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The Bridge: Transnational x 2 Cultures – Subtitles = S1, Episode 1

August 27, 2014

Culture, what is culture? How is it comprised? Our culture, their culture? Let’s look deeper into culture, as we experience it through the familiar form of Television (Hirsh, Newcomb, 1983)

The Bridge: Season 1, Episode 1

Screen shot 2014-08-27 at 6.59.47 PM

No subtitles, I am at the mercy of my observations, existing knowledge and analytical skills. I look, listen and focus…

And it starts, the opening scene is dark, eerie, immediately I associate this with crime and mystery.Screen shot 2014-08-27 at 9.49.02 PM

The surroundings are unclear, yet surprisingly familiar.  I know that a crime has been committed, I have not yet seen a body, but the universal clues all point to one thing. Murder. 

Then, the camera gives me more. I see a large Bridge, night lights, an urban city, the camera’s vantage points allow me to see the whole city, what is beyond the vocal point that is The Bridge. 

Music, adding weight to my conviction. This is definitely a Crime Scene.  Until now, the characters have been illusive, no faces, just shadows.  I pay even greater attention than usual.

Then, there it is, the body, perfectly still as if sleeping. The camera does not shy away, the corpse is logically placed, as though the killer perfected this moment, we see this on many angles and through the faces of onlookers.

The female and male cop emerge separately.  They finally cross paths, there is a clear misunderstanding between the two, an incessant tension, yet I can’t place my finger on it. I feel that the writer of the script has given me more credit than I deserve as the viewer.  Am I supposed to know? 

It is still dark, still night, I cannot see any literal emotion emerging from the characters so far.  Maybe this is how they are  in.. Europe? Europe, it makes sense, they are dressed warm, surely the accents are European.  The female women are fair haired.  Okay, I google Northern Europe. Getting closer (Arjun, 1996).

Screen shot 2014-08-27 at 8.38.13 PMI see the body again, it’s split in two.  Split in two, laying there on the Bridge. The camera stays on the image for a few seconds longer, making me uncomfortable. Europeans, they have no fear.  

The role of the camera has changed now, it is not giving me the aeriel view, but allowing me to follow the story along, watching, I watch people walk away, cars drive out of shot. I listen too, I listen to the tones of voice, the vocal’s do not express raw emotion, they seem to be mostly matter of fact statements. 

I start to like the characters, they are real. They are exactly what I expect of real life cops, they are not glamourous, chasing criminals in jeans and low tops.  They are comfortable, they sleep on real crumpled, ugly linen, in an awkward position, with their average looking lover.  They have fluffy hair in the wind and it blows in their faces (Cunningham, Jacka, Sinclair, 1995). 

It’s so real.  I had become so accustomed to the Hollywood interpretation of crime fighting, I was not expecting this. 

The lifestyle of the lead characters also give me the idea that there is an economic divide between the two.  They drive different cars, they wear different styles of clothes, there is a clear difference in work ethic and health habits. Most of all differences in what is considered socially acceptable behaviour, such as offering bread rolls to others or undressing in front of colleagues. 

The best part was the office, horrible artificial light, chords spiralling everywhere, desks that could be from the eighties.  Yes, that is more like it. In this scene, it is clear the male cop is a fish out of water, he speaks, they look to him with expressionless faces, no words. 

There have been enough clues now, either he has some irritable speech impediment, possible odour or they are from two different countries. That’s right across the bridge.  I think of the division of the Bolte Bridge that divides the East from the West, I would never go West. 

Research, they do it.  It takes time and effort, it’s not this light bulb moment.  The computers are not flat screen and portable.  They are bulky pieces of hardware, they keep searching, talking, speculating, making notes. 

More characters are introduced, they look professional, technical, modern, possibly the media? Then there is a bomb scare, and we have the first solid clue. 

Closing credits, the music is familiar, it’s in English! Huh (Iwabuchi, 2008).

I know there is more to this narrative, I have sketches of the clues, to piece them together, I must keep watching. 

Episode 2…


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