Sunday, December 18, 2011

Out now: Cinema Orion's new programme (January-April 2012)

Thom Andersen: Los Angeles Plays Itself (US 2004). In our series "Cinema and Architecture".

Cinema Orion's new programme booklet (January-April 2012) is fresh from the printers, and the programme is also online. Luckily we were all set up when I got into my traffic accident 20 days ago. Themes in our spring season include, in a roughly chronological order:

RENÉ CLAIR: twelve selected French films by the "Immortal", from Paris qui dort till La Porte des Lilas.

CARTE BLANCHE À MATTI KASSILA: the beloved veteran director Matti Kassila (born 1924) who debuted in the studio era in the 1940s has made a strong selection including Kind Hearts and Coronets, A Matter of Life and Death, Gycklarnas afton (Sawdust and Tinsel), and Vertigo.

DAVID LYNCH: all the feature films of the master of modern Surrealism.

NUORTEN SÄVELLAHJA (the title is untranslatable, but it refers to a popular radio program where grown-ups of today can request favourite hit songs from the 1970s and the 1980s): Messrs. Lauri Lehtinen and Antti Suonio are our guest master chefs in our continuous explorations of counter-histories of the cinema. Rock 'n' Roll High School, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, Urgh! A Music War, and the Finnish Laulu [The Song] about the Sielun Veljet phenomenon are among the weekly treats.

DESIGN HELSINKI: ENEMMÄN FUNKISTA, REINO! (another untranslatable title, referring to a line of movie dialogue where more functionalism is required). The top production designer Minna Santakari has mounted an exhibition with the same name at the Helsinki City Museum, Sofiankatu. The weekly film series about architecture and design in films about Helsinki starts with 1930s functionalism and proceeds until 1960s modernism. A World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project.

CINEMA AND ARCHITECTURE. The Film Society of the Helsinki University Students' Association and Academy of Finland collaborate with us on a World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project. There is free entry to the lecture series on Friday afternoons at 14.30 at Cinema Orion, and among the films are Thom Andersen's essay Los Angeles Plays Itself and Sydney Pollack's Sketches of Frank Gehry.

FAMILY SCREENINGS: the first screening every Sunday is family programming, from Laurel and Hardy shorts till Whale Rider, not forgetting musicals such as The Wizard of Oz. A special theme is dedicated to "A Child's Look" together with The Finnish Association for Child and Family Guidance with movies such as My Neighbour Totoro. Besides the regular screenings there is also a media education programme for school classes of all levels.

THE HISTORY OF THE CINEMA PART II: a regular feature of our programme, together with the Helsinki University, in this season from the Second World War (Luciano Serra pilota) until the present age (Huang tu di / Yellow Earth).

DOCPOINT 2012: we are happy to continue our collaboration with the inspired documentary film festival on 24-29 January. The hot topics include the Arab Spring and the European conundrum.

- At the DocPoint festival at Bio Rex 27 January Maud Nelissen with her trio (Lucio Degani, Francesco Ferrarini) play Yves de la Casinière's original score in the Cinema concert Rien que les heures, to the Ur-city symphony by Cavalcanti.
- The young Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska has reversed the usual process and commissioned the young film-makers Elina Oikari and Lauri Danska to make a new silent film to the beautiful stage music composition by Jean Sibelius (to Maurice Maeterlinck's play which is rarely performed today), performed at Cinema Orion on 12 February by a 25 piece orchestra in Cinema concert Pelléas et Mélisande, together with Regen by Joris Ivens and Mannus Franken, seen both silent and with the “12 manières de décrire la pluie” score by Hanns Eisler.
- Frank Strobel comes to the already legendary Music Center of Helsinki to conduct the RSO to the original score in the already legendary 2010 restoration in the Cinema concert Metropolis on 16 March.
- The Ma-a Trio presents the Cinema concert Happiness to Alexander Medvedkin's satirical masterpiece on 21 and 22 April.

TERRENCE MALICK - l'œuvre intégrale.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH we celebrate with the U.S. Embassy with Martin Scorsese's The Blues 1: Feel Like Going Home, on delta blues: Son House, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker...

EVIL NORTH: Nordic crime and horror is examined in a seminar on 3 March, and a highlight of the season is Lars von Trier's Riget (The Kingdom) I-II, screened on glorious 35 mm on two evenings, 27-28 April.

AKI KAURISMÄKI'S FRENCH MENU: A propos de Nice, Zéro de conduite, Le Quai des brumes, La Bête humaine, Le Silence de la mer, Le Quai des Orfèvres, Casque d'or, Du rififi chez les hommes, Bande à part, Au hasard Balthazar, and Autour de minuit.

CINEMA AND PSYCHE, SEVENTH EDITION: THE TREE OF LIFE. Since 1990 we have co-arranged symposia on Cinema and Psyche with organizations of Finnish psychoanalysts. The symposia have nothing to do with the infamous Lacanian interventions into film studies in the 1970s. Rather they emerge from the urgent needs of mental health professionals to discuss matters familiar with everybody who has to deal with issues of the troubled mind. The films discussed this time range from Ugetsu monogatari till The Tree of Life. Registration by paying 150 E (including the hard-cover book Elokuva ja psyyke 3) or 185 E (also including a solid buffet dinner in the nearby Dubrovnik on 17 March) on the account FI0821232000047286 / Johanna Eväsoja. There is an overlap with the dinner with Cinema concert Metropolis. Enquiries: helsingin_psykoterapiaseura(at)

IN THE CORE OF THE DOCUMENTARY, 62-64. In their ongoing epic survey into the history of the Finnish documentary film, Ilkka Kippola and Jari Sedergren have compiled this time a canon of the Finnish documentary and short film.

ROBERT SIODMAK'S FILM NOIR CYCLE: his five anni mirabili (1944-1949) from Phantom Lady till The File on Thelma Jordon, most of the 13 films he made then, usually for Universal Pictures.

WAR AND PEACE 70 MM (Война и мир, 1967). On Easter Sunday, 8 April, at Bio Rex we screen the six hour version of Sergei Bondarchuk's gigantic interpretation of Leo Tolstoy's epic novel with a cast including 120.000 soldiers. It is the 200th anniversary of the battle of Borodino and the fire of Moscow, both shatteringly reconstructed in the movie, with the camera descending from above the clouds to catch Napoleon's Grande armée get a brutal beating and a taste of the scorched earth treatment in Mother Russia. All in glorious photochemical, analogue 70 mm, albeit in a vintage print which may not have its colour intact.

THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO: Alexander Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation is one of the books that have changed the world. A new edition in Finnish will be published by Sofi Oksanen's Silberfeldt publishing house. We screen Marina Goldovskaya's magisterial documentary film Vlast Solovetskaya on the first Soviet prison camp.

3D THE THIRD DIMENSION: our first 3D retrospective with films from Dial M for Murder till Cave of Forgotten Dreams. On 24 March we get Stefan Drössler to present his legendary 3D lecture show with samples from the Lumière Brothers to the present day in 2K DCP 3D (XpanD). Stefan has toured the world with it, and now we are happy to welcome him in Helsinki.

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