Monday, February 03, 2014

Alvar Aalto and the Cinema (seminar at Seinäjoki)

The Seinäjoki City Library, the 1965 building, Aalto Center. Photo: City of Seinäjoki.
On Alvar Aalto's birthday, 3.2.2014 at 18.00
Cinema Matin-Tupa, Puhelinkuja 4, Ylistaro

klo 18.00 Opening
Marjo Kamila, Ph.D.
klo 18.05 Alvar Aalto and the Cinema
Antti Alanen, KAVI
klo 18.55 Break

Film screenings
19.20 Kirkonrakentajat: Lakeuden Ristin rakennustyö 1957–1960 / [Church Builders: Building the Lakeuden Risti 1957-1960] (a new compilation from vintage raw footage, a documentary record, a dvd with the vintage footage from a vhs from a 16 mm film, 15 min, in the possession of Seinäjoen seurakunta / The Seinäjoki Church)
- identification of persons appearing in the footage
Seinäjoen kaupungintalon rakentaminen 1961–1963 / [Building the Seinäjoki City Hall 1961-1963)] (raw footage, a documentary record, screened on silent 16 mm, 15 min, in the possession of Seinäjoen kaupunki / The City of Seinäjoki)
- identification of persons appearing in the footage
Suomen Akatemian jäsenet - Alvar Aalto / [Members of the Finnish Academy - Alvar Aalto] (a documentary, produced by Veikko Laihanen, FI 1962, 10 min, /dvd?/ from KAVI)
Alvar Aalto (an experimental film, by Eino Ruutsalo, FI 1972, 19 min, /dvd?/ from KAVI)

klo 20.20 Closing discussion
- Marjo Kamila, Ph. D.
In the Matin-Tupa lobby: cinema designs and illustrations by Alvar Aalto (Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä)

I focused in my lecture on:
1. Alvar Aalto and modernity - his fascination with urbanism, mobility, cars, airplanes, jazz, radio, and the cinema.
2. Alvar Aalto as a Charles Chaplin fan.
3. The Bauhaus legacy and László Moholy-Nagy.
4. The story of the film society Projektio, which launched serious cinema interest onto a new level in Finland. Projektio introduced many masterpieces banned in Finland (Buñuel, Eisenstein). It was a central cultural meeting-place. Alvar Aalto was its undisputed, passionate figurehead. Prominent cultural figures participated, including Tove Jansson and Sam Vanni. Key film-makers such as Valentin Vaala, Teuvo Tulio, Nyrki Tapiovaara, Heikki Aho, and Björn Soldan, were members.

The generous host was Anssi Luoma, who took me to the seven buildings designed by Alvar Aalto in Seinäjoki, built during six decades:
1. The Seinäjoki Defence Corps building (1924-1929), and
the town centre of Seinäjoki (1952-1988) called Aalto-keskus / The Aalto Center
2. The Lakeuden Risti / The Cross of the Plains Church (1952-1960) and
The Seinäjoki Community Center (1965-1966)
3. The Seinäjoki City Hall (1961-1962)
4. The Seinäjoki City Library (1964-1965)
5. The Seinäjoki Administrative Building (Valtion virastotalo) (1966-1968)
6. The Seinäjoki City Theatre (1986-1987)
7. Kansalaistori / The Seinäjoki Citizens' Square (1988).

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