I wrote a story on Finnish actress and filmmaker Mirjami Kuosmanen in honour of her forthcoming centenary this coming Sunday. The article appears in the 7/2015 issue of Seura and can be read online on the magazine’s website.
I find Mirjami Kuosmanen to be one of the most fascinating stars and filmmakers of the so-called Golden Age of Finnish cinema. On screen she oozes strength and passion. She is, quite literally, a force of nature in Valkoinen peura (The White Reindeer, 1952), the film that she made with her partner, filmmaker Erik Blomberg.
Kuosmanen and Blomberg made four films together in the 1950s and 1960s: Valkoinen peura, Kun on tunteet (When There Are Feelings, 1954), Kihlaus (Betrothal, 1955) and Hääyö (Wedding Night, 1962). According to Erik Blomberg, the couple were completely equal in the process of making films. They largely developed and wrote the films together. During the shoot, Blomberg directed the camera and people whilst Kuosmanen directed the actors and the dialogue.
Mirjami Kuosmanen appeared in a total of 24 feature films between 1937 and 1956. She also worked as an assistant film editor and did make-up.
Valkoinen peura remains one of the most acclaimed Finnish films of all time. It earned the Jean Cocteau-led jury special award for Best Fairy Tale Film at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival. After its limited release in the United States, Valkoinen peura won the 1957 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film.
Valkoinen peura will be shown at Elokuvateatteri Orion on Mirjami’s birthday on Sunday, February 22. Be sure to come and see it if you’re in Helsinki! You can also read a biography I wrote on Mirjami Kuosmanen in Finnish at Elonet.