Fiche Personne
Réalisateur/trice Producteur/trice Scénariste Monteur/se

Mika Kaurismaki

Finlande

Français

Mika KAURISMÄKI est un réalisateur, producteur, scénariste et monteur finlandais.

Il est né le 21 septembre 1955 à Orimattila (Finlande).
De nationalité finlandaise. Il est le grand frère du cinéaste finlandais Aki Kaurismäki (né en 1957).

Mika Kaurismäki étudie le cinéma à Munich et réalise THE LIAR en Finlande en 1980. Son plus jeune frère Aki Kaurismäki, alors étudiant en journalisme, co-scénariste, y joue le rôle principal : c’est le début d’une longue collaboration, qui pousse Aki et Mika Kaurismäki à réaliser et financer pas moins d’un cinquième de la production assurée en Finlande dès les années 80.
Dans les années 90, Mika s’installe à Rio de Janeiro et se lance dans les co-productions internationales. En 2002, il produit et réalise MORO NO BRASIL, son premier documentaire sur la musique brésilienne.

2005 BRASILEIRINHO
2004 HONEY BABY
2002 MORO NO BRASIL
1999 HIGHWAY SOCIETY
1998 I LOVE L.A.
1995 CONDITION RED
1994 TIGRERO, UN FILM JAMAIS RÉALISÉ
1991 ZOMBIE AND THE GHOST TRAIN
1990 AMAZON
1987 HELSINKI NAPOLI ALL NIGHT LONG
1985 ROSSO
1981 THE SAIMAA GESTURE, réalisé avec A Kaurismäki (doc sur le rock finlandais)
1981 THE LIAR

English

Mika Kaurismäki’s first film The Liar (1980) was an overnight sensation, when first shown in Finland; it marked the beginning of the cinema of the Kaurismäki brothers and started a new era in the Finnish cinema.

After the high school Mika Kaurismäki used to work as a painter of houses and apartments in a small town of Kuusankoski in the Southeastern part of Finland. In the autumn of 1976, when the winter was coming and the annual high season for painting houses was over, he thought of doing something else in life. Still wearing his painter overall, he walked into a bookstore and bought the newly published « History of Cinema » by Peter von Bagh. He started reading it from the page one and decided to become a film director.

Mika Kaurismaki studied cinema in Munich, Germany, (Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen) 1977-1981 and made his diplom film The Liar in 1980 in Finland. His younger brother Aki Kaurismäki, then a student of journalism, played the main role and also co-wrote the screenplay. After the success of The Liar, Mika Kaurismäki decided to stay in Finland and together with his brother and some friends he founded the production company Villealfa Filmproductions, that soon became a home of vital low- or no-budget film making; by the end of the 80’s it was the third biggest film production company of all times in Finland. The Villealfa film family consisted, besides the Kaurismäki brothers, of many colleagues and friends, including the actors Matti Pellonpää and Kari Väänänen and the cinematographer Timo Salminen. Mika Kaurismäki’s films of this era include among others the road movies The Worthless (1982) and Rosso (1985), the action comedy Helsinki Napoli – all night long (1987) and the enviromental adventure The Amazon (1990). Aki Kaurismäki, who had worked as Mika’s assistant and a screenwriter, began his career as a director, when Mika produced his first film The Crime and Punishment (1984). During the active Villealfa years, Mika co-founded the legendary Midnight Sun Film Festival (1986) and the distribution company Senso Films (1987) and the Andorra cinemas in Helsinki.

The 90’s meant a gradual disappearance of the Villealfa spirit and both Mika and Aki started to produce their films through their own production companies. Mika had founded Marianna Films in 1987 and its first independent production was the award winning Zombie and the Ghost Train (1991). In 1994 Mika returned to the Brazilian jungle with Samuel Fuller and Jim Jarmusch and made the feature length documentary Tigrero – a film that was never made. The film was awarded the International Critics’ Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 1994.

In the course of the 90’s Mika established his base and second home in Rio de Janeiro and started to concentrate more in international co-productions. In 1996 in Philadelphia he directed the no-budget thriller Condition Red with James Russo, Cynda Williams and Paul Calderon. His biggest production so far is the comedy LA without a map (1998), with David Tennant, July Delpy, Vincent Gallo, Johnny Depp, James Le Gros, Anouk Aimee, Joe Dallesandro etc.

The new millenium started for Mika with the production of Moro no Brasil (2002), the praised documentary of Brazilian music. During the production of this film he also opened a live music club « Mika’s Bar » in Rio de Janeiro, but gave it up later and decided to concentrate primarily in film making. In 2003 he directed Honey Baby, a road movie between Germany and Russia, starring Henry Thomas, Irina Björklund and Helmut Berger. Brasileirinho, a film about Brazilian choro music, premiered at the Berlinale 2005 and Sonic Mirror, a film with legendary drummer Billy Cobham, in Nyon 2007.

In 2008 Mika directed the award winning Three Wise Men. The House of Branching Love premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2009. His latest film Vesku from Finland was released in September 2010.


FILMS
Films as director:


2011
MAMA AFRICA
a feature documentary about Miriam Makeba

BROTHERS (Veljekset),
with Kari Heiskanen, Pertti Sveholm, Timo Torikka, Liisa Mustonen, Mari Perankoski, Vesa Vierikko and Esko Salminen.

2010
VESKU FROM FINLAND
with Vesa-Matti Loiri as Himself.

2009
THE HOUSE OF BRANCHING LOVE
with Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Elina Knihtilä, Kati Outinen, Antti Reini, Tommi Eronen, Irina Björklund, Kari Väänänen etc.

MALÉ DEBALÉ (music documentary)

THE SOUND OF GLARUS (music documentary)

2008
THREE WISE MEN
with Kari Heiskanen, Pertti Sveholm, Timo Torikka.

2006
SONIC MIRROR
with Billy Cobham, Malé Debalé, Espoo Big Band, Okuta etc.

2005
BRASILEIRINHO
with Trio Madeira Brasil, Yamandú, Paulo Moura, Elza Soares, Teresa Cristina, Zezé Gonzaga, Ademilde Fonseca, Guinga etc.

2004
BEM-VINDO A SÃO PAULO (segment « Manha De Domingo », short)

2003
HONEY BABY
with Henry Thomas, Irina Björklund, Helmut Berger

2002
MORO NO BRASIL (music documentary)
with Margar eth Menezes, Velha Guarda da Mangueira, Walter Alfaiate, Seu Jorge, Ivo Meirelles, Caju e Castanha, Antonio Nobrega, Silverio, Maje Mole etc.

1999
HIGHWAY SOCIETY
with Kai Wiesinger, Marie Zielcke, Jochen Nickel

1998
LOS ANGELES WITHOUT A MAP
with David Tennant, Vinessa Shaw, Julie Delpy, Vincent Gallo, Cameron Bancroft, Johnny Depp, James Le Gros, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Anouk Aimee etc.

1996
SAMBóLICO (30 min. episode)
RHYTHM (5 min. episode)

1995
CONDITION RED (Jatkuva hälytystila)
with James Russo, Cynda Williams, Paul Calderon
H.A.R.P.: BUBBLE STRUGGLE (music video)

1994
TIGRERO-A FILM THAT WAS NEVER MADE
(Tigrero – Elokuva, joka ei valmistunut)
with Sam Fuller, Jim Jarmusch

1993
THE LAST BORDER (Viimeisellä rajalla)
with Jürgen Prochnow, Jolyon Baker, Fanny Bastien, Kari Väänänen, Matti Pellonpää, Soli Labbart etc.

1991
ZOMBIE AND THE GHOST TRAIN (Zombie ja kummitusjuna)
with Silu Seppälä, Matti Pellonpää, Marjo Leinonen

1990
AMAZON with Kari Väänänen, Robert Davi, Rae Dawn Chong

1989
PAPER STAR (Paperitähti) with Pirkko Hämäläinen, Kari Väänänen

CHA CHA CHA with Kari Väänänen, Matti Pellonpää, Sanna Fransman

1988
NIGHT WORK (Yötyö, TV film) with Martti Syrjä, Kaija Pakarinen, Esko Salminen

1987
HELSINKI NAPOLI – ALL NIGHT LONG
with Kari Väänänen, Nino Manfredi, Roberta Manfredi, Margi Clark, J-P. Castaldi, Samuel Fuller, Eddie Costantine and as guests Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch

1985
ROSSO with Kari Väänänen, Martti Syrjä

1984
THE CLAN – TALE OF THE FROGS
(Klaani – tarina Sammakoitten suvusta) with Kari Väänänen, Matti Pellonpää, Markku Halme, Minna Soisalo, Lasse Pöysti etc.

1982
THE WORTHLESS (Arvottomat)
with Matti Pellonpää, Pirkko Hämäläinen

JACKPOT 2 (short)
with Martti Syrjä, Jukka Mikkola

1981
THE SAIMAA GESTURE
(Saimaa-ilmiö, co-dir. with Aki Kaurismäki)
Documentary about Finnish Rock, with Juice Leskinen,
Eppu Normaali and Hassisen Kone
THE LIAR (Valehtelija)
with Aki Kaurismäki, Pirkko Hämäläinen, Juuso Hirvikangas


Retrospectives:
(selection)

2008 Croatia (Zagreb, Split)
2005 Rennes
2004 Paris, Munich
2002 Buenos Aires
2001 Potsdam, Valencia, St. Petersburg
2000 Slovenia
1999 Mexico City
1998 Torino, Bologna
1997-98 Latin America, ca. 10 film archives
1997 Islamabad
Moscow
1995 Karlovy Vary
Antwerpen
Rio de Janeiro, Sâo Paulo, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia
1994 Rochelle
1992 Chicago
1991 Istanbul Film Festival
1990 Munich
Leningrad
1989 New York / Museum of Modern Art
Los Angeles / UCLA Film and Television Archive,
San Francisco/Berkley
1988 Hamburg Low Budget Film Festival
Toronto Festival of Festivals
Stockholm / Cinemateket
Paris Festival d’Automne


Awards, Mentions etc:
(selection; note! Jussi-Award equal to Oscar-Award in Finland)

2011
MAMA AFRICA, Audience Award (Panorama), Berlin International Film Festival, 2011

2009
THREE WISE MEN, El Cabrito del Plata for Best Film, Monterrey International Film Festival
THREE WISE MEN, The Audience Award, Monterrey International Film Festival

2008
THREE WISE MEN, Best Actor Award (Kari Heiskanen, Pertti Sveholm, Timo Torikka), Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

2005
Grand Prix, Iberoamerican Film Festival, Poland, for BRASILEIRINHO

2003
Rating « Wertvoll » (« Valuable ») in Germany for MORO NO BRASIL

2002
Diploma of Honour of the Film Critics’ Association of Argentina (for career)

2001
Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur de France
Festival of Cinema di Fronteira, Sicily (for career)

1995
Golden Gate Award, San Francisco (TIGRERO)
Silver Key, Art Film Festival, Trecianske Teplice (TIGRERO)

1994
International Critcs’ Award, Berlin (TIGRERO)
State Film Award /Finland (TIGRERO)
Arts and Letters Award, Finland Foundation, New York
Pro Finlandia Award by the President of Finland, Finland

1992
Critics’ Award, Rouen Film Festival (ZOMBIE AND THE GHOST TRAIN)
State Film Award/Finland (ZOMBIE AND THE GHOST TRAIN)
Best Actor Award, Pescara Italy (ZOMBIE AND THE GHOST TRAIN)
3 Jussi Awards (Best Picture, Best Actor/Silu Seppälä, Photography/Olli Varja) (ZOMBIE AND THE GHOST TRAIN)

1991
World Wildlife Fund WWF/OKO Award (AMAZON)
Best Actor Award, San Sebastian Film Festival (ZOMBIE AND THE GHOST TRAIN)
Jussi Award (Sound Design/Jouko Lumme) (AMAZON)

1990
Jussi Award (Best Actress/Pirkko Hämäläinen) (PAPERSTAR)

1988
Jussi Award (Best Production) (HELSINKI NAPOLI – ALL NIGHT LONG)
State Film Award/Finland (HELSINKI NAPOLI – ALL NIGHT LONG)

1986
Jussi Award (Screenplay/Original Idea) (ROSSO)
State Film Award/Finland (ROSSO)

1985
2 Jussi Awards (Music/Anssi Tikanmäki, Supporting Male Role/Juhani Niemelä) (CLAN)

1983
Jussi Award (Director) (THE WORTHLESS)
State Film Award/Finland (THE WORTHLESS)

1982
Best Fiction Film, Tampere Film Festival (JACKPOT 2)
Prix Special du Jury, Rencontres Internationales Henri Langlois, Tours, France (THE LIAR)

1981
Risto Jarva Prize, Tampere Film Festival (THE LIAR)
Jussi Diploma (THE LIAR)
State Film Award/Finland (THE LIAR)