Thumbs up for Wallander
The influential American film critic Roger Ebert gives the thumbs up for the Swedish Wallander film "The Revenge" ("Hämnden"). While receiving scanty praise in Sweden, Ebert calls it “one of the best and most provocative thrillers of the year” and gives it 3.5 stars out of 4. Actor Krister Henriksson, who stars as Kurt Wallander, is excited about the praise: “Abroad Wallander is considered good drama and not a hastily put together product. In Sweden, Wallander has been scantily treated—‘all right, all right, now they’re putting together another film in the Wallander factory.’ This kind of tribute from Ebert gives us a push now that we’re starting something new.” “The Revenge” is directed by Charlotte Brandström, after a script by Hans Rosenfeldt, and it had its U.S. premiere on June 1. Ebert writes: “I could never be sure what would happen next, and when it did, I never felt manipulated.” To read Ebert’s entire review: Henning Mankell's Wallander BY ROGER EBERT The film is in theaters and also available through Amazon, YouTube and on DVD through the distributor, Music Box Films

Short leases to aid young
Stockholmshem, a housing agency, has developed a new tactic to get young people, ages 18 to 25, into the housing market: short leases (no longer than four years) for smaller apartments with lower rents. met with Sally Hammar Persson, who lives in the Stockholm suburb of Hökarängen in one of the 400 new “youth apartments." Sally, who is 19 years old, has spent the past three years living with friends, renting rooms or leasing an apartment as a subtenant. “I will probably try to find something new in a couple of years,” she says about her youth apartment. “Right now I’m just enjoying having my own apartment.” It is difficult for young people to get into the housing market—sometimes nearly impossible—as is finding a place to rent as a subtenant. Renting researcher Stellan Lundström believes the idea with short-term leases is a good one, however mostly a symbolic one. “It is better than no apartment at all,” he says. “Four years is a pretty long time; the person renting has time to get established on the market, but still this seems to fill a more symbolic function than anything else.” The project is the latest in a string of attempts by Stockholmshem to get young people out there. For 30 years already, there have been youth apartments spread around the city. “If we offer too short a lease and there are too many people interested, we won’t be taken seriously,” says Stockholmshem’s chairman Björn Ljung. “The person renting won’t think about how he or she is using the apartment, and it will lead to a great deal of wear and tear.”

Spies take over the city
There's a chance you'll see people acting, well, differently in Stockholm on June 7 and 8. But before you get suspicious and sound the alarm, you should know these people may be the police—practicing the fine art of spying. At 3 p.m. on June 7, eight spying patrols will act in a way that may go against rules and laws. It’s all part of their investigatory training, and the people they are spying on or investigating are just figurants. “We want to let it be known right now so that nobody thinks there are terrible things going on,” says Kjell Lindgren, press spokesperson for the Stockholm police. “These figurants may run around and act in a way that may cause people to wonder.” The first exercise will take place on Thursday between 3 and 11 p.m. On Friday, it will take place between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. There will be similar exercises (at the same times) on June 18 and 19.

Eva Rydberg, recipient of this year's Karamelodikt
Actor, comedian, singer and dancer Eva Rydberg is the recipient of this year's Karamelodikt grant, which was founded in 1982 by the late Povel Ramel (1922-2007), for a person who has either renewed the Swedish language or has performed great deeds in the field of music. Rydberg is herself a great admirer of Ramel’s works (her favorite of his songs is “Måndag morgon”). She was praised by the jury for her “ever present clown element" and received the grant of 30 000 SEK ($4,160) and candy “karameller” during a ceremony at the Musik- och teatermuseet in Stockholm. “I’m so incredibly happy, I have admired Povel all these years,” Rydberg said. She never worked with Povel Ramel personally, though she did participate in his Knäppupp revue early in her career. “I grew up with his songs, I always sang them. When I went to Stockholm with my parents I sang Povel’s songs for the entire train compartment.”