Negotiating Special Relationships: Susanne Bier's Comedies

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Abstract

From the beginning, Susanne Bier’ films were simultaneously domestically and transnationally orientated. Producing at home and abroad, she has made ‘Hollywood’ films as well as ‘Danish’ and transnational films, genre films as well as art films, appreciated by domestic and international audiences. Bier is often considered a director with a special preference for the melodramatic imagination. However, as time goes by, her interest in exploring a diversity of genres has become more and more evident, as she has expanded to historical film and spy thriller. The broad scope of Bier’s relationship to genre development stems from her persistent interest in combining different film traditions and cultures, mainly Danish/Swedish, British and American. This chapter focuses on Bier’s two most successful comedies—Den eneste ene (The One and Only) and Den skaldede frisør (Love Is All You Need). I argue that The One and Only is a screwball comedy that innovates Danish film comedy traditions, whereas Love Is All You Need is a markedly transnational, mainstream take on romantic comedy conventions associated with American and British traditions, aspects that contributed to its international distribution.
Translated title of the contributionAt forhandle særlige forhold: Susanne Biers komedier
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication ReFocus: The Films of Susanne Bier
EditorsMissy Molloy, Mimi Nielsen, Meryl Shriver-Rice
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Publication date2018
Pages36-55
Article number2
Chapter2
ISBN (Print)978 1 4744 2872 9
ISBN (Electronic)978 1 4744 2875 0
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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