In this semi-regular series, Fiacha Harrington previews current and forthcoming cinema attractions. This special edition features Fiacha's recommendations for Finland’s biggest film festival, the 30th Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy.
This year the Helsinki International Film Festival – which is better known locally as Love & Anarchy (Rakkautta & Anarkiaa) – celebrates their thirtieth year. Ten ticket cards and the catalog are already on sale as well as tickets for individual screenings. This year the festival runs from the 14th – 24th September. There is a broad selection of films to choose from – here are a selection I recommend you check out.
The opening film at this year’s festival is Call Me By Your Name from Italian director Luca Guadagnino. It’s based on Andre Aciman’s novel and set in Northern Italy of the 1980s. Michael Stuhlbarg plays the family patriarch – an American-Jewish Professor who invites younger researchers to stay with him at his summer resort. Timothee Chalamet plays his son Elio. Guest Armie Hammer plays Oliver who develops a relationship with the teen. Sufjan Stevens has scored new music for the film.
The Rakkautta & Anarkiaa Gaala film is The Killing Of A Sacred Deer by Director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster). The film reunites Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman who recently starred in Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled. Farrell plays a heart surgeon and Kidman is his wife. The movie won best screenplay at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Director Yorgos Lanthimos describes his film; “this is a family movie, well actually it is a film about family”.
This year’s Domestic Gaala is The Punk Voyage (Tokasikajuttu) by Jukka Kärkkäinen and J-P Passi. The documentary tells the story of Finnish punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivä’s final years. The pair had previously directed the documentary Kovasikajuttu (2012) which covered the rise of the band. This time round the directors cover the retirement of the quartet after they competed as Finland’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015.
This year’s festival has a special screening of George A. Romero’s Creepshow (1982). The screening pays tribute to Romero, who recently passed away whilst also celebrating screenwriter Stephen King’s 70th birthday. The screening of a 35mm film copy is at Orion on Thursday 21st September.
Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh’s new film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has been garnering rave reviews. The new film from the director of In Bruges (2008) is a dark comic drama which stars Frances McDormand as a mother looking for the culprit in her daughter’s murder. The film also stars Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell as the local law enforcement.
Fuck It, I’m Young is a new category at this year’s festival and has a handful of films. Amongst these is All This Panic (2016) which is a feature length documentary from Jenny Gage, following the lives of eleven teenage girls as they come of age in Brooklyn.
Personal Shopper from the French Touch Selection stars Kristen Stewart who works as an assistant to a wealthy woman. Set in Paris, the film follows Maureen (Stewart) – who along with taking care of her job – strives to make contact with her twin brother who recently died.
United States of Indie offers up a host of gems (including the indie hit of the summer). The Big Sick is a semi-autobiographical film that stars Kumail Nanijani (Silicon Family) as a Pakistani born boy who falls for American grad student Emily played by Zoe Kazan – with the film exploring the culture clash that ensues. The Big Sick was written by Nanijani and his wife Emily V. Gordon, with directorial duties handled by Michael Showalter.
For a full list of this year’s films showing at Helsinki International Film Festival, check out their website.