At the cinema Cinema


{mosimage} The yellow
universe of The Simpsons finally hits the big screen. An environmental
disaster, provoked by the one and only Homer Simpson (with a bit of help from
his new close friend, Spider-Pig) threatens to cause Springfield’s apocalypse. The
much-anticipated big-screen adventure of the most dysfunctional family opens
worldwide today.


{sidebar id=1}T

he idea of
a Simpsons film was rumored for many years and it also took many years to
complete. The big day is here and as Homer exclaims at the beginning of the
film: “I can't believe we're paying for something we
get for free on TV!”

creating such universal pop icons, sure Matt Groening and the crew of writers
felt a lot of pressure to avoid disappointing the millions of fans. Watching
the film is easy to notice that they tried very hard, even too hard.

The movie,
especially in its first half, is a tour around Springfield and it contains most
of the best gags in the movie, including the naked skate ride by Bart,
including a moment of full frontal. Almost every character has some seconds on
screen. But many of them appear too briefly as the film focuses exclusively in the

It seems
that the writer made a conscious effort to separate the feature film from the
series and usual locations, like Moe’s bar, the school or the nuclear plant,
are hardly seen. The animation has been improved with detailed backgrounds and
shiny computer effects.

There are
some good gags and well written dialogues, but the film ends up suffering from
the same flaws the series has suffered in the last seasons. Homer has become a silly
caricature of himself instead of the absurd genius that he used to be. There is
also a futile effort in keeping the series contemporary and transmitting political
message instead of being satirical and unconventional. But the main problem
with the film is a weak plot and the lack of remarkable jokes. One wonders how
come a large team of writers didn’t come up with a better story.

In spite of
all the defects The Simpsons is still entertaining, but it is just a bit
disappointing that it is nothing better than an extended episode, done when the
glory days of the series are gone. In a way, this film leaves the same feeling
as the latest Rolling Stones’ album: it’s not bad, but not great and, above
all, was it necessary?

A dubbed version in Finnish will be released in theaters across Finland. It is the first time that The Simpsons will speak Finnish.

Cinema DVD

Exploitation in the grindhouse


Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino present a double feature of sex, violence, sleazy characters, zombies, freaks and bizarre plots. Death Proof and Planet Terror now on dvd.

Once again Quentin Tarantino digs deep into American cinema subculture revisiting exploitation films; a genre of cheap production and prurient images. These films broke cinematic taboos, including explicit sex and nudity, explosions and destruction, drug and weird perverse plots. They were most popular in the 70s and were shown in so-called grindhouses, theatres offering a non-stop programme, which consisted of a double feature or double bill, a phenomenon in which theatre managers would exhibit two films for the price of one.

Along with long time friend Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, From Dusk Till Dawn), Tarantino came up with the idea of filming a double feature like the ones grindhouses used to show. The result is Grindhouse, a film consisting of two separate feature film segments: Planet Horror, directed by Rodriguez, and Death Proof, by Tarantino. The first is a zombie tale and the latter, the story of a crazed man, played by Kurt Russell, who murders young women with his “death proof” stunt car.

Like in the traditional double bill, each feature is preceded by fake trailers for other exploitation films and coming attractions. One of those trailers, Werewolf Women of the SS, is directed by Rob Zombie and features Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu.

The film opened in April in the United States and it got positive reviews, although it performed poorly at the box office. However, for the rest of the world, Grindhouse has been split into two different movies: Death Proof, which premiers on 1 June and Planet Terror, which will arrive a little bit later on 20 July. In the international version, the features will have a different and extended cut. It is also possible that the fake trailers will be different as well. The extended version of Death Proof will be shown for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival.

The producers and Tarantino explained that the movie was cut in two because most non-English speaking countries would not understand the double feature tradition. However, many fans see it as a way of being forced to pay twice for what was originally conceived as a single film.


Grindhouse: Death Proof
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Danny Trejo and Timothy V. Murphy
Premiere: 1 June

Features Music

Jazz and a little bit more

For one week (25.4 – 1.5), Espoo's evenings are devoted to music. The main concerts take place in Outokumpu-teltta, a big tent installed next to the library in Tapiola. If the weather if good, the festival will be like a long summer night.

Of course, there is a lot of jazz. Good jazz. Musicians from around the world are coming to play, such as vocalist Andy Bey and saxophonist Archie Schepp, both from United States, and the jazz vocalist from Australia Michelle Nicole and her quartet. In addition, local sensation The Five Corners Quintet will make a special appearance on Friday night.

Jazz festivals nowadays include much more of other musical genres other than jazz. In April Jazz will get the blues, with the great Erja Lyytinen and the Blues Caravan, which features a trio of female guitar players (Sue Foley, Deborah Coleman and Roxanne Potvin) this year. Hot Latin rhythms will warm the tent with the Eddie Palmieri's Afro-Caribbean All Stars, and hip hop will meet flamenco with Ojos de Brujo from Barcelona.

Guitar woman

This year's Blues Caravan is travelling with three female guitar players: Sue Foley, Deborah Coleman and Roxanne Potvin. It is a nice shift for music usually performed by hoochie coochie men.

Canada-born Sue Foley represents the power of women in blues and popular music. Since her debut album in 1992, she has impressed blues fans with her sweet voice and wicked guitar playing. Apart from her career, in the last few years she has focused on the Guitar Woman project, which is meant to “document the relationship between woman and the guitar from past to present and beyond”.

The CD compilation Blues Guitar Woman (2005) features songs by contemporary and traditional blueswomen from the 1930s, such as Memphis Minnie and Elvie Thomas. Now, Foley is working on the book Guitar Woman that tries offer a concise historical and biographical account of women guitarists throughout the world and their stories and philosophies.

Music Born Everywhere
by Sergio Reseco Fernández

{mosimage}Someone wakes up hungry in some city in the middle of the night, goes to the kitchen to look for a bite to eat but finds out that the fridge is just empty. It has happened probably to everyone and for Ojos de Brujo the solution for this is simple: Go down to the streets and celebrate. These are just some lines from one of the songs by this band born in the streets Barcelona, but looks out to many different directions.

Flamenco, a gender born from pain, gets together here with several influences and rhythms as distant to each other as hip hop from rumba – as a matter of fact, they have been defining their music as 'hip hop flamenquito'. Categorizing them would probably take too much time and it would definitely be quite useless. Ojos de Brujo (Eyes of the Wizard) is usually formed by eight members and represents the mix of cultures that is currently felt on the streets of many Mediterranean cities, with Barcelona one of the clearest examples.

Due to the fact that flamenco is the main base of their songs, their concerts are lively and full of energy. Currently they are touring the world presenting their third album Techarí. They will be coming from Tallinn to play in Espoo. Zarkus, from Finland, will share the stage with them in Outokumpu-teltta.

Cover story Misc

Cartes Flux vol 2

From 17th to 24th of April, Tapiola, Espoo.



Features Music

Iskelmä hero travels to Memphis

to Memphis and Graceland is a pilgrimage. It is the same trip he did many years
ago before he joined the army to complete his military service and now the same
trip has been documented by filmmaker Ari Martikainen in Yhden Tähden Hotelli (One
Star Hotel
), which opens in cinemas on March 2nd.


is one of the youngest singers of the 1970's “Finnhits” generation. Born in
1961, he headed his first band when he was 15, but would not make his big breakthrough
until 1992 when he joined the band Agents, which is an important part of iskelmä music.

Iskelmä is
the most genuine form of Finnish popular music. It is a style of melodic and
light popular songs, and the word means “hit”. Most Finns know the list of the
pop stars that kept the iskelmä tradition alive since the 1970s, with names
like Irwin Goodman, Frederik, Jari Sillanpää and Katri-Helena being some of the
most popular.




Along with
the documentary, the singer is releasing his third solo album, also with the
title Yhden Tähden Hotelli. The first
single is Yksinäisten Miesten Kanjoni (Lonely Men Canyon) and the album features a full-size
orchestra conducted by Riku Niemi. For his previous album, Onnenlantti, Jorma Kääriäinen realized a live-long dream by recording
in Nashville and at Sun Studios in Memphis.

Martikainen’s film draws a portrait of the different sides of the singer. The
movie follows Kääriäinen’s path from Lapland to Memphis, and to the backstage
of Finnish dance halls. It is a deep, although warm and humorous, analysis of
the traveling musician.

Agents have decided to have a break for an undetermined time, Jorma Kääriäinen
will tour Finland during the spring and summer with the orchestra of Riku Niemi.
Either attending one of his shows or watching the documentary is the perfect opportunity
to discover this one particular Finnish crooner.

Features Music

That weird guy and his noise

born in Vilppula and educated in art in Lahti, Anssi lives and works in the
remote village of Sahalahti, where he finds strange stories and inspiration
from which to compose his music. Storytelling is a fundamental part of Anssi’s
songs and shows, yet the odd stories and rudimentary instrumentation – thanks
to homemade and worn out equipment – makes him look like a weird troubadour of

Where is
the drummer? There isn’t a drummer. Anssi simultaneously plasy guitar and
drums, producing crude tunes, which sometimes sound as though The White Stripes
are playing Nirvana songs. On stage and on the album, he is occasionally joined
by Miss Hot Coke, who brings some syntheziser, backing vocals and maracas,
hi-hat or tambourine to the ensemble. This addition sweetens the compositions
and stresses the pop sensibility of the melodies, which is like comparing Nico
to The Velvet Underground.

vs. Svesse was recorded over long three days with short breaks for pizza,”
according to producer Arttu Tolonen’s notes. The first day was used for
recording the basic instruments and during the second day was dedicated to
vocals: “Stick him in a booth with a mic, press record and let him yell.” The final
day of recording served for overdubs and Miss Hot Coke’s deft touch.

To add a
splash of extravagancy to the recording, Mexican artist Gustavo Artigas, as a
DJ, introduces the recording with not so pleasant words towards the music
industry, although you need to know Spanish to understand the intro track.