Palgrave European Film and Media Studies

Palgrave European Film and Media Studies Series Editors Ib Bondebjerg University of Copenhagen Copenhagen, Denmark Andrew Higson York, United Kingdom...
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Palgrave European Film and Media Studies

Series Editors Ib Bondebjerg University of Copenhagen Copenhagen, Denmark Andrew Higson York, United Kingdom Caroline Pauwels Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) Brussels, Belgium

Aim of the Series Palgrave European Film and Media Studies is dedicated to historical and contemporary studies of film and media in a European context and to the study of the role of film and media in European societies and cultures. The series invite research done in both humanities and social sciences and invite scholars working with the role of film and other media in relation to the development of a European society, culture and identity. Books in the series can deal with both media content and media genres, with national and transnational aspects of film and media policy, with the sociology of media as institutions and with audiences and reception, and the impact of film and media on everyday life, culture and society. The series encourage books working with European integration or themes cutting across nation states in Europe and books working with Europe in a more global perspective. The series especially invite publications with a comparative, European perspective based on research outside a traditional nation state perspective. In an era of increased European integration and globalization there is a need to move away from the single nation study focus and the single discipline study of Europe.

More information about this series at

Henry Bacon Editor

Finnish Cinema A Transnational Enterprise

Editor Henry Bacon University of Helsinki Finland

Palgrave European Film and Media Studies ISBN 978-1-137-57650-7 ISBN 978-1-137-57651-4 DOI 10.1057/978-1-137-57651-4


Library of Congress Control Number: 2016950022 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016 The author(s) has/have asserted their right(s) to be identified as the author(s) of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. Cover illustration: PR-photo for the film Mother of Mine (Äideistä parhain) by Malla Hukkanen. With the kind permission of Hukkanen and Matila Röhr Production Oy. Printed on acid-free paper This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by Springer Nature The registered company is Macmillan Publishers Ltd. London



Bacon, H. (1992). Tiikerikissan aika – Luchino Viscontin elämä ja elokuvat (The Age of the Leopard – The life and films of Luchino Visconti). Helsinki: Suomen Elokuva-Arkisto/VAPK-kustannus. Bacon, H. (1994). Continuity and transformation – The influence of literature and drama on cinema as a process of cultural continuity and renewal. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia. Bacon, H. (1995). Oopperan historia (History of Opera). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. (Second edition in 2001.) Bacon, H. (1998). Luchino Visconti  – Explorations of beauty and decay. Cambrdige/New York: Cambridge University Press. Bacon, H. (2000). Audiovisuaalisen kerronnan teoria (Theory of Audiovisual Narration). Helsinki: Suomen elokuva-arkisto/Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden Seura. (2nd edition in 2003.) Bacon, H. (2005). Seitsemäs taide  – elokuva ja muut taiteet (Seventh art – Film in relation to other arts). Helsinki: Suomen elokuva-arkisto/ Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. Bacon, H., Anneli, L., & Pasi, N. (Eds.). (2007). Suomalaisuus valkokankaalla. Kotimainen elokuva toisin katsoen [Finnishness on screen anthology]. Helsinki: Like. Bacon, H. (2010). Väkivallan lumo – elokuvaväkivallan kauheus ja viihdyttävyys (The enchantment of violence – The horror and fascination of film violence). Helsinki: Like. Bacon, H. (2013). Visconti – Güzelliǧin ve çürümenin keşfi. Translated in into Turkish by Nilgün Şarman. Istanbul: Payle yayinevi.




Bacon, H. (2015). Fascination of film violence. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. Hupaniittu, O. (2012). Tutkijoiden ääni ja sähköiset aineistot. Selvitys muistiorganisaatioiden asiakkaitten digitoitujen aineistojen tarpeista ja saatavuudesta. (Researchers’ voice and digital material. Survey of the users’ needs and accessibility of the digitized material in cultural memory organizations). Helsinki: Svenska litteratursällskapet för Finland. Hupaniittu, O. (2013). Biografiliiketoiminnan valtakausi. Toimijuus ja kilpailu suomalaisella elokuva-alalla 1900–1920-luvuilla. (The Reign of the Biografi business – Operators and competition in Finnish Cinema from the 1900s to the 1920s). Turku: Turun yliopisto & Arkistolaitos. Kääpä, P. (2010). The national and beyond: The globalisation of Finnish Cinema in the films of Aki and Mika Kaurismäki (New studies in European cinema series). Oxford: Peter Lang. Kääpä, P. (2011). The cinema of Mika Kaurismäki: Transvergent Cinescapes, Emergent Identities. Bristol: Intellect. Kääpä, P. (2014). Ecology and contemporary nordic cinemas (Issues and methodologies in national cinema series). New York: Continuum. Laine, K. (1994). Murheenkryyneistä miehiä? Suomalainen sotilasfarssi 1930-luvulta 1950-luvulle (Finnish Military Comedy from the 1930s to the 1950s). Turku: Suomen elokuvatutkimuksen seura. Honka-Hallila, A., Laine, K., & Pantti, M. (1995). Markan tähden. Yli sata vuotta suomalaista elokuvahistoriaa (More than a century of Finnish film history). Turku: Turun yliopiston täydennyskoulutuskeskus. Laine, K., Lukkarila, M., & Seitajärvi, J. (Eds.). (2004). Valentin Vaala. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. Laine, K., & Seitajärvi, J. (Eds.). (2008). Valkoiset ruusut. Hannu Lemisen ja Helena Karan elokuvat (The films of Hannu Leminen and Helena Kara). Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. Koukkunen, K., Laine, K., & Seitajärvi, J. (Eds.). (2013). Elokuvat kertovat, Matti Kassila (Films will tell, Matti Kassila). Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. Lehtisalo, A. (2011). Kuin elävinä edessämme. Suomalaiset elämäkertaelokuvat populaarina historiakulttuurina 1937—1955 (As if alive before us. Finnish biographical films as popular historical culture 1937−1955). Doctoral dissertation. Suomen Kirjallisuuden Seuran toimituksia, 1315 Tiede, Kansallisen audiovisuaalisen arkiston julkaisuja. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society.



Lehtisalo, A. (2011). “Kaikki tänne nyt moi”. Tyttöjenlehdet kohtaamisen ja vuorovaikutuksen tiloina (‘Hey, come here all together.’ Girls’ magazines as spaces for encounter and interaction). COMET – Tampere Research Centre for Journalism, Media and Communication, Tampere: University of Tampere, School of Communication, Media and Theatre. Seppälä, J. (2012). Hollywood tulee Suomeen  – Yhdysvaltalaisten elokuvien maahantuonti ja vastaanotto kaksikymmentä luvun Suomessa (Hollywood Comes to Finland  – The importation and reception of American films in Finland in the twenties). Helsinki: The University of Helsinki.


Finnish Cinema: A Transnational Enterprise is the result of a project, A Transnational History of Finnish Cinema, funded by the Academy of Finland. Under the leadership of Professor Henry Bacon, it was located in the department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies at the University of Helsinki. Many of the members of the project, particularly its initiators Anneli Lehtisalo and Pietari Kääpä, had focused previously not only on national but also on transnational questions related to exploring Finnish film history. They were joined by two fellow scholars, Outi Hupaniittu and Jaakko Seppälä, who during the project completed their PhDs on the history of the silent era of Finnish cinema on the basis of their earlier research. The distinguished film historian Kimmo Laine, whose period as a fellow at the University of Turku Research Collegium coincided with our transnational project, has also in effect fully participated in all phases of the project. Pietari Kääpä left the project when he assumed the position of lecturer at the University of Stirling, but nevertheless delivered the contributions that had been assigned to him. He also kept in touch with the research group by email throughout the three-year research period (1 January 2012–31 December 2014). All the chapters that appear in this volume were extensively discussed—not to say fiercely debated—among the project members (Kimmo Laine included). With her solid training as a historian and archivist, Outi Hupaniittu did the important job of compiling and unifying a joint bibliography. The project had an Advisory Board consisting of some of the leading scholars who have focused on issues related to transnational approaches related to film history: Professor Andrew Higson (University of York), ix



Professor Mette Hjort (Lingnan University), Professor Tytti Soila (University of Stockholm), Research Fellow Jari Sedergren (KAVI) and Associate Professor Andrew Nestingen (University of Washington). Their support gave us confidence and a sense of direction. Professor Higson had a crucial role in securing the publication of this study. Among other colleagues with whom we were happy to create new or deepen existing relationships were Anders Marklund (University of Lund), Erik Hedling (University of Lund), Tommy Gustafsson (Linnaeus University) and Lyuba Bugajeva (St Petersburg State University). Our Transnational Baltic Cinema Conference helped us to establish new connections between film scholars working in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. The project would not have been possible without the institutional support provided by the National Audiovisual Institute and the Finnish Film Foundation. At the Institute the friendly assistance of many people, starting from the Head of the Institute, Matti Lukkarila, and above all Jorma Junttila, Timo Matoniemi and Tommi Partanen, was absolutely invaluable for the realization of the project. We are similarly grateful to the helpful staff of the Central Archives for Finnish Business Records, the Swedish Film Institute, the Labour Movement Archives and Library in Sweden and the National Library of Sweden. We are similarly grateful to the helpful staff of the Central Archives for Finnish Business Records. For the use of images we would like to thank Erkka Blomberg, Jörn Donner (Jörn Donner Productions), Matti Lukkarila (National Audiovisual Institute), Raija Pösö (Finnish Broadcasting Company), Haije Tulokas (Sputnik Oy) and Claes Olsson (Kinoproduction Oy). Our understanding of the various challenges filmmakers meet in producing and creating films with both national and transnational appeal was significantly enhanced by interviews granted by Klaus Härö, Matti Kassila, Tero Kaukomaa, Petri Kemppinen, Maunu Kurkvaara, Jarkko T.  Laine, Ilkka Matila, Marko Röhr and Markus Selin. Collaboration with the Finnish Society of Film Studies significantly facilitated organization of the Transnational Baltic Cinema Conference, for which we received generous support from the Finnish Film Foundation and the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. We are also grateful to Outi Hakola for her expert advice on conference organization. The home base of the project was at the department of Philosophy, History, Cultural and Art Studies, where our work was supported by the two consecutive Directors of the Department, Hannes Saarinen and Matti Sintonen, as well as the Financial Administrators Kirsti Nymark and Tuija



Modinos. Many of the practical problems were sorted out with the kind and expert assistance of Office Secretary Säde Stenbacka and Department Secretary Tiina Erkkilä. Eija Peltonen, Financial Assistant at the Topelia Project Administration, had the all-important role of keeping the financial records straight all through the project. We are also very grateful for the sensitive and precise language revision done by Michael Owston of Team Owston Company. Completing this publication with the guidance of first Chris Penfold and then Lina Aboujieb, who have acted as Commissioning Editors of the Palgrave Macmillan Film and Television Studies series, as well as Editorial Assistant Harry Fanshawe, has been a great pleasure. The chapter on Klaus Härö is based on Henry Bacon’s article “Nordic practices and Nordic sensibilities in Finnish–Swedish co-productions: The case of Klaus Härö and Jarkko T. Laine.” Journal of Scandinavian Cinema. 4, 2, 2014.



Introduction to the Study of Transnational Small Nation Cinema Henry Bacon

Part I 2



Beginnings: −1930

A Young Nation Seeking to Define Itself: Finland in 1900–1930 Outi Hupaniittu The Emergence of Finnish Film Production and Its Linkages to Cinema Businesses During the Silent Era Outi Hupaniittu Finnish Film Style in the Silent Era Jaakko Seppälä









Part II The Studio Era: 1930–1960 5




War and Peace: Finland Among Contending Nations Anneli Lehtisalo


Conceptions of National Film Style During the Studio Era Kimmo Laine


Exporting Finnish Films Anneli Lehtisalo

Part III

New Waves: 1960–1980




Trade and Diplomacy Between East and West Henry Bacon



The Finnish New Wave as a Transnational Phenomenon Pietari Kääpä


Popular Modernism Kimmo Laine



Part IV


The Age of Internationalization: Finnish Cinema Since 1980

An Increasingly European Nation Henry Bacon

185 187



International Networks of Production and Distribution Henry Bacon




Producer-led Mode of Film Production Pietari Kääpä



Two Modes of Transnational Filmmaking Henry Bacon and Jaakko Seppälä



Finnish Films and International Festivals Anneli Lehtisalo



Conclusion: The Transnational Persistence of National Cinemas Henry Bacon in collaboration with Outi Hupaniittu and Jaakko Seppälä


Appendix Outi Hupaniittu







Henry  Bacon, PhD is Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He has published nine books and a number of articles on film theory and history. Among his major interests are the interrelationships between perceiving and understanding of the environment on the one hand and perceiving and understanding audiovisual fiction on the other, transnational aspects of film culture, film in relation to other arts and film acting. Outi  Hupaniittu, PhD is Director of Archives at the Finnish Literature Society and Vice-Chair of the Finnish Society for Cinema Studies. She specializes in the economics of film and cinema history, and has also researched digitized cultural heritage and users’ perspectives of archival material. Pietari Kääpä, PhD is Lecturer in Media and Communications at the University of Stirling, UK. He has published seven books, edited four journal issues and contributed several articles to peer-reviewed collections on various areas in transnational film studies. Kimmo  Laine, PhD is Lecturer of Film Studies at the University of Oulu, Finland. He has published two books and a number of articles on film history. His ongoing research seeks ways to analyse film style in relation to contextual factors. Anneli Lehtisalo, PhD has worked as Lecturer in Media Culture in the School of Communication, Media and Theatre at the University of Tampere, Finland. In her research she has focused on the relations between cinema and the past, cultural memory and genre, as well as questions of (trans)national cinema, film production and distribution and cross-cultural film reception.




Jaakko  Seppälä, PhD is Chair of the Finnish Society for Cinema Studies and a researcher at the School of Film and Television Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland. His major research interests lie in the field of film history, in addition to which he is interested in film criticism, especially in film style and close textual analysis. In his current research project he explores the camera’s role in Aki Kaurismäki’s film style.


Fig. 4.1 Fig. 4.2 Fig. 4.3 Fig. 4.4 Fig. 4.5

Fig. 4.6

Fig. 4.7

Fig. 4.8

Fig. 4.9 Fig. 4.10



Sylvi (1913) was a midpoint between the flat and deep styles of tableau staging Large shot scales that depict characters in Finnish nature are common in Anna-Liisa (1922) Evil Spells (1927) relies on close-ups that emphasize character traits A scene in The Logroller’s Bride (1923) opens with an extreme long shot From the extreme long shot the film cuts to a medium shot without changing the camera’s perspective At the end of the scene the film cuts back to the opening view, as if returning to the status quo Evil Spells (1927) follows the premises of the classical style of editing, but violates the 180-degree rule Even though the film violates the 180-degree Rule, the editing patterns enhance the dramatic tension Anna-Liisa’s (1922) mise-en-scène is recognizably Finnish and conveys a sense of a lived-in space In The Logroller’s Bride (1923), the staging is horizontal and lacks depth, as a result of which it does not echo the style of Finnish interior paintings

58 62 64 68




72 75





Fig. 6.1

Fig. 6.2 Fig. 6.3 Fig. 6.4

Fig. 6.5 Fig. 6.6 Fig. 6.7 Fig. 6.8 Figs. 7.1 to 7.3

Fig. 7.4

Figs. 9.1 to 9.12

Fig. 10.1 Fig. 10.2 Fig. 10.3 Fig. 10.4 Fig. 14.1 Fig. 14.2

The Wide Road (1931) was released both as a silent version and as a sound film with recorded music and sound effects 92 At the Rovaniemi Fair (1950): Vagabonds in a third-class train car on their way to the north 94 Lea Joutseno as the quintessential modern heroine of Miss Hothead (1943) 96 Activist Eugen Schauman assassinates the Russian governor-general Bobrikov in February Manifesto (1939) 97 Activists (1939) brings elements of women’s film into a historical drama 98 Low-angle shooting with the accordion blocking the characters in VMV 6 (1936) 99 An extreme high-angle shot in Stolen Death (1938) 100 Regina Linnanheimo in an expressive close-up in Restless Blood (1946) 111 The Logger’s Bride (1937) attracted audiences in other Nordic countries with its spectacular rapid scenes 117–118 ‘Nordic eroticism’—that is, nudity and beautiful nature scenes—was exploited in The Milkmaid (1953), earning the film an exceptionally wide distribution abroad 127 The concluding climax of Skin Skin (1966). Each capture here represents an individual shot, edited together to provide a complex view of one of the main protagonists of the film (© FJ-Filmi, Finnkino) 159–160 A striking composition in depth in The Partisans (1963) 175 The Asphalt Lambs (1968): Jörn Donner in a scene disowned by the director Mikko Niskanen 177 Director Matti Kassila’s voiceover narration interrupts the action in Harvest Month (1956) 178 A character in Crazy Finland (1967) addressed by the voiceover narrator from above 182 Bergman–Nyqvist type of lighting effect in Elina: As If I Wasn’t There (2002) 215 Some lighting patterns in Drifting Clouds (1996) are reminiscent of French poetic realist films and American film noir 220


Table 1.1 Table 3.1 Table 4.1 Table 4.2 Table 4.3 Table 6.1 Table 7.1



Periodization of Finnish film history Number of Finnish films compared with the total number of films inspected in 1918–1930 Intertitles in Finnish fiction films per 500 shots Shot scales in Finnish fictional films per 500 shots Cutting rates in Finnish fiction films Modes of style, their salient features and principal proponents The quantity of films produced in Finland and the number of exported films

14 38 54 61 65 109 120