Film Title:



    Wednesday 3 October 20:00
    Friday 5 October 12:45


86 mins

Director: Kimmo Koskela Country: Finland
Writer: Kimmo Koskela with contributions by Ann Guedes, Sami Laitinen, Kimmo Pohjonen, Arne Eklund, Gernot Steinweg, Phillip Page Original Format: HD
Dir. of Photography: Kimmo Koskela Print Source: Marja Pallassalo, Otto Suuronen
Producer: Kimmo Koskela, Klaus Heydemann
Cast: Kimmi Pohjonen

UK Premiere

This beautifully photographed documentary scratches the surface - appropriate considering its icy opening - of Finnish accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen. Pohjohnen transformed the expectations of accordion music, bending and breaking the rules that stifled him as a young man. Mixing old photographs, Pohjohnen's recollections of his rural upbringing (a rather startling story about a frog encapsulates the macabre curiosity of country life), concert footage and more elaborate interpretive visual ideas, director Kimmo Koskela keeps things visually alive, giving the film an occasionally wry, sometimes David Lynchian, feel.

Pohjohnen is a prolific musician and composer and the documentary reflects that, flitting between various performances, whether it's his rock three-piece K Cube or a stirring collaboration with the Kronos Quartet. Pohjohnen has an air of Gary Numan's industrial experimentalilism, buoyed by his apparent love for the instrument, for pushing sound to its extremes. In the context of the film this is most fully realised in his Earth Machine Music project, which we glimpse throughout the course of this documentary and that serves as the film's finale.

We are given a tantalising overview of Pohjohnen's career, from his initial frustrations with the instrument that has come to define him, a formative trip to Tanzania, being nurtured and pushed creatively by the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, towards his own efforts to keep challenging himself and mixing performance art and theatricality into his live shows.

Pohjohnen drives this documentary, it's like stepping into his mind, and Koskela does a fantastic job of visualising his sound, be it a striking opening underwater sequence,  a surreal ping-pong match or a bizarre balletic sequence. Koskela's film is an odd and unique take on one man's efforts to challenge the preconceived notions of what an instrument - thought to be 'traditional' and antiquated - can really do.

Owain Paciuzko

Tickets Weekdays Before 5:00 - £5.00
All Other Times: £10.00
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Practical Information

All screenings at Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus
19 Lower Regent Street


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