Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Goethe-Institut Finnland celebrates its 50th annniversary

Goethe-Institut Finnland celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It was a pleasure to meet Mikko Fritze, Pirjo Brech, and Marjukka Mäkelä at the garden party at the residence of the German Embassy of Helsinki. Also the architect Juha Leiviskä, who has designed the Embassy, was among the guests.

The collaboration with the Goethe-Institut has always been vital for the Finnish Film Archive. We have done together several great series of German film history, invited special guests, and realized ambitious projects, such as great film concerts of Die Nibelungen and Nosferatu at the Finlandia Hall and the Savoy Theater.

The collaboration had started even before establishing Goethe-Institut Finnland. The Finnish Film Archive then worked with the Embassy directly and arranged remarkable series of German film classics together with it. They are still dearly remembered by those who followed them.

When the Germanies united, Goethe-Institut took over the valuable film holdings of the DDR Kulturzentrum seamlessly.

My personal memories start in the 1970s when I saw 16 mm series of German film classics at the Tampere branch of the German cultural service. That's how I first saw Der müde Tod and Die Nibelungen. I have never seen a better projection of Der müde Tod.

The 16 mm service was excellent until the end. I was stunned when I saw Die bitteren Träne der Petra von Kant in 2004. The photochemical quality was very close to a good 35 mm print. The same could be said of the other late 16 mm prints of the Goethe-Institut, such as Das Mädchen vom Moorhof (1958) von Gustav Ucicky. Haunting. I hope these extremely valuable collections are in good hands now.

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