Ikea begins on First Colorado outlet
Swedish chain builds a Rocky Mountain outlet—With a target opening date of late next year, IKEA is opening its first Colorado store in Centennial in the Denver-area. The famous Swedish furniture retailer said that contractors and permits were acquired and expressed pride in extending their western presence into the Rocky Mountain Region. Greenberg Farrow of Atlanta, Ga, is the architect, and otherwise, mainly Colorado firms are handling establishment of the new outlet of the multinational consumer home interior retailer. The home furnishings retailer will break ground for the store on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. MDT. More info: www.ikea.com

Roy Andersson – Ebert’s choice.
World-renowned film critic Roger Ebert has chosen Roy Andersson’s “You, the Living” for screening at his own festival, Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, in Champaign, Illinois, USA. The festival runs for four days from 21 April 2010. “You, the Living” (“Du levande” in Swedish) is one of the twelve films selected for screening at the Virginia Theatre cinema with its 1,500 seats and 65’ screen. Production manager/assistant director Johan Carlsson and actress Jessika Lundberg will be present to take part in a discussion with Ebert and the audience. All panel discussions will be streamed live at www.ebertfest.com. An ardent admirer of Roy Andersson and his films, Roger Ebert is one of America’s leading film critics. Ebert earlier chose “You, the Living” as one of 2009’s best independent films, and in 2001 Andersson’s “Songs from the Second Floor”(“Sånger från andra våningen”) was also screened at Ebert’s festival. Johan Carlsson is also in the news with a film about Roy Andersson and Studio 24: “Roy Andersson - A Time For Everything” (“Roy Andersson - Det är en dag imorgon också”) which will be broadcast on Swedish television in early May (SVT channel 2, May 7). Roy Andersson (born 1943) cemented his very personal style – characterized by long takes and absurdist comedy – with his film “Songs from the Second Floor”. He has spent much of his professional life working on ad spots, directing over 400 commercials, and two short films, but only directing four feature films in three decades. He was once called “a slapstick Ingmar Bergman” by the Village Voice. For more information: www.royandersson.com

Swedish publishing houses pushing iPhone and iPad.
Digital book publishing is exploding in Sweden. Five publishing houses are now launching new books directly for iPhone and iPad (described as a tablet computer), a new development that may result in an entire “new kind of text”. There are already some 200 Swedish book titles available at Apple iTunes and the App Store, and that is a number that will increase in the weeks to come. The price? You have to pay 50-100 SEK a book ($7-14). Behind the launch is Publit, a distribution company that are introducing books published by Ordfront, Norstedts, Atlas, Piratförlaget and Telegram Förlag, as well as authors Unni Drougge and Sölve Dahlgren. Says Per Helin, managing director at Publit: “Our venture is but a small drop in the ocean, but we’re looking forward to hearing what people think.” Like most people, Helin wonders what mark, if any, these digital books will leave on the book market and on people in general. “The e-book is almost like a web page,” he continues. “The creativity is colored with what you can surround the text with. An abstract poem, for instance, can be tagged, which in turn can lead to explaining poetry more in-depth. That’s the kind of development we very much believe in.” Although Kindle and Nook (two wireless reading devices) are already established on the US market, there’s no doubt that the development of the digital book has been further spurred thanks to the recent launch of the iPad. The iPad has created an enormous interest in Sweden, even though it is not yet available there. So what does this mean for the future of the printed, “old-fashioned” book? Journalist and author Fredrik Virtanen wrote in an article a couple of years ago: “Imagine all we have is computers and then, suddenly, the book appeared as a new invention. Imagine how happy people would be!”

Mikael Wiehe: “Reward for lost guitars!”
Popular Swedish singer/songwriter Mikael Wiehe promises a reward if he gets his two stolen guitars back. When he parked his car in a hotel parking garage in Malmö, he let the two acoustic guitars, by the Canadian brand Larrivée stay in the car. Unfortunately they were stolen. Now Wiehe explains that the stolen instruments were heirlooms that had once belonged to his former colleague and friend Björn Afzelius (who died in 1999). One of the guitars bears the inscription: “This machine kills fascists.” “We always take them out of the car, just this once we didn’t,” Wiehe says. He now offers a reward for whoever can bring the instruments back to him. Meanwhile he’s waiting for the results of the film from the security camera that’s placed in the garage, hoping it will give him and/or the police some clues. “But it will take a week for the film to be developed. I want the guitars back as soon as possible,” Wiehe says.

Crisis between Madeleine and Jonas.
A few days ago, Nordstjernan reported that there will be no 2010 wedding for Princess Madeleine and her fiancé Jonas Bergström. That article hinted at problems between the two, even though Queen Silvia maintained all was well, and that the reason the wedding was put on hold was simply because it’s just too much with two royal weddings in one year. Since then, however, reports are leaking out that there’s a severe crisis in Princess Madeleine and Jonas’s relationship. Daniel Nyhlén has a royal blog at Svensk Damtidning and he writes: “The crisis between Madeleine and Jonas is now so serious that the relationship, according to sources, risks collapsing any day now.” Last Sunday the couple was seen driving around town in Jonas’s jeep, supposedly discussing their problems. “Few people noticed them,” Nyhlén notes, “because of his beard. Madeleine looked resolute, hiding behind big sunglasses.” Nyhlén explains that the conversation took place in a car because princess Madeleine fears she’ll be recognized if she were to go outside. It’s also difficult for photographers to take photos of someone in a car. On a happier royal note: It was a beautiful and joyous Crown Princess Victoria who celebrated Queen Margrethe’s 70th birthday in Copenhagen recently. The Crown Princess looked better than ever and is, without a doubt, very much in love!