Q&A @ LFS | 'Helsinki Twilight 1984' with Pete Europa (Petri Hakkarainen)

Wednesday, 1 March 2017 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm

1 MARCH 2017, 5.00pm

Cinema A, 24 Shelton Street, London, WC2H 9UB




TIMANTTIKOIRIEN VUOSI 1984 (HELSINKI TWILIGHT 1984), 2010, Pete Europa (Petri Hakkarainen), 76 minutes, Finland

Synopsis: The documentary film HELSINKI TWILIGHT 1984 takes us back in time into the fascinating period between 1979 and 1985, when Helsinki and the rest of Finland moved towards an increasingly diverse and free social climate. For a period the length of ablink, Helsinki was like Berlin between the wars; full of ideas, encounters, and nonstrop partying - all against the backdrop of the Cold War. Grassroots media, like small magazines, pirate radio, and independent fashion, proliferated within pop culture. It was full of ideas, encounters between different groups of people and 24 hour partying and against the backdrop of what George Orwell’s 1984 had described, Dark, deep shades, ominous music, ‘pale boys’, vampires and other creatures of the night represented a world of a new human being and a new vision. Representing the birth of the European, international, and ultimately universal people.

INTERVIEWS: Pete Europa, May Pöysti, Mauno Paajanen (Twiggy Oliver), Ari Hirvonen (Sally Flesh), Måns Kullman, Pekka Hakala (Jay Havanna ), Jutta Kuure, General Njassa, Krister Orre, Olli Wisdom, Minna Duncan, Hamish MacDonald, Marko von Konow, Kimmo Takala, Jyrki 69 (The 69 Eyes), Heidi Kilpeläinen, Jukka Lindfors, Jon Klein, Jari Kauppinen, Wilma Vainikainen, Oda Ivanka Tsupukka, Ykä Knuuttila, Samurai Timppa, Timo Nevalainen, ”Hank” Nygren, Johnny Lee Michaels, Ninni Peräniitty 

Trailer: https://youtu.be/2JeATVqOadg


Pete Europa (Petri Hakkarainen) graduated from the University of Art and Design Helsinkin with a degree in film directing. Today he words as a director and a scriptwriter. Major television works include HALOSEN HARHARETKET and THE NEW SONG OF VÄINÄMÖINRN, a remaking of the Finnish national epci KALEVALA.

Directed & written by Pete Europa

Cinematography by Arttu Peltomaa

Sound by Eka Vepsä

Editing by Kari Elovuori

Helsinki Twilight 1984

A view from the Director's perspective

'It is very interesting to be able to see the children grow, and the documentary film 'Helsinki Twilight 1984' is a sort of a child. It is a love child, a wanted child, and increasingly it seems it is also a needed child. Very often we need a trigger; an event, a person, an accident to see more or to change the course of our lives. Somehow I have a feeling that 'Helsinki Twilight 1984' has some potential to be that trigger. Maybe it will give people a feeling of self esteem. Or it may inspire people to see how we form a chain of events, a continuation of a European art form, simply by existing – or through more conventional art form.

After finishing the film I started reading Simon Reynolds' excellent book: 'Rip it Up and Start Again – Post-punk 1978 – 1984' and I was amazed of the fact how deeply the Helsinki -scene was rooted in the same, international wave of the post-punk era. There is also a quotation in the cover from Simon Armitage:  '…reminds us of the reality and relevance of the MOST EXHILARATING moment in Britain’s pop/rock history.'

It is a meaningful sentence, and if it is even partly true you can consider that the ideas, people and themes in the 'Helsinki Twilight 1984' documentary are equally meaningful and true. Possibly even more so in Finland than in UK, because the British art and street culture has always been very strong but in Finland it was almost a completely new beginning to my generation, after the explosion of punk.

It was a barren ground, grey, sad, desolate territory for souls that were seeking something more liberating and inspiring. That is why our significant years from around 1979 – 1985 were fully loaded, bursting with energy, inspiration, in an energetic and active “collective” from which sprouted numerous new beginnings.

The appreciation of art - photography rose suddenly to new hights.  Jorma Uotinen championed Finnish modern dance that now reached international standards for the first time in history. In theatre there was a revolt; new forms of rebellious and strong physical theatre were born, and some of the actors also appeared on the club scene.

The very first independent radio station was founded in Helsinki, suddenly female artists begun shooting to fame. Men started wearing make up and stylish costumes which was very radical in the 'post-soviet' Finland. First video cameras came to the shops and first Finnish rock videos were shot. This colourful whirlwind of events and new ideas was very much centred around the new Helsinki clubs; previously there were no real clubs; Indie, new wave, artsy and special clubs were all born during '79 – '85.

It was 1981 when the first “Futurist” disco was arranged on an island near central Helsinki, and soon after the 'Einstein A Go Go', a cabaret club, 'The Batcave' all–night parties and 'Bela Lugosi' club, where you had to dress up in black, were all launched. Then followed a line of new clubs; 'Club 77', 'Cha Cha Club', 'Zebra Club', 'Club Berlin' etc, but the most intensive period in Helsinki was between those years 1979 – 1985.

Significant was also the presence of the Spirit of Art pervading everything. All kinds of things were happening and everything seemed to be linked with the “older” modern art forms of Europe.

Was there a call for the film 'Helsinki Twilight 1984'? Yes, I think that we needed it very much. But it is still only scratching the surface as there was more, much more. However, some of the essential issues and the spirit of that time is definitely in this film; this I firmly believe.'

For more information, please contact Illume at tel: +358 91481489 email: illume@illume.fi

Premièred 21st September 2010 at the Helsinki International Film Festival

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