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

Misc News

Nightwish Nummer Eins in Germany

In Sweden the group currently stands at number 4, in Austria, the Netherlands and Greece at 5 and in Norway at number 7 of the official album charts.

In the UK, the album entered at number 25, a fact many newspapers and on line media in Finland have found worth dedicating separate articles to.

In their home country Finland, Dark Passion Play sold double platinum in record time and  went straight to the top of the album chart. Nightwish’s latest single "Amaranth" also tops the Finnish singles list.

The album has done less well in Belgium, Poland and Ireland, where it entered the charts at 36, 50 and 62 respectively.

The band from Kitee, southeast Finland, kicked off their first world tour with vocalist Annette with a sold-out concert in Tel Aviv last Saturday (6.10.2007). Next Monday the group will start the North-American leg of the tour in Springfield, USA.

Nightwish – official website

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.

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.

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

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