Finland

Mika Kaurismäki – Paperitähti AKA Paper Star (1989)

Synopsis:
Anna, a former top model, is relegated to second-rate modeling jobs. Her lover, Ulf, a drug dealer and pimp, leaves her to settle in Stockholm. Anna gets involved with Ilja, a middle-aged fashion photographer who treats her badly and violently. The police arrest Anna and hold her in custody for a fortnight. After she is released from the prison, Ilja continues his disgusting behaviour towards her. Supported only by Taukka, a young biker with a good heart, Anna leaves for Stockholm to rejoin with Ulf. After a fatal shooting incident in the beautiful Gamla Stan, the old town district of Stockholm, Anna meets up with Taukka who has been released from the prison and together they ride towards a better future on Taukka’s gleaming bike. Read More »

Unknown – Aseveljeyden sankarit aka Brotherhood of Arms (1943)

German-Finnish coproduction documentary which has not been published before 1999. Film is an accurate description of the Finnish Waffen-SS volunteers from 1941 to 1943. Recruited in spring 1941, trained in Germany and all the way to the Caucasus. Narrated by a young TK man, front radio commentator Veikko Itkonen (1919-1990). Read More »

Aki Kaurismäki – Hamlet liikemaailmassa AKA Hamlet Goes Business (1987)

Quote:
A sardonic and irreverent contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet Goes Business is an idiosyncratically whimsical, yet incisive satire on corporate greed, materialism, corruption, and vengeance. Shot in black and white and employing high contrast lighting, the film achieves an atmospheric noir that reflects Aki Kaurismäki’s irrepressibly droll sense of humor and penchant for understated irony. Kaurismäki incorporates traditional, often manipulative and hackneyed stylistic devices of lush, overarching music, directed stage lighting, expressionistic gestures, skewed camera angles, and meticulously composed slow motion shots in order to playfully subvert dramatic convention: Lauri’s angered departure from Hamlet’s office; Hamlet’s self-consciously tormented delivery of a poem to Ophelia; the overdramatic, but anticlimactic plot device of the Murder of Gonzago play-within-a-play episode to expose Klaus’s treachery; the exquisite choreography of Ophelia’s final moments of despair. By integrating muted emotion with exaggerated theatricality, Kaurismäki creates a delirious and incongruent fusion of highbrow art film and pop culture kitsch – a patently iconoclastic comedic tragedy on indecision, inertia, and alienation.
(filmref.com) Read More »

Mika Kaurismäki – Valehtelija AKA the Liar (1981)

Talkative, hyperactive young drifter Ville Alfa goes around Helsinki, basically trying to borrow money from friends and strangers by means of an incessant delivery of quirky and snappy quasi-intellectual lines and fabricated excuses. Read More »

Virpi Suutari – Hilton! (2013)

Quote:
The roughly beautiful Hilton! gives the viewer a glimpse of life in a modern society, a life that young persons lead. Janne, Toni, Mira, Pete and Make live in a tenement owned by a youth foundation. Their attempts to take control over their own lives have been in vain. Toni says that it is gruesome to see oneself as socially excluded, but apparently he is just that. Despite of these facts, the group sticks together. Make, the father figure, has his freezer full of food: nobody has to leave his place hungry. Read More »

Ville Jankeri – Pussikaljaelokuva AKA Sixpack (2011)

Pussikaljaelokuva shows us a, particularly trying, day in the life of three marginalized young men: Marsalkka (Jussi Nikkilä), Henninen (Eero Milonoff) and Lihis (Ylermi Rajamaa). They are just out to enjoy a nice summer’s day with the intention of playing yahtzee, but things don’t quite go their way. They have their run-ins with a recently deceased neighbor, uninterested under aged girls and the police. Being chronically broke, they even manage to flub a courtesy visit with the intention of loaning some drinking assets. Even their attempts at leaving Kallio prove utterly futile.
Kallio, a district of Helsinki, is the main setting of the film, and some would argue the film is a contemporary love letter to it. Finnish critics have especially praised the film’s loving depiction of Kallio.
Pussikaljaelokuva is a comedy with nary a plot, driven by characters and dialogue… And the power of friendship. Read More »

Aki Kaurismäki – Total Balalaika Show [+ Extras] (1994)

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Description: On June 12, 1993, Audience of 70.000 people witnessed a historical event on the Senate Square in Helsinki. Leningrad Cowboys performed for the first time together with the 100 singers, 40 musicians and 20 dancers of the Alexandrov Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble, on the biggest stage ever seen in Finland. The programme included rock classics from “Happy Together” and “Delilah” to “Gimme All Your Lovin” and “Knocking On Heaven`s Door”, as well as traditional hits from the Ensemble`s own repertoire.

From the beginning to the end, the concert was a roaring success. Aki Kaurismäki and his crew filmed the event. TOTAL BALALAIKA SHOW is a documentary on the concert, and extraordinary, unforgettable encounter of the old and the new, of East and West.
Read More »