Archive of films Frozen City / Valkoinen Kaupunki
2006, 90 min
Section: Official Selection - Competition
Aku Louhimies has come up with a film documenting the disintegration of a young marriage. The film, which offers fine performances from both leads Susanna Anteroinen and Janne Virtanen, somewhat self-ironically styles itself as a remake of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976) – and, in its relentlessness, it is certainly worthy of comparison.
You might sometimes think that Nordic directors own the patent for ruthlessly depicting partnership wrangles as they really are: extremely bitter fights to the death, fuelled by remnants of the feelings they still have for each other, and also by an irrational desire to hurt the other as far as possible. Frozen City is a raw chronicle of one such battle which has no champions, unfolding in ice-encrusted Helsinki. When Veli-Matti’s marriage to Hanna breaks down, he moves into a flat in the suburbs. But misfortune continues to plague him – he loses his job as a taxi-driver and the courts have banned him from having any contact with his three children. When his crazy neighbour starts pounding on Veli-Matti’s door every single day, complaining that his curtainless windows are disfiguring the entire housing estate, it becomes clear that all his accumulated despair and resentment will one day lead to something terrible.
About the director
Aku Louhimies (b. 1968, Helsinki, Finland) made shorts and documentaries for Finnish television from the mid-1990s onwards. His first feature films Restless (Levottomat, 2000) and Lovers & Leavers (Kuutamolla, 2002) earned considerable success with audiences; his breakthrough came with the award-winning TV series Fragments (Irtiottoja, 2003). One of the 12 episodes from this experimental series, for which Aku Louhimies was voted Director of the Year by his Finnish colleagues in 2004, became the basis for the film Frozen City (Valkoinen kaupunki, 2006), entered for this year’s competition. Louhimies’ previous film Frozen Land (Paha maa, 2005), which visitors to the KV IFF would have seen in previous years, along with Lovers & Leavers, took away prizes from the festivals in Moscow, Göteborg, Athens, Lübeck, Bergen and Leeds.
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Section:||Official Selection - Competition|
|Screenplay:||Paavo Westerberg, Mikko Kouki|
|Dir. of Photography:||Rauno Ronkainen|
|Production:||Solar Films Inc.|
|Cast:||Janne Virtanen, Susanna Anteroinen, Aada Hämes, Santuu Nuutinen, Viivi Hämes|
|Contact:||The Finnish Film Foundation, Solar Films Inc.|
Film Institution Rep.
Festival Organizer, Film Institution Rep.