Cinema Features

Someday a Real Snow Will Come

{mosimage}The movie is based on the 12-episode TV series Fragments (Irtiottoja) shown in Finland during the autumn of 2003 in which the taxi driver Veli-Matti was one of the main characters. At the same time as the series were filmed, the same crew did the shooting of Frozen City. “It was planned this way from the very beginning and both were done at the same time”, explains Louhimies, before the premiere of the film. “In addition to the series, we wanted to create something for the international viewers and the festivals”.

As a matter of fact, Frozen City has premiered in many festivals across the world during 2006. Recently, Aku Louhimies received the Robert Wise Award for Best Director at Flanders International Festival in Ghent, Belgium. “I’m really happy and surprised about the reception of the film”. It does not matter that the film is much attached to Helsinki, because “the theme and the story are universal”.

Veli-Matti’s drama drags him into the most painful situations of the human life. In the words of the actor Janne Virtanen, “a man who loves his children is willing to go all the way to get to keep them. To me Vellu is a positive, empathic and well mannered man. I wanted him to believe to the end that things are going to get better. This way I was able to react to every bad episode with astonishment and disbelief. That helped me make Vellu a bit slower and, if you will, not so bright (but not stupid either).”

Equally complex is the character of Veli-Matti’s ex-wife, Hanna, played by Susanna Anteroinen. The actress admits that “acting was sometimes hard because Hanna was so tired of everything, particularly her husband. She was depressed and she thought that getting divorced was only way to continue her life.“

Helsinki plays an important role as the scenario for the drama. The city is presented in a pessimistic way. “It is seen as a dirty city where unhappy people are living”, explains Susanna Anteroinen. “{quotes}The taxi driver Vellu hopes that the snow will come and cover everything that is sad and bad.{/quotes} He doesn’t belong to the city and he should live somewhere else with his family. Living in the city is not good for everyone”. Janne Virtanen agrees with this perspective of Helsinki, but he thinks “it is not probably the real Helsinki. Aku wanted to show international viewers his own version of the city. It is not that hopeless to live here”.

The film had a very low budget. These limitations allowed a wide creative freedom for the director. “It would have been difficult, otherwise”, Louhimies explains. “Finland is a very small country and it is not always possible to shoot these kinds of stories”. Even non-professional actors participated in the film, such as policemen and guards who appeared in the film performing their real duties.

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