Swedish “Millénium” in Paris.
A black view of society, a compact darkness – that’s the dizzying ingredient that makes French readers fall in love with Swedish thrillers. And the films adapted from those thrillers. When the French paper Le Parisien reviewed the screen version of Stieg Larsson’s “Män som hatar kvinnor” (in English “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and in French “Millénium”), Tom Hanks and the big Hollywood production “Angels and demons” were pushed down to the bottom of the page. Henning Mankell helped create a trend for Swedish thrillers in France, but it was Stieg Larsson who secured it. Swedish thrillers (“polar suédois”) have become a concept on the French book market. “The Swedish thriller is well-established in France,” says Raphaël Nakle, bookseller at Libraire de Paris, who himself prefers Sjöwall-Wahlöö’s books. “French readers like the slow rhythm of the Swedish thrillers, that the authors exposes society and the way of living.” Marc de Gouvenain, who translated “Män som hatar kvinnor” (Men who Hate Women) to French, thinks the love of Swedish thrillers has to do with Swedish authors being very aware of subtle changes in society. “That specific book is extremely current and thus easy to transfer to other countries,” he says. Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace star in the film version of “Män som hatar kvinnor”. Stieg Larsson’s three books have sold close to 3 million copies in France, Henning Mankell’s has sold about 2 million books, and Camilla Läckberg’s books “Isprinsessan” (“The Ice Princess”/“La Princesse des glaces”), published last year, has sold 165 000 copies. Six of Sjöwall-Wahlöö’s thrillers have come out in new editions, and 45 000 copies have been sold. Other Swedish crime writers who have been translated into French include Karin Alvetegen, Arne Dahl, Liza Marklund, and Håkan Nesser.

Princess Victoria’s Wedding Gown. What will it look like?
Curious minds want to know. The only thing the princess herself has said about her prospective gown (and this she said way before she even got engaged) is that she would like it to be of Swedish design. Well, that doesn’t tell us much. Luckily fashion journalists have done their utmost trying to guesstimate what Victoria will look on that special day. The Brits, and they are famously interested in royalties, would like the Swedish princess to walk down the aisle dressed in Anna Holtblad. Designer Camilla Thulin prefers Pär Engsheden. But one thing is clear, most people in the know seem to agree that Victoria has to be a bit more daring. In the old days, royalties spearheaded fashion with their gowns, lately, most royal wedding gowns have been very traditional. So, here’s what two of our top designers today think Victoria ought to look like. Fifth Avenue shoe repair, who makes clothes for women and men and opens a boutique this summer, wants to see the princess in enormous amounts of silk tulle to accentuate her slim waist. “And we wanted an intricately pleated bolero to showcase her strong personality and give her a majestic image.” Lovisa Burfitt, a Paris-based Swedish designer and illustrator who has a collection in her own name, says she wants to see Victoria in a regal dress. “I wanted something that feels youthful and sensual and a bit less ladylike than her daily style. The fabric, a white soft silk, has a nice flow and the dress drapes around waist and shoulders and finishes in a train.”

Carina Ari Medal to Baryshnikov.
Carina Ari (1897-1970) was a famous Swedish prima ballerina, who went through many changes in her life. Born in a poor family, she eventually achieved fame, wealth, and love. The Carina Ari Medal is a mark of honor given by the Carina Ari Foundation for achievement in dance in Sweden, in the memory of the dancer. The medal has been given out since 1961 and this year it went to Russian dancer and superstar Mikhail Baryshnikov, who on several occasions has been a guest dancer in Sweden and is now appearing in Sweden in a work by Swedish choreographer Mats Ek. Previous medallists include Ivo Cramér, Merce Cunningham, Niklas Ek, and Serge Lifar.

Walking in Stockholm.
“Åh, det är skönt när mitt Stockholm är grönt, sakta gå hem genom stan,” sang the lovely Monica Zetterlund in 1962. And casually walking in Stockholm is just as wonderful today as it was then. You can of course stroll around town by yourself, but there are also guided walking tours around town with special themes, courtesy of Stadsmuseet. One such tour is “Filmstjärnornas Stockholm” (The movie stars’ Stockholm), which will show you where Greta Garbo worked before she was discovered, where Ingrid Bergman lived as a child, where Ingmar Bergman saw his first movies, and where the movie stars of today mingle. Other walks offer insights into popular Swedish crime stories. “Stieg Larsson's Milleniumtrilogi” will take you on a walk in the footsteps of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist around Slussen, Mariatorget and Mosebacke. The walk shows you the locations where the film was shot, and compares the books to reality. If you prefer vampire hunting, then there’s the “Let the right one in” walk in Blackeberg, where the film with the same name takes place. Other walks investigate queer Stockholm and green Stockholm. For more information: www.stadsmuseum.stockholm.se

Bergman’s house for sale.
For sale: Ingmar Bergman’s house on Fårö. Where? Via Christie’s Real Estate in London. All according to Bergman’s last will. “This is my wish and no discussion or emotional tumult must come as a result,” the world famous film director wrote. The property, estimated to be worth up to $5.4 million, was built on the remote island of Fårö in 1967 after Bergman fell in love with the location. It is split into four individual buildings, one of which served as the director’s own personal cinema. The house is typically Swedish in style, made entirely of wood and surrounded by sand dunes, pine trees, and rocks. Bergman shot a number of his films there, including “Scener från ett äktenskap” (“Scenes from a Marriage”). The foundation Stiftelsen Bergmancenter on Fårö had wanted to buy the house and sought funds to do so in order to turn it into a museum, but told Swedish press that they didn’t have enough money to make an offer. Ingmar Bergman died in 2007, he was 89 years old.

Svante Grundberg won in Cannes.
Svante Grundberg, funny Svante Grundberg from “Göta Kanal 1 och 2” and TV’s “Nattsudd”, got a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Grundberg plays a part in Patrik Eklund’s short film “Slitage”, which received the first prize at the Grand Prix Canal +. Grundberg thus joined other prizewinners like Catherine Deneuve and Clint Eastwood.