A typical Finnish weather welcomes the guests of this year’s Tampere Film Festival. But the festival offers a way to escape cold and snow and to travel to exotic places. In this edition the festival takes a look at the new films from South Korea, the current trends in Russian and the cinema done by Palestinians and their neighbours. The festival opens today and it will show nearly 500 films during five days.
As usual, the festival offers also interesting retrospectives on diverse filmmakers. One of the most outstanding British avant garde filmmakers, John Smith, will present Hotel Diaries, a series of video recordings made in hotel rooms. Smith will be in Tampere and will discuss his work on Saturday 7.3 after the screening of Hotel Diaries.
Swedish Johan Hagelbäck will show a collection of his animation and music videos. The festival also offers the opportunity of watching some of the short films by veteran Finnish director Kari Paljakka, who this year was commissioned to organize the special screening Carte Blanche, to which he chose short films by Roman Polanski, among others, and classic Finnish documentaries.
The Tampere Film Festival characterizes for premiering in Finland relevant music films and documentaries. In the last years, Neil Young’s Heart of Gold and Ramones’ End of the Century were shown at the festival. This year the focus is on Kurt Cobain with the screening of the documentary About a Son. Directed by AJ Schnack this is a portray of the leader of Nirvana based on more than 25 hours of interviews conducted by journalist Michael Azerrad for his book Come As You Are. The festival also premieres Jouko Aaltonen’s documentary about Finnish punk, Punksters & Youngsters (Punk – Tauti joka ei tapa).
Finally, the theme of the traditional night long Saturday party is devoted this year to Finland. The long Suomi Night Saturday proposes a celebration of the Peculiar Mentality of Finns. It’s Finland 101: eight hours with new and old Finnish short films, city promotion videos, music videos and Aki Kaurismäki’s Total Balalaika Show as the star of the night at midnight.
All screenings have English subtitles