Finnish Films on DVD

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Erikht
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Finnish Films on DVD

#1 Post by Erikht » Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:05 pm

I need to use about 1.500 Euros on Finnish films, preferably before the end of November. I don't know much about Finnish films. Please help me make the right choices.

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Wu.Qinghua
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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#2 Post by Wu.Qinghua » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:00 pm

This post won't help much because you have already thought of buying all the films made by Mika and Aki Kaurismäki haven't you? You can't go wrong buying all of Aki's films ... And I liked Mika's "Zombie and the Ghost Train" very much back in 1991 ...

You can try to find some DVDs of Risto Jarva's movies, though I doubt that they have English subtitles. You find some excerpts here: http://phinnweb.blogspot.com/2009/07/ri ... years.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Maybe this blogger can offer you some help?

If you are interested in documentaries you can have a look at Mika Taanila, there's a Dutch compilation with English subtitles (Aika & Aine). Here you find some details: http://www.phinnweb.org/links/cinema/di ... aaine.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by Wu.Qinghua on Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Erikht
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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#3 Post by Erikht » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:07 pm

Oh, they all help. Thank you. Bring it on.

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Camera Obscura
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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#4 Post by Camera Obscura » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:58 pm

I thought Frozen Land (2006) was pretty worthwhile.
Erikht wrote:I need to use about 1.500 Euros on Finnish films, preferably before the end of November. I don't know much about Finnish films. Please help me make the right choices.
Don't give in to blackmail, dude. If someone's forcing you to watch the equivalent of 1500 Euros of Finnish films, contact your local authorities immediately.

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Erikht
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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#5 Post by Erikht » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:14 pm

Camera Obscura wrote:I thought Frozen Land (2006) was pretty worthwhile.
Erikht wrote:I need to use about 1.500 Euros on Finnish films, preferably before the end of November. I don't know much about Finnish films. Please help me make the right choices.
Don't give in to blackmail, dude. If someone's forcing you to watch the equivalent of 1500 Euros of Finnish films, contact your local authorities immediately.

Quite.

They usually run like this, don't they? Silence. Snow. Dark winter. A deer runs over the frozen landscape. More silence. Professional silence. Man pain. Loads of man pain. Vodka is involved. Sex is not necessarily consenting.

Then Pekka comes out of the forrest whith an axe....

But seriously, I work at a university library, I said the famous words last autumn "why don't we start a film collection." Suddenly I get 10.000 Euros and are told to become busy witin this scal l year. We decided to start of with Nordic film (Norwegian University), and I do think that a Finland-shaped hole in the collection would draw some comments. Also, there might be far more worthwile Fnish films out there that 35 years with Finnish Filmatic Theatre has led me to believe.

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Camera Obscura
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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#6 Post by Camera Obscura » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:19 pm

Erikht wrote: But seriously, I work at a university library, I said the famous words last autumn "why don't we start a film collection." Suddenly I get 10.000 Euros and are told to become busy witin this scal l year. We decided to start of with Nordic film (Norwegian University), and I do think that a Finland-shaped hole in the collection would draw some comments. Also, there might be far more worthwile Fnish films out there that 35 years with Finnish Filmatic Theatre has led me to believe.
Ah, I suspected something along these lines - it just remained a little bit unclear in what capacity someone would want to spend that much on Finnish film. :wink:

Filmwise, my knowledge of Finland doesn't go much further than Kaurismäki, but the folks at The Finnish Film Foundation must be able to come up with some DVD-essentials with English, Norwegian or other usable subs. They're probably hired to contradict the image that all Finnish men are axe-yielding alcoholic foresters, miners, or fuck-ups with chronic winter depressions.

By the way, based on some of the DVDs I own, I was under the impression that many Scandinavian DVDs have subtitling options in all Scandinavian languages (or at least Swedish, Norwegian and Danish), or is this just the case for some well-known films? I'd be more interested in English-friendly DVDs, but just curious about the practice.

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L.A.
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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#7 Post by L.A. » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:35 pm

Häiden vietto Karjalan runomailla (1921)

The only Finnish silent available on DVD.

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: Finnish films - help me!

#8 Post by Lemmy Caution » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:07 pm

You should also consider tracking down a few Icelandic films for your collection.
Can't say I know much, but 101 Reykjavik was a good slacker film from 2000; Nói Albínói (2003) seems well-regarded, but I haven't watched my copy yet; Dancer in the Dark is Danish featuring Bjork .....

And if you include Denmark in your collection, there's a very rich tradition dating back to the early days of cinema. Much great stuff coming out from Det Danske Filminstitut.
http://www.dfi.dk/english/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And if you are going to go big on Finnish films, you can also leak over and explore Estonian films. Must be a few worthy candidates.

While I'm expanding your project, I'd rec that you try to try to contact one of the Kaurismakis, explain that you are building up a Finnish film collection at your university in Norway and solicit suggestions.
If you are too busy or timid, I'd imagine some film nut here would be willing to step in and help in order to have a chance to talk film with the Kaurismakis.
With Skype, int'l phone calls are virtually free ... and email works too.

And I'm sure there'd be film professors at Finnish universities who would love to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for Finnish film.
But yes, the Finnish Film Foundation, especially under Other Useful Addresses, has lots of interesting contacts.
Also, be sure to ask if they know where you can purchase such films.

So do you have a list of the Norwegian (and other Scandinavian) films which you are purchasing?

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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#9 Post by nighthawk4486 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:23 pm

Here is a link to the list for every film Finland has ever submitted to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Fi ... guage_Film

It's not the best, but it's a start. I admit, the only non Kaurismaki film on there I've seen was Mother of Mine, which was a pretty solid film.

But it says something that even though they were invited to submit films right from the start (1956), it took until 1973 to finally submit one and until 1980 to submit a second and the only actual nominee they've ever had is Kaurismaki's Man Without a Past.

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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#10 Post by martin » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:24 am

Have a look at Rauni Mollberg and Teuvo Tulio. And Kaurismäki of course.
nighthawk4486 wrote:It's not the best, but it's a start. I admit, the only non Kaurismaki film on there I've seen was Mother of Mine, which was a pretty solid film.
Yes, and Klaus Härö's (the director's) first feature film Elina - Som om jag inte fanns (2002) was also very good (stunning cinematography!). It's partly Swedish though, with Bibi Andersson in a leading role. But it should count as a Finnish film.

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: Finnish films - help me!

#11 Post by Lemmy Caution » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:28 am

After a little quick research, two interesting somewhat older Finnish films:

Komisario Palmun Erehdys (1960) aka Inspector Palmu's Error.
This seems to be a mystery-thriller with a touch of comedy.
Seems that a number of Inspector Palmu films followed, so this was influential.


Kahdeksan Surmanluotia(1972) aka Eight Deadly Shots.
A crime thriller, the consequences of a standoff between a drunk farmer and the police, based on a real incident.
Seems there is a 2 1/2 hour version and a longer 5 1/4 hour version.
Last edited by Lemmy Caution on Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#12 Post by MichaelB » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:42 am

nighthawk4486 wrote:But it says something that even though they were invited to submit films right from the start (1956), it took until 1973 to finally submit one and until 1980 to submit a second and the only actual nominee they've ever had is Kaurismaki's Man Without a Past.
...though I remember a hilarious bout of over-optimism when its distributors (or producers) tried to get The Winter War (Talvisota, 1989) nominated in all the major Oscar categories, taking out "for your consideration" ads in Variety, and spending an absolute fortune. All to no effect whatsoever - I don't think the film even managed a commercial release outside Scandinavia.

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GaryC
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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#13 Post by GaryC » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:13 am

I've no idea if it's on DVD, but Tulipää (Flame Top) (1980) seems to be well regarded. I can only remember bits of it from its one and only British TV showing - but as that was in 1983, I guess I can be excused for that! It was in competition at Cannes.

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Erikht
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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#14 Post by Erikht » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:06 am

Again, thank you, and do keep them coming.

Iceland will be part of the collection, but I have decided not to buy Icelandic films this year. Icelandic and Faroe film along with Greenlandic film (if such an animal exists) and film from Åland will be next years best argument for more money ("Listen, we need to expand...."). When it comes to Estonia, I think that will a part of our Baltic film collection, that I want to start with when the Nordic collection has started to fill out. Baltic, Polish, Czech and German film looks like the nest prospects, though I might just go the way of Ford, Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa, Lang and Murnau if we still got some money left come the end of November. At least that will place the money in something I want to venture into sooner or later. But for now, the four big (relatively speaking, that is) Nordic countries.

I think I might be able to rustle up about 200 Norwegian films on DVD, out of the 650 or so that is produced (my estimate, but I don't think I am far wrong). I intend to make this list available here when I am done, with a description of the most prolific directors.

I should think that quite a few Nordic films got Danish/Norwegian/Swedish/Finnish subs. The reason I want English subs as well is because of the large number of visiting scholars who would like to see Norwegian and other Nordic films while they are here. It is sad to see their little faces when they are told that the old VHS the departments film collection holds do not have subtitles.

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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#15 Post by SoyCuba » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:42 pm

Tulio, as already mentioned, is an important director and best of all, nearly all of his output has been released on DVD with english subs. Of older directors Kassila (Palmu films, Elokuu) is also essential but unfortunately no english subs on DVDs. Not many older finnish films have been released on DVD anyway and for example such important works as Valkoinen peura and Varastettu kuolema have not been released on DVD at all.

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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#16 Post by Gregory » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:34 pm

If you really need to spend through that 1500 Euros in a hurry, I can suggest a USD $390 DVD, The Future is Not What it Used to Be by Mika Taanila. It's a documentary about the electronic musician (and inventor of instruments) Erkki Kurenniemi. I've wanted to see it since reading a review of it several years ago, but can't buy the DVD for obvious reasons and haven't found a library that has it.

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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#17 Post by MichaelB » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:47 pm

I'm not sure if this is too left-field, and I haven't seen it myself, but the BFI's The Cinematic Works of Eija-Liisa Ahtila is certainly guaranteed English-friendly.

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Re: Finnisg films - help me!

#18 Post by Lamourderer » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:55 pm

I'd recommend films by Rauni Mollberg but, alas, they are not available with English subs, only with Finnish or Swedish.

Then again, film box including three films from one of the most known new wave directors from Finland, Mikko Niskanen (Who also directed the already mentioned Eight Deadly Shots), does have English subs. http://www.finnkino.fi/dvd/2672/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The same goes with another new wave director, Jörn Donner (probably most known as Ingmar Bergman scholar). His controversial films Perkele! - kuvia Suomesta (Fuck Off! - Images from Finland), Anna, Dirty Story, Mustaa valkoisella (Black on White), Naisenkuvia (Portraits of Women), Miestä ei voi raiskata (Men Can't Be Raped) and Sixtynine are all available with English subs.

Other notable English-friendly Finnish films on dvd: Kuuma kissa? (Hot cat?) and Laukaus tehtaalla (A Shot in the Factory) by Erkko Kivikoski, Mommilan veriteot 1917 (The Mommila Murders) by Jotaarkka Pennanen, Kreivi (The Count) by Peter von Bagh, Riisuminen and Ameriikan raitti (Paradise America) by Lauri Törhönen and Punahilkka (Red Riding Hood) by Timo Bergholm.

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Re: Finnish Films on DVD

#19 Post by Wu.Qinghua » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:29 pm

as i am also interested in this topic:

@ lamourderer: do you know if there are any jarva films available with english subtitles?

@ all: can you recommend me an internet retailer selling those finnish discs?

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Lamourderer
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Re: Finnish Films on DVD

#20 Post by Lamourderer » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:29 am

Wu.Qinghua wrote:as i am also interested in this topic:

@ lamourderer: do you know if there are any jarva films available with english subtitles?

@ all: can you recommend me an internet retailer selling those finnish discs?
I'm sorry but unfortunately there's no Jarva films with English subtitles. 7 feature films by him have been published in two box sets (including perhaps the most loved Finnish film all time, Jäniksen vuosi - The Year of the Hare) and one (directed with two other directors) - a comedy called X-paroni - on its own. The box sets also include couple of his experimental short films and documentaries dealing with his career and they only contain Finnish and Swedish subtitles.

http://www.recordshopx.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Here's one Finnish music and film store delivering abroad.

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Re: Finnish Films on DVD

#21 Post by Erikht » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:12 pm

We can live with Swedish subs, though that would leave most of our visiting scholars out of the loop.

By the way, I spent 5.000 Euros today in my local film shop. The shelves with Nordic film was completely empty. This makes me breathe easier, as spending the remaining money won't be that hard. Also, it looks like we might be able to get the same sum next year, in which case our collection of Nordic DVDs will be quite comprehensive. But the end of the story is that I bought almost 300 DVDs today. The shop people was perplexed.

Again, let me thank you all for the work you are doing here. It will be extremely valuable, both this year and next. I will thank you all properly by posting lists over available DVDs when we have bough them.

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Wu.Qinghua
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Re: Finnish Films on DVD

#22 Post by Wu.Qinghua » Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:57 pm

@ Thanks for the answer, Lamourderer ... I think I will grab this Niskanen 60s box ... Though it's a pity that those Jarva discs lack English subtitles ...

@ Erikht: I think you may have seen that yourself or may have ordered those discs already but just in case you haven't done it yet: Amazon.co.uk has significantly reduced Artificial Eye's Kaurismäki Collections (40% off) ...

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Re: Finnish Films on DVD

#23 Post by skuhn8 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:09 am

Watched Häjyt (1999) DVD last night and can recommend that: two brutes finish their five year prison sentences and find that their partner in crime--a gypsy no less--has become chief of police in their small town. Some fairly good fence-straddling to offset a predictable lesson, an enjoyable turn by the bootlegger grandpa and some nice--albeit brief--shots of Finnish countryside in summer. Nice to see a Finnish film without snow for a change. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0159485/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Last week I watch the English-friendly dvd of the Finnish 3-hour WWII epic, Tuntematon sotilas (1955), Finland's most expensive film up to that time. Some campy dialogue and performances but quite enthralling. Certainly a different angle and some difficult dodging around the matter of having Germany as an ally. Unfortunately the extras aren't English-subbed as they contain a wealth of newsreel footage from the war as well as radio broadcast speeches.

As for Teuvo Tulio, much--perhaps all--of his existing films have been released over three 4-dvd sets, English friendly, including alternate Swedish versions where available, and extensive extra features that are also English friendly. I had the last set, including his only color film, Sensuela, which is kind of soft-porn from the end of the sixties. Quite hilarious, I can't tell if he was taking the piss or if this is a serious stab at an epic. His earlier output brings to mind a monstrous hybrid of Ed Wood meets Douglas Sirk.

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Re: Finnish Films on DVD

#24 Post by perkizitore » Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:47 am

Wu.Qinghua wrote:@ Erikht: I think you may have seen that yourself or may have ordered those discs already but just in case you haven't done it yet: Amazon.co.uk has significantly reduced Artificial Eye's Kaurismäki Collections (40% off) ...
HMV sells them for 14£ each, but if you don't live in the UK you won't save much because of the expensive HMV shipping costs. You can buy all the Teuvo Tulio sets from recordshopx.com

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Re: Finnish Films on DVD

#25 Post by L.A. » Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:09 pm

Two award winning fairytale/fantasy films:

Kuningas jolla ei ollut sydäntä / The King Who Had No Heart (1982)

Lumikuningatar / The Snow Queen (1986)

Both available on DVD here in Finland with optional Finnish, English and Swedish subtitles.

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