Avanto Festival


After graduating in 1976 as a graphic designer from the Lahti Institute of Crafts and Design, Pasi Myllymäki (1950–) took up a day job in the visual department of the Iittala glass factory. Inspired by the DIY mentality of punk, he began planning his own Super 8 shorts. Not having his own camera, Myllymäki began collaborating with Risto Laakkonen, a camera-owning amateur cinematographer who worked at a printing house. Between 1976 and 1985 they worked evenings, weekends and holidays to produce more than 40 short films, each complete with magnetic sound, and, with few exceptions, all less than three minutes long.

Hyvää yötä Good Night (1978) was “the perfect synthesis of kinetics and surrealism”, which for Myllymäki meant “a breakthrough into the bruised zone somewhere between insomnia and nightmare”. Sleeping (1979) picked up the ideas established in the previous film. Writing in the cultural journal Uuden ajan aura Myllymäki proclaimed, “Films should no longer be experienced like a dream. Until now, the spectator has watched from a safe distance as the film happens to the actors, but now the film will happen to the spectator. The era of direct cinema has begun.” However, the reception of his magnum opus was lethargic. In protest, Myllymäki adapted his alias, “Sleeping”.

Pasi "Sleeping" Myllymäki: Sleeping (1979)

3000 autoa (1980) is a hysterical milestone of minimalist cinema: a stop-motion animation composed of front grilles of cars shot by Laakkonen and Myllymäki in the parking lots of supermarkets of their home town of Hämeenlinna. Viewers will get the chance to witness “the brightest white in the history of cinema” in 5 reikää selluloidissa (1980), a short film produced entirely without a camera.

The economical mode of expression Myllymäki and Laakkonen employed in their films was unparalleled in Finland at the time. Despite this uniqueness, their films were never screened in official film events, but circulated only in gatherings of 8 mm hobbyists and at new wave music events.

Between 1979 and 1982, Myllymäki published nine issues of an A5-sized fanzine called Maanalainen kaitaelokuva (“Underground DIY cinema”). The articles he published in it were frenzied rants against the conservative values of 8 mm enthusiasts and manifestos that heralded a “new wave culture”.

Both Pasi “Sleeping” Myllymäki and Risto Laakkonen will attend the festival. All films will be screened in their original Super 8 format.

Sähkömetsä 5: Underground DIY Cinema
Omena The Apple (1976, 1’32”)
Hyvää yötä Good Night (1978, 7’30”)
Sleeping (1979, 1’25”)
Vedestä nousee ufo (1979, 2’47”)
Horizontal (1979, 3’22”)
5 reikää selluloidissa (1980, 2’05”)
3000 autoa (1980, 2’35”)
Eorba (1980, 2’30”)
Värityskirja. Nyt! (1980, 3’05”)
Ele (1981, 2’05”)
Ajo maapallon ympäri (1981, 1’25”)
Värinää maisemassa (1981, 1’05”)
Maanalainen kaitaelokuva 8 (1982, 2’45”)
Maanalainen kaitaelokuva Japanissa (1981, 1’10”) *
Viisi sanaa (1982, 2’14”)
Nauhuri on ihmeellinen keksintö (1983, 2’47”)
Laulu fariseuksista (1982, 1’28”)
Puhe fariseuksista (1983, 2’25”)
Kahvila Ruusu (1982, 1’30”)
1982 – sensuurin vuosi (1982, 2’10”)
Mustat alku- ja lopputekstit (1982, 2’46”)
Murra murra (1985, 2’45”) **
* K 18 * For audiences 18 years and older *
total approx. 50 min.

All films directed by Pasi Myllymäki with cinematography by Risto Laakkonen, except * direction and cinematography: Risto Laakkonen and ** direction and cinematography: Pasi Myllymäki.

Kiasma Theatre on Sunday, 19 November at 4 pm.

Pasi "Sleeping" Myllymäki: 3000 autoa (1980)