Peter von Bagh: Sodankylä ikuisesti [Sodankylä forever]

11 June 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Sodankylä ikuisesti
[Sodankylä forever]
Helsinki: WSOY, 2010. 308 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-0-36290-7
€ 52, hardback

The Midnight Sun Film Festival is the world’s northernmost film festival. Held in  Sodankylä, Lapland, it is now 25 years old. This scrapbook includes the text of speeches given by filmmakers as well as a wealth of material about the films shown over the years. Much of this material is based on the morning discussion panels which the festival’s director, film historian and author Peter von Bagh, has chaired with his guests. More than one hundred film directors, from Samuel Fuller to Wim Wenders, talk about the background and influences in their work. Von Bagh has constructed dialogues between directors who did not actually attend the same sessions; he calls these conversations – sometimes between the living and the dead – ‘heavenly dialogues’. The Festival was founded by Finnish film directors Aki and Mika Kaurismäki and Anssi Mänttäri in collaboration with the municipality of Sodankylä. The light summer nights and laid-back atmosphere at the festival delight the speakers and audience members every year. In the words of the American filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, ‘Woodstock is fuckin’ nothing if you’ve been at the Midnight Sun Film Festival.’

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