Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mannerheim, the epic movie man

The past week Finns have been arguing what kind of movie adaption is ok when talking about C.G.E. Mannerheim, the marshal of Finland.

So who is this Mannerheim guy anyway? He was the leader of the Finnish army in the second world war. Tiny Finland fought against the great red army of Russia - technically Finland lost the war, but that's a minor detail, since Finland was able to maintain its formal independence, unlike Estonia, for example.

So Mannerheim is seen as a national hero in Finland. He has been voted as the greatest Finn of all times. If one could become a saint in Finland, he'd be the most sacred of them all. The following examples tell something about his position in our culture:

In the end of 1990's the construction site of Kiasma (the museum of contemporary art) took place right next to Mannerheim statue. The wall/fence of the construction site was pink - quite suitable for museum of contemporary art. But. The wall closest to Mannerheim statue had to be painted grey - since pink wasn't honorable enough for his statue.

Finnish movie director Renny Harlin (you may remember him directing Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger) and producer Markus Selin have been planning a massive movie production about Mannerheim. The planned movie has been showing off pre-marketing actions in a way that has never seen before in Finland. Too bad that the guys run out of money on the way, and the plans were first put on hold and eventually dumped. So no epic movie about Mannerheim, at least not from Harlin&Selin.

Couple of years back there was a puppet animation about Mannerheim, which of course caused a fuss. As a background, there are rumors about Mannerheim's sexual orientation, and in the animation there's an unconventional love scene. Which caused a storm in a tea kettle. And nobody didn't seem to notice that the animation itself was simply poor, it doesn't deserve even a half-a-star-rating.

And now, in 2012, there's been huge fuss about (yet another) Mannerheim movie: The Finnish broadcasting company has produced a short film about Mannerheim. The movie is made in Kenya and the role of Mannerheim is played by a Kenyan. And that's too much for most. Well, eventually it turned out that the film was a side product of a reality show, not a real movie. I wonder what kind of a fuss is on when the reality airs.

What next? There are still lots of genres left to be tried out...

     (C) Erik

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