Has anyone noticed the complete influx of Swedish imports coming at us in the past few years?? It feels like all of those nordic influences have suddenly come to a head over the course of these last few months and I have to agree that I too have been suddenly stricken with Stockholm Syndrome. First it was H&M luring in everyone with half of a good fashion sense and a lighter pocket into their stores with the promise of low cost fashion and savings (Its Ok. You can admit that you love H&M!) Then it was ASkars vamping it up in True Blood. Granted, season 1 got off to a rough start with that ice blond weave gently resting atop his head. Talk about fighting the hot. But once the True Blood stylists got smart and cut off that finely coiffed hair, he embraced his inner sessy vampire. And now he’s a bona fide hottie-wit-da-body! Yum 🙂
And lets not forget the biggest import to come out of Sweden since Ikea’s ligonberry jam and flat packed couches: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo! This book has taken everyone by storm, including yours truly. Admittedly this literary sensation has a lot more depth and weight behind it than say…the DaVinci Code craze of a few years ago (woof). Stieg Larsson had no idea what an international phenomenon he was creating when he wrote his Millenium Trilogy. The book turned Swedish film series was not only brilliant but rather revolutionary for Sweden’s cinematic history. It launched the international careers of Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist and finally gave the world a kick-ass, take charge and make no apologies female protagonist that is really quite a rarity in both literature and film. In the next few days the much talked about American version of the book series will be released. David Fincher is a dark and methodical director, so I’m sure that his vision for the Millenium series will not only be fantastic, but also uncomfortable (see other Fincher Movies: Fight Club, The Game, Panic Room, Social Network) Rooney Mara has already made quite the drastic transformation from a sweet co-ed in the Social Network to the rough and tough Lisbeth Salander.
Movies aside,the music industry is also getting a serious dose of northern influences. In the past year artists like Robyn, Lykke Li and (a personal favorite of mine) First Aid Kit have jumped on the scene and captured global audiences. In a recent post I mentioned my love for First Aid Kit and what a fantastic honor it was seeing them live at the Fox Theater. It comes as no surprise for many to learn of their Swedish roots. The group consisting of two sisters have a folksy, woodsy, melancholy fairy tale quality about their songs. It becomes so easy to imagine the sisters singing all of their songs about lost unrequited love and unappreciated affections being sung from either the depths of a forest or the bow of a Viking vessel. Lykke Li also has an absolute ethereal quality to her music that harkens to the dark winters of Sweden. During her show at the Fox, her and her band were surrounded in thick plumes of back-lit smoke and all wearing shapeless black robes. They looked like a band of Nordic Emo Druids. I felt like I was living inside the darkest night of winter (and by extension kind of wanted to kill myself mid-show…in a good way)
So is all this Swedish influx a sign of things to come? Is Sweden building up its cultural army to invade the world? Can we expect more uninhibited sexual Sweds like ASkars on our screens (and hopefully in our sheets) in the future? Will stores that sell chaise lounges with funny names bcome the sole source of our home furnishings? Well I have news for all of you. You’re all late to the game. The Swedish Chef beat you to it 35 years ago…