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Posts Tagged ‘slow tv’

slow-tv-knitting-eve-620

Photo: NRK2
Need to calm down? There’s always “National Knitting Night” on “Slow TV” in Norway. How about the 7-hour train ride video or the 134-hour cruise? If you prefer, you can watch a video of salmon leaping endlessly or hours of logs burning.

Is the speed of modern life getting to be too much for you? Consider slowing the pace, maybe watching Norway’s soothing “Slow TV” for a few hours.

According to Seth Doane at CBS, “It’s television’s version of taking a deep breath … a very long, very slow, deep breath. It’s called ‘Slow TV,’ and it’s a surprising smash-hit in Norway.

“It began with the broadcast of a train journey from the coastal city of Bergen to the capital, Oslo. The formula was simple: put a few cameras on a train and watch the scenery go by — for seven hours. Rune Moklebust and Thomas Hellum are the brains behind the whole thing.

” ‘Did you know where this journey would lead, how successful it would be?’ asked Doane.

” ‘No idea at all,’ said Moklebust. ‘It’s normally one of those ideas you get late night after a couple of beers in the bar, and when you wake up the next day, Ahh, it’s not a good idea after all.’

“But much to their surprise, there was a green light from their bosses at Norway’s public broadcaster NRK2. …

“About a quarter of all Norwegians tuned in to watch some part of that train trip. … Since the train, in 2009, they’ve experimented with other slow ideas, and folks at all levels have taken notice. …

“A ‘National Knitting Night’ started, of course, with shearing the sheep; knitting the sweater came much later in the 13-hour broadcast. The shows, Doane noted, ‘get slower, and slower, and slower.’ …

The show titled ‘Salmon Swimming Upstream’ ran 18 hours — and afterward, the head of the station said it felt ‘too short.’ …

“Rune Moklebust thinks one image sums up their approach: ‘Once we passed a cow on one of our journeys, and we put a camera on it. And the camera just kept rolling, and we didn’t cut away. And then you keep it, and you keep it, and then you keep it, and then, suddenly a story evolves: What is this cow doing? Why is it walking there? Where is it heading? Why is the cow alone? So suddenly, there comes a story out of it, and you have to see what happens.’ ”

More at CBS, here. Check out the photos. I liked the one of cows watching a girl knitting in a field.

Hat tip: John sent the link to the story on CBS.

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I heard something fun at the radio show “On the Media” this morning.

“The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation has been creating some of the world’s slowest TV — shows like a 7 hour train ride or 18 hours of salmon fishing. Norwegian audiences are loving it. Brooke [Gladstone] speaks with Rune Moklebust of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation about why he thinks so-called ‘boring TV’ is actually quite exciting.” Listen to the show here.

In case you want more detail, the Wall Street Journal covers the story, too.

WSJ reporter Ellen Emmerentze Jervell writes, “Executives at Norway’s biggest television company, the NRK national broadcasting service, have work on their hands trying to figure out how to extend a recent string of broadcast hits that have drawn millions of viewers in this small Scandinavian nation to their TVs for many hours at a time.

“One idea currently on the table is to launch a live show in which experts knit while spectators sit in their living rooms eagerly awaiting the next stitch.

“Another scheme is to produce a 24-hour-long program following construction workers building a digital-style clock out of wood, shuffling planks to match each passing minute.

“When the time changes from 09:45 to 09:46, the crew turns the ‘5’ into a ‘6.’ When the clock strikes 10:00, the job is tougher as each digit needs to be reconfigured.

” ‘That part of the show will actually be really exciting,’ says Rune Moklebust.” More at the WSJ, here.

Erik, someone needs to ask Svein if he (or the baby) has been watching. Apparently slow TV is soothing and meditative. I guess Norwegians need that as much as anyone else.

Nov. 9, 2013 update: Watching knitting.

Photo: Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation

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