already explained in the chapters dealing with postmodernism and irony. Intertextuality means that one medium draws upon what has already been said and done in other works. For instance this is seen when a fictional character from one television series turns up still performing the same part in another series. In a broader sense intertextuality can also mean that a film uses different traits from various cultural archetypes, genres, themes, films etc. The function is that the audience is forced to think about the original appearance, i.e. where they have seen it before. Perhaps they will realise that what they see is not reality but only a director telling a story. Frequency becomes self-reflexive in movies and television when it allows a certain event to be repeated, even though it was known to happen only one.(Olson 1987, p.292). Frequency or repetition can be used in two different ways: One is the repeated use of utterances in unlikely manners thereby indicating that someone - most likely the director - is constructing the story: This construction is based on what he would like the audience to see or even see again. A more indirect form of repetition is related to the reappearance of a certain television show week after week which belongs within a classical tradition of narration. The equilibrium of conventional television is sometimes disregarded within postmodern fiction. Sometimes one can find a story that apparently is closed at the end of the episode, e.g. the main character of a series which has his head torn off. If the character turns up in the following episode with his head on (without further mentioning) the audience will be aware of the frame of the medium. This example of a supernatural element resembles the fictive universes of cartoons. In the shape of a homo-diegetic narrator ( Classical Narrative Structure) a character can make comments outside the logical lines of discourse since he is the voice of the over-all narrator which usually is the director. This is in itself self-reflexive. Another common feature in postmodern television is the use of ilinx which is: ...the use of narrative for narratives sake, the introduction of nonsequiturs that serve no narrative function except


that they call attention to themselves. Kristin Thompson identifies these elements as ...excess, materials which may stand out perceptually but which do not fit either narrative or stylistic patterns (Bordwell 1985, p. 53) or what Roland Barthes calls films third meaning, (Bordwell 1985, p. 53). It is pure style which serve no function in relation to the syuzhet. It can be seen by the use of flash frames which are very short inserted shots. For instance this is done by showing a clip board in the opening sequence of the third episode of Charlot og Charlotte in order to show that it does not mirror reality, it is merely a television serial. The flash frames have no intended meaning but the meaning audience chooses to put into it. Furthermore, these flashes will only be noticed if the viewer is extremely active whilst watching, or by the use of a VCR. This again leads to the conclusion that postmodern fiction meets some demands from people who are bored with watching classical series or films. Audiences seek new challenges, and are not satisfied just to receive pictures on the screen, but additionally play an active role in creating their own meaning from a variety of possibilities presented. The Road Movie

As stated above, we believe that it is necessary to give a short introduction to the concept of the Road Movie. The concept is not a new one, early examples are "The wild one" from 1954 with Marlon Brando and Easy Rider from 1969 with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. In the beginning this genre was male dominated, portraying the male need for freedom, and the escape from the static existence. The women in these movies were mostly shown as symbols of the static family life or portrayed as sex-symbols the men meet on their way! (Bjurstrm & Rudberg 1996, p. 5) The plot of the road movie was traditionally based around the search for freedom, and had a built in notion that the freedom could not last forever, thus always ending in selfdestruction, e.g. in the 1969 classic Easy Rider in which Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper drive off on their choppers searching for their lost freedom, ending up shot by a triggerhappy group of Hillbillies (Bjurstrm & Rudberg 1996, p. 7). And even more recently in "Thelma and Louise" where the two women end up driving off a cliff to escape from the prison and to remain free! Isnt it ironic? The structure of the road movie has changed over the years, from being a totally male dominated genre, where women were either housewives or hookers to give a more nuanced


description of women, in "Wild at Heart" from 1990, Laura Dern plays the sexually dominant and more intelligent counterpart to Nicolas Cage (Bjurstrm & Rudberg 1996, p.17) In this film the element of self-destruction has been removed, instead of dying the pair ends up replacing the search for freedom with love, the ending, however, seems less than believable. This focus on love is one of the main themes of "Natural Born Killers" from 1994 where the serial killer couple Woody Harrelson and Juliet Lewis end up married with children but still on the road. (Bjurstrm & Rudberg 1996, p.18-19) However much the structure of road movies has changed, the main theme can still be summed up in one line as it is by Kevin Costner in "A perfect World", "The future is ahead of me the past behind me". The search for something better is the drive behind the actions of the characters. Signs and Signification

A film is difficult to explain because it is easy to understand as Christian Metz states (Monaco 1977, p. 127) In this chapter we will try to determine the language of film and television fiction including the artistic effects they draw on. There is a tendency towards believing that every normal person is able to perceive and identify a visual image, whereas reading a text is an acquired skill. It is true that anyone can see a film, but not anyone can read a film though. One needs to acquire certain skills in order to comprehend the language of visual images. When trying to distinguish the language of film and television fiction, semiology will be a valuable tool. In written texts the relationship between the signifier and the signified is in most cases arbitrary, but in film these two concepts are almost identical, at least in classical narration. Therein lies the great difference between the two art forms. A person reading a text must make meaning of the arbitrary signs and secondly create a mental image, whereas the reader of a film is met by already created images. Yet, both persons have to interpret the signs since both media require an active participant process. It is possible to divide films into sequences, scenes, shots, and finally the single frame like it is possible to divide a written text. It makes sense to talk about a smallest unit of construction in both media. In texts it is the syllable, whereas in film it is the single frame. The syllable is in addition the smallest unit of meaning, but within visual fiction one cannot speak in these terms. Film is rather a continuum of meaning and not composed of units as


such. Instead, it is much more instructive to speak in terms of denotative and connotative meaning when one tries to distinguish the communicative function of film. The great strength of film and television fiction lies in its denotative meaning. It has the ability to approximate reality (according to the classical tradition but not the postmodern) in a way written language cannot. Yet, fiction texts make use of connotations as well. First of all they can include culturally determined connotations, but certainly film and television fiction have their own specific connotations. This has to do with the paradigmatic as well as the syntagmatic choices of the director. The former deals with the actual shots compared with all the probable unrealised possibilities. The latter is comparisons between a shot (or scene) and its relationship to all the others in the film. In other words the director chooses what to shoot and then how to shoot it (paradigmatic choice) and then how to construct it/ present it which is done through editing (syntagmatic choice). When a language does not already exist one must be something of an artist to speak it, however poorly. For to speak it is to invent it, whereas to speak the language of everyday is simply to use it. As Metz puts it. (Monaco 1977, p.132) According to the philosopher and semiotician C.S. Peirce a further way to differentiate the signs of visual fiction is to divide them into icons, indexes, and symbols (Monaco 1977, p. 132-133). They mainly work on a denotative level. In iconic images the signifier and the signified are identical. An index has a relationship to the signified whereas the symbol is a conventional arbitrary sign. The icon is the main sign of film and fiction programs within television whereas the symbol is the literary equivalent (,but of course all three signs are prominent within film). The index is a useful cinematic tool when trying to convey abstract meaning. It gives film the ability to create metaphors (e.g. sweat indicates a high temperature or nervousness). It is a sign which varies between being denotative and connotative; it depends on the level of establishment of the cultural relationship between the signifier and the signified. If it is strong enough the meaning of the sign can change from denotative to being connotative. The connotative meaning of film is mainly realised through metonymies and synecdoche. The former means that an associated detail is used to represent an object, whereas the latter means that the whole stands for the part or more commonly that the part stands for the whole i.e. a pars pro toto. In addition one must say that these two phenomena resemble


each other to a great extent. They are valuable artistic cinematic devises which make people compare the parts which they are allowed to see, (limitations due to the compositions and the frame) and the whole which they can only imagine, i.e. the offscreen space ( Classical Narrative Structure). In fact, much of its meaning comes not from what is transmitted, but from what is not.

5.2.4 Structuralism and Binary Oppositions

Structuralisms enterprise is to discover how people make sense of the world, not what the world is. (Fiske 1990, p. 115) Lvi Strauss, a structural anthropologist, believed that scientific thinking leaves out areas of the human life, i.e. phenomena that cannot be fitted into neat little boxes. It tends to rule out imagination, subjective experiences, and magical phenomena. With his savage thinking he wanted to cover all cultural processes including myths and legends within different cultures. The ways different cultures organise themselves differ, but the ways of making them are universal. According to Lvi Strauss all cultures make sense of the world by dividing everything into categories; the constructions are fundamental and universal. The categories are called binary oppositions: a binary opposition is a system of two related categories that, in its purest form, comprises the universe (Fiske 1990, p. 116). The system consists of contrasting categories. What could be called category A has a relationship to category B by virtue of its antagonism. Secondly the categories have sharp boundaries between them. There is a process going on trying to make abstract and culture specific phenomena appear as natural as well as attempts are made to categorise all parts of nature. This is a common human tendency. However, the world refuses neat categorisation. Some phenomena have categories of both the binary opposed ones and thus belong to an anomalous category. These are powerful phenomena and are often surrounded by fear and being made taboo (e.g. rats which are neither pets nor wild animals). Most cultures do not realise the true relationship between nature and culture. They usually separate the two concepts and regard them as binary oppositions. However, the categorisations of nature are in reality cultural conceptualisations, but this fact is


disregarded. One ought to realise that the view upon nature is determined by culture - a cultural product:[A] conceptual transformation of nature into culture (Fiske 1990, p. 122).

Myth is an important feature within different cultural binary oppositions. The structure of myths resemble the ones of dreams (as they are interpreted by Freud) to a large extent, yet, the myths function on a societal rather than on an individual one. There is a surface level as well as a deeper one of the myth. The latter often expresses values of the culture in which it is used. A specific myth can be seen as one parole (a realisation) within the langue (which is the underlying deep structure (concepts originate from de Saussure)). There is a paradigmatic relationship between two abstract opposed concepts. First of all a metaphorical transposition or shift takes place towards two equally opposed concepts which function on a more concrete level. Several paradigmatic shifts can take place and finally a mediator or an anomalous character is present. It is a further transposition from the abstract to the concrete. The mediator encompasses all the opposed concepts which were present on the different more or less abstract levels. Metaphoric transposition from abstract to concrete: the logic of the concrete. (Fiske 1990, p. 126) The traditional myths have great similarities to the way classical fiction stories are told within modern mass media. It is possible to divide these stories into binary oppositions with mediating characters who follow the pattern of the logic of the concrete. These texts can also be seen as paroles of the deep structure langue. The idea is that all stories within one genre are structured around the same myth. Within Charlot og Charlotte the two main characters can be seen as oppositions, but we lack any specific mediating character. Still, our thesis is that the structural approach can be used on alternative texts as well. We want to apply structuralism and the binary oppositions which underlie the whole serial Charlot og Charlotte and thereby examine the (social) values of the imaginary universe of the serial. Hopefully, these values will provide us with some insight into the society in which we live.

6. Analysis of Charlot og Charlotte

In this chapter we will try to apply our theories to our case study. However, we will start by giving a short introduction to the writer and director of the serial Ole Bornedal. Moreover,


we will present a short summary of the serial. Hereafter, we will analyse the serial on a micro and a macro level by especially focusing on irony.

6.1 Biography on Ole Bornedal

Ole Bornedal was born on the May 26th 1959 in Nrresundby, Denmark. In 1978 he graduated from "Nrresundby Gymnasium" and then tried to get into "Filmskolen" (The Film School) but did not succeed. In 1981 he started working for 'Danmarks Radio'5, where he made radio montages and tried most of the genres within radio. In 1986 he received the 1st price in 'Prix Italia'6 for the radio montage called "Knust, Kvrn og Kvstet". In addition to the radio production Bornedal made short stories and poems. (Mller 1996 and Regild 1993) In the end of the 1980's he got involved with television. First he was designer of entertainment programmes, and in 1989 he hosted his own talk show called "Livet er da en go' ide". Later he started making satire and television films and serials. He was editor and writer of the television satire "Den Gode, den Onde & Den Virkli' Sjove", and he made the television productions "Under Uret" and "Fluen". Finally, he was writer and director of "I en del af verden" and "Masturbator", "Falske som film" and "Det Gode og det Onde". Bornedal characterises the period when he made radio and television as his film education. A period where he could prepare himself for the time, when he would get to make films. (Regild 1993 and Mller 1996) In the summer of 1993 he became head of "TV-Drama DR-TV"'7, which is responsible for the production of television fiction. However, he started on leave since he was about to finish his first film called "Nattevagten", which is a horror film with psychological elements. The film was released on February 25th 1994 and became an immense success with more than 700.000 Danish visitors. It was sold to other European countries and the American continent caught attention to Bornedal's qualities as well. The film company 'Miramax' made an agreement with Bornedal to make three films. The first one was supposed to be an American version of "Nattevagten" called "Night watch" and in the end of November 1996 the film received its premiere in the USA. It stars among others Nick Nolte and according to Bornedal, it is going to be much better than the Danish original. In spring 1997 he is supposed to make a

A Danish Stateowned institution making radio and television The official world championship of radio and television fiction 7 The Drama Department in DR
5 6


psychological thriller called "The Crew", which will be the second film of the contract. (Mller 1996) In the beginning of 1996, Bornedal filmed the serial "Charlot og Charlotte", which received the first price at the "Prix Italia". After having made the dark "Nattevagten", he felt like doing something completely else. According to Bornedal it is much more difficult to make popular comedies than horror films, thrillers or tragedies, but he sees comedies as challenges in order to make people pleased with life and our existence. (Mller 1996) Ole Bornedal is a charismatic man with high ambitions, and he writes everything himself, which is the only way to make it good, as he says. As stated above he became head of "Drama-afdelingen" but this is not entirely true. In fact, one of his first accomplishments was to change its name from the previous "TV-Teatret" (The Television Theatre) to the present designation. This was done in order to show that television ought not have anything to do with theatre. Thus one of his visions is to eradicate what is left of the theatre and the literate like narration within the television medium. He accuses the intellectuals of destroying Danish film and believes that there has been a tendency from the point of directors to search for truth inside themselves, and to a large extent to ignore that films ought to be respectful to the good and simple story. This has been caused by a belief that writers of literature and lyrical poetry automatically have been able to write proper manuscripts. Instead, television fiction ought to imitate film techniques, and one must say that visual qualities and person direction has been given a much higher priority, since Bornedal became head of the department. Another point is that: "Alt det, man kan gre selv, er der ingen grund til at vise p tv. Kodeordet m vre oplevelse i stedet for genoplevelse..." (Knudsen 1994) "Everything you can do on your own there is no reason to show on television. The code word must be experience rather than re-experience..." (Our translation) Bornedal raises another point which is especially important in relation to our project: "...flere og flere oplever virkeligheden gennem det strke TV-mediums 'uvirkelighed'... og tror, det er virkeligheden vi fr serveret..." (Dabelsteen 1993)


"...ever more people experience reality through the 'unreality' of the powerful television medium...and believe that it's reality that's being served to us..." (Our translation) As Bornedal points out, reality cannot be realised through television, and as we go through "Charlot og Charlotte" this philosophy will be obvious to anyone. In fact, these utterances are said in connection to Bornedal's debut as a theatre director on a play called "Den dag lykken..." which is inspired by "Blekingegade-banden". Bornedals use of satire is a theme e.g. within "Den Gode, den Onde, og den Virkli' Sjove", but it is also a common feature within most of his works including "Charlot og Charlotte". "Satire er at vise det, der str mellem linjerne." (Hansen 1991) (Satire is to show what is between the lines) (Our translation). Perhaps this was what he did when he made a montage about porn shops in Istedgade to DR in 1983, where he had inserted small fractions of the speech held by the Danish Queen Margrethe on the occasion of the third decade after the Hiroshima bomb. Finally, we must add that Bornedal often has been accused of being a show off. He does not mind people calling him that, but he does not feel that the label fits. Anyway, the bottom line must be that he is very talented, ambitious, and successful. Perhaps a provocative mixture to many people? A person who masters the entire spectrum.

6.2 Summary of the Serial

1) In Copenhagen Airport the shy, self-.effacing, naive and rural Charlotte, who originally is from Skagen and now living in Valby, incidentally meets the arrogant and temperamental Danish/American cosmopolitan from Manhattan, Charlot. Both have been let down by their boyfriends - Charlotte by Anton, who did not show up and Charlot by Erik Risby Kjr who never picked her up. Charlot is broke and therefore she takes advantage of Charlotte's Christian kindness and gets a ride downtown. This is the beginning of a journey through Denmark influenced by the womens rendezvous with mean, mad, happy, surly, cynical, and warm people.


Billede #2

The terrible Pastor Zeem from the sect "Jobs Brn" (The Children of Jobe) is after Charlotte, since she has left the sect. During a cultic sance he drowns one of his disciples during, a christening, and predicts that Charlotte will die before Midsummer unless she returns to the sect and lets Zeem purify her soul, implicitly suggesting sexual intercourse. On that account the women flee. Charlotte has received an invitation from her parents in Skagen, and since Charlot and Charlotte have no other doings they decide to go there. Due to Charlotte's kindness they take up several hitchhikers on their way. The first one is an old senile and poetic man called Birksted, who has escaped from "Rigshospitalet". His final wish is to die a non linear death in his summerhouse in Fyn. 2) The threesome finds Birksted's summerhouse, which turns out to be a manor, and when Birksted passes away, the two women say goodbye to Birksted and right before dying, he gives them an old Mercedes convertible. Life brings the two further into the country. They meet a cheerful, charming man called Poul-Teddy, who promises them dinner in a fancy


Billede #3

restaurant. However, they do not know that he robs a bank, and later when having dinner he leaves them with the check, and moreover steels their car. The women are interrogated by the chief constable Orson, who fortunately realises that they are innocent. Poul-Teddy is much more dangerous than one could ever imagine. During the search for him, he stabs Orson in the back. Charlot and Charlotte are erroneously accused of the assault, and once again they flee. They end up in a village called Klejtrup, where they spend their remaining money on a skrabelod (an instant lottery ticket) . Charlotte believes in angels and invokes Birksted, who grants them the grand prize of 500.000 kr. The women spend the night in an old peoples home. Due to an appalling head mistress, they decide to send the residents to Spain on a vacation, and Charlotte enriches them with the remaining money of the prize. 3) On their expedition further on through the country. They take up a female hitchhiker, who turns out to be Poul-Teddy in disguise. This time his intention is to kill them. Charlot and Charlotte have to dig their own grave, but are saved by an animated harvester. Poul-Teddy is swallowed by it and ends up in several bundles of straw. In a fun fair the women come across an actor called To, whom Charlotte has her eye set on. To works in Aalborg Theatre, which becomes the next stop on their journey. Charlotte


performs the role of Ophelia in 'Hamlet' to the great amusement of the crowd due to her complete lack of understanding of performance conventions. The shadow of Zeem is still threatening. While reading a letter from the sect, Charlotte collapses only to meet a reduced and really bad. Instead, the women end up in a spooky place, where a clairvoyant midget restores Charlotte to health. Furthermore, she makes the two look into each other and makes them fuse together. Their guardian angel Birksted reigns in the two women, and Charlotte is getting stronger while Charlot finds ever more tranquillity. 4) When finally reaching Skagen they meet Charlotte's brother Niels, a staunch fisherman, and her Christian parents. The women and Niels pay a visit to a museum and thereafter they go to the beach, where Niels invites them to a dance at the local Inn. Charlot and Niels are attracted to each other, and Charlotte is reunited with To. Pastor Zeem enters the Inn and wants Charlotte to follow him. What Zeem has not realised, is that Charlotte has gained an intense inner power. She invokes Birksted a final time, and with an incredible force she makes Zeem leave the Inn. The great Orson arrives and arrests Zeem for the drowning of the disciple. Thereafter, Orson makes their situation explicit. They stand to get imprisonment for life, but he knows that the disfavour of destiny has controlled them and lets them go and gives them the money Poul-Teddy stole in the bank. Niels proposes to Charlot and Charlotte sleeps with To for the first time. At Midsummer Eve Anton shows up, but due to major changes in Charlotte's life it is over between them. Finally, Charlotte delivers a speech by the bonfire in front of a large audience, where she expresses her delight of life in contrast to her miserable condition just a dozen days ago. We shall not be afraid of heights , but ought to grasp life.


A couple years have passed, when Charlot reads a letter from Charlotte. She lives in Manhattan now whereas Charlot has settled down with Niels in his idyllic house in Skagen, and she is pregnant with her second child. And they lived happily ever after one is tempted to say.

6.3 Micro Analysis

In this chapter we will make an in-depth analysis of three extracts of Charlot og Charlotte. The first extract we have chosen to work with is the opening sequences of the serial where the characters are introduced. It ends with Charlot and Charlotte getting in the car in the airport parking lot (2nd sequence, 1st episode). We feel that this extract is important as it gives the audience the first impression of the serial and of the main characters. The second extract starts in the parking lot of the restaurant with the police (15th sequence, 2nd episode) and goes through to the sequence where they wake up in their car in a field (21st sequence, 2nd episode). This extract is packed with events and stylistic details, and gives an impression of the narrative structure and the stylistic approach of the entire serial. Finally, we have chosen to focus on the closing of the serial starting from when Charlot and Charlotte stand on the beach (19th sequence, 4th episode), till the very end, which shows Charlot and Charlotte some years later. We chose this extract as it concludes the whole serial and illustrates the personal development the main characters have gone through. In order to avoid any confusion when reading the analyses, it should be noted that we use the term extracts about a selected part of the serial containing more than one sequence. A sequence normally keeps within the limits of a certain place and can contain several scenes. Another way of dividing a sequence is into shots which is the smallest category in relation to time (Monaco 1977, p. 144). When analysing the chosen extracts, we use the original quotations from the serial and have translated them into English ourselves. We have not made a direct word by word translation, but have kept the focus on the content.


6.3.1 Opening Extract

The whole serial begins with a quotation written in white on a black background. The quotation says "Gud ser alt - osse selv om man ikke tror p ham" (God sees everything - even if one does not believe in him). Later in the episode we learn that this is a statement made by Charlotte. This quotation is what can be called hetero-diegetic, since it is the director making us aware of his presence.

Billede #4

The first scene begins with a shot of a pair of female legs walking through the arrival hall in Copenhagen Airport. In the background we hear music by R.E.M., while we follow the legs walking on. The editing makes the scene appear more interesting than if it had been shown in a traditional way. It has been edited in a very fragmented way, as it contains shots from perhaps two takes of the same scene, which have been put together in a way that makes us aware of the special style. These shots are an example of a break with real time, since we do not follow the scene with one single shot but with several. This clearly shows that there is definitely no stretching of scenes. In each shot we see the woman walking forward but with different people in the background in each shot. The narrative angle is an outside one, since


we are not shown the thoughts and emotions of the characters. We can only guess based on observations of actions. The woman is wearing white pumps, which are not very fashionable, and we can see the seem of a dress, which also looks out of style. This is a metonym, which makes us think of someone who is a bit awkward. Also the way she walks and the way she scratches her one leg with the other foot tells us that this woman is a bit nervous and insecure. As the camera slowly lets us see the rest of the woman (whom we later get to know as Charlotte) we see that we were right about her appearance. The technique of filming a woman from bottom and up is an intertextual reference to similar scenes seen in other films and television. But here the effect is humorous, because usually the woman has long beautiful legs and the rest of her shape and looks are equally as attractive, this is not the case with Charlotte. She is wearing a dark green and blue dress with the seem just above the knee. The dress has a strange and old-fashioned design and is too big, which makes her look gauche. She is also wearing a light blue wind cheater. Her blue outfit and make-up suggest her naivet and childlike simplicity. Her long, blond, and plain looking hair is done quite childishly. It is obvious that by arranging her hair and dress, however awkwardly, she is trying to look nice for someone. We see her looking at the board of arriving planes and the focus is on the line, where it says New York/Kennedy Airport, and from this we gather that she is waiting for a person to arrive from New York. The camera follows her eye view and we see that she is looking at all the people who are arriving, desperately trying to spot the person she is supposed to pick up. People are greeting their returning friends and relatives with hugs and kisses. At first she looks expectant and excited, but after waiting for a while, her expression shows worry. The happy faces of people returning from their holidays are put in opposition to Charlotte's sad face. In this, there is an aspect of the stream-of-consciousness since we follow Charlotte and her feelings, which we are aware of because of her behaviour. On the other hand, the structure of the events is not as messy and fragmented as one would see in a film with an extreme use of stream-of-consciousness. The music becomes louder and the title of the serial starts appearing on the screen and moves from left to right showing more and more of the title. The letters are yellow but in some way transparent on a blue background. In the letters we see scenes from the airport with the same camera angle as when we first saw Charlotte's legs, showing legs of stewardesses and arriving passengers etc. We repeatedly see people with Danish flags in


every shot, and we suspect that the purpose is to emphasise that we are indeed in Denmark. This is a constant repetition, which is later emphasised in the serial; namely in the end where a Danish flag is seen waving in the wind. All these flags are metonyms giving the whole serial a sense of Denmark. The whole title finally shows along with the director's name (Ole Bornedal, who also wrote the manuscript). We return to Charlotte waiting in the arrival hall and the background music shifts from being part of the soundtrack into being music coming out of the airport speakers, which is quite obvious because of the difference in sound. This is a method of self-reflexivity used to make us aware of the fictional characteristic of the serial. First of all they do not normally play music in airport speakers. Secondly, the shift makes the use of music explicit as a sound added by the director. Suddenly, the hall is empty, we only see Charlotte looking sad and disappointed. This indicates a larger traditional cut in real time. At first Charlotte is waiting in a crowded airport when all of a sudden the hall is completely empty. This symbolises her feelings of loneliness as well as showing us the fictional status. We are made aware of the off screen


space by noise coming from outside the airport. She walks backwards still looking at the door and bumps into a bar stool. No one is there except a bartender. At this point the music fades and eventually disappears. The bartender is the typical stereotype of a slick and stuckup bartender. He says "Ja?" (Yes?) obviously expecting her to order something. Charlotte looks surprised and does not understand his intention. She replies: "Jeg sagde ikke noget" (I did not say anything). The bartender wonders why she does not understand his hint and asks her specifically: "Hvad kunne du tnke dig?" (What would you like?). She points towards a bottle and says: "Mske noget af det der bl noget" (Perhaps something of that blue stuff). This indicates her inexperience with alcohol. He says: "En curacao? Alene?" (A curacao? Alone?) pronouncing curacao as curacho and trying to sound arrogant. Again she misinterprets and says: "Der er jo ikke andre, vel?" (There is nobody else, is there?) as if he had said something foolish. When taking a zip of her drink, her face expressions shows disgust and this again suggests her inexperience. Suddenly a third person appears at the bar. It is an elegant looking dark-haired woman with large black sunglasses who radiates a certain coolness and self-assurance. The woman whom we later get to know as the other main character Charlot - orders a triple vodka, but without looking up the bartender tells her that the bar is closed. She states with a very firm voice: ikke endnu!, (Not yet!) he looks up and immediately serves her; it is obvious that he is very much attracted to her. She gets what she wants because of her sex appeal and self confident attitude. While all of this is going on, Charlotte is looking intensely at Charlot; fascinated with her behaviour. After having three triples, Charlot states: "For satan hvor det smager af helvedes til" (God Damn this tastes like hell) and continues with posing a question to the apparently depressed Charlotte: "Det hele er af helvedes til hva'?" (It's all like hell, eh?) The repetition of the expression " helvedes til" (like hell) tells us that Charlot is not in the best of moods either and that she is the type that expresses her negative feelings with the use of swear words. She is apparently trying to soothe her nerves with drinking, and it does not seem foreign to her, she is not a stranger to alcohol. Charlotte is surprised that this arrogant woman approaches her. She does not know what to reply, and after being approached one more time by Charlot she bursts into tears and runs away, saying "Undskyld, undskyld" (I'm sorry, I'm sorry) kind of excusing her own existence, feeling embarrassed. She does not get far before Charlot calls her back. She needs a ride downtown and has been faced with the hindrance, that she cannot pay for the cab fair, since


Billede #6

she just spent her last money on drinks. She has no other alternative than to hitch a ride with Charlotte even though she does not really want to. Even though we have had some hints to how the characters think and feel, they have not at this point been established as round characters. At this stage they are merely mono-dimensional like stereotypes or clichs. Still we get the idea that they are important and not just there for the plot. Also the bartender, is a flat person in his case it is because he is not important for the entire story, only for this particular event. Charlot: "Skal du ind til byen, hallo det er dig jeg snakker til? Skal du ind til byen? Charlotte: "Hvorfor?" Charlot: "Det var mine sidste penge" Charlotte: "Undskyld, men..." Charlot: "Byen... hvorn kommer du ind til byen?" Charlotte: "Jeg er i bil" Charlot: "Kan man f et lift?" Charlotte: "Det ved jeg ikke rigtig..." Charlot: "Det er en ret flot kjole det dr. Hvor har du kbt den?" Charlotte: "Synes du? Jeg har selv syet den" Charlot: "Er det gte rayon?"


Charlot: "Are you going downtown, hello I'm talking to you. Are you going downtown?" Charlotte: "Why?" Charlot: "That was my last money" Charlotte: "Sorry, but..." Charlot: "Downtown... how will you get downtown?" Charlotte: "I have a car" Charlot: "Could one hitch a ride?" Charlotte: "I'm not sure..." Charlot: "That is a very pretty dress. Where did you buy it?" Charlotte: Do you think so? I made it myself" Charlot: "Is it genuine rayon?" At first Charlotte does not understand what Charlot is getting at and therefore Charlot, trying to speak Jutlandic, makes fun of Charlotte's accent. This indicates that Charlot does not think very highly of Charlotte's intelligence. The use of the word "byen" (downtown) presupposes a certain cultural background knowledge since it is a term used when thinking of Copenhagen City. In order to persuade Charlotte, Charlot compliments her on her dress even though it is obvious that she does not mean it. However, Charlotte does not understand the verbal irony and probably does not know what rayon consists of. Again she starts sobbing and Charlot, being friendly, offers her a handkerchief. The handkerchief is an intertextual reference to films, where crying women always are offered one, but the owners never want it back. Despite the fact that Charlot seems very manipulating and calculating,


she shows that she does realise that Charlotte is in a similar situation as herself by saying "Din kom mske heller ikke? Mnd er nogen svin" (Yours did not show up either? Men are scum). It shows that even though they appear to be very different from each other, they do in fact have something in common. The comment is a typical clich, since it has been used very often in both films and in real life as well. It is similar to the statement used by men: "It's typical for women to do this or do that". Charlot immediately destroys this image of friendliness by saying: "Hvis du gider at lade vre med at snotte i det, tak" (Please don't snot in it, thank you). She will not allow herself to become too uncool. And again the pastiche of other films is turned upside down, because here we thought that Charlot was actually being nice, copying the handkerchief scene, but then she destroys the harmony by referring to something as unwomanly as snotting. The two women leave, and when doing that it seems like Charlot is pushing her way out between the camera and Charlotte. This indicates that we are made aware of the presence of the camera crew and thus that it is fictitious. In the next scene, they are in the parking lot next to Charlotte's car. Again we experience a cut in real time, but it is not a disturbing cut, since it just gets rid of what could have been a boring scene; two women walking towards a parking lot. Charlotte tries to say that she actually has not agreed to give Charlot a ride, but Charlot ignores it. Charlotte becomes angry and expresses it by wanting to give back the handkerchief. However, Charlot refuses to take it back and says: "Behold det, der er jo ikke vinduesviskere p indersiden af ruden" (Keep it, there are not any windscreen wipers on the inside). Charlotte does not get it and states that she really wants to be alone, but Charlot just gets in the car and Charlotte does not really have a choice and gets in the car as well. At this point in the serial the two women have no real interest in getting to know each other, but they have been forced together by events (causality), perhaps by destiny, but first and foremost by the directors objectives. The Role of Irony

In this extract there are several examples of how irony functions in the serial. We will show examples of the irony, which arise from intertextuality, contradictions, exaggerations, paradoxes etc. On the outer level, meaning the irony communicated between the serial - the director - and the audience without directly involving the characters, the presence of paradoxical irony is


already made explicit with the mentioned quotation in the very beginning of the episode "God sees everything - even if you do not believe in him". The irony in this is quite obvious, since one could claim that if God does not exist then nobody can be watching our actions. Instead, the quotation says that you might not believe in God, but he is still there. This could also be seen as Ole Bornedal trying to emphasise his own presence, making us aware of his ironic attitude, making the statement explicitly and not only as a remark made by one of the characters. The whole atmosphere of this extract is actually ironic e.g. in the way Charlotte and Charlot are portrayed as stereotypes. Especially the use of intertextuality gives the serial its ironic character. The intertextual reference to our subconscious or conscious idea of two stereotypical images of women, is ironic because both characters, their appearances and way of behaving, have been exaggerated to an extent where it cannot show anything but an ironic attitude. It is also ironic that Ole Bornedal lets these two oppositions meet, and that they are forced to stay together mainly because of Charlot's obstacle due to her lack of money. Also the paradox that they are in the same situation; in spite of everything they have both been left behind by their boyfriends and they do not really have anywhere to go. On an inner level, the extract has both situational and verbal irony; e.g. in the bar scene. It is ironic that the bartender is trying to appear slick in front of Charlotte and also, the other way around, that she does not get his point and thinks his behaviour as foolish. Instead she tries to give a slick comment herself which of course is not effectful because of her misunderstanding his remarks. Another example of verbal irony, which in this case is closely connected to sarcasm, is when Charlot compliments Charlotte on her dress. Charlot clearly does not mean what she says, but Charlotte does not catch the irony in Charlot's statement. We see irony on several different levels in this extract, indicating that irony is indeed used in the serial. Ole Bornedal clearly shows an ironic attitude in his use of an ironic statement in the very beginning of the serial.

6.3.2. Second Extract

The second extract, which we have chosen to analyse on a micro level, is part of the second episode. It begins after the scene where Charlot and Charlotte are stuck with the bill from


their expensive feast with Poul-Teddy. A stuttering policeman is desperately trying to tell Charlot and Charlotte that they are arrested. Because of his stuttering, he appears quite ridiculous and does not radiate authority as policemen are supposed to. He reminds us of the nervous policeman Andy in "Twin Peaks", who also lacks authority and generates the feeling of sympathy instead of respect. In the background there is a lot of noise in the form of dogs barking, boys on mopeds, and several spectators. There seems to be a lot of commotion despite the fact that this seems like a relatively small offence; at least that is how Charlot sees it: "Alt det her p grund af et skide mltid mad" (All this because of a single fucking meal) However, the policeman takes it very seriously. In the next shot, a car approaches very slowly and a siren that has sounded in the background, while the two women were talking to the policeman, suddenly stops. The car, a large black American-style car, stops and the door opens. The first thing we see is a pair of legs getting out of the car together with a cane, and the camera follows the man from the legs and upwards. We do not see the man's face since he is filmed from the back. Here is an example of intertextuality since there is an explicit reference to films in general. It is the same reference as we saw in the beginning sequence, where the camera angle is focused on a pair of legs, in that case Charlotte's legs. Normally when seeing a pair of legs getting out of car, we expect that they belong to a beautiful woman because that is how it is typically portrayed in classical films. Nevertheless, this particular way of presenting something in a film is also a tool to create a certain atmosphere and in this case in order to make this person appear more mysteriously. The shot is accompanied by music which provokes a certain suspense; an approach often used in thrillers and crime stories. Already when seeing the legs, we can somehow guess what this man looks like. This is the use of metonym, where we see a small part of the man and are able to envision what the rest of him looks like. His cane and the way he gets out of the car gives us the impression that he is a heavy man, while the trousers and the bottom of his cotton coat shows that he is has a poor hygiene and is disorderly. A big cloud of smoke coming from his cigar has filled the entire car and envelops him in a mystical mist. When seeing the rest of the man's body, the first idea that comes to mind is that he is either a police detective or a private investigator.


Billede #8

This is again an example of intertextuality since it is the image of the stereotypical detective from crime stories. The beige cotton coat, his hat which resembles hats worn in the fifties, the cigar, the large corpus and the entire outfit which is dingy and wrinkled are characteristics which we assign to our stereotype of a detective. This stereotype is created by our knowledge of American crime stories from the forties and the fifties such as the films with Humprey Bogart (e.g. "The Maltese Falcon") as well as the more recent television series as for instance "Columbo" with Peter Falk or Cannon with James Conrad. Humprey Bogart is known for his characteristic hat, Columbo is known for his cigar which is always hanging in the corner of his mouth either lit or unlit as well for his scruffy looking beige cotton coat and Cannon is very heavy. This intertextual cultural knowledge helps us make the connection between the man and the stereotype. The man, whom we later come to know as Orson, approaches Charlot and Charlotte and the stuttering policeman. There is an apparent contrast between the charismatic Orson, which radiates authority and command, and the nervous policeman. Orson's face is not revealed to us until he reaches the others. He looks very unhealthy because of his puffy face, sallow skin, and reddish eyes, which could be due to drinking and smoking too much. This indication of


a difficult life is also a reference to the stereotype of a private investigator. This is a case of pastiche on American crime or detective stories. Orson addresses the policeman, who in his presence becomes even more nervous, by the name Bo Boesen, and this is used to emphasise the humour in his stuttering. Orson makes the remark that they have the number 46 in common; that it is the size of his own shoes and Boesen's IQ. This is another stereotype, since (by some) stuttering people are considered stupid. Furthermore, Orson shows his superiority by hitting the policemen on top of his head with the cane. From the conversation we learn that Charlot and Charlotte have reported their car stolen by Poul-Teddy and that the police knows that the same car was used as the getaway car in a bank robbery. However, Orson does not consider Charlot and Charlotte to be suspects. Orson and the two women leave the policeman. Orson asks og han sagde at han var departementschef?8 (and he said that he was a permanent under-secretary?) In the next scene the three are suddenly on a bridge and it is no longer daylight but dusk and the conversation continues. The whole conversation actually takes place on the bridge but the sound is split up in the two scenes. Charlot answers "og bankrver" (and a bank robber) and Charlotte continues "og massemorder" (and a serial killer). Orson laughs and says "Ja hvis han er departementschef s er han vel ogs nrmest kriminel" (Yes, I guess he is some kind of criminal if he is a permanent under-secretary). This comment is quite a satirical remark criticising members of the government of being corrupt. There is a clear break in time and space when the conversation continues in another place and in another time. However, Charlot and Charlotte being on this bridge constitutes another break in space. Earlier in the episode they drive across the new Lillebltsbro and later picks up Poul-Teddy. They then continue for a while and one would suppose that they have reached a certain distance from the bridge. However, the conversation they have with Orson takes place on the old Lillebltsbro, which is now used only for trains, as if they had just crossed Lilleblt. In a review in a Danish newspaper, Ole Bornedal is accused of having made a mistake when letting Charlot and Charlotte get arrested in Middelfart in Fyn, when we have seen them cross the bridge to Jylland already (Andersen 1996b). We do not see this as being a mistake, we rather believe that Bornedal made this break in space intentionally in order to make us aware of the fictional character of the serial, and thus it is self-reflexive in a humorous way. This break in space could only be discovered by the attentive audience, which also has the necessary knowledge of Danish geography. The audience which have

Poul-Teddy joked about being a serial killer, a bank robber as well as the Prime Minister's brother and right hand.


these certain preconditions to discover these intentional 'flaws', is rewarded with the joy of finding them as well as the humour in the play with conventions. The break in space shows that it is not important where they are in Denmark, what is important is what happens to them. They walk along the bridge and suddenly Orson stops. There is a shot to another angle and all we see is Orson lit up by a spotlight standing by the side of the bridge. He looks sad and says :"I m lige have mig undskyldt et jeblik" (Please excuse me for a moment). At this point we hear emotional, sad music. Orson looks at the water and the beautiful sunset. The colours are very exaggerated, the water and the sky are dark blue and the sunset is red. In an interview with Bornedal from 1995, he says that he intends to make "Charlot og Charlotte" with exaggerated colours, ultra-technicolour (Hellmann 1995). The exaggerated blue colour could have the purpose of underlining Orson' s melancholic mood. The camera is pointed up at Orson focusing on his face. He starts to speak with a hoarse and crisp voice emphasising his emotional state of mind and is on the verge of tears. "Smukkedit store bevidstlse dyr. Kan I lugte det? Prv [han snuser ind] ...det lugter af alle nattens hemligheder, alle rdslerne, al sknheden. Ved i hvad det er der lber dernede i bltet? Det er alle brnenes trer samlet sammen gennem rtusinder. De lber ud i verdenshavene og herind i bltet igen. Hvis man lytter efter helt helt stille, s kan man hre dem grde. Prv, kom, prv". "Beautiful big unconscious creature. Can you smell it? Try [he scents] smells like all the secrets of the night, all the terrors, all the beauty. Do you know what runs down there in the belt? It is all the children's tears gathered through centuries. They run out into the ocean and back into the belt again. If you listen carefully you can hear them cry. Try, come on, try." This entire monologue is one big clich in the sense that it is exaggerated melodramatic and romantic. Orson speaks of children, tears, beauty, and crying, which are all very dramatic words. However, these words seem rather out of context, when seeing this scene in relation to the whole serial in itself. This creates an ironical paradox. In the end of the monologue we hear the words "Prv, kom, prv" but Orson's lips are not moving. First of all it is to show that this is a fictitious serial. One could then speculate whether or not it should be seen as being Orson's voice speaking from his unconsciousness, or if it could be Bornedal using


Orson as a homo diegetic narrator. Another important trait in this scene is when Orson tells Charlot and Charlotte to try and listen carefully. When saying this, a train suddenly passes, but we do not hear it. First we see the front of the train and a few shots later we see the end of the same train disappear without a sound into the darkness. Trains usually make a lot of noise and in this context when Orson talks about silence and the trains are silent it is an ironical paradox. Right after this, Orson mumbles something, which we have not been able to understand. Whether or not this is intentional is not easy to say, but the fact remains that we are five people unable to hear what he says. We watched this episode on Swedish Television and they had just skipped translating this sentence. It seemed like they could not comprehend it either. Suddenly, Orson seems to pull himself together and is able to return to the present situation. He predicts that his mobile phone will ring and so it does. This is clearly an exaggerated move made by Bornedal. In a way he breaks with conventions and with the unofficial rules of what one is allowed to do in a television serial. Despite the fact that it is almost too much, we seem to accept it. By letting Orson have a mobile phone, he is brought up to date, and it reminds us of "The X-files" where the two FBI agents, Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, never leave without it. The ringing of the phone is perhaps also an exaggerated parody on other serials and films where something always suddenly happens that prevents the events from getting boring or simply stopping. The story is always sort of 'saved by the bell'. The way it is made so explicitly by Orson predicting it is humorous and in a way self-reflexive, in the sense that it relates itself to other fictional products. In the next shot we are not completely sure of where the situation takes place. We are no longer on the bridge, but it is most likely that we are back where Charlot and Charlotte were arrested nearby the restaurant. A thing that would go along with this is the noise in the background; as earlier we hear dogs barking and mopeds racing. People from the press are present and Orson is making a statement about the bank robbery and the involvement of Charlot and Charlotte. The interviewing journalist first of all gives us a explicit intertextual reference to the film "Thelma and Louise" by asking directly if what they are dealing with is in fact a Danish version of the characters Thelma and Louise. When making the statement, Orson slowly moves away from the actual point by announcing his own fiftieth birthday, a


reception which will be held in that occasion and that he will gladly receive any liquor bottles. In this connection he supports our suspicion that he drinks. When speaking of the incident, he stresses his own importance in resolving the case as if he had done everything himself. It is clear that Orson controls the press and decides what they should write about him and his cases by intimidating the journalists. This scene shows how the press and the media can be dominated and manipulated by controlling forces and powerful people. The role of the press in this serial is also made into a parody, when Bornedal lets them suck up to Orson. The press is presented as ridiculous and foolish. In the background we see the policeman Bo Boesen standing next to Orson while looking as if he has something to important to contribute with. He says: "Bilen er fundet" (The car has been found). The next sequences are accompanied by a loud and silly song, which reminds us of Tyrolese music. There is a vocalist who, expresses awkward sounds, similar to laughing, in addition to the music. Some would even say that it is Preben Kristensen, the actor who plays the character of Poul-Teddy, who is laughing in the song. Moreover, it is a pastiche on a sequence from Bornedals own Nattevagten where a hooker called Joyce is killed to an equivalently silly song (Lille Lise let p t). The pastiche is present in the use of inappropriate music in a serious context. First we see a sign with Motel and Restaurant imprinted. The camera angle is from a birds eye view and the sign blocks most of the frame. In the background Orsons car drives past the sign and approaches the motel. We see the motel from within the car, as if it is from the view of a person sitting on the back seat. The camera pans to the Mercedes. The settings have connotations to stereotypical motels as presented in various American films. This creates an atmosphere of sex, drugs, and crime. We see a close-up of a right hand with long red nails writing EAT MI SHIT on a mirror with red lipstick. This is the first in a series of close-ups showing the hand and various makeup accessories around an extremely dirty sink, which further emphasises the scruffy atmosphere. This scene does not follow real time as there are minor jumps in time between shots. Then a series of cross-cutting starts. The camera cuts to Orson, who stands outside the door of a motel room. This indicates a larger break in time. The next shot shows a dark room. The only light comes from the partially open toilet door where a tall person with long white hair wearing a red dress is standing bent over a sink with one leg on the toilet. The persons face is still hidden. Back in the hallway Orson now opens the door. The person in


Billede #9

the room hears Orson and shuts off the lights in the toilet. Orson enters the room with his cane raised and looks around chewing on his cigar. Next to the door a television set is flickering. Inside the room Orson is filmed from a worms eye view. Something catches Orsons eye. The next shot reveals a burning cigarette in an ashtray which is a metonym indicating the presence of a person often seen in film. This is a classical clue in the sense that it is very stereotypical. Orson walks towards a bed. Someone is apparently lying under a duvet. Orson pulls the duvet away and reveals a male inflatable doll. The use of an inflatable doll in a situation that might otherwise seem stereotypical adds an element of surprise. Furthermore, it supports the prejudices about psychopaths being sexually deviant. In this case gay as well as transvestite. However accepted these practices may be, these are still minorities. The person is approaching Orson with a pair of scissors in his/her hand. Orson is preoccupied making sounds of disgust of seeing the doll. We see a close-up on the pair of scissors in a raised hand of the person. The hand and the pair of scissors are turned into silhouettes by the light from the window behind them. Orson is still grumbling in disgust. The camera cuts back to the pair of scissors chopping through the air in slow motion and the


sound which accompanies the shot, indicates that Orson is stabbed. In fact, this sound, Orson opening the door, and his previous grumbling are the only places where real sound is used in addition to the music. This scene is pastiche on various films including Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock where Norman Bates kills people in a motel dressed up as a woman. This scene would probably have been thrilling if it had not been for the music. Instead everything seems ridiculous. Charlot and Charlotte are standing in the corridor, and the lighting is yellowish. Then the camera changes 180 degrees and the light has changed to bright white which is another selfreflexive factor. Orson comes out of the room. As he stumbles towards them, he makes sounds that sound like something between laughter and crying and his face is twisted in an awkward expression. When he reaches the women he falls in their arms. They discover the pair of scissors in his back and Charlotte instinctively grabs them. The camera shows the journalist from the previous sequence and two photographers come tumbling in. The journalist shouts mord (murder), and the photographers start shooting. This is illustrated by the camera moving quickly towards Charlotte framing her with her hand on the pair of scissors in Orsons back. The sudden arrival of the press, at the wrong moment or perhaps at the exact right moment to portray their version of the truth, is intertextual in the sense that it refers to people always arriving at the wrong moment and the stereotypical image of the press. They are late for the real stories, but report what seems real to them based on fragments of truths. Charlot and Charlotte start running down the corridor and the camera follows them. Sometimes the camera is in front of them, and other times it moves through the corridor showing their visual angle. A man looks out of his doorway only wearing boxer shorts. This scene is a reference to various thrillers and television series where similar flights occur e.g. in several episodes of NYPD Blue, The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, and even more recently Seven with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. The women come running out of the motel and jump into the Mercedes and drive off. While they are running the camera moves upwards and shows the person from behind on top of a roof. The silly music is still there, and the vocalist starts laughing to the music. As the women drive off a close-up reveals Poul-Teddy as the woman in red. His laughing takes over and the music fades out. This integration between the soundtrack and the actual


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utterances of Poul-Teddy is self-reflexive in the sense that it breaks conventions of classical narration and makes aware of its own fictional status. Poul-Teddy carries on laughing into the next sequence where it is bright daylight and birds are singing. The Mercedes convertible is parked in an ultra-technicolour green, green field. Cows are gathered around the car, and Charlot and Charlotte are asleep in the back seat. The camera watches them from above slowly moving away for about a minute. Suddenly, Charlot wakes up and screams at the sight of the cows which makes them step back. Charlotte wakes up as well and says: Charlotte: Tag det roligt, det er bare nogen ker - Hej muh-ker, go morgen muh-ker. Hvorn har i det? Muh-stemme: Joh, vi har det da meget godt. Vi str her p vores ma-ark. Hva laver I p vores ma-ark? Charlotte: Det ved jeg ikke fordi - vi har ikke noget sted at bo, s vi bor her i vores bil. Jeg hedder Charlotte og det her er Charlot. Hun er ikke s vant til ker. Charlotte: Muh-voice: Take it easy, it is only cows - Hey muh-cows, good morning muh-cows. How are you? Well, were okay. Were just standing in our field. What are you doing in our field?



I dont know cause - weve got no place to live, so we live here in our car. Im Charlotte and this is Charlot. Shes not that used to cows.

Whether the muh-voice is Charlot or Charlotte pretending to be cows or an incarnation of Ole Bornedal is hard to know as the camera is far away and lip movements are impossible to spot. However, most of us believe that it is Charlotte performing a monologue. At this point the camera stops moving. Charlot: Charlotte: Charlot: Charlotte: Charlot: Hvordan er vi endt her? Et eller andet sted s er det her som et eventyr. Vi er dem det hele handler om. Vi bliver kastet fra det ene mrkelige til det andet. Were puppets on a string. Vi gr bare hvad instruktren ber os om. Tnk hvis det var sdan, at vi ikke havde vores egen vilje. Det har vi da ikke, her har jeg kendt dig i to minutter og vi er allerede forfulgt af politiet, en fanatisk pastor Zeem, der vil ha din tro og din krop, vi har deltaget i en drukneulykke, et bankrveri, efterladt en dd mand og vi har haft to selvmordsforsg. Det er i hvert fald ikke af min frie vilje. Were puppets on a string.

Billede # 11


Charlot: Charlotte: Charlot: Charlotte: Charlot:

How did we end up here? Somehow this is like a fairy-tale. Were the main characters. Were thrown from one strange to another. Were puppets on a string. We simply do what the director tells us to do. Imagine if it was like that, that we didnt have our own free will. Well we dont. Ive known you for two minutes, and were already chased by the police, a fanatic pastor Zeem who wants your faith and your body, weve taken part in a drowning, a bank robbery, left a dead man and weve had two suicide attempts. Thats definitely not by my free will. Were puppets on a string.

While they are talking, the camera angle is changed and the they are filmed from behind. When they finish talking the camera films them from the previous angle, the cows who were right next to the car in the previous shot are now in the other end of the field. In classical narration this would be considered a flaw. The camera suddenly tracks quickly towards them and stops a couple of metres above them and we see the women start shaking all over as if they were puppets on a string. This is most certainly self-reflexive as it shows the interference of the narrator, both the actual shaking of the women and the quick movement of the camera indicate the directors presence. Charlots comment, on the director calling the shots, further emphasises the fictional status.

Charlot: Charlotte: Charlot: Charlotte:

Se det vidste vi f.eks. ikke at vi ville gre. Hvorfor gjorde vi det? For instance we didnt know we would do that. Why did we do it?

They start shaking once again and are laughing for a while. In the next shot they are sitting in the front seat of the car, driving off the field. In classical films this way of cutting would not normally be present as breaks in time like this one would be disguised by inserting another short shot e.g. Bornedal could have focused on a cow or perhaps the blue sky. On the way they pass a sign saying TRO (FAITH) as well as a cross is imprinted. The sign is huge, but they drive by it without even noticing it. This sign is for us a clear hetero-diegetic statement made by the director as well as it is a metonymic device which leads our thoughts in the direction of a possible theme of this part of the serial. Furthermore, it is a pastiche on our cultural background by the use of the first part of the saying Tro, hb og krlighed (Faith, hope, and love). The Role of Irony


Irony is very much present in this extract and plays a major role, when looking at it as a whole. Again we encounter different types of irony, which are necessary to note, since they are of great importance when trying to determine the role of irony. Overall the extract is characterised by a certain ironic atmosphere especially because everything is presented as very extreme and exaggerated. It is quite a few things, which give the extract this very ironic character. An example of paradoxical irony is the stuttering policeman, who takes things very seriously in comparison to Charlot. She uses verbal irony, when claiming that she cannot see why a simple meal should cause so much commotion. Of course she is aware of the fact that they are dealing with a large amount of money. The irony lies in that this meal must have cost at least 10.000 kr., since we are told that the bottle of red wine, which they drink, costs 3.428 kr. The policeman in contrast to chief constable Orson is a case of paradoxical irony, since the differences between the two are very noticeable. Orson is this huge, loud and intimidating character while Boesen is a tiny, pale and stuttering little man. As soon as Orson arrives, Boesen becomes extremely insecure; mainly because Orson ridicules him in a very mean way. The noise in the background is also used very ironically, since it is very exaggerated, and not very realistic. However, it is there to emphasise how ridiculous this whole incident is.9 Orson is presented very ironically because of his exaggerated appearance as the stereotypical detective. In relation to Danish circumstances, his looks and the huge American car can be seen as a parody of Americanism and its influence. Verbal irony is used later in this extract when Orson, Charlot, and Charlotte are on the bridge discussing Poul-Teddy. He comes with an ironic remark when saying that working as a permanent under-secretary for the government is more or less the same as being a criminal. In addition, it is a satirical remark, which function is to ridicule or criticise the Danish Government. Another paradox is that Orson, who is the image of a strong and powerful man in control of things, suddenly can become sad, soft and melancholic; that he almost burst into tears when having his monologue. There is an ironical play both with the many clichs in the monologue and with the use of exaggerated colours, colourisation. Situational irony is recognised in this as well, when Orson says that they can hear the children crying if Charlot and Charlotte listen carefully. At this stage a train passes without a sound and herein lies the irony. There is also the point that one cannot hear sounds of crying children when they do not really exist, except in Orsons imagination.

When watching this episode for the first time, you do not really realise that there is this nose in the background.


The mobile phone is definitely used as an ironic tool, since it is created with an exaggeration that is so far out that it almost becomes too much for the audience to bear. However, by giving the scene a humorous aspect it becomes acceptable to us in some way. When returning from the bridge, the press has arrived at the scene and again we understand the irony. The press is portrayed, very ironically and satirically, as ridiculous especially since they are controlled by powerful men and that they are not concerned with writing the absolute truth no matter what. Orsons statement is ironic in the sense that he very quickly moves away from the actual point, but starts to talk about his own part in solving the case, and that it is his birthday the following day. He simply intimidates the press, which makes them suck up to him and almost crawl on their knees in front of him. When seeing Orson, Charlot and Charlotte drive to a motel, one wonders why they did not bring more police officers and why Orson even brought Charlot and Charlotte to this place, where they obviously suspect that Poul-Teddy is staying. This seems quite ironic, but probably necessary since Poul-Teddy is supposed to escape at this point in time. In the motel room we see Poul-Teddy, dressed as a woman, writing on the bathroom mirror. The irony in this is that he misspells the word my and instead writes mi, and it makes him appear even more pathetic than before. The way the motel room looks is a direct ironic pastiche or perhaps parody on American motels as often presented in films. The silly song, playing in the background all the way through the motel sequence is indeed very ironic. It makes the entire sequence appear very absurd, foolish and even idiotic. That Charlot and Charlotte are waiting in the hall way, when Orson is stabbed in the back, is also very ironic. The women were right outside the door, but even so he gets stabbed by Poul-Teddy, who manages to escape without a trace. Then the press shows up and it is ironic that they manage to get there at the perfect moment. Charlot and Charlotte run out of the motel and drive away in their Mercedes without having the key! They wake up in a field with cows and it is quite contrasting that Charlot, a tough city woman, is afraid of a few cows. Then comes what is perhaps the most ironic thing in this extract; that Bornedal, very explicitly, makes us aware of his presence by letting Charlot and Charlotte say it directly. The irony is used as an important tool to indicate the fictional character of the serial. The last point when focusing on the role of irony in this extract is that


when Charlot and Charlotte drive away from the field, they pass a huge sign saying TRO (FAITH) without even noticing it. How could anyone not notice this sign? The great amount of different ironical elements presented in this extract show an even more ironical attitude than in the previous extract. This further emphasises the ironic and postmodern attitude which Bornedal expresses.

6.3.3 Final Extract

The final extract starts with Charlot walking on the beach. The background music and the sound of the ocean from the previous scene is carried on into this scene. By doing this the director makes the scenes connect and disguises an obvious jump in time and space. We see Charlotte facing the ocean watching the sun set in the North Sea. The blue colour of the sky is very exaggerated suggesting the use of colourisation. Charlot approaches her, and they stand together watching the horizon. Charlotte says: Jeg er - er du?(I am - are you?), Charlot nods and says: mmmhhh . This indicates that they have become very close, as they do not need to express what they feel explicitly. We the viewers know that they are both in


love. The entire sequence is an intertextual reference to a vast number of romantic films, e.g. Barbara Cartland or Danielle Steele, showing emotional couples on the beach. But in spite of the colourisation this does not seem as a mocking parody but merely true pastiche, because Ole Bornedal is using his - and our - background knowledge from other films and serials to create the happy atmosphere we have seen so many times. The camera cuts to the sky and we hear a crowd sing Vi elsker vort land10 mixed with the sound of the ocean and the sound of a fire, we are not sure if we are actually still at the beach with Charlotte and Charlot. Next we see a Midsummer bonfire, and a crowd is gathered on the beach singing, it is still day time and it is only then we realise that a jump in space has been taking place. The sound of the crowd now applauding is carried on into the next shot showing Charlot, Charlotte, Niels and To, who are applauding but now suddenly the sky is dark - it is night time. This is a break of the conventions of time as the narrative time follows the time of the event but the background has changed, in classical narration this would be considered a flaw. We are convinced that in this case the director is conscious of his choice, and by making this choice, he makes the audience aware of the fictitious status of the serial. We believe that this is done quite a few times in the serial. The idea is that a sequence allows us to get involved with the characters and the story. Then suddenly we will


Vi elsker vort land (We love our country) traditional Danish song, sung every midsummer eve around a bonfire.


see a scene where something is obviously wrong or to put it in another way, a scene where we are clearly made aware that this is not reality. This can be seen in the previous scene where the two are standing on the beach. It is not difficult to get into the spirit of the situation. In the next scene there is a sudden shift between day and night time at the bonfire, which signifies a jump in time without there really being one. In the next scene we see Charlottes parents pushing their way through the crowd, as they approach the foursome. Niels feels awkward with the situation, while Charlotte seems at rest. This is an indication of her newly gained self confidence, which results in her being more independent than her brother. The mother tells Charlotte that someone wants to speak to her and Anton11 steps forward putting down his suitcase, and we see a shot of both Charlotte and Charlot, who look shocked. Charlotte asks Anton why he did not show up in the airport on the 12th, and Anton tells her that he was supposed to arrive on the 22nd, and they realise that there has been a misunderstanding. During their conversation Sara, Charlottes younger sister, is standing behind Anton gazing at him with fascination. Strangely enough, she is wearing the exact same clothes as Charlot was wearing in the opening sequence of the first episode, when she was waiting for Anton. Anton, who is portrayed as a rather boring but nice person, realises from the situation that Charlotte has found a new boyfriend in To, and retreats with his honour intact, by wishing them well. When he wants to leave Sara bows down to pick up his suitcase and their hands touch, the mother realising Saras fascination steps in, and asks Charlotte whether her and Anton have..., implicitly asking whether they have had sex. Charlotte says no, and the mother tells Sara that now she can pick up the suitcase and they leave. This incident combined with the fact that Sara is wearing Charlotte clothes could be the director telling us that Sara will take over her sisters old life and that even Anton will find happiness. Still the implications of this situation can be rather hard to grasp, and we must admit that it was not until watching the serial for the fourth time that we noticed the resemblance of the clothes and the significance of Charlottes mother allowing Sara to carry the suitcase, which we see as metonym for them ending up together. This and other incidents show the demand for the audience to be active, and how the attentiveness is rewarded. The sequence ends with a shot of Charlotte giving To a hug and a kiss.


Anton is the man Charlotte was supposed to be engaged to the day she met Charlot in the airport.


The camera cuts to the chairperson, who introduces the special guest speaker, the famous television host Hans Jrgen Wilder. New cut to the foursome, Charlot and Charlotte are laughing, a reference to the incident previous in the serial, where the two women visit his house, because Charlotte had a crush on him. The fact that she is able to laugh about it shows the development she has gone through. We see the chairperson introducing Hans Jrgen Wilder yet again, he starts to sound nervous since Wilder still does not show up. We see Hans Jrgen Wilder sitting on the beach wearing the same silk robe he wore in the first episode of the serial. The camera cuts and we see him from the opposite angle still facing the camera as if there were two of him, speaking to each other. The camera cuts from one angle to the other as the two clones declare their everlasting love to each other. Up until now the narrative angle has solely been from the outside. In this scene it is from within, portraying the narcissistic and schizophrenic mind of Hans Jrgen Wilder. The offscreen space is still present, as we hear the ocean, a dog barking and the desperate cries of the chairperson calling out for Hans Jrgen Wilder. The sequence is a clear intertextual reference on more than one level, and will be elaborated on in where we deal with the ironic aspects of this sequence. We return to the bonfire where the chairperson states that Hans Jrgen Wilder has become ill or something. We see the women laughing. The Chairperson suggests that either they sing Vi elsker vort land one more time or that he could make a speech. When the crowd disapproves of his suggestions, he asks whether someone would like to make a speech and after a while Charlot starts shouting. She says that she herself has said all she has to say, and pushes Charlotte forward. This is an indication of her own development from wanting to be the one in focus, speaking and acting on behalf of both of them. Charlotte hesitates but feels obliged to make the speech. At this point a flash frame is inserted, showing a shadow like character sneaking through the crowd. The shot has no apparent purpose, thus, it is a use of ilinx, which has a self-reflexive effect since it makes people aware of the fact that it is a director, who decides what will happen. Additionally, it makes one wonder what is going on and it thereby makes the audiences attention more rigorous. Charlotte steps forward and in order to make a speech. We hear the pitching sound of a microphone which in reality is not there; Charlotte who is very nervous starts to speak in a voice distorted by the fictive microphone. The scene is self-reflexive in the way that we as the attentive audience know that the director has inserted extra noise, which could not


Billede #14

possible be there. Hereby making a reference to the serials own form. On another level the insertion can be seen as a gimmick to emphasise Charlottes insecurity and lack of control of the situation. Charlotte stutters her way through the first part of her speech, but after a couple of sentences she finds a rhythm: Jeg tror, jeg har det ligesom heksen. Men det er vel med Skt. Hans som med en sommerfugl, som skal ud af sin puppe. Det gamle dr ,og s kommer der noget nyt igen. Mske er sommerfuglen bange, lige nr den ser det frste lys inde i puppen. Hvem ka vide. {background music is added}Men nr den s mrker, hvordan vinden griber fat i de vinger den pludselig opdager at den har, den vidste jo ikke, at den havde vinger, men s er de der, og med et *Paff* s er der luft under dem, og den lfter sig op over jordkloden og ser ned p den jord, den kravlede rundt p, dengang den kun var en larve og grim med hr p. Men mske blir den osse bange for alle de der hjder og alle de der nye landskaber den aldrig kunne se fr. Men det er bare det jeg ville sige, det skal man ikke vre bange for - hjderne. En dag ville jeg tage livet af mig selv men togfrerne strejkede, og det er jeg virkelig glad for at de gjorde, for i nat er jeg s lykkelig som man kan blive. For vinden tog mig og sendte mig helt der op, hvor man ikke kan n jorden og det jeg siger er bare man skal ikke lide af hjdeskrk for det er livet alt, alt for kort til. For i nat var jeg sammen med den jeg elsker for frste gang, og jeg kan mrke glden ved det hele fordi solen skinner...


I think I feel like the witch. But I guess Midsummer is like a butterfly, breaking out its cocoon. The old dies and something new comes instead. Maybe the butterfly is afraid when it sees the first light from within the cocoon. Who knows. But when it feels the wind under the wings it suddenly realises it has, for it didnt know it had wings, but there they are, and *Puuff* there is air beneath them, and it rises up above the earth and looks down on the ground it crawled on when it was but a caterpillar and ugly and hairy. But maybe it gets frightened by all the heights and all the new scenarios it was never able to see before. But all I wanted to say is that you shouldnt be afraid of them - heights. One day I wanted to commit suicide but the train staff were on strike and Im really glad they were, because tonight Im as happy as could be. Because the wind carried me all the way up where you cannot reach the ground, all I want to say is that you shouldnt be afraid of heights, because lifes too short. Because tonight I was with the one I love for the first time, and I feel the joy of everything because the sun shines... The speech bears a clear resemblance to the story about Den grimme lling (The Ugly Duckling) by H. C. Andersen, thus, we are again made aware of the intertextual nature of this and other fictitious texts. While Charlotte is speaking, the camera switches from her to Charlot, Niels, and To to Charlottes parents who are watching her with pride. Charlotte gets more and more excited


whilst speaking and starts dancing around. Background music is added to support and emphasise her excitement. The camera focuses on her but tracks upwards and away, a visual reference to her story about the butterfly not being afraid of the heights. At this point in the speech the scenario changes, and we see a pregnant Charlot sitting in a garden reading a post card, while a little boy is playing at her feet. The sound of Charlottes voice still speaking becomes more intimate, as if it was the voice of the person who has written the post card, although the words are still from the speech. The little boy, who is Charlots son, and her pregnancy indicate that some years have gone by. The cut between the two sequences and the major break in time is softened by the background music and the words of the speech lapping over. However, the sound of the voice and the background sounds change, thus spoiling some of the softening. The tracking upwards also indicates the presence of a narrator whos looking down on everything and chooses what to see. The speech goes on and blends in with the text of the postcard.

...og fordi blet brnder, fordi havet bruser, fordi vinden kler mit ansigt, og fordi vi er i live {Small break} Jeg troede aldrig, jeg skulle ende p Manhattan, her er luften meget drlig, slet ikke som ved Vesterhavet, men man vnner sig til det, det ved du jo alt om. Du kunne jo ikke tle frisk luft. Jeg ved ikke om Manhattan er bedre end Skagen, men det er jo heller ikke det, det handler om. Jeg kommer hjem om to mneder, for s er de sidste penge sluppet op, og jeg hber at I kommer og henter mig i lufthavnen. Srg endelig for at vre der ..., ellers ved man aldrig hvad der kan ske. Krligste hilsener din Charlotte. ...and because the bonfire is burning, because of the sounds of the ocean, because the wind cools my face and because we are alive. {Small break} I never thought I would end up in Manhattan , the air here is really bad, not at all as by the North Sea. But you get used to it, you know all about that. You couldnt stand fresh air. I dont know whether Manhattan is better than Skagen, but thats not what matters. Ill return back home in two months, because then the money will be gone, and I hope youll come and pick me up at the airport. Make sure youre there..., if not you never know what might happen. With love your Charlotte. The postcard is from Charlotte in Manhattan, which ironically is where Charlot started out. Furthermore, it is written to Charlot, who is presumably in Skagen where Charlotte started out. Charlotte states that where ever you are geographically is not important, what matters is the psychological state you are in and being with the one you love. She ends her postcard by asking Charlot and Niels to pick her up at the airport, or else... This could predict a sequel, since it leaves a loose end that a new story could be built around. In an article from Ekstra Bladet (Gregers 1996), we learn that Ole Bornedal has already started writing a fifth episode


to continue the serial, but that a sequel will probably not appear for a while, since Bornedal is tied up for quite some time making films in the USA. While Charlotte continues her monologue, the camera slowly tracks away, we see more of the garden but slowly the picture fades into a picture of Charlotte and To on top of the Empire State Building. The colours are pale, yellowish, and blurred, their movements are slow and they seem to be performing in front of a camera. The whole scene seems constructed as taken out of an old American silent movie or an old photograph. It could be a reference to some photographs enclosed in the letter, only here they are shown to the audience in motion. This is emphasised by the background music and the singing of birds carried on from the garden into this scene, making us aware that we are still in the garden with Charlot, the fading of the scenes into each other are further indications of this. The picture fades back to Charlot in the garden, we see Niels passing her with a laundry basket, suggesting that even though Charlot has settled down with Niels, she has not taken over the stereotypical role of a house wife with all the domestic chores. The colours are bright and clear, the birds are singing everything is in harmony. The camera slowly tracks out and up, we see a postcard-like scenario of a beautiful house, with a beautiful garden and a Danish flag waving in the wind. The background music takes over, and once again it seems like the narrator looks down on everything. The Danish flag waving in the wind is a repeated metonym and completes the frame of the serial because a Danish flag is one of the first things we see in the first sequence of the first episode of the serial (6.3.1 Opening Extract). Furthermore it serves as a metonym making us aware that this serial is in fact a story of and a comment on Denmark and Danes. The Role of Irony

Again in the final extract irony is important on different levels. On the outer, narrative level the repeated use of self-reflexivity and intertextuality shows an ironic attitude of the director towards the medium and his own role. We think that the first sequence at the beach has a slightly ironic air about it in the way that everything is so perfect, the women are both very much in love, the colour of the sky is too beautiful, the music is too romantic in contrast to the world, we have been presented to in the rest of the serial, with mass murderers, suicide attempts, psychotic headmistresses, manipulative religious leaders, etc. It seems like a pastiche of the


ending of a classical Hollywood picture. Still the irony lies not so much in the exaggeration but merely in its resemblance with other texts, because the sequence is not that exaggerated and ironic that it distances the viewer. On another level we see Sara, taking over Charlottes old life completely, everything from her dress to her earrings to her boyfriend, this is definitely an exaggeration of what conventionally could be in any classical Hollywood picture. Moreover, it is ironic as it makes the harmony and the happy ending even thicker. The irony is complete, when the pompous television host finds the love of his life - himself. His character is ironic in more than one way, firstly it parodies the clich of a narcissistic television star. Secondly the character is a direct reference to the actor who plays it, Jarl Friis Mikkelsen, who himself is a talk show host. The final part of the extract shows Charlot and Charlotte ending up in the place the other started out, this seems ironic, since they were so different in the beginning of the serial. The ending makes the ironic circle complete, as the serial begins and ends with irony.

6.3.4 Summing up the Micro Analysis

The micro analysis has functioned as a way of going into depth with the serial without having to examine every single shot, scene and sequence in details. The chosen extracts have provided a general idea of how this serial has been built up. We have identified most of the tools, which Ole Bornedal has used when making this television serial. Though, it should be noted that we have concentrated on details, which are important in relation to postmodernism, since this is one of our main focuses. We have with this analysis examined one of our main focuses on a micro level; the role of irony. The function of irony on a micro level, in relation to the serial, is identical to the macro level and thus the discussion and summing up, which deals with irony, will be in the following chapter when examining the macro level. Naturally this discussion is also relevant in this chapter, but we feel that it belongs even more in the next chapter, since we at that point will have analysed the entire serial. Furthermore, since irony is our main concern in this project together with the role of postmodernism, we feel it necessary to focus on this near the general discussion.


6.4 Macro Analysis

We have gone through the classical and the alternative narrative structures. With point of departure in our chapter on methods of analysis, we will aim at classifying the narrative structure of the entire serial. In order to be able to accomplish this task we need a macro analysis in addition to the micro analysis.

6.4.1 Narrative Structure

The diagram below will serve as ground for determining which patterns Charlot og Charlotte follows. The classical narration is specified on one side, and the alternative narration on the other. One has to bear in mind that each dimension is a scale. In order to explain where the serial is placed on the scale, we have decided to view it as a diagram with five intervals under each dimension.

1 Dimensions: Narrative angle Focus Relation between events Qualities of characters Classical From without On act and plot Causality Functions of plot Flat

5 Alternative From within On individual Stream-of-consciousness Conflicting impulses Round

For further explanation of the dimension see chapter on alternative narrative structures.

89 Narrative Angle

Billed #16

The narrative angle of the serial is mainly from without since we rarely see what goes on inside the heads of the characters. We can only try to imagine what goes on in their minds by looking at their behaviour, things they say, what clothes they wear and by their actions. We cannot determine their state of mind psychologically, and this indicates that we are dealing with the classical structure. It is only a few places in the entire serial where we do not follow this particular structure. The first sequence is where Charlotte receives a message from the evil Pastor Zeem, which results in her collapsing (20th sequence, 3rd episode). Here we are let inside Charlottes mind and are able to follow her visions for a short while. She sees Zeem closing in on her. He is wearing black trousers, but no shirt, and is running, while screaming, towards her looking very threatening, angry and evil. This is an example of the narrative structure being from within. Charlotte is helped out of her breakdown by a fortune teller, in this sequence (23rd sequence, 3rd episode), we see into the minds of both women as they melt together and for a minute become one. Another example is the sequence where Hans Jrgen Wilder, played by Jarl Friis Mikkelsen, is sitting on the beach having a conversation with himself (6.3.3 Final Extract). Filming his


conversation in this way, gives us an insight in his mind. We discover his direct thoughts, since they are made explicit to us. We have already seen that Hans Jrgen Wilder is very selfcentred, when seeing the sequence, where Charlot and Charlotte bring him a pizza (8th sequence, 1st episode), but it is not until the conversation in the end of the serial that his thoughts are shown visually. To sum up, the narrative angle is mostly from without which places it in the classical narrative structure. However, a few elements belonging to the alternative narrative structure are present. This leads us to the placing of the serial in our diagram, and we have decided to place it as a two. Focus
The focus in the serial is definitely alternative, since it is not centred around the plot, but around the main characters. In the serial, a series of different things occur as means of developing and shaping Charlot and Charlotte as individuals. This does not mean that there is no plot, rather that it is centred around the women. An example is when Charlotte, with help from Charlot, escapes from the sect Jobs brn (17th sequence, 1st episode). This is an important step for Charlottes further development, since she has now torn herself away from the sect with no intention of returning (.That the evil Zeem decides to follow her, is another thing). Furthermore, the incident helps shape Charlot. She experiences how the sect has brainwashed the innocent and naive Charlotte. This brings them closer together and Charlot seems to feel a need of protecting Charlotte. It functions as a bond that binds them together. Another example is the visit at the fortune tellers (23rd sequence, 3rd episode). Charlotte has had a nervous breakdown after receiving a message from Pastor Zeem. Charlot brings her to a hospital, but the doctors and nurses do not seem to care one bit (22nd sequence, 3rd episode). They meet a patient there, who helps them get to the fortune teller. The whole sance with the fortune teller serves as the point in the story where the two women share and exchange values by seeing inside each others souls. The visit itself is merely a tool which is there to serve the main point: that Charlot and Charlotte almost become one person. This development is of immense importance and is part of the whole on a thematic level.


The serial differs from the classical narrative structure which focuses on the plot, as it is mainly focusing on the characters it fits into the alternative structure. Therefore, we placed Charlot og Charlotte as a four on the scale in our diagram. Focus on psychological traits is something we also see in recent road movies such as Thelma and Louise and Wild at Heart. Relation Between Events

The relation between the events in Charlot og Charlotte is foremost causal, which creates linearity in the story. Moreover, the relation is influenced by the serials status as a road movie, leaving the past behind in the search for a future, they keep moving on no matter what. This creates linearity without the need for causality. There are no flashbacks or flash forwards so the structure is synchronic. The strange cutting technique used in many of the scenes, e.g. in the opening scene, makes the story appear more fragmented and tends to break traditional and classical conventions. The technique is to take several shots of the same moving object with minor differences e.g. background, extras or hairstyles, and then edit them into one. One example is when Charlottes legs are filmed walking through the airport (1st sequence, 1st episode) as explained in chapter 6.3.1 about the 1st extract, and an even more obvious example is (13th sequence, 4th episode) where Charlot dances with Niels. Here the same sort of editing is used. By using this technique the linearity seems to disappear; yet on a macro level it still exists. As mentioned above, the linearity of the story is slightly bent by the use of the Lillebltsbro at a time much after passing it the first time (15th-17th sequence, 2nd episode) (6.3.2 Second Extract, Postmodern Television & Film). However, this is only recognised by the attentive audience with a Danish cultural background. And the linearity of the story continues; it is just the place that does not follow. In classical films ( Classical Narrative Structure), this technique would be seen as untidy editing and thus a flaw. However, in the alternative structure it is considered of great importance as it breaks classical conventions. The breaks emphasise the fictional status of the serial, this is self-reflexivity, one of the main ideas in postmodern television. Yet, the serial in its whole is synchronic and mainly based on causality and we therefore choose to place the serial as a number two on the scale.

92 Qualities of Characters

As already mentioned above the focus of the serial is mainly on the individual; and the personal development of the women is what the plot is structured around; the core theme. They are round characters with personalities that develop. In the first part of the serial they are shown as very stereotypical: The insecure, naive and boring blond Charlotte and the arrogant, calculating and temperamental brunette Charlot, these two opposites soon reveal other sides than first implied. Charlot lets down her guards and shows compassion when she rescues Charlotte from the clutches of Pastor Zeem (16th-17th sequence, 1st episode). Charlotte shows some of the calculating coolness, which earlier has been subscribed to Charlot, when she blackmails her to be her friend by telling her that she cant get where she wants without Charlotte driving her (11th sequence, 1st episode). Throughout the series the two women influence each other and become more alike. They are not just functions of the plot, their personal development rather dictates the story, this and the conflicting impulses of the main characters place the serial on the alternative side of the scale. We have chosen to place it on a four. However round the main characters are, there is quite an extensive use of stereotypes: Orson as the classical detective, Pastor Zeem as the leader of a religious sect, the head mistress of the residential home, the nerd Anton, the yuppie con artist Erik Risby Kjr etc. Even though Orson looks quite stereotypical he has a very melancholic side which makes him less stereotypical. This is also the case with other characters, e.g. Niels, Charlottes brother, who seems like the stereotypical less than intelligent fisherman at a first glance, but later he shows a deeper side in his discussion with Charlot on the beach about expressing oneself (10th sequence, 4th episode). Another example is Birksted, who at first seems like a senile old man who has got lost from a residential home, but in fact he has great wisdom of life and shows a clarity about death that one would usually not subscribe a senile old man. The serial has quite a lot of flat characters, and consciously plays with stereotypes, but the main characters along with several of the other characters are round, we therefore choose to place the serial on a four on the scale.

1 Dimensions: Narrative angle Focus Classical From without on act and plot

5 Alternative From within on individual

Relation between events Qualities of characters

Causality Functions of plot Flat

Stream-of-consciousness Conflicting impulses Round

The serial is placed very broadly on the scale, from 2-4, which shows a mixture of structural features from both classical and alternative narratives. This extensive mixture of features is often used in postmodern cultural products. According to the model and our findings on the macro level, we can see that the serial is rather postmodern, since it shifts between the use of both classical and alternative elements. Narrator
The narrative angle in Charlot og Charlotte is quite traditional as it is a mixture between mimetic acting of the script and a diegetic narrator. However, there is extensive diegetic interference of a less traditional nature: by the use of flash frames, colourisation, distinctive background music and fragmented editing etc. (i.e. a distinctive style). There are two kinds of I-narrators: the hetero and the homo diegetic ( Classical Narrative Structure). The former is a narrator who places himself outside the narrative commenting on events. This is seen in the serial by the use of quotations in the beginning of each episode. Even more explicitly by Ole Bornedal giving an appetiser in the end of the first three episodes of the content of the following and by giving summaries of the previous episode in the beginning of the second, third, and fourth. The signs saying Tro, Hb og Krlighed that the women pass on their journey can be seen as a hetero diegetic interference. A character of a story can be given narrative traits and is thereby homo diegetic. In Charlot og Charlotte this kind of narration is quite rare, but there are a few examples: Orson on the bridge speaking without moving his lips (6.3.2 Second Extract) and the same character summing up the course of events (15th sequence, 4th episode).

6.4.2 Intertextuality
As mentioned in chapter 4 about postmodernism we live in a culture of fragmentation. There is a plurality of fragments, which one can combine and recombine according to ones own wishes. Any combination is allowed. The structure of Charlot og Charlotte is very much influenced by fragmentation on different levels, and this conglomerate of different fragments


makes the serial appear as an intertextual hybrid. In the perception and in the making of meaning of this hybrid one makes inferences and creates ones own fabula from syuzhet. In this chapter we will present and discuss the following levels: 1) The way the serial is edited providing a range of different visual images quickly shifting 2) The different stories and events within the one story 3) The mix of different genres 4) The mix of references from different types of texts 5) The mix of cultural and societal references 6) The intertwining of fiction into reality Fragmentation in Editing

We are used to the rapid shift of visual images from other texts within the visual media. The technique is influenced by the consumer culture, which is characterised by a plurality of options of merchandise as well as of many other things in society such as television channels. The increasing number of television channels means a vast amount of television programmes. The consumers of television contribute to the fragmented nature of television by using the remote control shifting channels as well as programs watching bits and pieces of different contexts. In television commercials, people are presented with several different pictures in a very short period of time. The overall purpose is of course to persuade the consumers in the short time available to buy the product in question, and by showing the rapidly shifting images the viewers get a feeling of excitement, an impression of life in the fast lane. This helps keep the consumers attention, prevent them from getting bored, shifting channels and thereby turning to one of the other many choices one has. In music videos there is also a rapid shifting of images usually following the beat of the music. With MTV this technique has become established as a specific style including a specific audience; in this case especially young people who have been visually literate in the sense that they are able to make a coherent meaning from all these fragments. Other visual media such as the tabloid press and magazines also use this style of fragmentation on the front cover for a metonymic purpose, i.e. by presenting fragments of the articles one gets an idea of what the articles are all about.


In Charlot og Charlotte this specific style of editing, splitting some events up in several fragments has been used in a number of scenes and sequences. Examples of this could be when we see Charlotte waiting in the airport. Later on in the serial we see a scene where Charlot is dancing with Niels at an inn. In the latter example the scene has been shot twice: one with a woman standing behind Charlot, watching her dance, and one without the woman in the background. It is edited in a way, where there is a constant and rapid switching between the two versions, creating a somewhat disturbing and strange appearance. The result is humorous if one recognises the differences between the two versions, which is the woman as well as the fact that Charlots hairdo is slightly different in the two. Furthermore, it demands the viewer to be familiar with the style and to be able to keep up with the pace. What we suggest is that the audience, who is used to this kind of editing recognising the intertextuality, perhaps will be able to appreciate this and additional scenes and sequences to a higher degree than others. Stories and Events

Having parallel events and stories is not necessarily untraditional and postmodern. However, the intertwining of stories and the rapid change of events combined with the other fragmenting elements emphasises the eclectic style. The different stories can have different genres. For instance it is not unusual that a crime story is combined with a love story. This way of combining different stories and thereby different genres refers to the intertextuality which occurs when one shifts channels back and forth and follows parts of two or more programs. In the serial our two main characters encounter a lot of people and experience a lot of events. Many things happen alongside each other, so one has to keep track of all the different parallel stories. For instance all through the serial Charlotte is being followed by Pastor Zeem. This story is not resolved till the ending of the 4th episode in the 14th sequence, when he is arrested. Another story, which lasts from the 10th sequence in the 2nd episode until the 7th sequence of the 3rd episode, is the Poul-Teddy crime story/thriller, which starts the first time he hitches a ride with Charlot and Charlotte and ends when he is killed. However, one could say that this story is not totally resolved till the 15th sequence of the 4th episode, when they are told about the bank robbery and the money. We thought Charlottes love story with Anton to be resolved already in the 1st sequence, when he did not arrive. However, as we learn in the 20th sequence of the 4th episode Anton


shows up at the bonfire, and the story is revived, but it is resolved immediately after, though. An example of an event could be the encounter with Weirdo-Kaj in the 6th sequence in the 1st episode, which has no function of telling a story, it is only meant to be amusing. Mix of Genres

As mentioned in chapter 4 the mixing of genres is a technique often used in postmodern art. Genre is the term used for a specific type of text or product. For instance the genre of a love story could be said to have certain characteristics that determines it as a love story. These characteristics have been established through a repeated use in various fictional media. A postmodern piece of art does not follow the traditional conventions of genre. Instead it uses the genres as material to create a strange hybrid consisting of characteristics of different genres, making it virtually impossible to classify it as being one or the other. In a way one could say that the genre does not exist anymore according to postmodern thinking. However, most works of art still rely on the established conventions on genre. The paradoxical irony in the play with mixing genres would disappear if there were no traditional styles to juxtapose. The seemingly contradictory genres exist side by side in the same text, but the contradiction does not provoke wonder, merely it results in ironic amusement because the new combination has created a style of its own that appears perfectly reasonable. One is aware of the mixture of things in for instance Charlot og Charlotte, but it does not appear as strange unless, as suggested above, that one is perhaps not familiar with or accepts this juxtaposition of sometimes opposing elements. Charlot og Charlotte is a blend of many different genres. It is a comedy and a love story. It is a crime story which has many elements of a Morten Korch film12, and it implies some of the characteristics of a udviklingsroman which can be translated into something like a novel of development, meaning that the key theme is the personal development of the main character/s. This is closely connected to the concept of a road movie. Furthermore, the serial has a level of spirituality, e.g. occult and inexplicable things happen. As mentioned above the mixing and even simultaneity of genres within one sequence as well as in the entire serial has a rather ironic effect. An example of this could be the motel scene (18th sequence, 2nd episode) (6.3.2 Second Extract) which is a pastiche of a thriller. Yet, it differs in the sense that a murder scene in a thriller usually would be accompanied by


classical dramatic music perhaps in a low pace used in order to intensify the atmosphere. In this sequence alongside with the characteristics of the thriller genre we find the music from a totally different genre. The music is not a direct reference to a specific film or serial, but merely a reference to comedy and films which have a cheerful and carefree content or message. The juxtaposition of these two somewhat opposing genres, creates an ironic distance to what is going on and thereby makes the sequence appear less solemn. Furthermore, it makes one aware of the major influence that effects such as music have on the way one perceives a film or serial. This kind of mixture between silly music and horrifying events is used in films like Oliver Stones Natural Born Killers and Ole Bornedals own Nattevagten. The following is another example of the shift between genres as well as a display of the occult side of Charlot og Charlotte. It is the 8th sequence of the 3rd episode just after the situation where Charlotte sends a butterfly to Birksted, who has become their guardian angel after they helped him back to die in his beloved Fyn (Funen). We see the butterfly land on some loose wires of a harvester. It short cuts it and the machine begins to move as if animated. Finally, the harvester ends up running over Poul-Teddy saving Charlot and Charlottes lives. Next we see Charlot and Charlotte driving happily in their car accompanied by the song Lille sommerfugl, which is a sort of tribute song to butterflies. The shift between a deadly serious situation and a happy scenario has a rather humorous effect. Another perspective of this scene is the irony that a little beautiful creature such as a butterfly (with the influence of others though) can generate extremely violent situations. There are several other scenes in which the supernatural plays an important part. For instance when Charlotte forces Pastor Zeem and his disciple to leave with the power of her

12 In Lademanns Leksikon Morten Korch (1876-1954) is described as a Danish author who has published a number of novels and plays, often with an idyllic, rural environment and a happy end. Several screen versions have been made of his novels (Langer 1973, vol. 10 p. 105).


Billede #17

thoughts by displaying an incredible spiritual force (and perhaps with a little help from Birksted). (13th sequence, 4th episode). In the 20th sequence of the 3rd episode Charlotte receives a letter from Pastor Zeem, who earlier in the serial put a curse on her. Pastor Zeem obviously still has some kind of spiritual power over Charlotte: she becomes ill and collapses as if in a trance. After being refused proper care at the hospital Charlot and Charlotte is offered help from another patient. She brings them to a strange place with a native American standing outside. The next sequence is centred around Charlot and Charlotte getting help from a fortune teller to continue their development into more round characters and as more harmonic individuals. Thereby we see the occult or spiritual aspect intertwined with the plot of the two womens development. References to texts

As mentioned in chapter 4 we live in a society of information. We are bombarded with fictional as well as factual texts in the media. Television, radio, and newspapers are an integrated part of most peoples everyday lives. Consequently, one has an immense textual knowledge. When reading a text one often understands it through knowledge of other texts. To fully appreciate a postmodern text such as Charlot og Charlotte one has to have a certain intertextual background knowledge. Without this knowledge the serial may appear merely as a nice story, but since it has so many references the serial contains so much more. One discovers new aspects and new references whenever one watches it (or reads others views upon it). However, it is impossible for one person to discover everything; it contains so much and is thereby an attraction for everyone. This is one of the reasons for the use of intertextuality.


Another reason for the revival of fragments of other texts is the postmodern notion that one cannot create anything new but ought to use what is already out there in the intertextual arena. We consider the way of combining the different fragments of several texts and genres unique in the sense that there are so many possibilities of combination. This reusing of old texts shows a certain nostalgia and appreciation of other texts. The most obvious kind of reference is the direct reference where the title of another text is explicitly mentioned in the serial. In the 9th sequence of the 1st episode Charlotte likens her relationship with the talk show host Hans Jrgen Wilder to a similar situation in Doctor Zhivago. Later on ( 3rd sequence, 3rd episode) when Charlot and Charlotte have just picked up Poul-Teddy dressed in womens clothes, Charlot patronisingly calls him Dame Edna, referring to an Australian comic who plays an eccentric charming woman dressed in flashy outfits, decorated glasses and big wigs. In the same scene when Poul-Teddy tries to establish himself as a dangerous serial killer in order to scare the women he says that he has read the book American Psycho eight times and that he duplicates the cannibal from the film Silence of the Lambs13. In the 14th sequence of the 3rd episode Charlot, Charlotte, and To encounter this awful married couple, who continuously put each other down and get on each others nerves as well as on everybody elses. Charlot simply throws them out of the car because she cannot stand to be with them. Saying goodbye with the brilliant statement Hvis man rrer ved lort, kommer man til at lugte af lort (If you touch shit, you will end up smelling like shit). After having left the couple standing by the side of the road, Charlot says that it was a scene from


Both texts are about vicious serial killers.



a Bergman14 film. This makes us aware of the fact that the previous situation was a scene from Bergman film. Another variety of the direct reference is when we witness Charlotte play Ophelia in Shakespeares Hamlet in the theatre as a favour to To (18th sequence, 3rd episode). It is like a film or a story within the film. To conclude; these direct references to other texts serve as hints of Ole Bornedals ironic attitude towards the postmodern and to his own way of constantly reusing traits, elements, and characteristics from other texts. For the attentive audience and people who have an interest in films, serials, and/or literature the serial imply a vast number of less direct references. In the first episode we are introduced to a Thelma and Louise-like concept, where two women are driving away with no specific aim or purpose but to get away from their current situation for a while. Another example from the first episode is Charlot and Charlotte who picks up an old man - Birksted - who has escaped from a hospital. The reference to the Danish television serial Riget by Lars von Trier is made more explicit when the old man starts to speak about the hospital, expressing himself in a bizarre way using terms which some of the characters in Riget used.
14 It says in Lademanns Leksikon that Ingmar Bergman (1918- ) is an internationally acknowledged Swedish director and script writer, whose main interest is to portray the problems of the modern neurotic person, with special emphasis on erotic conflicts and the concept of malice (Langer 1973, vol. 2 p. 131).


In the second episode of the serial Charlot, Charlotte, and Birksted continue their trip through Sjlland (Zealand) and Fyn (Funen), and at one stage we see all three of them in the car, headbanging to the sound of loud music from the car stereo. We see this as an implicit reference to the American film Waynes World where the main characters are headbanging in one of the sequences. This specific incident occur in the film itself of course, but has additionally been shown several times on television in a trailer from the film and it has also been used in a music video with the song from the sequence. In the same episode, we are introduced to the stuttering police man Bo Boesen . We see him as an allusion to the shy and somewhat nervous character Andy who was a policeman in the cult serial Twin Peaks by David Lynch. Furthermore, the scene at the motel where PoulTeddy is dressed up in womens clothes and tries to kill Orson is intertextual in relation to Psycho and perhaps Silence of the Lambs. In these American motion pictures we meet a serial killer, and in Psycho the main character owns a motel (Norman Bates Motel Charlot has previously used the name in a different context) and tries to revive his late mother by dressing up in her clothes before he kills his victims. When it comes to Silence of the Lambs, the resemblance consists in the fact that we meet a disturbed man who puts on make-up and dresses up in a woman-suit made of the skin he has cut off from several of his female victims. Later in the third episode Psycho is referred to once again when Charlot and Charlotte picks up Poul-Teddy. He sits on the back seat of the car still dressed in womens clothes saying: Mor har savnet jer (3rd sequence, 3rd episode) (Mother has missed you). Clearly the word mother makes the reference a bit more obvious. In addition to the other references, the third episode has strong indications of Ole Bornedal being inspired by the above mentioned American television serial Twin Peaks. The works of David Lynch have been called postmodern on several occasions. We will only present two examples, but when watching Charlot og Charlotte it is conspicuous to us that many of the occult or extraordinary features are inspired by especially Twin Peaks. In the 23rd sequence of the 3rd episode Charlot and Charlotte arrive at this spooky place which they have been guided to because of Charlottes illness. The whole sequence takes place at a sance held by a wise woman. The woman who is a midget, gives the women some hints about what to do. A similar character exists in Twin Peaks: a male midget who


appears when David Lynch feels that the audience need some information about what is going on in the serial (a hetero diegetic narrator). The midgets psychic abilities in Charlot og Charlotte is inspired by a character in Twin Peaks, where a character known as The Log Lady uses her supernatural power to predict events and guide some of the other characters. Furthermore, the use of a midget playing a spiritual character could hint to the film Poltergeist by Steven Spielberg, a film which Twin Peaks might also draw on. In the final episode of the serial our two main characters are going to a dance at the local inn. Before going Charlot demands Charlotte to have a major make over. The following sequence draws on a lot of characteristics from Cinderella and The Ugly Duckling, as well as other films which have been inspired by the themes in these stories e.g. the American film Pretty Woman. Charlottes transformation from a plain and somewhat colourless woman into a sophisticated and beautiful young woman is a symbol of the psychological development she has experienced during the serial. It is quite similar to the transformations that the main female characters of Pretty Woman and The Ugly Duckling go through. In the fairy tale Cinderella the reference is to the visual rather than the psychological alteration. When the two women finally get to the inn (13th sequence, 4th episode) they encounter Charlottes brother Niels whom Charlot asks to dance. The sequence showing the couple dancing refer quite obviously to a similar scene in the American film Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino. The way Charlot is dancing is almost identical with the way the character played by Uma Thurman dances in this film. Furthermore, Uma Thurmans somewhat exotic look with dark page boy hair and brown eyes bears strong resemblance to the way Charlot looks. It must be noted that the scene in Pulp Fiction has been regarded as an intertextual reference to the film Saturday Night Fever (firstly because of the dance, secondly because of the actor John Travolta who is a main character in both films). Therefore the scene in Charlot og Charlotte is another example of an intertextual reference to an intertextual reference. References do not necessarily have to be made to certain other texts, but can also refer to the whole media. For instance in the scene where Charlot helps Charlotte escape from Jobs brn (17th sequence, 1st episode) she does something with Pastor Zeems car so that the engine explodes, and explains that she has learned the technique from watching a film. Besides from being a reference to the media of film this sentence implies that one can learn things about real situations by watching fiction.


Another reference is to a different media namely weekly magazines, which are often quite trivial. In the scene at the pub (6th sequence, 1st episode) when Charlot tells Charlotte her glamorous, yet tragic story, Charlotte likens her situation to the ones portrayed in the magazines. Later in the serial (22nd sequence, 2nd episode) Charlotte says that the magazines are so boring and realistic, thus making an intertextual comment, first of all to the media, but it is also an indirect comment to the previous mentioning, where magazines were seen as something glamorous and exiting, indicating the change her life has gone through and even her fictional and unrealistic status. Also we see direct references to other media in the serial, e.g. at one point when Charlotte and Charlotte drive along they hear the newscast in the radio, and we also see the news in a newspaper. Reference to Culture and Society

Intertextual background knowledge is not only knowledge from specific other texts or other media. It is knowledge based on the general cultural experience from living in a society, in this case the Danish one. Stereotypes are a part of this sort of intertextuality, as well as current affairs, historical facts and cultural competence. In the serial this sort of intertextuality is used extensively. Concerning stereotypes there are a lot of examples. Already in the first sequence we are presented to three different stereotypes: Charlot, Charlotte, and the bartender. Weirdo-Kaj is another example of a stereotype (6th sequence, 1st episode). He is the classical, pathetic, smart-arse who hangs around bars making lame passes on every female creature who comes near him. Later in the serial we encounter two kinds of national stereotypes: the German tourist (10th sequence, 4th episode), who approaches Charlotte with an arrogant and I-own-the-whole-world (or at least Denmark) attitude. He is loud and his entire appearance has all the characteristics of what Danes call a Plsetysker (a sausage German). At the inn the two women are hassled by a very drunk Swede (13th sequence, 4th episode). The mere fact that he is heavily intoxicated says almost everything there is to say about a Danish stereotypical idea of a Swede. Charlottes parents in their black clothes and their strict, puritan appearance is the classical image many people have of orthodox religious people especially from Indre mission (an evangelic branch of the church of Denmark). By using stereotypes one can imply a lot of


things without having to go into details, because a few metonyms trigger off a whole series of a associations in most people. Also it allows people to indulge in these crude ideas about a lot of obviously more complex matters, and creates a sense of solidarity among us who are so fortunate that we can laugh at the others peculiarities. Another way Ole Bornedal uses intertextuality is his satirical remarks on society and his stereotypical presentation of different institutions. An example of this is the incident in the cafeteria on the Ferry (2nd sequence, 2nd episode) which is a remark on the service of the DSB (Danish State Railways) personnel or a lack of service in general in society. It further serves as a remark on the classical grumpy cash register operator. Another example is the presentation of a hospital (22nd sequence, 3rd episode) as a place that has gone through financial reductions and lacks personnel which is known to be a problem in the Danish hospitals. The hospital is moreover shown as a very big, cold, and horrifying place and refers to general anxieties people have about hospitals. The portrait of an old peoples home as a waiting room for dying is another example of Bornedal playing on our worst notions of the Danish health care system. However, the elderly people are not only presented as the victims but as apathetic and indifferent. They lack the will to control their own lives and the will to make it meaningful. This is seen in the old peoples home (26th sequence, 2nd episode) and on board the ferry (2nd sequence, 2nd episode). Bornedal sets forth the doctors and nurses quite satirically by letting them appear very neglectful and inattentive. When Charlot carries Charlotte into the hospital (22nd sequence, 3rd episode) neither doctors nor nurses seem to react despite the fact that Charlotte is obviously very ill. Instead they appear as being more interested in their own struggle for higher wages. Especially the doctor is presented as very indifferent. When he finally finds the time to help Charlotte, he does not take the time to examine her thoroughly and just offers her an injection without knowing any details about her condition. When they refuse, he simply takes the shot of drugs himself. The press is also the victim of parody as we have already seen it in the micro analysis (6.3.2 Second Extract). Comments by the characters can have the same function of making satirical allusions to societal and other matters. An example of this can be seen in the restaurant (13th sequence, 2nd episode).


Charlot: Jeg vidste ikke at vi havde en socialistisk regering i Danmark i jeblikket? Poul-Teddy: Nej, det er ogs s meget sagt. Faktisk s kan vi ikke kende forskel p os selv og de andre. Forskellen erja, hvad er denden er som forskellen p Pampers og Libero15. Det er forskelligt navn, men de indeholder det samme lort (griner hysterisk) Charlot: I did not know that we had a socialistic government in Denmark at the moment? Poul-Teddy: No, I would not go that far. Actually, we cannot tell the difference between us and them. The differencewell, what is itit is like the difference between Pampers and Libero. The names are different but they contain they same shit (laughing hysterically). In fact, the biggest party in the Danish government is the Social Democrats. Nevertheless, they have been accused of having sold out on their socialist background. Without knowing this we would not be able to recognise the satirical reference this statement implies. Furthermore, the quotation refers to the role of commercials in society today and their exaggerated use. In addition to the critique of the government we have already mentioned the satirical remark made by Orson about politicians being corrupt or being nothing but criminals ( 6.3.2 Second Extract). In order to give an impression of the extensive and sometimes disguised use of satirical comments on societal matters, we will present an example of a name of a character implying a critical reference to a real person. We must admit that it was actually one of the newspaper reviews (Christensen 1996, p. 66) who made us aware of this allusion. but we though it was quite good so we find it important to mention here. In the serial we meet the fanatic and calculating pastor Zeem who only has coarse intentions, his name Zeem bears a striking resemblance to the name of the Danish town Seem. The reverend of this town, Sren Krarup, has been known to make racist remarks that one would not classify as Christian and charitable. One could say that he is a hypocrite. He is supposed to be a holy and righteous person but under the surface he is not. The same is the case is the case with Pastor Zeem. He says that he wants Charlotte to rejoin the sect for religious purposes, but in fact the reason why he chases her is that he wants to make love with her. Fiction and Reality

The media is often the only source of information about what goes on in the world. It is impossible to experience everything first hand so one has to rely on second hand


information. If this second hand information, which is of course subjective, is the only source, and one has no own original experience to measure it against, this presented image becomes what one considers reality. Sometimes, this can confuse the distinction between the copy and the original . It even leads to people saying that there is no difference between the two (4.5 Jean Baudrillard). In our opinion Ole Bornedal intentionally plays with the complexity of copy versus original. By choosing actors that in some ways resemble the part which they play he blurs the distinction between the copy and the original. The viewers, who have the certain background knowledge to notice the likeness, will instinctually connect the character in the television serial with the image of the private person which they know from other media. Hans Jrgen Wilder is played by Jarl Friis Mikkelsen (notice that both names are divided into three parts). Besides being an actor and the head of the entertainment department in the national Danish television (TV-UHA, underholdningsafdelingen DR) Jarl Friis Mikkelsen has hosted several talk shows over the years. In a row of talk shows a few years ago he commenced every talk show by saying Jeg er noget der hedder Jarl Friis Mikkelsen (I am something called Jarl Friis Mikkelsen). We are told that Hans Jrgen Wilder in the beginning of his shows uses the exact same words. There is another aspect of copy/original displayed in the sequence where Charlot and Charlotte visit Hans Jrgen Wilder: (8th sequence, 1st episode) he tapes all his experiences on video. He explains this by saying that by doing so he can experience it once more. This compares the televisual experience to the live experience meaning that one can experience things through watching television just as one experiences it in reality. Last season the musical La Cage Aux Folles ran on Det Ny Teater in Copenhagen starring Preben Kristensen as the homosexual mother to the son of his boyfriend. In Charlot og Charlotte he plays the role of a homosexual man who dresses in womens clothes. In real life Preben Kristensen does not conceal the fact that he is indeed a homosexual; it is known to many. We think that one of the reasons why Ole Bornedal have chosen Preben Kristensen to the role as Poul-Teddy, is due to his background as a homosexual as well as to make a reference to his previous roles. It could also be that Bornedal wrote the character of Poul-Teddy with Preben Kristensen in mind for the part.


Pampers and Libero are two kinds of nappies .


Baard Owe, who plays Pastor Zeem, he starred in the Danish television serial by Lars von Trier Riget where he played an unpleasant and insane doctor obsessed with the study of a liver disease much like Pastor Zeem is obsessed with having Charlotte. Ove Sproge plays Birksted, the old man who needs a ride to get back to Fyn to die. He says that he wants to get away from the linearity of rigshospitalet (riget: the public hospital) where his family put him. Several years ago he played the head clerk Amsted in the Danish film Den forsvundne fuldmgtig: a man who left his linear, boring and settled life to live as a free man in the country. This is also a clear reference. The resemblance lies also in the names Birksted - Amsted. Per Pallesen has a small appearance (10th sequence, 3rd episode) as a family man with a bunch of kids camping nearby the fire where Charlot and Charlotte have a beer with To. A few years ago he played a guy who owned a camping ground in his own film Camping. Finally, we would like to mention the reference Ole Bornedal makes to his own film Nattevagten by using the actor Gyrd Lfquist, who plays the old night watch in this film. In Charlot og Charlotte Gyrd Lfquist plays himself, the actor, who has starred in Nattevagten. In the 16th sequence of the 3rd episode Charlotte approaches Gyrd Lfquist and asks him if he starred in a thriller. We know that this is an allusion to Nattevagten thus the intertextual reference. Summing Up
We can surely determine an extensive use of the techniques which we defined as being postmodern features in chapter 4.6. The use of intertextuality exists on many levels and gives one an idea of the comprehensive puzzle Ole Bornedal has put together in order to make it appear as a complete entity. Ole Bornedal is able to make use of the audiences competence and their knowledge of different genres and aesthetic phenomena by the construction of a serial, which is open to multiple interpretations. Charlot og Charlotte is a hybrid and a meta-text since it combines a variety of genres thereby creating a whole new way of narrating. The serial is an open text and thereby the creation of the fabula becomes very individual. Yet, the text is not without direction. It follows an inner narrative logic which is the telling of the development of Charlot and Charlotte (plot/syuzhet).


We bring knowledge from other texts when receiving a text but certainly also when creating it. Ole Bornedal has created Charlotte og Charlotte on the basis of his intertextual knowledge and cultural background. Charlot og Charlotte is now part of the intertextual arena and it has effected our intertextual knowledge. It is not only shaped by previous texts, it will presumably also help shape some of the production and perception of coming texts.

6.4.3 The Irony in the Serial on a Macro Level

In our micro analysis we presented the reader to the extensive use of irony (,, Irony in the three extracts) on a micro level in three different extracts. With this account of irony we will not try to determine the use of irony in every single sequence throughout the serial, but shortly go through examples of the different kinds of irony we have noticed in the serial on a micro level and thereby try to get an understanding of the use of irony on a more general level in the serial. Paradoxical irony is rather common in the serial. We have already mentioned several examples, like the tough Orson having a melancholic side and the paradoxical statement in the beginning of the first episode about God seeing everything even if you do not believe in him. Another example on a more general level is the fact that the cosmopolitan Charlot ends up as a fishermans wife in the provincial Skagen. Rural Charlotte ending up in Manhattan is equally paradoxical. Another side of paradoxical irony is when Bornedal lets the old and senile Birksted (1st sequence, 2nd episode) make a remark like: Vi spiser hele Danmark, her ved nationens re (We eat all of Denmark, here by the nations artery), while taking a bite of a Danish hot dog, with the characteristic red sausage. We think it is quite ironic that a red sausage can be used as a metonym for Danish culture! Exaggerated irony is heavily used, both by colourisation of the Danish scenario, but also in the use of stereotypes and the satirical remarks to the different institutions like the hospital (22nd sequence 3rd episode). The satirical presentation of a hospital plays heavily on prejudice and our fears in general. Furthermore, it exaggerates actual problems in the Danish health care system e.g. waiting lists and lack of staff which are some real problems. Bornedal makes them more explicit and humorous by exaggeration.


In the serial there are several examples of this sort. Bornedal is satirical towards DSB (2nd sequence, 2nd episode) by presenting Charlots struggle when trying to get a glass of water in one of their cafeterias. Another example is the members of Jobs Brn who are presented as people completely brainwashed by a religious sect (16th sequence, 1st episode). Situational irony has been presented in our micro analysis, e.g. when Poul-Teddy misspells the word MY, when writing EAT MI SHIT!. He is trying to be tough by writing on the mirror in English, but by making a spelling mistake it ridicules him and has the opposite effect. Pastor Zeem is the victim of two accounts of situational irony in the final episode, first when he by a mistake says Lad mig slikke din uld (Let me lick your wool) instead of Lad mig slukke din ild (Let me put out your fire) while trying to get Charlot back in his fold (14th sequence, 4th episode). We know from earlier on that what he really wants is Charlottes body (16th sequence, 1st episode). There are not all that many examples of verbal irony being used in the serial. When it occurs, it is mainly used by Charlot, Orson, or Poul-Teddy. The reason being that they try to keep a certain cool distance to things and that they feel more superior than e.g. Charlotte and the stuttering policeman. We have dealt with the use of verbal irony throughout the analyses and, since irony in a verbal form is not very often used directly, we will not give any further examples. On top of the above mentioned ironic features Ole Bornedal shows an overall ironic attitude by self-reflexivity. His constant reflection of the serials fictional status shows how he playfully breaks the conventions and disregards the traditions within his field of work. When making a serial like Charlot og Charlotte Ole Bornedal operates in the universe of television series and serials which is an area with great traditions behind it and quite a feeling of self importance. By not only disregarding the conventions but mixing classical with alternative elements he is keeping an ironic distance to his area and sees it on a metalevel. Again the use of intertextuality shows the ironic relationship with the classical television serial. The main plot is actually quite traditional in the sense that it is about two lonely and hurt women who meet each other by coincident and are forced to stay together. They influence each other in a positive way and end up both finding love. It is quite an ordinary


story about friendship and love where all the good persons find happiness and the bad persons are punished. Yet, there is more to it since the serial functions on several different levels: There is the story of development which is the main plot. On another level a psychological thriller about the psychotic Pastor Zeem who puts his evil spell on Charlotte is in function. The women encounter with Poul-Teddy and the events this provokes is yet another thriller. Birksted turning into a guardian angel and the cultic sance with the midget give the serial a spiritual dimension. On the womens journey through Denmark Bornedal presents a picture of the country. The method of combining different classical narratives within one narrative creates something very untraditional. The use of stylistic features like editing, lighting, sound, and camera movements is presented in strange and surprising ways. The main idea behind this is that Bornedal takes well-known and already established styles and combines them in a peculiar fashion, both with each other and the story which he tells. We have already mentioned the editing technique ( Fragmentation in Editing) used when Charlotte is walking in the airport and when Charlot is dancing at the inn are examples of this. Both scenes are very traditional but edited in a fragmented way thus combining different styles. The mixture of these many elements takes a simple classical story and turns it into a hybrid of genres. Herein lies the irony and his conscious breaking of both the classical and alternative narrative structure.


6.5 Binary Oppositions

Applying structuralist theory to a postmodern text might seem contradictory in the sense that postmodernism normally would be associated with poststructuralism. Yet, we believe that the use of binary oppositions will be useful. As the main characters of the serial is the main focus we have decided to investigate these and categorise Charlot and Charlotte into binary oppositions in accordance with the logic of the concrete as the characters are portrayed as contrasts in the beginning: Charlot dark cold tough angry apathetic self-assured aggressive collected murderous tendencies opportunist experienced drinker smoker tailor made clothing sex appeal femme-fatale atheist cosmopolitan Manhattan Charlotte fair loving gentle sad highly sensitive naive humble shattered suicidal tendencies honest inexperienced drinker non-smoker home made clothing no appeal angel/virgin Christian rural Valby/Skagen

According to the structuralist theory there is always a mediating character between the binary oppositions, but this is not the case with this serial. Instead, the events and the people Charlot and Charlotte encounter, help them to finally become mediators. Finally, the main characters are mediating for each other! As the serial evolves Charlot and Charlotte change from being upset and frustrated to finding greater harmony with each other as well


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as within themselves. From being extreme opposites they become more alike and learn from each others positive sides. We will try to put up a new model of binary oppositions containing the features of Charlot and Charlotte as they are presented in the end of the final episode and additionally list their similarities: Charlot dark maternal settled rural Skagen Charlotte fair adventurous travelling cosmopolitan Manhattan

Apparently, they have reversed some of their traits. The dark and fair part are still the same, but ironically the two women have switched base. Charlot has now settled in rural Skagen where Charlotte originated from, and Charlotte has now taken over Manhattan being the travelling cosmopolitan. As we see in the final sequence Charlot has a child and is pregnant which means that we can classify her as maternal. Charlotte is sitting on the top floor of


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The Empire State Building kissing To. Her vigorous posing for the camera gives the impression of an adventurous person out there to experience the world. Even if their appearance is physically determined their appearance has changed by their clothing which is relaxed and casual for both of them in the end. Both women are in love and together with the one they love. They are happy and content with life. In a way they have mediated between the highly sensitive and the apathetic and have both become harmonic. Charlot has lost her aggressiveness and Charlotte has given up parts of her humbleness, and their respective murderous and suicidal tendencies are long gone. The femme-fatal versus the angel/virgin traits are dissolved. Charlot has devoted herself to one man, and Charlotte has lost her virginity and similarly devoted herself to one man. They have both found true love. The changes Charlot and Charlotte have gone through indicate that the serial is a story of development. In the beginning they were two opposites forced together by necessity, but the positive influence on each other has changed them and made them better persons. One could also perceive the characters as showing two sides of the same person, as if the two women are the dark and the light side of human nature. But by accepting and using the positive


aspects from both sides, one can become more balanced as Charlot and Charlotte do in the end of the serial. The listing and explanation of the binary oppositions of Charlot and Charlotte can provide us with a useful insight of the values of the whole imaginary universe of the serial. The development of the characters, and their final traits are important in connection to the values. Bornedal shows us that faith, hope, and love are important factors which we ought to search for inside ourselves in order to become better human beings. Faith is about the believe in oneself. It is important to have some visions and realise these. We need to believe in the future and in the possibility for improvements. This is closely connected to the term hope. It is important always to keep up hope in order to make improvements. Love is the final factor and important since it is a basic human emotion.

6.6 Is Charlot og Charlotte a Postmodern Television Serial?

On first glance it is obvious that Charlot og Charlotte is different than most fiction programmes that we are presented with through the media of television. We started out with the hypothesis that the techniques used in the television serial, which made it appear so different and ironic, could be classified as being postmodern. After making an in-depth analysis on a micro and a macro level, of the serial we can only confirm our hypothesis. The model of narration shows that the serial is placed in various places within the different dimensions of the scale (from 2-4). One cannot classify it as being either classical or alternative since it uses features from both traditions and blends them together into a hybrid consisting of various practices. This is closely connected to the serials intertextual use of different genres and the fusion of manifold stories into one. It is familiar with other texts in the intertextual arena constantly referring to them by the use of various stylistic features e.g. pastiche and parody, which are closely connected to postmodernism (4.6 Important Postmodern Features). These features contribute to the self-reflexivity of the serial. The use of satire in Charlot og Charlotte also refers to the contemporary cultural and societal topics. We see it as Ole Bornedal portraying and criticising certain institutions of our society. From the previous explanations of intertextual references we can conclude that it refers to other fictive universes as well as to reality itself. One could add that the imaginary and


reality go hand in hand. This contributes to the blurring of the difference between fiction and reality. As we have proven in our analysis irony is a general attitude which originate through the use of different postmodern narrative and stylistic features. For the most part the serial appears ironical and is consequently humorous.

6.7 Reflections on the Serial

Jeg har ikke haft andre intentioner end at underholde og har leveret en historie om livet - om alle de ting man skal igennem, al smerten, hullerne i vejen. Livet er jo smertefuldt - en lang fdsel. (Myhre 1996) I have had no other intentions but to entertain and have delivered a story about life - about all the things one has to go through, all the pain, the bumps in the road. Life is full of pain - one long birth. (Our translation) Bornedal has definitely succeeded in creating a highly entertaining serial. Basically, it is a story, which shows that life is tough and that one has to go through a lot of difficult experiences in order to achieve happiness. A help on the long and winding road is to always bare in mind the psychological basics, faith, hope, and love. If one manages to keep the faith and the hope for a better future and if one is not to afraid to give in to love, then everything is going to be all right. As the quotation in the beginning of the fourth episode of the series says Man kan frygte alting her i verden - derfor skal man ikke frygte noget som helst (One can fear everything in this world - therefore one should not fear anything at all), one has to take chances and dare to develop and not be afraid. This also relates to the speech held by Charlotte in the ending of the final episode. She says that by being forced into taking a chance, her life has changed to the better. Life has opened up to her. This can certainly be said to be the main theme of the serial! The other way around, Charlot experiences some of the basic values of life, which are quite different from the life she probably lead in Manhattan. We feel that Ole Bornedal with Charlot og Charlotte, satirical as it might be, has not made a controversial serial. The satirical aspects of the serial only say what have already been discussed in other media without really adding other dimensions to the subjects criticised. The satirical statements evoke recognition, it is something which we can all relate to and agree with. Only it does not provoke any further consideration. Along with the main theme,


as mentioned above, the serial does not really say anything new but merely reaffirms, what we already know and confirms basic values like for instance the idea that love conquers all. The serial allows the audience to indulge in these values which after all are deeply anchored in all of us. The techniques used in Charlotte og Charlotte are indeed postmodern, and as mentioned above the serial appears as a postmodern serial, however, the theme cannot be said to be postmodern. Bornedal is known for having made quite controversial works (6.1 Biography on Ole Bornedal) and that would suggest that he could have come with even more satirical remarks about our society and culture than he does in this serial. He probably felt that it was necessary to maintain some of the more classical elements, as well as not go to far with his satirical remarks, in order to attract a larger audience. A more debatable and extreme form of the serial, would likely have meant that it would not have been shown on a Sunday night and during prime time. However, one thing should be taken into consideration in favour of Bornedals work. In comparison to others television and film directors, Bornedal is honest about his work, by stating that all he wants to do is to entertain. A critique of the ample use of postmodern techniques such as strange editing, and deliberate mistakes could be that any unintentional flaws will be covered up. If we encounter a flaw we will only credit it to the ingenious director, who is self-reflexive, and thereby he can actually be careless and sloppy without anyone noticing.


7. Discussions and Reflections

This chapter is meant as an overall discussion and later a reflection of the main points, which have arisen during the project. We will deal with our problem definition as presented in chapter two. Our discussion will be based on what we discovered, when working on the chapters about postmodernism and irony, combined with the results from the micro and the macro analyses of Charlot og Charlotte. Bear in mind that whenever we refer to culture or society, we are dealing with the Danish one. In our problem definition, we have put forward some hypotheses, which served as background when trying to decide upon specific problems. We will now deal with these assumptions, since we feel that it is necessary to justify them as they are rather heavy statements. Our first hypothesis is that we consider Charlot og Charlotte to be a postmodern television serial, and this has already been clarified as a fact (6.6 Is Charlot og Charlotte a postmodern television serial?). Another assumption is that irony plays an important role in the serial. This hypothesis has already been proven (6.4.3 The Irony in the Serial on a Macro Level). Last but not least, we have the hypothesis that we live in a postmodern society; if not entirely then partly. This will be discussed below, where we will link it up with the Fairclough model presented in chapter three (Project Components and Structure). Furthermore, we claim that irony plays a considerable role in our society, a society, which is postmodern.

7.1 Postmodernism in Society

In chapter 3 we presented Norman Faircloughs Model of Critical Analysis of Media Discourse. To refresh your memory the main idea of the model is that a text is shaped by society as well as it helps shape society by the use of discursive practices. In Charlot og Charlotte we have witnessed the use of an extensive amount of postmodern features. Relating this to the model, we can conclude that there are indeed postmodern traits in our culture and society, since a text (the television serial) is shaped by society through discursive practices. The model also functions the other way around, since it claims that a text helps shape society. As Charlot og Charlotte is a postmodern television serial, it means that it will have a certain postmodern influence on a societal level.


According to Fairclough and his theory, we now know that parts of our society can be said to be postmodern. Next we will discuss to what extent postmodernism is present in our society today. We are faced with a plurality of choices in our culture and society. We live in a consumer culture, where everything is made into commodities and offered to us. For instance, educational institutions try to sell themselves by using the same methods as companies do, when trying to market themselves. We can choose from a wide range of possibilities of what to study and where to work. The only limit is our own abilities! This plurality of choices even invades the private life. For example when young people go to discos, and older people perhaps go to play bingo in order to meet new friends and new lovers, they try to sell themselves as commodities dressing up and acting their best. Furthermore, they choose who they want to get acquainted with. Some people even make money on arranging dates and marriages for lonely people. These people can pick out who they want to date from files containing data, pictures and maybe video tapes, or they can supply the dating service with data on their dream companion, and it will provide them with a perfect match (at least this is the intention). Todays fashion gives a clear indication of the influence of postmodernism in our society with the idolising of old styles. In recent years the trends in clothing and hairstyles have been heavily influenced by the 60s and 70s. Furthermore, you can create your own personal look by the mixing of different styles. A couple of years back the music industry had a 1970s revival. Artist such as Lenny Krawitz and Vanessa Paradis and bands like Zapp Zapp and Black Crows got famous by playing 1970s music. Today top brit-pop bands like Oasis, Blur, and Pulp copy the Beatles concept in sound as well as in clothing and hairstyle. These are just a few examples of the extensive use of what one might call pastiche on a cultural level. At this point we will not go into film and television as it has already been dealt with in the report (4.8 Postmodernism and Television). In our chapter on postmodernism we have discussed the decline of the grand narratives as Lyotard formulated it (4.4 Jean-Francois Lyotard). When Lyotard states that the grand narratives no longer exist in society, we tend to disagree. As we see it the postmodern person will not entirely disregard them, but rather combine them e.g. by taking fragments from different religions, science, and ideologies to


create a personal code of existence. In our society there are still people who believe in one superior grand narrative, which provides explanations for basically all the existential issues. However, as we see it, many people will tend to take a postmodern stand on grand narratives, often without being aware of it. This is done by taking parts from different narratives and combining them in a way that makes sense and is important to the individual. To conclude: this supports Jamesons claim that a postmodern society will always contain modern traits and a modern society postmodern traits (4.3 Fredric Jameson). Yet, the two cannot function on an equal basis. One of them will necessarily have the dominant role. Furthermore, the existence of these different traits, belonging to modernity on the one hand and to postmodernity on the other, shows the plurality on a macro level. The degree of postmodernism in society is difficult to determine, as it is dependent on different factors. Basically, it has to do with the particular aspect of culture this report is dealing with. For instance, when discussing grand narratives, it depends on who we are talking about, and we cannot really be sure about peoples personal beliefs without making a psychological and sociological empirical investigation. Yet, we feel it is safe to state, that postmodernism definitely is a part of our daily life, even though we simply cannot determine the degree. This is exactly the same thing as what applying Faircloughs model of Critical Analysis of Media Discourse to the results of the analysis showed us. Faircloughs model only helps us determine the existence of postmodernism in society, but it does not supply us with further tools to determine its overall significance.

7.2 Irony
When discussing the relationship between postmodernism and society, we stated that we do indeed live in a society and a culture, which can be said to be partly postmodern. In our analysis of the serial, we discovered that the use of postmodern features was closely linked to irony in the sense that irony works on a meta-level: A form which steps outside and reflects upon its own work. Irony is the overlying feature of the aesthetic and intertextual play with the use of e.g. pastiche, the mix of genres and fragmentation. This leads us to the question of what role irony plays in this postmodern society:


Applying irony to Faircloughs model, we can claim that since irony is a dominant feature of Charlot og Charlotte, it is also present on a societal level. Again, the model works the other way round in the sense that the society must have influenced Ole Bornedal in his use of irony. We will try to determine what role irony plays in relation to postmodernism and to the postmodern society. First of all, irony is a part of the postmodern features in postmodern television. At this particular level there is a link between irony and postmodernism. As we have explained, postmodernism takes fragments from absolute truths, dividing the grand narratives into many small pieces and combining them in new ways. This is an example of paradoxical irony functioning on a societal level. There is an overall irony in using parts of an absolute truth (a grand narrative), as it is then no longer absolute. The people who are aware of the paradox of the situation are able to take on an ironic attitude towards the narratives. The same is the case with fashionable clothing and popular music which copy old styles. This reuse of old ideas in fashion is actually contradictory and apparently paradoxical. On the other hand, the ones who unknowingly adopt this postmodern view are not intentionally being ironic. They are rather victims of situational irony since they are not aware of their ironic position. People who reuse already existing material (like Bornedal does), but are aware of the pastiche in this, are not the victims of irony. They realise their ironic position and are thereby able to take a stand on it and. The point is that if one has realised that nothing new can be invented, one knows that one is always reusing what is old. By taking on an ironic attitude towards it one removes oneself from the position as a victim, dissolving the traditional situational irony, but at the same time another kind of irony, the ironic attitude comes to existence. Irony in the postmodern society works on a situational level as postmodernism is characterised by contradictions: in television and film by the combination of apparently paradoxical elements, in the fragmented use of grand narratives by splitting up something that is in itself an entity and thereby sacred, and by the contradicting reuse of the already said. On another level, there is the ironic attitude that a person takes on when being aware of the paradoxes of his/her actions. We see postmodernism and irony as features that play a great role in our lives (the group). Even if it is only due to our opportunity to study the relations between the two concepts in


detail in the last couple of months that we have become aware of their existence, we still believe that they played an important part in our lives before that. We were just not aware of it. Last but not least we are not trying to say that we are better off than the people who are ignorant of postmodernism and the situational irony it puts them in, since it does not matter that one is a victim of this kind of situational irony if you are not aware of its existence. As explained above, we are to some extent presented with postmodernism in society e.g. in the form of pluralism and fragmentation. When Bornedal combines fragments of different texts, he creates a hybrid television serial and takes on an ironic position. The same happens when we put together various fragments in society. The advantages we see that one has being aware of ones situation, is that one can decide to use the possibilities which are offered through the plurality of choices in postmodernism and then take on an ironic attitude in order to cope with the contradictory elements. Also by taking on an ironic attitude one is able to distance oneself and not take everything so seriously. The fact remains that it puts quite a lot of pressure on the individual to know that one has all the possibilities in the world if one is aware of how to pick out and combine the right fragments in order to create a comprehensible meaning. One can do play unlimited with the fragments, since there are no actual limits to what is allowed. Pessimists would say that this equal value of all narratives, that is the removal of values, results in a feeling of indifference with everything finally eventuating in a nihilistic attitude. If one is able to do whatever one wants and create whatever meaning, nothing really matters, there is no real meaning. One has an indifferent and distancing attitude, which can be characterised by an ironical play with the pieces. Optimists like ourselves would say that the pluralism and the removal of limitations create a certain personal freedom to create ones own meaning not having to adopt a common one. We have earlier stated that we do not see the message of Charlot og Charlotte as being postmodern since it reaffirms the old basic values. This shows us that it is possible to make use of postmodern features on the stylistic level only i.e. using the attractions of postmodernism without necessarily adopting the nihilistic attitude.

7.3 Reflection on Theories


When investigating postmodernism it is difficult to have an overview and to be objective, first of all since we are a part of culture and society and to look in to these spheres is to look into ourselves. Secondly, it is difficult to express because culture and society go through a constant development and rapid changes. This along with our use of Faircloughs model relates to our cluster theme Discourse and Change, as discourse helps shape society and thereby change it. A critique of Faircloughs theory could be that it seems to work no matter what one wishes to prove with it. However, we feel that we can justify the use of it, since it does underline the thought that we ourselves have had about texts and society relating dynamically. One brings a cultural and intertextual background to a text and thus shaping it, as well as the text becomes part of ones culture and the intertextual arena and thereby also has a counter influence. Another critique of Faircloughs model is that it only helps to establish that it does shape society, it does not help determine to what extent, and how important postmodernism is in society. Reflecting on the use of theories about irony and postmodernism, we realise that we have not picked out one entire theory and discussed it. We have rather picked out from the different theories what we felt we could use thereby risking putting them together in a way that would not give justice to the actual intentions of the theorists. To a certain extent we have chosen theories that we knew would fit our project. This is also the case with our methods of analysis. Furthermore, it could be criticised that by analysing Charlot og Charlotte we have instinctively looked for things that could be said to be postmodern thereby trying to prove our hypothesis that the serial is postmodern. However, we find this particular focus on postmodernism necessary since what we wanted to investigate was how postmodernism and perhaps irony was used in order to be able to conclude something about ironys relation to postmodernism in the serial and thereby in society. Our analysis has provided us with the basis for doing so.


8. Working Process
Our group was brought together almost arbitrarily. We were the outcasts, the ones who did not know exactly what they wanted to write about. The only thing we knew was that we were definitely not interested in any topics proposed by the other groups. British humour and Fawlty Towers awoke most of the group members' interest and the rest just joined in. However, as we are so different in respect to personalities and academic interests, we were in for a difficult task of reconciling our ideas and figure out something that we could all stand to spend an entire semester on writing about. How did we want to handle this British television comedy? We were irresolute, we could not decide on what to do with it. As we try to run our group in a democratic fashion where everyone has his/her say, ideas were turned down whenever anyone had an objection. Discussing back and forth and becoming more and more frustrated, did not get us anywhere and by the time of the problem definition seminar, we simply had not defined any problem. At an early stage we had decided to call ourselves the funny group, but at this point we were not having any fun. To the problem definition seminar, we brought with us a vague idea that we might look at irony and in particular self irony (a home made word from the Danish selv ironi) in Fawlty Towers. The idea about self irony was developed through reading extracts of many books about humour combined with the discovery of a general interest in how and why we use self irony ourselves. We decided to ask our feedback group and feedback supervisor if they had any ideas that would help us, because we were stuck. They thought that our idea of a project topic had no future, because Fawlty Towers could not be connected to self irony in an academic way. Then our feedback supervisor suddenly suggested that we instead tried to examine irony in another context. She thought it might be interesting to look at postmodernism and the Danish television serial "Charlot og Charlotte" and "Twin Peaks" which according to her both contained many postmodern features. At first we did not really consider the idea, simply because we could not imagine changing our focus completely. Nevertheless, as our feedback supervisor provided us with several suggestions that sounded like a real project and since we were desperate, we jumped at the idea. After about a second we had adopted the idea and totally rejected Fawlty Towers and British comedy. However 'painful' it was to say "goodbye" to John Cleese and Manuel ("Hasta la vista"), we knew that it was necessary to start afresh.


The idea of being able to combine irony with something else and thus investigating at least one of our interests, was our first motivation. Despite the fact that we acknowledged the great importance of "Twin Peaks", we decided not to deal with it, because it has already been used so many times and because we knew that in the limited amount of time which we had left, an analysis of two serials would be overwhelming. After watching "Charlot og Charlotte" (a few of us had seen some of it, others had not seen it at all!) we realised that we had made the right choice. We had no idea that a Danish serial could be so different and so ingenious. Of course we knew that Ole Bornedal had also made "Nattevagten" which we all enjoyed watching, but still. An extensive search for material on postmodernism and irony started. We had already read a little bit about humour and we had been taught about postmodernism in a special course , but apart from that we started from scratch. Material about postmodernism was easy to find, out of which we mostly decided to use articles summing up the ideas of postmodernism, especially because we wanted postmodernism to function as the background for our project. However, irony became a bit of a problem. We found it unbelievable that to find academic material about irony would mean using ancient theories by e.g. Socrates. We know that the works of Sren Kierkegaard are important for the study about irony, however, we were more interested in more contemporary material, since we were dealing a contemporary concept, namely postmodernism. The best would be to find a book which dealt with both irony and postmodernism, but we had no such luck. Finally we heard about a book that apparently was concerned with exactly this. The problem was then how to get hold of it. It looked impossible because there were not any libraries in Denmark, which had the book. By now we had convinced ourselves that without this book our report would be no good, so in our desperate search for it we called every book shop in Copenhagen. However, only one place had the book, but it was sold out. "Typical" we thought feeling sorry for ourselves. Finally one of our group members' father brought the book back from a trip to Paris two weeks before handing in the report. The book turned out to be about irony in general and had nothing to do with postmodernism. Finding the right books has really been difficult, either the libraries did not have them or they were out on loan or reserved several times. A major problem for us has been the lack of a supervisor. We had of course been appointed a supervisor, but illness prevented him from being present and a while passed before we were allowed to change supervisor. Luckily for us, Kim Schrder was willing - and able - to supervise us, which we really appreciate. It was frustrating to be without a supervisor in the


time where we needed one the most, especially since we have had so many difficulties with deciding on a problem to work with. Still we also owe thanks to our feedback supervisor Louise Phillips who provided us with books and articles about postmodernism and certainly was a big help to us. Just before the Midway Evaluation we went for a four day stay in a summerhouse in order to start the writing process so that we had something to present to our feedback group. We were very excited to learn what they thought about the new turn in our project. They were very positive and impressed with us which provided us with some new-found self confidence. They had some constructive criticism about our irony chapter, which we had had many problems with writing because of the above mentioned lack of proper theories and books about the subject. Now we had a more clear idea of how to integrate irony with postmodernism, instead of handling irony on its own we would treat it as a part of the postmodernism chapter, this way having a more clear focus. While working with the background chapters about irony and postmodernism we had not really got started with discussing how we would actually analyse Charlot og Charlotte. Our supervisor was a great help. First of all he kicked us in the arse convincing us that it was about time that we started looking for methods of television analysis. He gave us a lot of material which we read, and he also suggested how to limit ourselves and by the time of our second stay in the summerhouse we had a clear idea of the theories which we would use. Returning from the summerhouse about a week and a half before handing in the report we had really been productive; we had several chapters practically finished, and we had started on the micro analysis of the serial. After patting ourselves on the back for a short while we realised that we had so many things left to write and so little time to write it in. Tuesday of the last week we invaded one of our group members parents house knowing that we would probably not see our homes till late Monday 2 th of December. We did not get much sleep the last week but as you can see we were able to produce an entire report of an obscene amount of pages. Nevertheless we find it quite ingenious, or at least that is what we keep telling ourselves.


As mentioned above we did not always have much to laugh about, but we managed to keep our heads above water by encouraging each other and supporting each other. When considering the whole semester we have actually laughed quite a lot (at each other and at ourselves) thanks to our self irony, without that we would never have survived. Unfortunately we have not had time to come together socially more than once, but we plan to change that after the project. Working as a group has functioned pretty well especially when considering the writing process. We have mostly been working in pairs writing together. Furthermore we have all read each others work, discussed it and improved it if necessary. We have enjoyed working with each other, and we have enjoyed doing the project , but thank God for the Christmas Holiday


9. Resum p dansk
Dette projekt omhandler brugen af ironi i den danske tv serie Charlot og Charlotte af Ole Bornedal, og hvorledes ironien relaterer til vores samfund p et overordnet plan. Vores grundlggende teori er Norman Faircloughs model om kritisk analyse og medie kommunikation, der omhandler samspillet mellem samfund og den kulturelle tekst. Serien fremstr som et postmodernistisk tv produkt gennem brugen af ironi og andre postmoderne virkemidler. Vores hypotese er at den til en vis grad afspejler visse postmoderne tendenser i samfundet. Rapporten indeholder frst en gennemgang af baggrunden for postmodernisme og postmodernitet, samt en forklaring af de vsentligste postmoderne trk. Her indgr en behandling af Fredric Jameson, Jean-Francois Lyotard og Jean Baudrillard, som betragtes som de store tnkere bag det postmoderne. Dernst har vi fokuseret p analysemetoder for film og TV for at have den teoretiske baggrund for en mikro og makro analyse af Charlot og Charlotte. I den generelle diskussion bedmmer vi relevansen af Faircloughs teori og diskuterer om den hjlper til at forklare noget mere overordnet end bare at bestemme eksistensen af forskellige trk i samfundet. Det vil vi undersge ved at er samle op p hele projektet, og relatere serien, og den fundne brug af ironi, til det danske samfund.


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