Ulster Noir

The Fall (BBC 2) is compellingly ‘noir’ in ways that Arne Dahl is formulaic, melodramatic and, frankly, comic! And in Stella I think we have a genuine remodelling of the Lund archetype with a more interesting repertoire of relational rituals. There’s a level of general aggression and darkness in both plot and character which touches upon many current social concerns; and the dialogue has moments of chill steely edge that separates flesh from bone when delivered against the backdrop of a hard city already spoken for in many of our imaginations! Belfast is the protagonist in this thrilling drama and we all seek moments of personal reconciliation among the knots of complicity and corruption enacted here in gesture, deed and thought! Highlights so far the practices of personal pornography; the man fucks woman, woman fucks man, subject object verb construction; the grim air of sexual repression at play among male character; the everyday work of tribal difference as inevitable as masculinity expressing itself through violence against women


  1. I am loving The Fall so much more than Arne Dahl. I am wondering how big a part the politics add to the Nordic Noir genre, is it specific to Nordic Noir?

  2. It occurs to me that one thing Lund and Stella have in common is the ability to incite male characters towards fear and uncertainty when faced directly with the nurturing manipulations of the female in the male role

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