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Archive for the 'Leading Ladies' Category
Mirjami Kuosmanen

© Erik Blombergin perikunnan arkistot

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.

Mirjami Kuosmanen in The White Reindeer

Mirjami Kuosmanen in The White Reindeer

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.


Heidi Krohn by Antti Kuparinen

Heidi Krohn in 2014.
Photography by Antti Kuparinen

Heidi Krohn is one of my favourite actresses of the Finnish silver screen. Heidi began her career in film when she was cast in the title role in Leena (1954). The comedy was a huge hit and Heidi made waves with her fresh and fun portrayal. She became one of the most beloved movie stars of fifties Finland and went on to enjoy great success on the stage for five decades. Now at 80, Heidi Krohn is as radiant as ever – and she still works occasionally! She just filmed a role for a short film this past summer. What a woman!

I’ve had the great pleasure of spending time with Heidi Krohn this year. I first met her in spring when Minna Santakari and I begun our research on youth fashion in 1950s Finnish film. Heidi graciously shared her memories of fifties fashion, film costumes and movie stardom with us. When Minna and I gave a presentation on the topic back in April, Heidi came to hear to our talk, which made the occasion all the more memorable.

Heidi Krohn in her debut role Leena.  Photo source: KAVI

Heidi Krohn in her debut role Leena.
Photo source: KAVI

When Heidi Krohn turned 80-years old in August, we celebrated her birthday at Cinema Orion with a screening of Silja – nuorena nukkunut (Silja – the Maid, 1956), in which the actress gives a performance that is both powerhouse and beautifully nuanced. Minna and I interviewed Krohn about her impressive career before the screening. It was a very special event to us all, I believe.

Photo by Piia

Heidi Krohn being interviewed at Cinema Orion.
Photo by Piia

I interviewed Heidi Krohn for the October issue of Golden Vintage magazine. The six page story features gorgeous photography by my friend Antti Kuparinen and lots of beautiful vintage images from Heidi’s archives. The issue is on stands now so be sure to pick it up if you’re in Finland! Oh and you can also check out a Heidi Krohn biography that I wrote for Elonet.


Welcome to 21st Century Flapper!
My name is Riikka and I hail from Helsinki, Finland. I'm a film researcher and a freelance journalist, a sartorial devotee of vintage fashion and endlessly fascinated by early 20th century visual culture. I write about film, fashion, design, architecture - and all things old and pretty.

Olen helsinkiläinen elokuvatutkija ja toimittaja, jolle 1900-luvun alkupuolen visuaalinen kulttuuri on todellinen intohimo. Blogi sivuaa kiinnostuksen kohteitani 1920- ja 1930-luvun elokuvista aina ajan muotiin ja designiin asti.

Don’t hesitate to say hi or contact in case of any questions at
riikka @ 21stcenturyflapper.com

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