June 17: Music, roadmovies, and the golden midnight sun

On festival Friday the audience got to enjoy two Morning Discussions when Hungarian Ildikó Enyedi and Brazilian Karim Aïnouz shared stories about their lives and careers at the Kitisenranta School. Although coming from different cultural backgrounds, both of the filmmakers grew up in politically oppressive environments and found creative homes in the alternative art circles. 

The Small Tent is dedicated this year for other events and side programs, and on Saturday it hosted childrens’ films like Emil of Lönneberga. The scientific special program featured a Timo Vesala led panel discussion that approached the topic of wetlands from both scientific and cultural viewpoints.

Festival founder Mika Kaurismäki showed some new and old works. The sold out Lapinsuu cinema travelled to sunny California with L.A. Without a Map (1998) and later in the evening at the School the destination was something completely different: Corona bar in Helsinki in Gracious Night (2020). The latter screening was spiced with a Q&A with actors Kari Heiskanen and Timo Torikka and Kaurismäki himself.

The road was calling in many films of the day. One could choose from a selection of road movies such as French rarity And the Little Prince Said (1992), festival guest Jonas Selberg Augustsén’s depiction of roma youth The Garbage Helicopter (2015) and Mathieu Amalric’s Hold Me Tight (2021) and On Tour (2010), two excellent samples of the director’s versatility. After Friday turned to Saturday Mikko Niskanen’s rare youth depiction Gotta Run! (1982) was shown at the traditional screening slot reserved for a Finnish classic.

Earlier that day Lapinsuu Cinema was fully packed as Kaija Saariaho’s carte blanche selection The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968) treated the audience with some music from J.S. Bach. The long waited silent film screening of Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) was accompanied with M/S Tempo orchestra, led by Mauri Sumén. After the rapturous event the midnight sun gilded the night at Porttikoski dance venue and in Summer of Soul (2021), a musical documentary shown in the Big Tent.

Specialities of the night included Mika Taanila’s masterclass of experimental cinema ‘Stylography of Camera’ at the School. The hypnotic cavalcade of six short films included the Croatian Nth Cinematic Nail Factory (2022) that consists of scenes that are played in different sequence in every screening and a Finnish premiere of Milja Viita’s Bambi (2022), a reinterpretation of the classic animation.


Photo: Liisa Huima