Thursday, 25 October 2007
Sibelius on Film

The Barbican Centre will present four films as part of their mini-festival, "Sibelius on Film", this November. Those with tickets to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra's concerts ("Sibelius Unbound") are entitled to film tickets at concession rates. Please note that the performance of Themes from Heaven has unfortunately been cancelled.

Sunday 4 November at 2pm
The Unknown Soldier (1955, Dir. Edvin Laine 132 min)

To the strains of Sibelius' Finlandia, a platoon of young Finns confront the ravages of the Winter War against Russia in the early 1940s.

Based on the novel by Väinö Linna, the portrayal of the harsh lives of these ordinary young soldiers inspired Finnish audiences, and served to revive a sense of national identity. This powerful story is one of the all time most popular films in Finland and internationally acclaimed.

Sunday 4 November at 4.30pm
The White Reindeer (1952 Dir. Erik Blomberg 73 min)

The first Finnish film to be selected for the Cannes Film Festival is a beguiling saga of sorcery and magical forces.

In the snowy far north of Lapland a strong and beautiful woman is possessed of supernatural powers, and lures men to their deaths. Dazzling photography of the snowy wilderness, often shot using the most rudimentary methods and equipment (note especially the exhilarating sledging race in the opening sequence), create a chilling atmosphere for this extraordinary saga.

Saturday 10 November at 2pm
Jean Sibelius (1984 Dir. Christopher Nupen 53 min. / 51 min) + Jean Sibelius at Home (1927 Dir. Heikki Aho, Bjorn Soldan 5 min)

Christopher Nupen's acclaimed study of one of the greatest symphonists of the twentieth century surveys his personal struggles and artistic aspirations. The films include substantial musical extracts played by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, and songs sung by Elisabeth Söderström.

Jean Sibelius at Home - rare footage from the Finnish Film Archive of the composer in 1927.

Saturday 10 November at 2pm
Sibelius (2003 Dir. Timo Koivusalo 120 min)

An epic chronicle of the life and work of the Finnish composer.

Against the background of the new-born nation of Finland and its independence from Imperial Russia, the film explores Sibelius' student years in Berlin and Vienna, the growth of his creative genius, and the later maelstrom of outside pressure and self-criticism that finally suffocated his inspiration, and doomed the  
Eighth Symphony to the consuming fire.

Click Here for the Barbican Film website and to book tickets.