NOR2415 – Contemporary Scandinavian Film: Cultural, Aesthetic and Literary Approaches

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course introduces students to contemporary Scandinavian cinema, with a focus on films made in the 21st century.

By examining a range of contemporary films, we will discuss questions such as: What do we mean by the term “Scandinavian cinema”? Do Scandinavian films have distinct characteristics, from a thematic or aesthetic perspective? In what ways do Scandinavian films shed light on social and political issues in contemporary society?

The course covers altogether 10-12 films that range from art films to popular genre films. The films covered are directed by well-established as well as up-and-coming filmmakers from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, including Joachim Trier, Iram Haq, Lars von Trier, Susanne Bier, Roy Andersson, Ruben Östlund, and Aki Kaurismäki. Students will learn to analyze and compare these films from a thematic and aesthetic perspective.

The course adopts a cultural studies approach to film and aims to deepen students’ understanding of the relationship between Scandinavian film culture and issues of gender, national identity, ethnicity, race, and class. For those who are new to studying film, the course will provide an introduction to some basic concepts and approaches in film analysis.

Learning outcome

Upon completion of this course, the students should be able to:

  • analyze and/or compare films from a thematic and aesthetic perspective
  • contextualize films in relation to contemporary social and political issues and recent film history
  • demonstrate knowledge of previous research by referring to it in a film analysis

The final grade reflects the extent to which the student has attained the course learning outcomes.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

The course is aimed at international as well as Norwegian students. Lectures will be given in English, but students may use Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, or English for the exam. The course is especially intended for students from the following programs: Scandinavian Studies, Aesthetics, Literature (Nordic and others) and Teacher’s Education (LEP).

We require at least 5 attending students in order to teach this course.


This course consists of classes and film screenings. Both are held once a week.

Classes consist of one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar (28 hours in total).

Film screenings are held before the classes, so that everyone has seen the film before coming to class. Screenings also include short introductions to the film of the week.

If you are unable to make one of the screenings, DVDs of the films on the syllabus can be borrowed from the Humanities and Social Sciences library in Georg Sverdrups Hus. However, note that the library only has one copy of each DVD. (More information about borrowing DVDs from the library will be provided in class.)

In this course, each student has to write an assignment given by the teacher during the course of the semester. The assignment must be approved by the instructor before the student can take the final exam.

Approved obligatory assignments are valid the next two times the course is given.


The final grade is set based on a three-day take-home exam.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If you would prefer to have the exam text in English, you may apply to the course administrators.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

A term paper or equivalent that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Reports from periodic evaluations at ILN (in Norwegian)

Facts about this course






Every spring semester, but NOT spring 2021 or 2022.


Every spring semester, but NOT spring 2021 or 2022.

Teaching language