Nana Dzhordzhadze – The Rainbowmaker (2008)

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The Salzlipp twins grow up without their father. The boy and the girl are convinced he is an
important superhero secret agent. But when he eventually comes home, it turns out that he
is but a puny, insignificant meteorologist who had been innocently languishing in jail. The
children refuse to accept that this is their father. And sexy Mrs. Salzlipp has fallen in love
with another man. But Salzlipp fights back. He discovers that he can influence and indeed
manipulate the weather. He can turn summertime into deep frost. Magic! As with
Dostoyevski’s Idiot there’s more to Salzlipp than meets the eye. Maybe he can use his gift to
win back his family? An imaginative tale about love and respect in a romantic seaside setting. Continue reading

Olli Soinio – Kuutamosonaatti AKA The Moonlight Sonata (1988)

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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.. Continue reading

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…. Continue reading

Risto Jarva – Ruusujen aika AKA A Time of Roses (1969)

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Synopsis: Taking place in the year 2012, the film is a fantasy of a “utopian” time when all class conflicts have been erased, at least superficially. A history researcher Raimo Lappalainen becomes obsessed by the life of nude model Saara Turunen, a woman who died in 1976, and tries to reconstruct it for TV, with help from an actress. At the same time a strike in a nuclear plant will lead to a violent upsurge, which media only manages to keep secret from public with a clever cover-up.
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Teuvo Tulio – Laulu tulipunaisesta kukasta aka Song of the Scarlet Flower [+Extras] (1938)

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Song of the Scarlet Flower was Teuvo Tulio’s first independently produced film, and the earliest of his surviving films.

“I had for a while been thinking of filming Johannes Linnankoski’s novel. Surprisingly this popular Don Juan-tale hadn’t yet been filmed in Finland. It had been done in Sweden twice: first as a silent film by the world-famous Mauritz Stiller and later as a sound film by the esteemed director Per-Axel Branner.

I knew the task would be hard. Viewers often maintain overblown memories of movies they have liked. The fight for audience’s approval would be strenuous. Moreover, the Swedes had had two top-notch actors, Lars Hanson and Edvin Adolphson, playing Olavi. My only chance would be wild rapids-riding scenes and intensive love scenes, which were my specialty. The movie was an enticing challenge, I believed I would be able to offer something new and different. These were bold thoughts, but it meant a lot to me and my career. I decided to try.” Continue reading

Teuvo Tulio – Sensuela (1973)

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The Finnish camp classic of all time!

“Sensuela – woman hot as hell, wet as a swamp, she will suck the men inside her!”

Not many films have the dubious honor of ranking as some of the campiest Finnish movies ever made. Teuvo Tulio (1912-2000) started to film Sensuela already in 1964, but interrupted it largely due to the financial reasons. The movie was shot entirely with an old equipment from the 1940’s, which explains the dreamy look of the shots and finely detailed color stock. Most of the scenes were shot during 1967-1968, and some of the retakes and extra scenes were still filmed after the premiere. Meanwhile one of the leading actors Ossi Elstelä died in 1969 and his lines were dubbed by Uolevi Vahteristo. Continue reading

Peter von Bagh – Helsinki, ikuisesti AKA Helsinki, Forever (2008)

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Synopsis
This is a documentary / symphony of a city of Helsinki by the former director of the Finnish Film Archive Peter von Bach. None of the footage is original. A lot of it is found footage, but mostly it is from earlier films and documentaries. All the music is somehow related to Helsinki as well. There is narration over a lot of the footage that explains, tells stories and reads poems. Enjoy.

From the blog of Jonathan Rosenbaum:

Quote:

An unexpected gift arrives in the mail: a subtitled preview of Peter von Bagh’s fabulous and rather Markeresque documentary (2008)—a lovely city symphony which is also a history of Helsinki (and incidentally, Finland, Finnish cinema, and Finnish pop music) recounted with film clips and paintings by three voices (two male, one of them von Bagh’s, and one female—each one reciting what seems to be a slightly different style of poetic and essayistic discourse). There are no chapter divisions on this DVD, and the continuity is more often geographical than chronological, although there’s also a lot of leaping about spatially as well as temporally. At separate stages we’re introduced to the best-ever Finnish camera movement and the best Finnish musical, are invited to browse diverse neighborhoods and eras (and to ponder contrasts in populations and divorce rates), and are finally forced to admit that a surprising amount of very striking film footage has emerged from this country and city. Continue reading