Cristina Vasilescu gives a refreshing account of 2014’s Nordic Film Festival and muses, where would we be without materialism?
“I was not in the happiest time of my life and then… I had this stupid idea that I would pack and transport items somewhere”…and this is what the film director did.
When was the last time that you packed all your belongings to lock them away for no functional reason? When do we re-evaluate our lives and how do we do this? Petri Luukkainen’s My stuff speaks about finding a creative way to raise your head above the cloud of existentialism and confusion that sometimes hangs around you. Part of this year’s Nordic Film Festival, the Finnish film My stuff triggers us to think about what is really important in life by simply questioning the value of possessions and how they influence and affect us. Independently filmed throughout a whole year, Luukkainen’s first feature-length film invites the viewer to self-reflect about what makes one happy. As he says: “Your life is not made of your things”. Sometimes we need a jolt of recognition to remind us of this simple truth.
Still from ‘My Stuff’
After 2 weeks of solitude in his apartment, without clothes, mattress, fridge, or any objects around him, finding himself in the situation of running naked at midnight while snowing, Luukkainen starts to bring back one item a day. However…which are the most important and necessary ones?
During its third run in London, the 2014 Nordic Film Festival displayed a diverse and interesting mix of features, shorts and docs under the theme of ‘horizons.’ From journeys to explorations, to collaborations and cross-cultural experiences, NFF also hosted a programme on architecture, design and the city, featuring Nordic creative figures such as Olafur Eliasson, Bjarke Ingels and others.
The Nordic cinematic touch is always intriguing due to its ‘raw’ perspective on life, often presenting the crude reality with irony, humour and surreal gleams. Paris of the North, another feature of the NFF, bears testimony to the ubiquitous existence of human confusions and ironic moments which are mostly uncontrollable. Middle-aged Hugi, a primary school teacher and recovering alcoholic, exonerates himself from his unflattering past through long running sessions in the stunning Icelandic landscape. Luckily or not, his confused state brings upon him a series of tragico-comic circumstances, all of which lead to the radical decision to leave his home-town. Some of the film sequences are ambrosial and, by being trapped in the surreal realm, the director reaches to visually transcend the banal stage of common life.
Still from ‘Paris of the North’
The list of films continues with shorts realized by young collaborators with the help of the CPH:DOX (Copenhagen International Documentary Festival), other feature-lengths (Hotel, I AM YOURS…) and documentaries (AI WEIWEI: The FAKE CASE). If you were trapped in the initial agony of Christmas and had no time to attend any of the screenings, refresh the online film websites for any glimpse of the Nordic cinematic realm by clicking here.