Sunday, 7 June 2015
We get Nordic Noir, Nordic Cool and the latest trend seems to be Nordic History ... and they're mad about our Midsomer Murders, which doesn't strike me as a fair exchange.
On a whim yesterday, I set out across London to the postcode that gentrification forgot where this Nordic fan-fest was happening in a icily air-conditioned old cinema.
It was standing room only for excellent talks about Borgen (Sidse Babett Knudsen, to my surprise, was inspired by Tony Blair) and another on The Origins of Nordic Noir (traced back to Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow so, although I hadn't realised, I was there at the birth because when I read it about 20 years ago I couldn't put Miss Smilla down - I really must read it again).
There was an audience with Sofie Gråbol who played Sarah Lund - who turned out to be enormously chatty and good fun but wasn't wearing The Jumper. (It was so cold, I'd have happily borrowed it though I always thought it looked scratchy.) When her jumper became so famous, she said, there were times when she felt like she was only the stuffing for her iconic knitwear. The original - not an understudy jumper, but the real thing - was almost lost forever, when a British journalist (named and shamed, it was the Daily Telegraph) was asked to mind it, then mislaid it in Jenners' department store cafe in Edinburgh.
Sofia Helin - aka Saga, the cop with Asperger's - revealed that a final series of The Bridge is coming soon.
I ate far too many free samples of Swedish liquorice. Tasted some disgusting Icelandic liquorice vodka. And was let down by the cinnamon buns which were nothing like as good as they are here.
Despite my early start with Miss Smilla, I never really got into Nordic crime fiction - but I came away with some interesting suggestions. That is, if I can decipher the authors' names. (It's so hard when people pronounce them properly!) I liked the sound of Echoes from the Dead by Johan Theorin. Has anybody read it?