Friday, 18 March 2011

48th issue: Finnish Film Director: Mika Kaurismäki

Kaurismäki brothers

Aki and Mika Kaurismäki brothers are the best movie directors coming from Finland. They both have kind of a rougher style to do movies: they don't follow the "Hollywood rules". The stories are going further with a lower tempo and visually the picture can be granular. And this all works so well, these movies aren't feeling that distant for you, sometimes you can almost touch the thoughts of the character - be part of the story. They are filming real life but making it as a movie. Mika says in one interview that he isn't a movie maker, he is anthropology.

Mika has been doing movies and documentaries. His first movie was music documentary made together with Aki and it was called "Saimaa ilmiö" (= Saimaa phenomenon). It's about Finnish musician/bands such as Hassisen kone, Eppu Normaali and Juice Leskinen. They travel though Saimaa and play gigs. This is totally worth to see as a movie too, because it tells a story about young Finnish musicians who became later very famous.

Mika and Aki might sound their style is very similar, but when you watch their movies you'll understand that they both have their own style. 


From Mikas movies you can see where inspiration comes from: nature, depression, working class, the seasons. So his works represent usually Finland in it's every appearance. Though there are documentaries, such as Mama Africa which isn't filmed in Finland and doesn't have much to do with our culture. Maybe Mika opened a new page in his directors career.

Awards and film festivals

Zombie and the Ghost train
(pic from here)
Also his movies have been awarded in Finland (e.g "Zombie ja kummitusjuna" - Zombie and the ghost train).  Mika's works are also internationally noticed and showed in several film festivals, the last one was "Mama Africa" (2011) in Berlin Film Festival.


Mika's latest movie is called "Veljekset" (=Brothers). It's been filmed without a script. Yes, without a script! All the actors are improvising the whole story. This is definitely a must see movie/documentary. What makes it work, is probably the thing that all the actors are very good on what they do.


If you want to the atmosphere of the Kaurismäki brothers, I recommend you to go to Corona bar and Dubrovnik lounge. Corona is a bar as you can guess, but Dubrovnik is a movie theater and club space where bands play gigs! Dubrovnik is located under Corona, so you have to go in Corona to go to Dubrovnik.

Corona Bar & Dubrovnik is in central Helsinki, Eerikinkatu 11.

(map HERE)

Shake Hollywood!

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