One Last Deal: driven by passion
Directed by Klaus Härö, One Last Deal follows a passionate art dealer, Olavi (Heikki Nousiainen) and his failing business. Overpowered by corporatisation of the art industry, Olavi has fallen behind at an insane speed. Just as he was about to give up, he stumbled upon an artwork which may be from an obscure icon, a major Russian painter. With the help of his talented grandson, they worked towards getting the piece into the limelight and sold.
Härö cleverly wrote the film in order to portray the frustrations and disappointments of Olavi. As Olavi, Nousiainen puts in his all, portraying the character brilliantly with every conversation and facial expression. The audience could clearly see Olavi’s passion in arts thanks to his amazing performances.
Cinevue describes One Last Deal as “a moving depiction of the search for meaning in later life.”
Overall, this was a 7.5 out of 10.
The Violin Player: the pathway to fame
A Chinese expression says it takes ten years to perfect the art of performing on stage for a mere ten minutes. This is true in the case of Karin (Matleena Kuusniemi), an internationally acclaimed concert violinist. Directed by Paavo Westerberg, we saw a passionate and talented violinist consumed by both her stage performances and her attraction towards her gifted student, Antti (Olavi Uusivirta). As her affection for Antti grows, she pushes her family further away.
Throughout the film Westerberg uses appealing and familiar musical scores, doing well to compliment this romantic drama that focuses on passion and ambition.
Kuusniemi portrays the desperation of Karin’s love for her student through her facial expressions and body language. Her character was sensual and intriguing; audiences were drawn into the film within minutes.
Overall, this is a 7 out of 10.
X & Y: the masks we wear
Award winning artist and filmmaker Anna Odell pulled us into her contemporary film, X&Y, which focuses on an identifiable logic—the three identities that every individual has: the self, the one we would like to be and the way we are seen.
Starring as herself alongside co-star Mikael Persbrandt, the actors perform as their alter egos; the audience was swept away into a tsunami of jealousy, dominance and sexual obsession, forcing movie-goers to question their sense of self.
Described as “a star-studded ensemble peace, which explores hidden female and male identities”, this film plays in between the space of sublime and the ridiculous. It was intriguingly written, and challenges the status quo of today’s societies.
I strongly suggest watching X & Y. Overall, I would rate it an 8 out of 10.
The Scandinavian Film Festival premiered in Perth during July this year. Head to the website to check out the full list of featured films.