The Girl King is set to grace the Berlinale with her presence
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Mika Kaurismäki’s film will have its market premiere for Finnish-Swedish sales agent The Yellow Affair
Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki’s drama The Girl King [+see also:
film profile] – his updated version of US director Rouben Mamoulian’s Queen Christina (1933), which starred Greta Garbo in the lead – will have its market premiere at the European Film Market in Berlin (5-13 February), screening for Finnish-Swedish sales agent The Yellow Affair, by invitation only.
That means only a select few will get the opportunity to see his portrait of the only surviving child of King Gustav II Adolf, who was queen regnant of Sweden between 1644 and 1654, ruling from the age of 18 to 28 – and who caused scandal when she abdicated and converted to Catholicism.
“I wanted to create a ‘modern’ and rebellious figure of immediacy and contemporaneity, not a conventional period piece,” said Kaurismäki, who cast Swedish actress Malin Buska in the lead role of the Finnish-Canadian production scripted by Canada’s Michel Marc Bouchard, who has also written a play about the historical character.
The Yellow Affair has another three Finnish features in the market, including Dome Karukoski’s The Grump [+see also:
film profile], Antti Heikki Pesonen’s Headfirst [+see also:
film profile] and Amir Arsames’ documentary Pixadores [+see also:
film profile], which all won Jussis – Finland’s national prize – at the 1 February ceremony in Helsinki.
Sweden’s Eyewell sales outfit has programmed the world premiere of Estonian director Elmo Nüganen’s war epic 1944 [+see also:
film profile] for the Berlin market. Nüganen made the most successful Estonian feature in 20 years, Names in Marble (2002), also staged by 1944 producers Taska Film (Estonia) and MRP – Matila Röhr Productions (Finland).
Scripted by Leo Kunnas, the film recounts the Battle of Tannenberg in 1944, one of the bloodiest episodes on the Eastern Front during World War II. On the border between Europe and Russia, Estonian soldiers are fighting – some for Russia’s Red Army, some for Germany’s Waffen-SS – in this case, two brothers on different sides, pitted against each other.