Finland

Olli Soinio – Kuutamosonaatti AKA The Moonlight Sonata (1988)

Synopsis: A female fashion model Anni Stark (played by Tiina Björkman) takes leave from the fashion business and goes to Finland’s Lappland (a wilderness region in Northern Finland, better known as the home of Santa Claus) for a vacation. Little does she know that there’s a totally lunatic bunch of local hillbillies living in a nearby farmhouse. The plot thickens as one of the residents begins to harass Anni, who is left alone in the wilderness with only her dog to protect her. Too bad for her that her dog turns out to have divided loyalties..

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Aki Kaurismäki – Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989)

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Somewhere in the tundra lives the worst rock and roll band in the world…. Aki Kaurismäki`s hilarious road movie follows the fortunes and misadventures of a struggling Siberian rock band, the Leningrad Cowboys.

A local promoter, stunned by the band`s lack of talent, advises them instead to try their luck in America. Accompanied by their autocratic manager, the Cowboys travel to New York, learning English on the plane. Sporting outsixe Quiffs, dark shades and outrageously long winkle-pickers, they are passed off as Americans. Jim Jarmusch, in a cameo role as a shifty car salesman, sells them an old Cadillac. The band strap their frozen bass player to the roof in a coffin full of beer, and head south…. Read More »

Tatu Pohjavirta – Collected Shorts of Tatu Pohjavirta (1999 – 2005)

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This is some absolutely gorgeous animation. Not all of the shorts on here are top-notch, but nearly all are worth viewing – especially Reflector, a short which is easily worth the entire torrent all by itself. I put this collection up there with Blood Tea and Red String in terms of stop-motion quality, even if this guy appears to me much, much less well known. Some of the other shorts are just kind of weird (Virtavalta, I’m looking at you! Extremely short and literally just like a buff man busting into a house Kool-Aid-Man style) but even that one is charming in it’s own way and I think that a lot of people should watch it!

–SteampunkDuck Read More »

Aki Kaurismäki – Likaiset kädet AKA Dirty Hands (1989)

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Quote:
Aki Kaurismäki is a cult and prolific Finnish filmmaker known for his offbeat, deadpan style. One of cinema’s great humanists, his films explore the misfortunes of the misfits and disaffected of Helsinki with great affection and droll, sometimes black, humour.
Although influenced by filmmakers such as Robert Bresson, Luis Bunuel and Jim Jarmusch, Kaurismaki has a distinctive cinematic style of his own, recognisable by his spare, economical visuals, eclectic soundtracks of vintage rock and pop and use of a regular troupe of actors, including Kati Outinen, Marko Peltola & Matti Pellonpaa… and dogs. Read More »