COPENHAGEN: With original boundary-breaking content, thrilling plots and charismatic actors, Danish television series have captivated audiences worldwide in recent years.
The latest show to hit the small screen is “Ride Upon the Storm”, which is being distributed in almost 80 countries with a debut late January in Britain.
The new drama was created by Adam Price, the BAFTA winner behind the acclaimed drama “Borgen”, which followed the political and personal tribulations of a Danish woman prime minister.
Danish shows, with both exoticism and gritty realism, have quickly soared in popularity beyond their initial local Scandinavian viewership, Pia Jensen, an Aarhus University communications associate professor specializing in television series, told AFP.
Long known for the Nordic noir crime genre, the big international breakthrough for Danish shows came with “The Killing”, a hard-hitting series following a Copenhagen female cop’s investigations.
Then came crime thriller “The Bridge” in 2011.
The Nordic noir genre has proven so popular that its aesthetic and themes are now being replicated beyond Scandinavia’s borders, with shows such as “Shetland” and “Broadchurch” made in Britain, Jensen said.
For foreign audiences, Denmark, as it is shown on television, is “an exotic society, something to aspire to because of the welfare state and the strong women characters”, she said, referring also to the 2010 hit “Borgen”.
She added, clearly amused, that it’s “as if Denmark is the fantasy land of gender equality”.
Paradoxically, in this almost utopian world, the characters are “normal” people with whom audiences can identify, according to Jensen.
But now Danish TV series has moved beyond Nordic noir.
“Ride Upon the Storm” is a character-led drama about faith and a family of Danish priests, dominated by Johannes Krogh, a tempestuous God-like father battling numerous demons.
Actor Lars Mikkelsen, known from “The Killing” and his role as the Russian president in Netflix’s “House of Cards”, plays Johannes, a role for which he won an International Emmy in November.
Mikkelsen “has set new standards for the portrayal of the main character in a TV series”, the show’s creator Adam Price told AFP.
Johannes “is the 10th generation of priests, it’s a huge burden that haunts him and he lets it haunt his sons too”.
His eldest son Christian is lost and at odds with the family and society, while younger son August is married and following in his father’s priesthood footsteps before becoming a chaplain for troops stationed in Afghanistan.
“In the Bible, you have lots of stories of fathers and sons and brothers. That was the perfect ground to tell (a story) about masculine relationships, the competitive gene between men in a family,” Price said.
Elements from “Borgen” can be seen in Price’s new venture: the efficient prime minister Birgitte Nyborg and Johannes Krogh, who is headed for the top as Bishop of Copenhagen, are both characters passionate about their work.
“But Johannes reacts differently than Birgitte (does) because his ambition is not within the world of politics, but with more supernatural power,” Price said.
Thoughts on faith, religion, and spirituality are mixed with a complex study of the family.
“Religion is sometimes something imposed, as authority can be imposed on our children in a family. And both are dealt with in ‘Ride Upon the Storm’,” he said.
Price is currently working on “Ragnarok” for Netflix, a six-part Norwegian coming-of-age drama based on Norse mythology but set in a modern-day high school.
The second season of “Ride Upon the Storm” just wrapped up on Danish public television DR, which produced the series, and had around 500,000 viewers.
A small country of just 5.8 million people, Denmark is proud of its reputation as an innovator on the small and big screen.
“Danish producers are mainly thinking of a Danish audience. It has to stay relevant to the Danish public and that’s why DR keeps experimenting,” Jensen said.
“Some of the shows will travel and some won’t.”
Sohni Dharti-fame Shahnaz Begum is no more
DHAKA: Renowned singer Shahnaz Begum passed away here today at the age of 67. She was suffering from heart problems.
Before the fall of Dhaka, Shahnaz Begum was known to the populace of both East and West Pakistan for her chefs d’oeuvre Sohni Dharti and Jeeway Pakistan.
Recipient of the Ekushey Padak and Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer, Shahnaz Begum will be buried today here. She is survived by her husband and two children.
Nation pays tribute to Nisar Bazmi on his 12th death anniversary
ISLAMABAD: Renowned composer and music director of Pakistan film industry ‘Nisar Bazmi’ was remembered on his 12th death anniversary on Friday and ceremonies were organized in this connection by concerned organizations with paying tributes.
Bazmi had no musical background, but he proved as one of the most talented music composers of his time.
Bazmi composed songs for more than 40 films in India 28 of which were released before he migrated to Pakistan on June 21, 1962.
In Pakistan, he started his career with the film `Aisa Bhi Hota Hai’. His national songs were as popular as his film numbers.
PTV played a great role in popularizing his compositions: `Yeh watan tumhara hai,’ `Khayal rakhna,’ `Hum zinda qaum hain’ and `Aae rooh-e-Quaid.’
Nisar Bazmi composed music for 66 films in Pakistan. During his musical career in Pakistan, he composed many hit songs for Runa Laila, Ahmed Rushdi, Noor Jehan and Mehdi Hassan. He was responsible for introducing Alamgir into film music in the country.
Nisar Bazmi received many Nigar Awards for best composer for film `Saiqa’ in 1968, `Anjuman’ in 1970, `Meri Zindagi Hai Naghma’ in 1972, `Khaak Aur Khoon’ in 1979 and `Hum Aik Hain’ in 1986.
He died on March 22, 2007 at the age of 82.
The Legend of Maula Jatt controversy
LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) today issued a stay order against the upcoming film The Legend of Maula Jatt.
The court restrained respondents, including producer, writer and
others, of the film from unauthorized use of the title, characters, story and music of a 1979 Punjabi blockbuster Maula Jatt, besides issuance of censor certificate.
Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan passed the interim orders while hearing an appeal, filed by Sarwar Bhatti, producer of original movie ‘Maula Jatt’ against an order of the Intellectual Property Tribunal.
The petitioner’s counsel, Ahsan Masood, argued that his client produced film Maula Jatt in 1979 and no one could use the title, music, script, and dialogues of the film as per the Copy Rights Act. However, the respondents produced a film titled The Legend of Maula Jatt in violation of the act without obtaining authorization from his client and got a censor certificate for its exhibition as well, he added.
He contended that the film violated the copyrights and pleaded with the court to issue directions for action against illegal production and exhibition of the film while setting aside the orders of the Intellectual Property Tribunal. He also pleaded with the court to restrain the respondents from using the title, script, and dialogues of the film Maula Jatt, and issuance of the censor certificate.
However, a lawyer on behalf of the respondents opposed the plea saying that no violation had been committed. But the court, after hearing arguments, issued the stay order against the film and adjourned further hearing till 6th June.