Suomi: Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu – what lies in the urban centers of the off-the-radar yet historically rich Nordic nation of Finland? We venture there’s freak folk, heavy metal, contemporary art, new media, salmiakki, reindeer, and perhaps even a Sami or two. Package Deals traveled across Finland this past summer to source the latest in its ongoing installment of geographically-curated cinematic gems. Premiering at Scandinavia House, Package Deals: Finland toasts the freshest in Finnish film, video art, and museum videos. A perfect package connecting the best of visuals and music under the Finnish denominator, everything from reaching in experimental film space to animation.
Package Deals: Finland premiered June 16th, 7pm at Scandinavia House in New York City. Tour to follow through 2010 and 2011.
The line up includes:
Evolutions dir. Jani Ruscica (2008, S16mm film transferred to digital beta and HD, 18:20)
The young main characters of Evolutions are in a film studio, defining their worldviews. The studio is portrayed as a stage-like space, unrestricted by time and place, and it provides an opportunity to reconstruct past worlds, memories and mental images. Time, on the other hand, is seen as a strongly subjective experience, as the lives of the young people are intertwined with signposts of evolution. Simultaneously, religious and mythological imageries are linked and become part of this complex whole that reveals how images and stories, both scientific and mythical, have made our world more comprehensible to us.
Eleanoora Rosenholm: Ambulanssikuskitar (dir: Pete Veljalainen) (2008, 4:55, video)
Music video – grand prize winner at Oulu Music Video Festival 2009
GIG dir. Liisa Lounila, (2007, video, 3:36)
A three minute video of people attending a club gig by visual artist Lounila. Instead of the performance on the stage the attention focuses on club goers observing each other. The visual starting point for the work was baroque painter Caravaggio’s group scenes, with dark backgrounds and dramatically illuminated compositions of actors seemingly participating in something divine. As an addition to these the music for the piece was composed to echo Michael Nyman’s minimalistic soundtracks for Peter Greenaways films, to give a feeling of a staged costume drama, but with a hint of Indie rock to keep it connected with the actual happenings on the screen. The music is performed by a small classical chamber orchestra, set up for the piece.
Kiipeilypuu (The Climbing Tree) dir. Jenni Rope (2008, music: Paavoharju, animation, 2:24)
Stop-motion animation by Helsinki-based illustrator and artist Jenni Rope.
Lau Nau: Painovoimaa, valoa (dir: Sami Sami Sänpäkkilä) (2008, video, 4:57)
Freak folk music video
Under the Surface dir. Veera Lehtola (2009, digibeta, 7:00)
Memories of one childhood summer around an abandoned swimming pool. Stunning student film from Turku Art Academy.
English Lessons dirs. Sara Wahl, Niina Suominen, Lotta Rapeli, Samppa Kukkonen, Tommi Juutilainen, CHRZU, Reetta Neittaanmäki & Lauri Järvenpää (2008, animation, 20 mins)
An animated English language course that recycles a 1970s English audio course. In eight lessons one can learn, in addition to the English language, important things about studying, dynamics between the sexes, and money. Made collaboratively by eight different Finnish animators who have organized their own collective production company.
Zebra and Snake: The Colours (dir: Miikka Lommi) (2009, video, 4:09)
Music video. Honorable mention at Oulu Music Video Festival 2009
Hanasaari A dirs. Hannes Vartiainen & Pekka Veikkolainen (2009, 35mm, 15 mins)
An experimental documentary about the changing cityscape of Helsinki and the final moments of a coal-fired power plant. The old industrial environment is being destroyed to make space for modern housing units. Shown in 35mm!
Lumikko (The Little Snow Animal) dir. Miia Tervo (2009, video, 19 mins)
Grand Prix winner of Tampere Film Festival’s International Competition. Based on a phone conversation with a young girl and Pekka Sauri in the radio program Yölinja. Lumikko is only the third Finnish film that has ever received the Grand Prix. Made when Tervo was a student at Aalto University, Helsinki.
Photo credit: Home page image from Eleanoora Rosenholm's album cover - Älä Kysy Kuolleilta, He Sanoivat