Monday, February 03, 2014

Projektio Film Society (Helsinki, Finland) 1934-1936

László Moholy-Nagy: ein lichtspiel schwarz-weiss-grau
Cinema Joukola, Kapteeninkatu 26, Helsinki, Finland.

This year it will be 80 years from the launching of Finland's first film society, Filmistudio Projektio. Its passionate chairman, spokesman and figurehead was Alvar Aalto, which is why we celebrated Projektio today at the Alvar Aalto and the Cinema event at Matin-Tupa, Ylistaro / Seinäjoki, 3 Oct 2014.

The Projektio anthem was Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo".

The models included the London Film Society, and similar societies in Amsterdam, Zürich, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and other cities in Sweden (Lund the biggest of them all, and Göteborg and Helsingborg), coordinated by Gösta Werner, the key international contact for Projektio. There was also an Estonian collaboration with the circulating prints. Also foreign embassies in Helsinki helped with copies. Diplomats, ministers, and professors became members. Luis Buñuel sent music instructions for Un chien andalou, but Hans Kutter failed to see how Richard Wagner could fit in; he even tried "Mood Indigo" which did not work, either; luckily, his brother had a record of an Argentinian tango which could be played.

Ballet mécanique (Fernand Léger, FR 1924)
+ ein lichtspiel schwarz-weiss-grau (László Moholy-Nagy, DE 1930)
+ Entr'acte (René Clair, FR 1924)
[in November 1934 according to some sources, in December according to Helsingin Sanomat, 8 March 1935)]


ein lichtspiel schwarz-weiss-grau (László Moholy-Nagy, DE 1930)
+ À nous la liberté (Kaksi onnellista sydäntä, René Clair, FR 1931), banned in Finland.
In the presence of the Minister of Culture.

Tshornoje i beloje / Chornoye i beloye / Черное и белое ([Mustaa ja valkoista] / [Black and White], Ivan Ivanov-Vano, SU 1932)
+ Emperor Jones (Kuolonrumpu, Dudley Murphy, US 1933)

A replay of the opening screening. There were new members, "and a certain big industrial company wanted to finance a fine film screening for its staff!" (Hans Kutter).

Der Blaue Engel (Sininen Enkeli / The Blue Angel, Josef von Sternberg, DE 1930), banned in Finland.

Das Lied vom Leben ([Elämän laulu] / [The Song of Life], Alexis Granowsky, DE 1931), banned in Finland.

Tshapajev / Chapayev / Чапаев (Georgi Vasiljev, Sergei Vasiljev, SU 1934), banned in Finland.

La Tour ([Torni] / [The Tower], René Clair, 1928)
+ Gardiens de phare ([Majakanvartijat] / [The Lighthouse Keepers], Jean Grémillon, FR 1929)

Marseille, a documentary film.
+ Die letzten Segelschiffe ([Viimeiset purjelaivat] / [The Last Sailboats], DE), a documentary on the trip around the world by the sailboat Herzogin Cecilia. Accessed from a German private source.

Episod vid fönstret, "a little Swedish bagatelle" (Eino Jäntti)
+ Novyi Gulliver / Новый Гулливер (Uusi Gulliver, Aleksandr Ptushko, SU 1935), banned in Finland.


"The opening screening, the programme of which I failed to write down" (Eino Jäntti).

Turksib / Турксиб (Teräksinen tie, Viktor Turin, SU 1929)
+ "two old (1903 and 1905) comedies from the vaults of Adams-Filmi" (Eino Jäntti), "one of them with a very close affinity with Méliès" (Hans Kutter).

Un chien andalou (Andalusialainen koira, Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dalí, FR 1929), banned in Finland.
+ Mensch ohne Namen ([Mies vailla nimeä] / [The Man without a Name], Gustav Ucicky, DE 1932)

Magie du fer blanc
+ Thunder over Mexico, Sol Lesser's edit (US 1934) of Sergei Eisenstein's ¡Que viva Mexico! project (MX 1933)

Le Sang d'un poète (Runoilijan veri, Jean Cocteau, FR 1930)
+ Gamla Stan (Stig Almquist, Arthur Lundkvist, Erik Asklund, Eyvind Johnson, SE 1931)
+ Tango (Gösta Hellström, SE 1932), "seemed experimental at the time" (Eino Jäntti).

Le Million (Miljoona, René Clair, FR 1931)

Kameradschaft (Toveruus, G. W. Pabst, DE 1931)

Philips Cavalcade (George Pal, NL 1934). "A trick film about Philips" could be this one.
+ Nieuwe gronden (Uusi maa / New Earth, Joris Ivens, NL 1933) "probably" (Eino Jäntti)


"The opening screening, the programme of which I failed to write down" (Eino Jäntti) =
No Greater Glory (Frank Borzage, US 1934), source: Joachim Mickwitz (Lähikuva 2/1995)

Triumph des Willens ([Tahdon riemuvoitto], Leni Riefenstahl, DE 1934)
+ bonus outside the official programme: Un chapeau de paille d'Italie (Italialainen olkihattu, René Clair, FR 1928) source: Mickwitz

Mädchen in Uniform (Murrosiässä, Leontine Sagan, DE 1931)

Katorga / Каторга (Kuritushuone, Juli Raizman, SU 1929)

//7.4.1936 Bio Rex at 14.30
Delegation of 57 people from film societies from Lund, Copenhagen, Göteborg, and Helsingborg, with Gösta Werner, on their way to Leningrad and Moscow.
A short industrial film by Aho & Soldan
+ VMV 6 (Risto Orko, FI 1936)
Dinner for a hundred at La Rotonde at 18.00, chaired by Alvar Aalto.
Source: Helsingin Sanomat, 8 April 1936, p. 4.//

Sylvester (Lupu Pick, DE 1923)

City Lights (Kaupungin valot, Charles Chaplin, US 1931)

Unmögliche Liebe ([Mahdotonta rakkautta] / [Impossible Love], Erich Waschneck, DE 1932. Asta Nielsen's first sound film and last film.

Minns du / [Do You Remember]
+ Meren houkutus / [The Lure of the Sea]
+ Suomi kutsuu / Finland kallar / Finland Calling (Aho & Soldan, FI 1932)

"Besides the Joukola shows I remember that the society members organized small gauge screenings and discussions, but I was not able to attend to them, which is why I have no notes of them" (Eino Jäntti).

Compiled by AA 3.2.2014 from sources: Hans Kutter, Eino Jäntti, and Göran Schildt (members of Projektio), and Joachim Mickwitz (Lähikuva 2/1995).

Continuities to The Finnish Film Archive (SEA) and the Filmihullu magazine: the screenings of the Film Society Projektio took place at Cinema Joukola, the same cinema where the SEA screenings were arranged before Cinema Orion. Projektio was launched simultaneously with Artek, by the same people, with Bauhaus as a model. Writing the logo with small letters only (bauhaus) belonged to the Bauhaus identity. This legacy continued in the 1950s in the Projektio magazine and in the Finnish Film Archive, perhaps thanks to the influence of Aito Mäkinen, and later by Elina Katainen. The Bauhaus-Projektio connection is still evident in the logo of the Filmihullu magazine (filmihullu).
Helsingin Sanomat, 8 March 1935

Yesterday at 17 o'clock at Cinema Joukola the opening meeting of the film society Projektio took place. The purpose of the society whose board includes architect Alvar Aalto as the chairman, and professors G. Castrén and V. Lassila as members, sculptor Väinö Aaltonen, engineer Eero Erkko, and magisters H. Kutter and N. G. Hahl as members, is to elevate film culture via discussions, lectures, and film screenings, to clarify the importance of the cinema, and to contribute to the birth of a national film culture. In this purpose the Projektio society will arrange for its members for instance during this spring season at least six film screenings illuminating the evolution of the cinema. The society collaborates mainly with the sister societies in Zürich, London, and Stockholm.

In the meeting yesterday in which the chairman, architect Alvar Aalto first welcomed the invited guests - among which was among others the Minister of Culture - and the members of the society, were screened schwarz-weiss-grau, remarkable for its photographic technique, by Prof. Moholy-Nagy, "the father of photography", and À nous la liberté by the French director René Clair, the print having been lent from Stockholm. Especially the latter film, which will probably not be released here for the general audience, was funny and interesting both as for its photography as for its performances. Before each picture there was a brief introduction to the importance of their creators as visual artists and directors.

Helsingin Sanomat, 4 April 1936


Next Tuesday some 60 guests from Lund, university and film people from Sweden, visit Helsinki on their transit to Soviet Russia. With the expedition is going to travel the famous Swedish man of the cinema Victor Sjöström who has joined it in order to get acquainted with Russian film industry. Other notable members of the expedition include prof. Knut Lundmark and professor of anatomy, Ivar Broman.

The guests will be received in Helsinki by our film society Projektio which has arranged, in favourable collaboration with Suomi-Filmi and Adams Filmi Oy, a screening of VMV 6 at Bio Rex. The guests arrive in Helsinki on Tuesday in a day train in order to travel already in the evening to Leningrad on the Eastern express train. As the visit is this short there is nothing else in their programme than the aforementioned screening and a dinner together with the members of Projektio at the restaurant La Rotonde on Tuesday at 18.00. Before the departure of the train the guests have been invited as guests of the Uusmaalainen Osakunta [The Uusimaa Nation / Nylands Nation {of the Helsinki University}].

Helsingin Sanomat, 8 April 1936


Yesterday 57 Swedish academians and cinefiles arrived at Helsinki on the Turku international express train on their transit to Soviet Russia. The trip had been arranged by the Lund students' film society, which is the biggest Swedish academic film society. The expedition spent the day yesterday in Helsinki as guests of our local cineastes' society Projektio.

Participating on the trip were besides members of the Lund film society also members from the film studios of Copenhagen, Göteborg, and Helsingborg. Of the members of the expedition we can mention the renowned professor of astrology, prof. Lundmark, the lecturer Montelin from Statens biografbyrå [The Swedish Film Censorship], Beyer, the literature critic of Socialdemokraten, the notable theatre impresario Englind, the journalist Gösta Werner, and others.

Yesterday at 14.30 the Projektio society had arranged for the Swedish guests a film screening at Bio Rex, which Adams-Filmi Oy. had kindly provided for the society. The journalist G. Stjernschantz bid the guests welcome and presented with a few words the splendid industrial film produced by Aho & Soldan, a fine representative of the short film production in Finland, and VMV 6, the most notable achievement of the Suomi-Filmi company. Both films received unanimous praise from the guests.

At 18 at restaurant La Rotonde there was a dinner for the guests and for the members of the Projektio society. About a hundred people participated in the dinner, and speechs were given by architect Alvar Aalto, engineer B. Soldan, and magister Hans Kutter.

The Swedes continued their journey towards Soviet Russian on the Eastern through train at 23.30 with first stop at Leningrad and destination Moscow where they will stay eight days. In Moscow the guests will get acquainted with film activities. In addition their programme consists of visits to the theatre, to the opera, etc. The medicine students of the exhibition will get acquainted with the hospitals of Moscow, and they will also see some medical films of the newest methods of operations, etc.

Let us also mention that Victor Sjöström who had planned to participate had to cancel because of an illness.

No comments: