Finland

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 »

Aki Kaurismäki – Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö aka The Match Factory Girl (1990)

Quote:
A woman’s terribly dull life is upended by a one-night stand pregnancy, causing her to seek retribution. Read More »

Aki Kaurismäki – Le Havre (2011)

Synopsis:
A dock worker in Le Havre hears a human sound inside one of the containers in port, that container which left Gabon three weeks ago and which was supposed to arrive in London five days after its departure from Gabon, which didn’t happen. The Le Havre police and French border guards find a still alive group of illegal African immigrants inside. On the sign from one of his elders, a young teen boy among the illegal immigrants manages to escape, news of which hits the local media. The first friendly face that boy, Idrissa, encounters is that of former artist now aged shoeshine Marcel Marx. Marcel decides to help Idrissa by hiding him in his house, news which slowly trickles through his community of friends – most of whom he associates with at his local bar – and neighbors, most who assist Marcel in this task. Read More »

William Markus – Verta käsissämme AKA Blood on Our Hands (1958)

Quote:
After returning home from being a prisoner of war, Captain Viktor Aaltona (Jussi Jurkka) get a job from his friend, Rolf Bergas (Tauno Palo) with whom he had served. The men trust each other until Viktor meets Rolf’s wife Astrid (Elina Pohjanpää).

William Markus’s adaptation of a short novel by Mika Waltari, generally considered one of the weakest of the many films based on literary works and original screenplays by Waltari. Like Markus’s previous film, Mirjam (1957), Blood on Their Hands suffers from the near-constant use of overemphatic background, usually without much relation to what’s happening in the scene. Read More »

Rauni Mollberg – Tuntematon sotilas aka The Unknown Soldier (1985)

Mollberg’s chef d’oeuvre is this remarkable three-hours-plus adaptation of Väino Linna’s The Unknown Soldier, a monumental best-selling novel that has been called the Finnish equivalent of Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front or Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead. An earlier screen version, directed by Edvin Laine and released in 1955, is considered one of the great classics of the Finnish cinema, and was for decades the most commercially successful Finnish film ever made; Mollberg’s version, co- scripted by novelist Linna himself, was twice as expensive as any Finnish feature before it, and was a major critical and commercial success in Finland and elsewhere in Scandinavia. Read More »

Mikko Niskanen – Kahdeksan surmanluotia AKA Eight Deadly Shots [episodes 1–4] (1972)

IMDB Plot Summary
Small-farmer Pasi shoots four policemen who have come to arrest him for raged drunkenness. Rest of the movie is a long flashback examining the events that finally leads to the tragic shooting. As time goes by, Pasi sinks gradually deeper and deeper into the poverty, gets into trouble with both police and tax officials while family arguments grow more and more serious. Based on a true story. Read More »

Eero Sinikannel – Talvisota (1939-1940) AKA Winter War (1939-1940) (1988)

This is a documentary about the Finnish-Soviet Winter War (Talvisota) of 1939-1940. It contains rare and never before seen footage from the official film archives (Sota-arkisto) of the Finnish army. Read More »