Magnificent7 2013/5

Magic evening in the Sava Centre last night. 8-900 people had decided to spend their saturday night out in the company of Finnish artist Kimmo Pohjonen. It was a good choice you could hear from the reactions during and after the screening of ”Soundbreaker”, directed by Kimmo Koskela. Good choice… it was like being at a rock concert, the well deserved applause and cried out ”bravos” that was given to Pohjonen.

You might have some small reservations about the editing of the film but it has no influence at all on the overall impression that Pohjonen conveyed from the screen. What a performer, what a musician and what a sympathetic man, who has something to say to his – in this case – viewers and listeners. We enter a hole in the ice in the beginning of the film, are taken under water(!), where he is playing his 17,5 kilogram heavy accordion to concerts with other musicians like the Kronos Quartet, but first of all to himself performing in front of the camera, in constant movement, both caressing and fighting with the accordion, gentleness and brutality at the same time, with a music instrument, which, he says in the film, in Finnish can be understood as an asshole! We are also taken to England to the fascinating Earth Machine Music project filmed around farms, where he collects his sounds from tractors, pigs, tools, machines for potatoes, whatever. Some of the scenes are hilarious and conveys the obvious humanistic fundament of Pohjonen’s art.

It sounds banal but what Pohjonen comes up with is a message to all of us – find your voice inside yourself, express yourself, be creative. What an energy and what a wonderful and powerful sound-breaking and sound-making music instrument the accordion is. In the film it is, through excellent camerawork, being given a Life of its own, it moves on its own, it is strong and powerful, or small and pitiful, or some kind of nuisance that has to be smashed!

If you want to know more about Pohjonen, go to his website, there are videos to watch and listen to, and he has a blog, where he recommends documentary films that we should watch. A gentle and generous, wild man!

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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