The Japanese Painting Beck


The Japanese Painting

Swedish detective drama. Beck gets a call from a colleague who's in Stockholm for an art auction. He was outbid by a woman who was later found dead in his hotel.


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Transcript


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Team building.

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The estimate is 100,000.

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Any bids proceeding 540,000?

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A Japanese shunga painting, signed and dated by Shigemasa, 1873.

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The estimate is 25,000.

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40,000, 45,000.

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It seems that I'm constantly putting my clothes in your way.

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Please, have a seat.

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Marie Lisowska.

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Hans Sperling, from Germany.

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I wouldn't have guessed.

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-And you are from Poland?

-No, absolutely not.

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Well, I was married to a Pole, very briefly.

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Now, I need a drink.

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Oh, it's on me, please.

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What would you like to drink?

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A glass of white, dry wine, please.

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Excuse me. A glass of white, dry wine, please.

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-Thank you.

-You're welcome.

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And you're a collector?

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Yes, if my wallet so permits.

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I have a couple of shunga paintings.

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None is signed, so when I heard this from here...

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Oh, you came to Stockholm just to bid on the painting?

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Yes.

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I'm sorry.

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-Well...cheers.

-Cheers.

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And you collect erotic art, too?

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No, I bought it on the behalf of a client.

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I am...an art agent.

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Uh-huh.

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-Was this your first visit at Bukowski's?

-Yes.

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What did you think?

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You obviously have prearranged biddings here, too.

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Very observant, I must say.

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They're usually very discreet in the ring.

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You could feel it in the air.

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And you call it "the ring"?

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Yes, yes.

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We have the same phenomenon in Germany, too.

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But why did they let the shunga painting go?

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Well, the price went too high, and...

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because I was the one who bid on it.

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Well, they know I have financial muscle behind me,

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and their interest is to keep the bidding low.

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And, well, that's what the ring's for.

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-Yeah. A rather sordid business.

-Mmm.

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But difficult to get at.

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I know some of them who were there.

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None of them would ever admit to what they're doing.

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No.

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May I ask...

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Is it only Japanese shunga paintings you collect?

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Everything with an erotic motive.

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-Interesting.

-Yes, isn't it?

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Well, I actually have a customer who had some...etchings that just

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-might interest you.

-Because of their motive?

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Yes.

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They're... He was about to sell them just recently,

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but something got in the way.

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They're of a rather high quality.

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A bit of the more...censored kind.

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Sounds tempting.

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But unfortunately I have to go back tomorrow.

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Oh, you know, I'm going

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to receive a couple of Chagall lithographs coming here to me

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just in a while, for a customer who wants to have a look at them, and...

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Well, perhaps I can get the prints here at the same time.

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-Yeah, why not?

-Yes.

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What price level are we talking about?

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We can talk about that when you've seen them.

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OK.

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Shall we have dinner here at, let's say...9 o'clock?

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Yes, let's do that.

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OK, cheers.

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Cheers.

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-Goodbye, then.

-Goodbye.

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Oh, I live in room 119. Just in case anything crops up.

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Excuse me, please.

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Could you call Marie Lisowska? It's 119, I believe.

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Room 119?

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Yes, that's right. One moment.

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There's no answer. Sorry.

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Thank you.

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Excuse me, could you please call Marie Lisowska again?

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Certainly.

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-It's room 119, right?

-Right.

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Sorry, there's still no answer.

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-She hasn't checked out, has she?

-No.

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-OK. Thank you.

-Thank you.

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PHONE RINGS

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LAUGHTER

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The Woman And The Roses.

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The Woman And The Roses?

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PHONE RINGS

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Hello?

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Who bought that painting yesterday at the auction?

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The man who bought that is part of what they, in Swedish,

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-call "a ring".

-How do you know that?

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Because I was there yesterday and I observed the man, and I think it

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would be in your interest as well as in the interest

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of your customers if you disclosed that man.

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DISTANT SIREN WAILS

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PHONE RINGS

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MALE VOICES SING: # But come you back when summer's in the meadow

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# Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow

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# Tis I'll be... #

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# Oh Danny Boy, I love you so. #

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# Oh Danny boy,

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# The pipes, the pipes are calling

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# From glen to glen

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# And down the mountainside... #

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PHONE RECEIVES TEXT

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CAMERA CLICKS REPEATEDLY

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DOG BARKS

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I hope I do not complicate things for you.

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Not at all. We're just grateful for your help.

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So, I'm not on Gunvald Larsson's list of suspects any longer?

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You've never been on that list.

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Have you been in contact with Germany?

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Yes.

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But I haven't mentioned that I'm part of a

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Swedish murder investigation.

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How come?

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Because I'm not quite sure in what way I'm part of it. Are you?

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No.

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Are you?

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No.

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Maybe it would be the best if I went home.

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No. Not yet.

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This investigation concerns areas where your knowledge is far

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better than mine.

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The world of art is not my speciality.

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And what is your speciality?

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-Harmony singing.

-LAUGHTER

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PHONE RINGS

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Hello?

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HE POURS WINE

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Nice to meet you, and welcome to my castle.

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You see, normally, my collection is open for the public just

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a couple of hours during weekends, but, for you, I make an exception.

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But who's he?

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He's the one who does the driving.

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He's Swedish.

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I see. I see.

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Well, just a few principle rules.

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Cellphones are normally not allowed in the castle, it's a

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policy I have. And, um...

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I have a metal detector in the doorframe, hmm?

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Because the other year there was a madman slashing

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one of my Matisse paintings into pieces with a large knife.

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It's most stimulating to meet a genuine connoisseur,

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doesn't happen every day, you know.

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Most of the people are coming here for the erotic collection

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out of more pornographic pretexts, I fancy.

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Yes, probably.

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I've taken a fancy to the shunga paintings,

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and I've heard you have a couple of them.

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Oh, yes. Yes, yes. But none of them is signed, though.

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You don't get them very often.

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-I saw one quite recently.

-Oh, you mean the one at Bukowski's?

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That is the reason why I am here in Sweden.

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Oh, so you bid for it.

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Yes.

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But it was some other collector who got it.

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Uh-huh. What did it go for?

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55,000.

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Oh, that's a reasonable price.

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Hmm. For the seller or the buyer?

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For both, I hope.

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But it had a tragic end, though.

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What do you mean?

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The woman who purchased the shunga, she was an art agent.

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And she was murdered that very same evening.

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She was sitting right beside me at the auction.

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No, that is terrible.

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Do you think it's in connection with her purchase...?

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No, no, no, no, no. The shunga? No, why should that be?

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No.

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But you don't know on whose behalf she bought it?

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Well, I can't say I know.

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But you have an idea.

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Yes.

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Jovan Andrecz.

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There are some sensual motives here, hmm?

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There really are.

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And quite some money invested.

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I can see that.

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My body shouldn't really be exposed to this kind of visual orgasm.

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May I invite you to stay for supper?

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It sounds tempting.

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But I have to consult my chauffeur whether we shall...

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He will naturally get an excellent meal,

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together with the rest of the staff.

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We have an invitation for dinner.

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Very good.

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Right.

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Martin.

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All my dead wines.

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It's my little speciality.

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Wines that are over-aged

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and gone dead.

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Very exclusive,

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very expensive wines.

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I'm very aware that my taste for dead wines is shared only by

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a very few people in the world.

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I'm one of them.

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A touch of cold shark fin.

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A drop of old vinegar.

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Very nice.

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-Oh!

-Oh, oh, oh, oh!

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Oh, I'm so sorry.

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It's so unusual that I...I meet someone who...

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I am unusual.

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Yes.

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Yes, you really are.

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The kidney's marinated in Barola and then baked in the oven,

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wrapped in a garlic crust.

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Excuse me for a second.

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It will just take a short while.

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Enjoy yourself during the meantime.

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SIRENS WAIL

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BECK RECEIVES A TEXT MESSAGE

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GUNVALD CRIES OUT IN PAIN

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You have to excuse me for this interruption, but you see,

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as an art dealer for the whole world, I have to be available

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at all times.

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Hans...

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..I must ask you a question.

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Do you have any phobias?

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On the erotic plane?

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Oh, no. Generally speaking.

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Phobias.

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No, I can't say I have.

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Why?

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Have you?

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Yes.

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One.

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And what is it?

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That somebody I've taken a liking to,

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who I thought was a refined person...

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..suddenly turns out to be someone completely different.

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Hmm. A split personality.

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Or...

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A simple personality...

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..who tries to play a game he doesn't master at all.

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Sounds like a very unpleasant phobia.

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It is.

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Would you like to see a tipple of art history before the main course?

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It is...

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What shall I call it?

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A biological still life.

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PIPE CREAKS

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Nor In This Case...

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Goya. The Civil War.

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One of his most powerful etchings. Don't you think it's formidable?

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Well, it's not... It's not an erotic motive, but...

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..for us who like dead, dead wines,

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a morbid motive has its own special fascination,

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don't you think so? Hmm?

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Well, how do you want to be displayed?

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Hmm?

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The sheer volume of your body makes...

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It's most inspiring.

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Rembrandt, perhaps.

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Do you know that he painted a little bit behind the scenes?

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Some erotic motives.

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Or, well..some nudes.

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Including...

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a little oil painting with a young woman...

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cutting up the belly...

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on a fat...

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pregnant...

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sow.

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LEVENDAHL CHUCKLES

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Well, one could...

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One could replace the woman...

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..with a naked chauffeur.

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Oh, talking of which,

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your...chauffeur...

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asked one of my guards...

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..to give you this.

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Well, I had to silence Marie

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because she was very close to discovering what

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Sun and I were doing.

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But she was a beautiful woman...

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with high morals...

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..that I held in high esteem,

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as long as it didn't intervene with my interests.

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But it suddenly did... DOG BARKS

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But she got to be one of the Chagall lithographs

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she loved the most,

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but I made a biological still life

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with one of her favourite paintings.

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The Woman And The Roses.

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That's my way of showing her my respect.

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This way, please.

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And what about Sun?

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Oh, Sun.

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He was a loyal friend.

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And a brilliant printer.

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But he wasn't prepared to commit murder to protect our treasure.

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And when he heard what happened to Marie,

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he threatened to crush and smash the stones.

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And you, better than anyone else,

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would know what that meant.

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It's cultural treasure.

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So, I had to take care of Sun, too. DOG BARKS

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And, as a genuine lover

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of all Japanese erotic art,

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he got his biological tribute, together with his two printers.

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Shigemasa's shunga painting.

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What a pity...

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GUNSHOT

1:24:181:24:20

MALE VOICES HUM DANNY BOY

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# Oh Danny boy,

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# The pipes, the pipes are calling

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# From glen to glen

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# And down the mountainside

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# The summer's gone

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# And all the flowers are dying

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# Tis you, tis you

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# Must go and I must bide

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# But come you back

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# When summer's in the meadow... #

1:26:161:26:21

Martin Beck gets a phone call from his German colleague Hans Sperling, who is in Stockholm for an art auction. Sperling was interested in a Japanese erotic painting but was outbid by a woman who was later found dead in his hotel, and he needs Beck's help. Beck investigates the murder, together with his team and Sperling, which leads them into a dark world of art fraud.

In Swedish and German with English subtitles.


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