Every autumn I get heavily moody. This is caused by the loss of the light. Last summer I heard from the radio a tune called “The House of the Rising Sun”. At once I was on a wintery road, with a very low light – and having an impossible opponent against me – Lee Van Cleef.
born 1965 in Kuopio, Finland, attended the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and studied scenography and architecture. His work focuses mainly on drawing, photography and experimental motion pictures and has been shown in Finland and abroad.
The evocative soundtrack is by Samuli Kristian Saastamoinen.
Finnish poet Tuija Välipakka‘s words, translated by Pirjo Raila, appear as text on screen in this film by Tuija’s daughter Mikaela Välipakka. (There’s also a version in Swedish, I assume the original poem: När våren slungar fåglarna i träden.) The music is by Eemeli Sutalainen. The description at Vimeo reads:
Life is an endless stream where birth and death aren’t static. We exist before our birth and we live as long as even one remembers us.
Mikaela Välipakka directed this marvelous videopoem with cinematography and editing by Arttu Soilumo. The poem by Tuija Välipakka is from her 2014 collection Take Away (Paasilinna Publishing). Tuija and and her daughter Mikaela have co-authored a post at Atticus Review, where they describe the film as “the result of cooperation between two movie enthusiasts and a poet.”
Mikaela Välipakka and Arttu Soilumo wanted to create a poem film that is simultaneously dark and surrealistic, surprising and thought-provoking. The starting point was Mikaela’s vision of an empty movie theatre with a man sitting on the middle of the row. Man’s dreams start to stray around him, first slowly and eventually aggressively, trying to wake him up. The poem itself explores the absurdity and randomness of death.
The post continues with a quote from Mikaela Välipakka about her approach to filmmaking:
I start with a certain feeling and after that, scenes start to form in my head. I write them down and shoot these scenes one by one. I usually don’t make storyboards or any other plans, I go by intuition. On the set I get inspired by my model and model gets inspired by me. This creates something magical that can not be planned. Music is also really important to me. I love listening to classical music such as Mozart, Verdi and Gorécki. I put on headphones, close my eyes and my imagination starts to immediately fly. This is something I have been doing since I was a little girl, creating surrealistic and beautiful scenes in my head that I later implement them into ink drawings and short films.
Click through to read the text in Finnish and in English translation (by Pirkko Talvio-Jaatinen and Saila Susiluoto), as well as few process notes.
Another one of my personal favorites from the 2014 ZEBRA competition screenings, this poetry film was directed, filmed and animated by Maria Björklund. All the photography was done in a park in Helsinki named for a poet who used to live nearby, Katri Vala (1901-1944), and excerpts from several of her poems are included in the soundtrack. “The filming took place once a week through the year” (2009), according to the credits. Here’s the description at Vimeo:
A film by Maria Björklund (2012)
Script: Maria Björklund, Antti Mäki, Maria Palavamäki
Editing: Maria Palavamäki
Sound design and music: Antti Mäki
The infamous Katri Vala Park in Sörnäinen, Helsinki is a meeting place for urban nature and poetry in this experimental animated documentary.
The film was produced by Animaatiokopla.
The poetry was translated by Annira Silver and read by Kimberli Mäkäräinen. There’s also a version of the film in Finnish.