Misc News

Nominations for Finlandia Junior award announced

Nominated for the 2007 Finlandia Junior prize are:

> Tatun ja Patun Suomi (‘Tatu and Patu’s Finland‘) by Aino Havukainen & Sami Toivonen

> Taikuri Into Kiemura by Jukka Itkonen

> Filmi poikki (‘Film broken‘) by Hanna Marjut Marttila

> Herttuan hovissa – Elämää 1550-luvun Turussa (‘In the Duke’s Court – Life in the Turku of the 1550s‘) by Paula Moilanen & Kirsi Haapamäki

> Emilian päiväkirja – Supermarsu lentää Intiaan (‘Emily’s diary – Super Guinea Pig flies to India‘) by Paula Noronen

> Orava ja pääskynen (‘The squirrel and the swallow‘) by Maria Vuorio

The receiver of the prize, which comes with an award sum of 26,000 euros, will this year be chosen by Inkeri Näätsaari, the Director of the Turku City Library. The winner will be announced on November the 29th.

The Finlandia Junior award is one of three prestigious prizes awarded annually by the Finnish Book Foundation, the others being the Finlandia Award (Best novel, since 1984) and the Tieto-Finlandia (Best non-fiction book, since 1989).

The first ever book to win the Finlandia Junior was Gondwanan lapset (‘Children of Gondwana‘) by Iranian-born Finnish writer, documentary maker, director-producer and publisher Alexis Kouros, in 1997. Last year, the prize was awarded to Timo Parvela for his book Keinulauta (‘The seesaw‘).

Finlandia Prize
– Wikipedia

Misc News

Shooting in Tuusula

Misc News

Film producers end the strike

Even though no final promises
have been made, the producers trust the Parliament to make the right decisions.
They base their trust on the fact that both the Education and Culture Committee
and the Audit Committee of the Parliament have expressed their opinion that the
lottery funds should be used exclusively to support the actual cultural and
sport activities of the beneficiaries, instead of to partly cover e.g. rental
costs of cultural bodies, like the government had suggested.

Misc News

Iron Maiden in Helsinki as part of biggest ever Nordic tour

Tickets for the Finnish part of the Somewhere Back In Time World Tour 08 will go on sale next Monday, the 12th of November, via Lippupalvelu.

Iron Maiden will release their double-DVD Live After Death in February (2008), as the band kicks off the Somewhere Back In Time world tour in Mumbai, India, on February 1st.  After that, the tour will take the metal legends to Australia, Japan, the United States and Latin America.

Trip back in time
The world tour will be a trip back in time, as the entire set list will consist of Maiden material from the 80’s. The stage design will feature elements from that decade as well, with a specific focus on the Powerslave era. Also the group’s mascot Eddie will return and be part of the show.

During the course of their careers, Iron Maiden has sold over 70 million albums worldwide, with sales of well over 500,000 copies in Finland.

The last time the group
played in Finland was in 2006, when the band
performed in front of more than 31,600 fans during three sold-out gigs.

Second stadium concert Iron Maiden


– Nordic leg of the tour

16 July – Stockholm Stadium, Stockholm (SWE)
18 July – Olympic Stadium, Helsinki
22 July – Lerkendalstadium, Trondheim (NOR)
24 July – Valle Hovin, Oslo (NOR)
26 July –  Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg (SWE)
27 July – Horsens Gods Bane Pladsen, Horsens (DK)

Iron Maiden
– official website

Iron Maiden
– MySpace

Misc News

YLE withdraws from Helsinki music hall project

The financially-strapped public broadcaster was to be one of the three financiers of the venture and pay 25 percent of the building costs. The City of Helsinki would also contribute 25 percent, with the State of Finland paying the remaining half.

YLE was prepared to pay a maximum of 35 million euros towards the building of the concert hall, where it hopes to accommodate its Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO). However, according to the latest bid, YLE’s share in the project would rise far beyond that.

The broadcasting company now intends to simply rent space for the RSO in the future building.

On Friday, the Board of the Music Centre venture rejected the only remaining bid to build it, which had been presented on Monday (29.10).

Third partner
Both the City of Helsinki and the Finnish State have publicly expressed their commitment to continue the music hall project and are looking for a new third partner.

The Musiikkitalo is to be built on the shores of Töölö Bay, opposite the Parliament Building and next to the Kiasma museum and Sanoma House.

The site has been one big, open building ground since the burning down and demolition of the old VR railway storehouses (‘Makasiinit‘) in May, 2006. Ground works continue despite the project’s setbacks.

Helsinki Music Centre (Musiikkitalo)

Live webcam images of the building site – Helsingin Sanomat

Photo gallery of the Makasiinit fire – Helsingin Sanomat

Misc News

Danish dancer nominated for director post at National Ballet

Greve, who is 39, has previously worked as a dancer with, among others, the New York City Ballet, the American Ballet Theater, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet and the Vienna State Opera Ballet. He currently works with the Danish Royal Ballet in Copenhagen, where he has worked as Principal Dancer since 1992 and Ballet Master since 2006.

The Board will take its final decision on November 14th. If Greve is indeed appointed as the National Ballet’s Artistic Director, he will start working in Helsinki at the beginning of August, 2008.

Video of Kenneth Greve performing with the Danish Royal Ballet

Finnish National Ballet (at the Finnish National Opera)

Danish Royal Ballet

Cover story Misc

The grandchildren of Bodom

{mosimage}In the summer of 1960 three teenagers were savagely murdered while
camping by the shore
of Bodom Lake, in Espoo.
47 years later, the case is still unsolved, but not at all forgotten by the
Finnish public opinion.


Catchy name for a metal band

For most of the people, especially the non-Finnish readers and those
living outside Finland, the tragedy of Lake Bodom is known mainly by the huge
popularity of Finnish metal band Children of Bodom; while searching for
an adequate name in the offices of Spinefarm, their record label, in
Helsinki, somebody advised them to relate the band’s name to Bodom (the band
members lived near the area and had heard stories about the Bodom legend since
their childhood). Of course the quality of the music did the rest, but it
cannot be denied that their particular name got them immersed in a much
appropriated mystic aureole that would involve their music in a dark and
mysterious spirit. The band dedicates in every album at least one song to the
events happened almost 5 decades ago, and amazingly they had never been sued or
received a formal complaint by any relatives of the victims about the use of
such a macabre name. 

But probably, many of you cannot have much clear idea of what really
happened there, apart from the fact that some youngsters were killed. The
number of victims was 3:  Maila Irmeli
and Anja Tuulikki Mäki, both 15 years old at the time and Seppo
Antero Boisman
, 18 years old at the time. There was a fourth young guy camping
there: Nils Wilhelm Gustaffson, 18 years old at
the time, who survived with notable wounds, and did not remember much of what
happened when woke up at the hospital days later.


Many hypothesis, not clear answers 

Police never was able to solve the case, and there have been theories
for all tastes: a person who was working in a kiosk near the murder scene
alleged just before dying that he had committed the crime, but he had a clear
alibi that night. In 2003 Jorma Palo, who had worked at a hospital when
the murderers took place, published a book where he accused Hans Assmann,
a German spy with residency in Finland
that appeared with some strange injuries and blood in his clothes some days
after the Bodom´s tragedy, and whose guilt was never investigated by an
overwhelmed police corp.

Some others have developed even weirder ideas just like the hand of more
than one killer, or the participation of non-human creatures that would inhabit
near the lake. The bomb really exploded when in 2004, 44 years after the
murderers, Nils Gustaffson was arrested on the suspicion that he committed the
crime. But the accusers could not prove anything, and it was hardly to believe
that he was able to self-inflict so many injuries as he had when being found
just without losing consciousness first. The trial was massively followed by
the yellow press, as it could not had been otherwise, and at the end the
Finnish state had to pay a big sum of money to Nils for the damage and pressure
he had to face being trial for something that (supposedly) he did not commit,
far from his previous quiet life as bus driver in Espoo.


{mosimage}The legend of Bodom once more 

End of the Bodom case? Not a chance. Not guilty killer has been found,
no soul of the victims can rest in peace. The last approach to the case has
just been released in DVD under the title Bodomin Legenda (literally: The
Legend of Bodom
). A Finnish film in black and white directed by Tapio
and produced by YLE. Not the greatest film in Finnish history,
since sometimes looks more like a parody than like a real representation of
true events (the characters look so over-stereotyped: the bald mean Russian
spies from the Embassy, the ambiguous German Hans with mental problems who
seems to be drunk during half of the movie… ), but it serves you to jump back
to the 60s and live an unique period in Finnish history with president Urho
feeling the breath of the Communist neighbours behind his neck. Forget about finding much veracity and clarifications for the Bodom Lake´s case, and focus 
better on some special and very Finnish details, like the friendship expressed with
just a few words but strong actions between Police Chief Oiva Keto (Juha
) and his partner Ilmari Hallanheimo (Pekka Huotari), or the
simplicity of decorations and dialogues that can make you feel for some moments like watching a new Aki Kaurismäki´s movie. The DVD counts with
English subtitles, so it is easy to follow for the non-Finnish speakers, but
probably it will be not so easy to understand for those foreigners who have not
lived a period of time in Finland. A movie mostly aimed at the local Finnish market.

For those of you who live near Helsinki
area, Lake Bodom is quite an accessible point, just
22 kilometres from the centre. If not for the macabre happenings that took
place more than 4 decades ago, it can be worthy to visit just to spend a
relaxing camping day (with no knives disturbing the peace). The tragedy of
Bodom marked forever a nation that during many decades, never saw safe enough
again to let their young children camp and wander the lakes and forests without
the fear settled deep inside their hearts. Probably, as in most of the
mysterious killings all over the history, the real murderer will be never
revealed, unless that the science will prove the opposite, but what is
undeniable is that Lake Bodom killed not only 3 children, but a big part of the
Finnish nation’s innocence.

Misc News

Finnish musicians get “humiliating” treatment at U.S. airport

The ordeal took place on the 13th of September after Karjalainen and fellow musicians Ninni Poijärvi and Mika Kuokkanen had arrived at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for a three week tour through the U.S. states of Minnesota and Michigan, including meetings with Finnish-Americans and performances at Finnish-American cultural events. They were joined by Finnish documentary filmmaker Erkki Määttänen, who was making a TV programme about the visit for Finnish public broadcaster YLE.

“Humiliating” treatment

The four were stopped by customs officials and interrogated for nearly three hours. “The treatment was bad,” Karjalainen told Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat. “’Don’t lie to us’, they yelled at us all the time.”

The Finns were each taken to separate rooms for questioning. Their luggage was checked by sniffer dogs. “First they suspected drugs. Then crime registers were asked for, “, said the singer, who described the actions of the officials as “supremacy“ and “humiliating“.

The questioning focused on whether or not the group came to earn money in the United States, while they were entering the country without work permits.

Threats, accused of lying

"They threatened us with severe punishments if we talk to each other," the Star Tribune quoted from the complaint that was signed by musicians Ninni Poijärvi and Mika Kuokkanen, "Through the walls, I can hear officers yelling, screaming. They ask about the purpose of our trip — except we are only allowed to give yes-or-no answers. I try to talk about our plans to meet with Finnish-American folk musicians. Nobody listens. They interrupt me constantly and they yell, 'You are a liar!"'

Filmmaker Määttänen told of similar experiences in the room he was kept in. "From the beginning, they said I was lying, that these guys were coming here to work. They were shouting at me, and people were going in and out of doors. They tried to put you down mentally, to humiliate you."

No apology

The Finns were released after nearly three hours, without any explanation or apology, according to the complaint.

A press officer for the regional Customs and Border Protection office in Chicago, who had not seen the complaint yet, told in a reaction that if such behaviour had indeed occurred, it would be against the agency’s policy and thoroughly investigated.

J. Karjalainen is one of Finland’s most popular singer-songwriters and a well-known devotee of Finnish-American folk music. Last year he released Lännen Jukka, Amerikansuomalaisia lauluja (Jukka of the West, Finnish-American songs), a collection of Finnish-American blues songs and a tribute to his musical mentor. The album was widely considered one of the best Finnish recordings of 2006.

Minnesota's Finnish guests find a rude airport welcome – Star Tribune

J. Karjalainen – official label site (in Finnish)
Lännen Jukka – official album website (in Finnish)

J. Karjalainen records classic Finnish-American songs – Helsingin Sanomat International Edition
Jukka Karjalainen "Channels" Old Country Blues… – New World Finn

Misc News

Discover Giotto, the first great Italian master painter, in Annantalo

Sculptor and architect Giotto di Bondone
(c.1267-1337) is considered not only as one of the first Italian, but one of
the first European master painters that would have a great impact on future
generations. All around the chapel, you can assist to their images where joys,
pain, betrayal, good or evil are depicted always in a religious environment;
All involved in the painter’s characteristic blue background.


Useful Information:

Annantalo Arts Centre

Street address: Annankatu 30 Helsinki


Exhibition: The perfect circle of a master –
Giotto’s fresco cycle in the Arena Chapel in

18 August – 4 November 2007-10-28

Free admission.

The exhibition is open to the public
1-8 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Open to groups Mon.-Fri 9 a.m.-1 p.m., advance notification requires as of 20 August by phone.

tel. +358 9 310 37168 (weekdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.).

Misc News

Mika Kaurismäki opens Brazilian restaurant

The restaurant will have a capacity of about 300 people and will offer Brazilian food, wine, beer and other drinks.

There will also be live music on offer at Bossa, starting with Brazilian music about once a week. Later on, Kaurismäki would also like to programme a wider range of music performances.

Mika Kaurismäki is the elder brother of director Aki Kaurismäki. Unlike Aki, he is especially known for his international co-productions.  During the past five years, Mika, who has lived in Rio de Janeiro since the early nineties, has delivered several films that focused on music and Brazil, such as Moro no Brasil (2002) and Brasileirinho (2005). His latest documentary, Sonic Mirror, explores different cultures through music and is centred around legendary jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham.

Mika Kaurismäki earlier co-founded the well-known Moskova and Corono bars in the centre of Helsinki. Between 1999 and 2001, he also used to run a music club in Rio de Janeiro: Mika's Bar.

Bossa will likely officially open around the 15th of November, although the bar side of the restaurant will be taken into use already some time earlier.


Watching the sound – FREE!'s interview with Mika Kaurismäki 

Mika Kaurismäki – Official website

Misc News

Next Bond theme by Ville Valo?

According to Daily Star columnist Kim Dawson, long-time Bond soundtrack writers Don Black and David Arnold have dumped British singer Amy Winehouse as their favourite to record the next 007 theme and now want Valo instead.

The Finnish rock singer was approached by the Bond team during a dinner at the BMI Awards in London on Tuesday (16.10), the tabloid’s columnist claimed. Valo attended the ceremony to collect an award for HIM’s hit song Wings of a Butterfly.

“David Arnold and Don Black were in deep conversation with Ville on the night,” Dawnson quoted a source she referred to only as ‘a slightly shaken but not stirred BMI spy’. “They love the song that won him an award. They think he has just the right ear to write a classic Bond hit with them.”

HIM manager Seppo Vesterinen only heard of the claims when he was asked for his comments by a Finnish journalist. “If the matter would have been under discussion, I would presume that I would know about it,” Vesterinen told STT from the United States.

HIM is currently on tour in North America. Earlier this year, Valo recorded Summer Wine, the soundtrack of German film Das Wilde Leben (2007), with Polish-born German actress Natalia Avelon.

The spy who shoved me – the column by Daily Star columnist Kim Dawson

HIM – official website
HIM – MySpace

Summer Wine – by Ville Valo & Natalia Avelon (YouTube)

Misc News

New Finlandia prize for comics

The prize is partially funded by the City of Tampere‘s Luova Tampere (Creative Tampere) programme.

The winner of the prize is chosen in the same way as the receiver of its big namesake, the prestigious Finlandia Prize for Literature. Every year, the Tampere Kuplii comics association will name a selection committee that will choose a maximum of ten candidates from all the submitted comic works. The committee will then appoint a person who will make the final selection from the nominated works.

Anyone can propose a Finnish or Swedish language comic album from Finland for the prize. Also works in other languages will be taken into consideration by the committee.

The first Sarjakuva Finlandia will be presented on the 20th of April during the 2008 edition of the Tampere Kuplii (Tampere is bubbling) comics festival.

Sarjakuva Finlandia (in Finnish only)

Tampere Kuplii (mostly in Finnish)

Misc News

Fox days in Andorra

total, the festival will show 154 different films, (chosen from the
316 sent to the competition), that will compete to get the classical
prize Hinku and Vinku,
consisting of a picture and flowers for the winners. The prizes are
given for those considered as the best in fiction and documentaries,
with the categories sub-divided between professionals and amateurs.
As well, short films of less than three minutes of duration are shown
for the FoxOff competition, being the subject of the present year
“temptation”. Kari Yli-Annala will be on charge also of
choosing the best experimental film during the festival.

Fox Days the visitors will have the chance also to see
a selection of the best music videos from the past Oulu festival, and
a review of the films made in other Nordic countries in the “Nordisk
Panorama” screenings. Other topics that acquire importance during
this year is the region of Karjala with Iris Olsson´s
film Kesän lapsi and KJ Kosken´s Unerlmana Karjala,
or the problems of the teenagers when growing up and facing adult’s
life in the films Heavy Metal by Zaida Bergrothin, Elää
by Reeta Aallon and Lilli by Oliwia Tonteri.


Kettupäivät. 7.-10.11.2207
Andorra cultural centre (Eerikinkatu 11. Helsinki)
for 1 screening: 3 euro.
for 10 screenings: 20 euro.
more information visit:


Misc News

Extensive Helene Schjerfbeck retrospective in Paris

The presentation, organised by the Hamburger Kunsthalle, is the first ever retrospective of Schjerfbeck’s art in France. It contains 125 paintings, watercolours and drawings as well as documentary material.

Helene Schjerfbeck (1862 – 1946) is one of the most acclaimed female painters from Northern Europe, and her unique, ascetic yet expressive style is drawing a lot of attention from outside Finland. Earlier, the exhibition already attracted nearly 200,000 visitors at the Gemeentemuseum at The Hague and the Kunsthalle in Hamburg.

The art on show in Paris is on loan from Helsinki’s Ateneum Art Museum and other museums in Finland and Sweden, as well as from private collections. Key works in the exhibition are The Convalescent (1888) and The Seamstress (1905) as well as Schjerfbeck’s imposing self-portraits, particularly those from her later years that approach the issues of ageing in a very bold and straightforward way.

The Helene Schjerfbeck exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne runs until the 13th of January, 2008.


Helene Schjerfbeck, a modernist observer of life – Virtual Finland

Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (in English)

Misc News

Director Rauni Mollberg dead

Mollberg also worked as a radio and TV drama director with Finnish public broadcasting company YLE for nearly forty years. Between 1968-1986 he was the director of the theatrical department of YLE TV2.

Mollberg had been suffering from leukaemia for the past four years. He
passed away in a health centre in Loimaa, western Finland, on Thursday
morning (11.10.2007).

Rauni Mollberg – Wikipedia
Rauni Mollberg – Internet Movie Database (IMDB)

The Unknown Soldier (1985 film) – Wikipedia