Misc News

And the Nordic Council Film Prize goes to… Denmark

Kunsten at græde i kor, Schønau Fog’s directoral debut, tells about an 11-year-old boy’s attempts to keep his dysfunctional family together. The prize money will be shared between the director, scriptwriter Bo hr Hansen and the film’s producer, Thomas Stenderup.

The prize will be presented on the 31st of October during the annual session of the Nordic Council in Oslo.

Although member countries Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland can each choose two candidates for the Film Prize, the Finnish jury decided to only send in one film this year as it found Miehen Työ the clear candidate and couldn’t find another equally strong domestic film.

Earlier this year, Miehen Työ was also submitted as Finland’s selection for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and for the European Film Awards.

The Nordic Film Prize was awarded for the first time in 2002. The first – and so far only Finnish – winning film was Aki Kaurismäki’s Mies vailla menneisyyttä (The Man Without a Past).

Kunsten at græde i kor (The Art of Crying)

Miehen työ – Official site (in Finnish)
Miehen työ / Man's Job – Blind Spot Pictures

Nordic Council Film Prize


Miehen Työ up for Nordic film prize and Oscar


Misc News

PM Vanhanen to face former girlfriend in court

Vanhanen and (then) Kuronen had a nine-month relationship after the Prime Minister and his wife Merja had announced their divorce in April 2005. After their romance ended, Kuronen frequently appeared in the media to talk about the relationship.

In February 2007 Kuronen published her tell-all book, in which she exposed intimate details about the romance and the Prime Minister’s private life. After the publication of the exposé, Vanhanen filed a complaint against its publisher Kari Ojala with the police, who investigated the case to see if charges could be filed.

Vanhanen himself announced on Friday on his web log that his complaint had led to charges and expressed satisfaction that there would be more clarity about “where the boundary of privacy runs”.

"I want to discuss the principle at stake here,” Vanhanen said to YLE News on Sunday. “Apparently some people think that the prime minister doesn't have the courage to go to court over this, and it seems that there are no limits to what is acceptable. Now we'll see whether these limits exist.”

Susan Ruusunen and her publisher have denied that they have broken the law by publishing the book. “Our defence will leave from the freedom of speech,” Ojala said in a reaction to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. “Finns should surely continue to be able to write memoirs in which other people are mentioned.”

“But what do you do when there’s a sensitive-skinned Prime Minister,” the publisher added.

Susan Kuronen changed her last name to Ruusunen, the maidenname of her grand grandmother, earlier this year.

Articles Misc

Call a doctor

There must
be something wrong with me. Maybe I should go to the doctors. Or have a
lobotomy. I’ve often suspected it but now I’m quite sure that something is not
quite right with me. Or then there’s something wrong with everybody else.

The reason
for my pondering lies in the fact that I hated The Producers musical yet it is
one of the most popular musicals of all times. Why, oh why? Why does everybody
like it so much? I’m obviously missing the point. There must be something wrong
with me.

I saw the
opening night at the biggest theatre in Finland, the Helsingin
Kaupunginteatteri and that’s all I have to base my opinion on. I haven’t seen
the film, which I hear is a masterpiece in satire, my favourite form of comedy.
The stage production didn’t make me laugh at all. Not once.

In my
opinion The Producers should only be performed at the theatre museums as a cute
relic from the good old times. Why should the tragedy of Nazi Germany still be
given so much time and money on stage when there are tragedies happening at our
doorsteps this very moment?

And don’t
get me started on the way The Producers portrays women. Bloody hell. The long
legged blonde lead is drooling all over any man that cares to show interest in
her. And they all do as she’s well proportioned and giggles happily when the
men call her intelligent when she can answer the phone correctly. The army of
horny old ladies on the other hand chase the men as fast as they can with their
walking frames. They are to be ridiculed and taken an advantage of. They are
happy to depart from their hard earned cash in return to some silly sexual
favours by the leading men. The gay men are promiscuous, superficial and they
all seem to have weak wrists but strong lips. How ever so inventive!

I found The
Producers frightfully tedious and old fashioned. First I suffered from a severe
attack of theatre narcolepsy. It hits me quite often as soon as my bum hits the
red velvet cushions and normally lasts through the whole show only to be helped
by a refreshing walk during the interval. After a while The Producers didn’t
let me sleep though. It was slapping me in my face with its world view that was
not in focus. I simply couldn’t stand it and sneaked out before the end. I went
to the loos to squeeze the mighty pimple throbbing on my chin. Obviously that
was a big no-no as the gods of theatre punished me by making the pimple
infected. The morning after I woke up with a red crusty area the size of an old
man’s ego on my chin. Serves me right for not liking the Producers. 

Misc News

Bob Geldof in Helsinki: trade vital for end to poverty

The world-famous activist also heavily criticized the ‘subsidies of surpluses’ in Europe, which, according to him, have a huge negative effect on the development of certain African countries. Geldof also stressed the importance of corporate social responsibility.

The seminar was aimed at business executives in Finland and was also attended by Finland’s President Tarja Halonen.

Watch video footage of Geldof’s speech

Misc News

HIM sets Finnish record in U.S.

In the band’s home country, Venus Doom entered at number 2 in the official album chart, where it is currently standing at number 3, behind Tuhannen riemua by Lauri Tähkä & Elonkerjuu and Eppu Normaali’s Syvään päähän.

Venus Doom has also done relatively well in album charts in Sweden (14) and Italy (20), with more moderate successes in Britain (31), Australia (32), Ireland (36), the Netherlands (36) and New Zealand (38).

HIM’s previous album Dark Light made it to number 18 in the Billboard 200 chart.

Cover story Misc

India in Helsinki

{mosimage}One more year you can get a taste of exoticness and discover a bit more
about the
 Asian country in the festival Colours
of India
that will be held next Sunday, 30 September in the Cable Factory,

Everybody in Finland
seems to complain lately about the lack of time to dedicate to other activities
due to the amount of work, even if many people leave their offices at 4 or 5 p.m.  This is not the case of the brave volunteers
who formed the non-profit organization Aarambh, who are able every year
to dedicate some extra hours for a good cause: the promotion of primary
education and basic health care for people with limited access in the remote
regions of developing

The idea came some years ago from some people coming mostly from India and Pakistan, well
settled in Finland,
who wanted to take advantage of their network and privilege situation to make a
difference and help others back in the harsh reality of their native countries.
As Rajive Acharya, one of the responsible of the project explains to
As the
principle of synergy works wonders, Aarambh through the mobilization of
well-meaning and dedicated individuals aims at doing something for the
impoverished in the developing countries”.

So what the visitor
can expect from this year festival? The organizers seem to have activities for
all kind of tastes. If you like Indian food and products, or you are planning
to make a trip there in the near future; this is an excellent opportunity to
get to know all what you need. Meanwhile you can assist to the performance of Bharatnatyam,
a form of Indian classical dance, get close to the marvelous world of Indian
cinema industry with a special Bollywood dance by Etnofit dance
group or try your abilities in the “Sports Corner” playing some Indian Street
games (we have not been informed that this would involve messing around with
tigers or elephants, so you can play them safe!). The children of Steiner School
will take part in the festival as well with a theatrical presentation

Instead of sleeping
all Sunday and watching again the boring TV, do something different and fun and
drag yourself to the Cable Factory in Helsinki
to enjoy all the excitement that India and its culture can offer to

Colours of India on 30.September.2007 at Puristamo, Cable Factory.
The event is open
between 11:00 hrs – 18:00 hrs.
Entry ticket: 2
euro for adults and 1 euro for Children aged 7-13 years.
More information about Aarambh activities in:


Misc News

Porcupine Tree concert to a larger venue

Those who already bought the ticket can change their tickets in the evening of the concert at the Jäähalli box office. Porcupine Tree will play also in Tampere the following day. The opening act for both concerts will be Finnish band Hidria Spacefolk. The band's only concert in Finland so far was at Ilosaarirock Festival last summer.

The English band is one of the most acclaimed progressive rock bands to come up in the last 20 years. Lead by guitarist Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree has released 12 albums. The last one, Fear of a Blank Planet, released last spring, features the guest appearances of Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and legendary King Crimson leader Robert Fripp.

Porcupine Tree: official site | MySpace

Hidria Spacefolk: official site | Wikipedia

Porcupine Tree + Hidria Spacefolk
15.12 Jäähalli, Helsinki – Tickets 42e
16.12 Pakkahuone, Tampere – Tickets 38e

Cover story Misc

The experimental accordion

{mosimage}Kimmo Pohjonen, one of the most experimental artists
in Finland, will present his work UNIKO once again in Helsinki. This
performance (25 September, Savoy Theater) will serve as a warm up for the US
premiere on October.

Uniko is a crossover work by Kimmo Pohjonen and
Samuli Kosminen. It features an instrumental line-up that includes accordion,
voice, percussion-sampler, and a string quartet. On top of that electronic
sound processing provides the essential strand of the work.

The piece was world premiered at the Huvila tent
during the Helsinki Festival in 2004. It was performed by Kluster duo (Pohjonen
and Kosminen) with Kronos Quartet. After that it was performed three times: with
Kronos Quartet in Moskow and Modle Norway and with Proton String Quartet in Leigo,
Estonia. Samuli Kosminen and Kronos will be
substituted by Juuso Hannukainen
and again by Proton.

{sidebar id=24}However,
the original line-up will travel to New York in the beginning of October. Uniko
will premiere in the United States on 3 October at the Brooklyn Academy of
Music for a total of three performances.

February 2008, Kluster and Proton will perform Uniko at Köln Philharmonie.


Kimmo Pohjonen –
accordion, voice
Juuso Hannukainen – accordion samples, string samples, voice samples
Teppo Ali-Mattila – violin
Siiri Rasta – violin
Maarit Holkko – viola
Veli-Matti Iljin – cello
with Heikki Iso-Ahola – sound engineer, sound design
Mikki Kunttu – light design

Tuesday 25.9.2007 – 19.30

Savoy Theater, Helsinki
Tickets 20/15e



Front page photo by Milena Strange

Articles Misc

Name Calling

What mental image comes to mind when you
read the name Antonio Díaz? What about Eduardo Alonso? Forget the fact that
they are coincidentally the same names as the FREE! editors, but concentrate on
the subconscious photo-fit that the names conjure. Are they handsome or are
they ugly? Are they muscular or are they wobbly around the edges? Are they
somebody you would like to meet for a coffee or would you rather snub their
ugly wobbly faces?

Names are the real first impression that we
make of people, since they walk a few paces ahead of us on class registers,
passports and job applications leaving us at the mercy of somebody's mental
interpretation long before we make a physical appearance. I know because
countless people in Finland and online have made the gender mistake with Asa,
but I guess my parents made the error first – it's a girl, Mr and Mrs Butcher!

Asa is both a male and female name
depending upon the country, yet in Sweden Åsa is only a female name, which is
why the gender confusion occurs a little more often here in Scandinavia.
Despite countless people asking about my weird name, to which I always say,
"Unique!", it has served me well, with people remembering me over all
the Johns, Roberts, Michaels and Williams. A teacher once caught me running in
the corridor during my first year and he then caught me doing something else a
few years later, so he unfairly said, "I've spoken to you before,

There are certain names that are
intrinsically burned into our minds as only one person, for example in Robbie
Williams' biography he writes that some of the members of his rehab group
complained about constant namedropping, so they asked him to only use first
names: "Well, Elton and I…" There is really only one Elton in the world,
there will only ever be one Elvis, there is only one Clint and there is
definitely only one Harrison. 

"Hello, my name is Adolf!" isn't
really going to get you invited to many Bar Mitzvahs, even though over 50 boys
in Finland were christened with the name over the past seven years. The names Adolf,
Osama, Saddam, Idi, Fidel and Pol all have a slightly tarnished reputation
thanks to just one user and that's all it takes. Why do we think that somebody
christened Adolf or Osama will actually turn into Hitler or bin Laden? Don't we
realise that it took a great deal more than their first name to turn them into
monsters? Or did it?

Can the ladies imagine moaning Johnny, Albert or
Donald during the throws of passion?

We do rely heavily upon the associations
made with names and it is something that has been embedded in our psyche from
our nickname days at primary school. How can you be considered cool with a name
like Nigel, Norman or Gerald? Can the ladies imagine moaning Johnny, Albert or
Donald during the throws of passion? Dwayne, Melvin and Ralph are, well, do you
really need me to explain? I know this is purely personal and you are probably
foaming at the mouth in anger, but I'd guess your name was featured in that

The Finns among you are breathing a sigh of
relief at being ignored, but, then again, you are all named Juhani, Johanna,
Tapani, Maria, Tapio, Mika, Marko, Petri or Minna, so it doesn't really matter
– hello to Jussi too! It was refreshing to read in the Finnish media recently
that the European Court of Human Rights had overturned the Finnish authority's refusal
to allow the forename Axl Mick, which is a real rock and roll name. The days of
boring first names should come to an end and with it a new dawn of how the hell
do you spell that?

Misc News

Surprise performance Sigur Rós in Helsinki

The previously announced screening of the documentary about Sigur Rós’ home coming tour on Thursday the 28th of September at Andorra cinema has been cancelled.

Home – Sigur Rós will see its world premiere at the Reykjavík International Film Festival in Iceland, three days ahead of the Finnish premiere in Helsinki.

People who have tickets for the screening at Andorra can buy tickets for the Sigur Rós gig and closing screening at the pre-sale on Wednesday the 26th of September. The next day tickets will become available to others as well.

Sigur Rós last performed in Finland during two sold-out concerts at Helsinki’s Kulttuuritalo in 2005.

Sigur Rós:
official site | MySpace | photo blog

Heima / Home – Sigur Rós: trailer [Quicktime, 4:17 min.]

Rakkautta & Anarkiaa 20th Helsinki International Film Festival



Love, Cinema and Anarchy

Misc News

Miehen Työ up for Nordic film prize and Oscar

The winner of the Nordic prize (worth 350,000 Danish crowns, or about 47,000 euros) is chosen from a total of nine nominated films from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland, usually two per country. The jury decided to let only one film represent Finland this year, however. According to a Finnish jury member to YLE News, Miehen työ was a clear choice by itself, and a second, equally strong candidate could not be found.

This year’s winner will be announced on the 9th of October. The prize will be awarded on the 31st of October.

The Oscar nominations will be announced on the 22nd of January and the award gala will be held on the 24th of February.

The film
Miehen työ is a film about family man Juha (Tommi Korpela) who is fired from his job at a concrete factory, a fact he wants to keep secret from his wife. In order to support his family, he ends up working as a male prostitute. The script for the film was written by Salmenperä. Petri Jokiranta and Tero Kaukomaa were the producers.

The Council

The Nordic Council was formed in 1952 as a forum for parliamentary co-operation between the five nations and three autonomous regions (Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Åland) that make up the Nordic region. Besides the film prize, the Council, made up of  87 elected members from the national parliaments, also awards prizes for literature, environment and music.

Last year’s winner of the Nordic Council Film Prize was the Swedish film Zozo by Josef Fares (director and scriptwriter) and Anna Anthony (producer).

European Film Awards
Miehen Työ is also on the selection list for the European Film Awards. The nominees for the Awards, voted by the members of the European Film Academy, will be announced at the Sevilla Festival de Cine Europeo in Spain on the 3rd of November. The winners will be presented at the 20th European Film Awards ceremony in Berlin on December 1st.

Miehen työ – Official site (in Finnish)
Miehen työ / Man's Job – Blind Spot Pictures

Nordic Council Film Prize
All nominations for the Nordic Council Film Prize 2007

European Film Awards (European Film Academy)

Academy Awards (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)


Finnish gigolo – FREE! Magazine's review of Miehen työ

Misc News

Tiktak, Tik… tak, Tik…, tak…

According to a press release issued by record company Universal Music, the reason for the split has nothing to do with arguments, personal differences, or anything of the kind. ‘We have lived this band for years already, and now it feels like it’s time to move on in life,’ according to the members of the chart-topping girl band .

The six girls from Helsinki signed their first record deal in 1999 at the young age of 13 and have released seven albums and 22 singles. Their biggest hits include Lopeta (1999), Sekoitat mun elämän (1999), Kyyneleet (2001), Häiritsen sinua (2001), Jää (2002) and Sankaritar (2005).

In 2000 and 2001, the band also had reasonable success elsewhere in Europe and performed in Asia and the United States with English language material under the name Tik N’ Tak.

On November 7th, Tiktak will release one more (double)album, “Sinkut 99-07”, containing all their singles, b-sides as well as rare and new material. The first single from the album, Miten onni korjataan, will be made available for airplay on Monday (17.9).

Petra, Tuuli, Mimmu, Noora, Nea and Emppu will also go on a farewell tour spanning major Finnish cities in November and December.


Official website (in Finnish)


Misc News

FREE! contributors part of Helsinki Comics Festival

Belgian-born comics fanatic Jelle Hugaerts, who has written about Finnish comics and their creators for FREE! Magazine, will be part of the stage programme at Gloria Cultural Arena. On Saturday at  4 p.m., he will host a discussion in English with the festival’s foreign guests about the public response to comics as an art form in different cultures and countries. On Sunday at 2 p.m. Jelle will himself be part of a panel discussing whether web stores will take over from traditional comic book stores as the main distribution channel for comics.

Fans of Reviews from Marte, FREE! Magazine’s popular music reviews in the form of comics, will have the chance to see more works by our Portuguese contributor. Marte (whose real name is Marcos Farrajota) is a member of the Portuguese comics association Chili Com Carne, of which albums are available through Canicola at the Festival’s comics fair at Gloria.

The Helsinki Comics Festival, the biggest of its kind in Northern Europe, will be held for the 22nd time this weekend. The main venue is Gloria Cultural Arena (Pieni Roobertinkatu 12), with additional programmes at the Päivälehti Museum (Ludviginkatu 2-4), Library 10 (in the main Post Office) and Black Door pub (Iso Roobertinkatu 1).

The programmes consist of lectures, discussions, signings, interviews and different comics-related performances. This year’s foreign guests include Christophe Blain (France), Gunnar Lundkvist (Sweden), Keitaro Arima (Japan), Yvan Alagbé (France), Helge Reumann (Switzerland) and Ruppert & Mulot (France). Comics teams from Holland and Finland will compete in an international comics drawing contest.

In addition, there will be a total of 14 different exhibitions at galleries and bars in the city centre.

15-16 September, 2007

Gloria Cultural Arena (main venue; Pieni Roobertinkatu 12)
Päivälehti museum (Ludviginkatu 2-4)
Library 10 (Main Post Office, Elielinaukio 2 G)
Black Door pub (Iso Roobertinkatu 1)

Also exhibitions at:
MUU gallery (Lönnrotinkatu 33)
Gallery Jangva (Uudenmaankatu 4-6)
mbar (Lasipalatsi, Mannerheimintie 22-24)
and other locations in the city centre

Jelle Hugaerts:
Of pigs and ducks (FREE! Magazine)
The First Book of Hope (FREE! Magazine)

Chili Com Carne
Reviews from Marte (FREE! Magazine)

Cartoon tracks – FREE! Magazine's interview with Puupäähattu prize winner Marko Turunen

Misc News

Memorial for Juice Leskinen

Sculptor Timo Hannunen is currently working on the monument, which will consist of two high memorial stones (210 cm high, 120 cm broad and 60 cm deep) that will be placed close to each other. In between them will remain a crack of about 20 centimetres.

Next winter the two-part sculpture will be moved to Kalevankangas cemetery in Tampere, where Leskinen lies buried. It will be placed close to a memorial to artist Veikko Sinisalo, also a work by Hannunen.

Juice Leskinen was one of Finland’s most prominent singer-songwriters and musicians during the last quarter of the past decade. He died of renal insufficiency, cirrhosis and diabetes on November the 24th, 2006.

Obituary of Juice Leskinen [Helsingin Sanomat, in English] 

Misc News

New major venue in Helsinki

The venue will offer live entertainment Wednesdays through Saturdays. The first major live act was already announced last week; popular Swedish group The Ark will take the Apollo stage on the 3rd of November.

In addition to special concerts, the Apollo All Stars Band will offer live music in different line-ups with special guest vocalists. The club also intends to bring ‘restaurant theatre’ and comedy acts.

The venue is owned by Sedu Koskinen’s SK-Ravintolat, the company behind bars and nightclubs such as Baarikärpänen, Lux Nightclub and The Club in Helsinki and the Onnela and Giggling Marlin bar/restaurants throughout Finland.

Apollo Live Club is the latest in a series of new major venues opened in Helsinki in a little over one year‘s time. Other newcomers include Club Liberté in Kallio (opened in June 2006) and Redrum in the centre of Helsinki (24th of May, 2007).


Apollo Live Club (in Finnish only)

The Ark

Club Liberté