40 years old | “The world can be understood more easily if you understand what emotions make people work,” says screenwriter and director Antti Heikki Pesonen

Antti Heikki Pesonen ended up making films because he can’t draw cartoons. “My movies may look stiff, but beneath the surface, it’s a matter of emotion,” he says.

Cartoon and the film tells stories with pictures. Usually their kinship is emphasized, but the film director To Antti Heikki Pesonen the differences are also clear.

“As a kid, I loved cartoons, Inks, Asterixeja, Marvel’s superheroes. But I couldn’t draw. Sometimes at the age of eight I saw it Tim Burtonin the first Batmanfilm, and that’s where the two seem to come together, ”says Pesonen.

As a high school student, Pesonen read Scott McCloudin famous book Cartoon – Invisible Art (Finnish 1994), which specified comic book narrative in comic format. It made it clear to him how the cartoon and the film deal with time and movement, among other things.

Still unable to draw, Pesonen applied to study film at the University of Art and Design after high school.

“I’m still reading cartoons, most recently for example Riad Sattoufin The Arab of the future all five parts. But cartoon and film are two completely different art forms. ”

Pesonen ended up making movies that are a little more reminiscent The Arabic of the future than Batmania.

Sattouf tells his own growth story as a child of a French mother and a Syrian father. Pesonen’s films were tied to his background, especially in the beginning, although they are not autobiographical.

Short Corso theory (2012) and Pesonen’s first feature film Facing the wall (2014) are located in the suburbs of Vantaa, where the supervisor grew. About corset theory Pesonen received the prestigious Risto Jarva Award at the Tampere Film Festival and Facing the wall manuscript by Jussin.

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“At first, I fully consciously dealt with the concrete suburbs I come from. I left to study in the early 2000s. When I moved to Kallio’s student booth, the difference was bigger mentally than geographically. But my relationship with the suburbs is still positive, nostalgic. ”

Although Facing the wall received a good reception, Pesonen has not directed a feature film since. But he has written Teppo Airaksinen controlled by Juicen (2018), a pop musician in a rare successful biography Juice from Widow.

Producer Marko Talli offered Juicen writing to Pesone. The work went naturally, as director Airaksinen was Pesonen’s roommate during his studies. The film is based on Antti Heikkinen to the book Risainen’s life – Juice Leskinen 1950–2006 (2016).

“I got a snippet of a book about a cracked man trying to do something with his life. Usually, biographical films claim that suffering refines, but here’s the end especially asking what then. Clean and intact things are often boring. ”

Also Batman is a traumatic hero, but Pesonen’s films are far from the traditional division between good and evil. While there are nuances in his films, he makes no distinction between things that are usually associated with entertainment.

“There is always a wound or defect in humanity that you have to learn to live with – even if you don’t know how to draw and have to make movies instead of cartoons. A moving image is good for conveying emotions. That’s why movies shouldn’t be afraid to portray emotions. ”

Pesonen still doesn’t make melodramas. He avoids syrup with sour humor. Characters are often well aware of their situations and shortcomings and are sarcastic and self-ironic about them.

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However, Pesonen does not condemn melodrama as a genre, but suspects that he could do it himself.

“My films may look stiff, but beneath the surface, it’s a matter of emotion. You can understand the world more easily if you understand what emotions make people work. ”

Pesonen has scripted all the films he directed and scripted films for others, but has not directed any films scripted by others.

“It’s a coincidence. I wouldn’t write to others if I didn’t want to direct other people’s scripts, ”Pesonen points out.

The TV series written by others have been directed by Pesonen, as Duke of Sipoo and Downshifters.

“The long and heavy financial patterns of the films were exhausting, and the TV streaming boom provided job opportunities. I thought it would be harder to work than to wait five years for the funding to arrange. However, I am developing an action comedy, among other things. ”

Multi Other film directors have also started working for TV in Finland in the same way as in the United States. At the same time, we have begun to invest even more money and ambition in TV series. The differences in the film have narrowed.

Pesonen’s next direction is also a TV series with four parts All sorry, which has already been described. It’s based on Laura Mannisen to a novel of the same name dealing with intimate partner violence. It is the first TV work that Pesonen has also written.

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“It was first thought of as a film, but it would have taken another four or five years to get it done. It felt like it had to be grasped now. Today, it is also possible to deal with such challenging topics on TV. It would also have been a good film, but it was good to expand it into a series. ”

Pesonen says he has done a lot of background work on the subject of the series. They fit better in the series than in the film.

“The subject of the book is tough. It tells you how abnormal becomes normal. A combination of stubbornness and humanity Kieslowskin In a short film about killing had been left on my retinas. Again, I saw it as a model for portraying realistic violence. ”

Read more: Facing the wall is an original and strong depiction of the suburbs of Vantaa

Antti Heikki Pesonen

  • Born in 1982 in Vantaa.

  • Graduated from the Department of Film Arts, Aalto University School of Art and Design in 2012.

  • Short films among others Say thank you and dance (2012), Corso theory (2012), Angry guinea pig (2017), Target (2019).

  • Long movie: Facing the wall (direction and script, 2014), Juice (script, 2018).

  • TV-series: Duke of Sipoo (2019), Downshifts (2020), in progress All sorry.

  • Received the Risto Jarva Award, among other things About corset theory 2012 and the Jussi Award Facing the wall from the screenplay for the film 2015.

  • Turns 40 on Tuesday, March 1st.

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