empyreus: (rare exports)
( Jan. 7th, 2011 02:40 pm)
Finally got around to watching Rare Exports last night. It's a funny movie, but dear god, it fails the Bechdel Test so hard. There isn't a a single female character in the movie. (Okay, there could possibly have been a female child in one of the sacks of children, but I never actually saw one.) I think the only female we were shown was in a book illustration. Two female named characters were mentioned (one in speech, another was just a name on a list), but never shown or heard. I have no idea why. It's not like the plot hinges on all the characters being male, FFS. Fail, Jalmari Helander. FAIL.

It's a pity the movie fails so hard on the above-mentioned front, because it's quite quirky and occasionally hilarious. Genre-wise, it's a crossbreed of fantasy, horror and comedy. Personally, I think they should have gone for more horror than comedy, because there was definite horror potential. The beginning was very promising, but then it started getting weird (the wrong kind of weird, I should add) and a little sloppy towards the end. (And let's not mention the kaamos plot hole.)

Two short films have been making the rounds on the internet for years: Rare Exports Inc. (2003) (YouTube is being a dick when it comes to this one and refuses to show it unless you're logged in because it's been flagged as having inappropriate material - possibly because it briefly features some naked wrinkly old men and a bit of blood) and Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions (2005) (this one has some Finnish dialogue that isn't subtitled, but the narration is all in English). The 2010 movie (confusingly named Rare Exports as well) seems to be a prequel of sorts to the shorts, but you don't need to see them to make sense of the movie, and you don't need to see the movie to make sense of the short films, either.

I should probably include a warning here: the short films are rather wtf and violent, and can potentially be disturbing. They're meant for adults, not children.

A note about the trailers: the international trailer is shite. Or, rather, it's a real curate's egg: good in parts but failed as a whole. The main problem is the cutesy music at the beginning and the narration. *sigh* Thankfully, there's an English version of the Finnish trailer, and that one captures the spirit of the movie a little better. You can see that one here.

Spoiler cut - here's a run-down of the basic plot (and my usual teal deer explanations of Finnish traditions) )

... and this was meant to be a short review. It turned into teal deer instead. Oops?
Happy 93rd, Finland.

Oi, Suomi, katso, sinun päiväs' koittaa,
Yön uhka karkoitettu on jo pois,
Ja aamun kiuru kirkkaudessa soittaa,
Kuin itse taivahan kansi sois'.
Yön vallat aamun valkeus jo voittaa,
Sun päiväs' koittaa, oi synnyinmaa.

Oi, nouse, Suomi, nosta korkealle,
Pääs' seppelöimä suurten muistojen.
Oi, nouse, Suomi, näytit maailmalle,
Sa että karkoitit orjuuden,
Ja ettet taipunut sa sorron alle,
On aamus' alkanut, synnyinmaa.

- The Finlandia hymn by Jean Sibelius -

(You can hear it performed by Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat here. Gives me chills every time I hear it. Ditto for the rest of Finlandia.)
Happy 91st, Finland.

Oi, Suomi, katso, sinun päiväs' koittaa,
Yön uhka karkoitettu on jo pois,
Ja aamun kiuru kirkkaudessa soittaa,
Kuin itse taivahan kansi sois'.
Yön vallat aamun valkeus jo voittaa,
Sun päiväs' koittaa, oi synnyinmaa.

Oi, nouse, Suomi, nosta korkealle,
Pääs' seppelöimä suurten muistojen.
Oi, nouse, Suomi, näytit maailmalle,
Sa että karkoitit orjuuden,
Ja ettet taipunut sa sorron alle,
On aamus' alkanut, synnyinmaa.
empyreus: (aurora borealis)
( Dec. 22nd, 2007 11:15 pm)
Today is the shortest day of the year. Four hours and forty minutes of daylight where I am, and no snow to brighten things up. (Argh. I want snow, damn it! I'm not asking for much, just a light dusting on the 24th so that the holiday season looks like it should. This is Finland, for fuck's sake. Snow is what we do best.)

I like the dark, but I'm honestly glad that the light is returning.

Blessed Solstice!
Happy 90th birthday, Finland.

I'm feeling oddly proud today, and almost got teary-eyed as I watched one of the war veteran choir concerts on tv this morning.

Sometimes this country gets on my nerves a bit, but at the end of the day, I love it and am thankful I was born here.

(Ja suomalaisille bonuksena pieni loppukevennys. Olen nauranut tälle aivan liian paljon.)
The ESC is finally over. I'm not a big fan of it, and I've been sick and tired of the endless coverage over the past month or so. Finland went nuts after we won last year (you have to be a Finn or at least a European to understand quite how 'wtf' our win was, I think), and the contest, the arrangements, the voting, the contestants, the songs, the voting politics and the ridiculous 'scandals'* have clogged up media to the point where I heartily wished I could just adblock anything that had to do with the entire contest. (Watching it with [livejournal.com profile] littlemimm and [livejournal.com profile] tackerama yesterday was great fun, though, because we kept taking the piss out of the songs, the contestants and the representatives who announced the scores.)

Yesterday was a win for Finland on two levels: even though we ended up seventeenth in the contest, we beat Sweden; and Canada beat Sweden in hockey. And we beat Russia, which is 'omg' in itself, because they were the favourites (being the home team, as the IHWC games are held in Moscow this year). Two old favourite enemies down, then. I just wish they'd stop playing Estonia's national anthem when we win. Yes, the melody is basically the same, but it's not played in the same manner. Argh.

The IHWC finals are played today, and we're meeting Canada. *bites nails* If this game goes all the way to overtime, my nerves may get shredded. ([livejournal.com profile] caras_galadhon, [livejournal.com profile] nieninque121 and [livejournal.com profile] ashinae, I love you all, but we're going to beat you. *g*)

*Which aren't scandals at all. Usually, it's moral outrage about contestant N's outfit (usually deemed too revealing, or as was the case with Moldova's this year, too obscene) or implications that song X in fact is a rip-off of older song Y by half-unknown artist Z. As outifts go, btw, you can't really get more WTF than Verka Serdjuchka. At least that one's funny (it looks like a christmas tree ornament mated with a disco ball), unlike Moldova's, which is just tacky. Not obscene, just fugly and tacky.
Damn, why can't this bloke be a candidate in my electoral district?

Jyrki J.J. Kasvi (MP, represents the Green League), has put up a Klingon version of his website in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Yes, you read that correctly. A Klingon version. Let it never be said Finns can't act geeky. *g*

The site also gets mentioned on Reuters and Geek Beat. Go us.

(Randomly: I wonder how you say "A vote for Kasvi is a vote for order" in tlhIngan Hol? Extra bonus points for those who get the bastardized reference.)

And more election-themed detritus: the waysides are littered with signs, posters and banners, and they're only mildly interesting at best. However, one of them made my sister exclaim "My god! Did you see that one? He looks like he escaped from the League of Gentlemen! 'This is a local shop'. All he needs to do is tape his nose up." Said candidate, Teppo Ylitalo, is actually a candidate in my electoral district, but that sadly isn't enough to make me vote for him. From what I can gather, he's a rather colourless Centre party candidate.

Pics or it didn't happen, eh? )
Happy independence day to the Finns on the Flist. :) And happy 89th to Finland! *toasts*

Oi, Suomi, katso, sinun päiväs' koittaa,
Yön uhka karkoitettu on jo pois,
Ja aamun kiuru kirkkaudessa soittaa,
Kuin itse taivahan kansi sois'.
Yön vallat aamun valkeus jo voittaa,
Sun päiväs' koittaa, oi synnyinmaa.

Oi, nouse, Suomi, nosta korkealle,
Pääs' seppelöimä suurten muistojen.
Oi, nouse, Suomi, näytit maailmalle,
Sa että karkoitit orjuuden,
Ja ettet taipunut sa sorron alle,
On aamus' alkanut, synnyinmaa.

Approximate translation into English )
Damn, I'd forgotten how cold I always feel after giving blood in winter. Must be the temporary anemia. Apart from the cold bit, everything went fine, and I was gratified to note that my haemoglobin is back up to its normal high levels. (Mine generally is rather high, 145+.) The RC nurse was a bit shocked by how fast the blood flowed when she'd got the needle in (140ml/min as opposed to the normal 80ml/min), and had to loosen the tourniquet twice, but the flow evened out after a minute or so. The nurse who wrapped my arm was a bit brutal, though, and wrapped the crook of my arm so tightly the hand started looking purple-tinged ten minutes later. (I actually have photographic evidence of this. My fingers look particularly scary in the second one.)

There's a huge bunch of challenge fics I need to get around to reading, but I'm too busy. Wah. (And [livejournal.com profile] caras_galadhon, I know I owe you email. :) I'll send it as soon as I've tracked down the files.)

The weather has turned cold and snowy again, and since I already linked pictures earlier on, I see no reason not to picspam you again. (Just tell me if you're sick and tired of the pictures, you lot. *g*)

Rowan branches   Winter sky   Wintry street
(Click etc.)

I want to go to bed already, even though it's only half past ten in the evening. Stupid body. *grouches*

(As for the subject line: I did last time.)
Holy shit. The rainstorm I mentioned in the last post is right above us now, and it's turned into something nearing a bloody blizzard. o_O Snow is pelting down at a frightening rate, and the winds are so strong they're rattling the windows.

Pics with varying degree of lens flare:
Snowstorm 27th Oct. 2006   Snowstorm 27th Oct. 2006   Snowstrom 27th Oct. 2006
Click, big, etc.

(I know the quality is terrible, but what did you expect? It's not like snowstorms lend themselves to carefully composed pictures. *g* The darkness doesn't help, either, as all it does is screw with the flash.)

Let's see how long this one lasts. The forecasts say until the morning, but they've been wrong before.

Suomalaisille tiedoksi: iTunes poimi tuon biisin ihan itse kun kirjoitin tätä postia. Nyt pelottaa.

EtA@22.26: Now the lights are blinking. Gah. Best hope the power doesn't go screwy, as my flat has electrical heaters.
empyreus: (i has snow)
( Oct. 21st, 2006 04:58 pm)
The snowfall yesterday continued throughout the day, which meant a few more inches of snow. The temperature is around two or three degrees on the plus side, so it's a bit soggy, but at least the snow is still on the ground. I suspect the chill last night has something to do with that. When [livejournal.com profile] littlemimm and I biked home from [livejournal.com profile] tackerama's place, it must have been five or more degrees below, and the bitterly cold wind didn't help in the least. I couldn't feel my hands when I got to my flat, as my thin gloves weren't the smartest thing to wear (at least not when biking four-ish kilometres in below-zero weather). :P

The weather is a bit dull and grey right now, but the snow brightens things up quite nicely.

More pictures, because I like spamming the lot of you with snow. :)

The yard again   The yard   Yard, alternate view
(Click on a picture to see the larger version.)

[livejournal.com profile] ribby, this one's for you *g*:
(Consider it my riposte.)

EtA: Dear god, my brain is such a sieve. I've been meaning to mention this for, oh, the last three or four days: Thank you for the pretty card, [livejournal.com profile] azewewish! It put such a wide smile on my face. :)
empyreus: (i has snow)
( Oct. 20th, 2006 11:41 am)
We have snow! *dances* It'll melt in a few hours, of course, but I don't care. Snow!

When I woke up this morning, I thought the light filtering in between the drapes looked oddly bright, so I went to take a look and promptly spazzed out. I grabbed my camera and headed out on the stairs to take some pictures. The quality isn't the best, but you can see the snow and that's all that matters.

First snow   First snow   First snow
(You know the drill. Click on a picture to see the larger version.)

Snowsnowsnow. :D
empyreus: (temptation)
( Sep. 25th, 2006 07:20 pm)
Autumn is very late in coming this year, and the weather is still unseasonably warm. On most days, the average is around 15 degrees centigrade (60-ish for those who use Fahrenheit), and the papers are forever running articles on how it's the warmest autumn in years.
Today I noticed that the leaves have finally begun turning yellow and red, so I grabbed my camera and headed outside. (I wanted to take pictures of the larger rowan trees as well, but I couldn't find a good angle.)

Some of the pictures turned out well, so I now present an autumnal Finnish mini-picspam that's heavy on the macro focus:

Rowan branch

Rowan leaf

Single maple leaf

Single maple leaf #2

Single rowan leaf

My personal favourite is the last one. I really, really like how it turned out.

In other news: I've been feeling a bit under the weather all day today. My nose isn't stuffy, but my throat feels dry and a bit scratchy and I think I have the first tiny beginning of a dry cough. Bleh. I've been drinking ginger tea by the pint, but the dry throat persists, much to my chagrin. It's difficult to focus on interpreting if you have to clear your throat every ten seconds and remember to use the 'cough' button each time.
empyreus: (aurora borealis)
( Aug. 20th, 2006 11:05 pm)
(Argh, my connection's acting like an arse again.*kicks broadband* It took me almost a dozen tries to get it to repair the connection, and now I seem to have a new ip address. This wouldn't be strange if it weren't for the fact that mine should be fixed.)

I intended to make an excited post about yesterday's aurorae earlier today, but I forgot. Ah well. The gist of it: when I was biking home from [livejournal.com profile] tackerama's place last night, I thought I saw strange streaks of light out of the corner of my eye. At first I thought I was imagining it, but when I biked onward to an area where I could see the sky more clearly (i.e. where there were less streetlights) I saw that yes, the lights were aurorae. They were a bit paler than I'm used to, but clearly there. When I got home, I stood outside for a long while just admiring the aurorae, because I love watching them. It's a bit unusual to see them in August, as I seem to remember that they're most commonly seen in late autumn and spring, but I'm certainly not complaining.

I still find the old Finnish myth about the Northern lights fascinating: according to the old tales, there were foxes made of fire in Lapland, and when they ran and their tails struck the snow, the sparks that flew up formed the aurorae. Another version talks about a single giant fox (not made of fire), which ran across the sky. The part about its tail striking the snow is the same.
We have two feet of snow here. I wish I was joking.

It's been snowing nearly nonstop for days now, and there are miniature snowstorms each day. The drifts are man-high in some places and even higher where the snowploughs have passed.

Snow by the truckload )

Ah, the perils of living up north.
Since [livejournal.com profile] annmarwalk posted beautiful pics of flowers, I thought I'd do a bit of a seasonal picspam as well. There's no hope of flowers here, as we're still all but frozen solid, but I managed to snap a few nice pictures of the snow that fell during the night and morning. I shouldn't complain, as I'll take snow over sleet and slush any day, but I'm starting to pine for spring. When the five-minute walk to campus seems like a recreation of the scene where the Fellowship struggles up Caradhras, I begin to wonder if perhaps I exaggerated a bit when I said I loved winter weather. I'll quote Sam: "Snow's all right on a fine morning, but I like to be in bed while it's falling."

Greetings from the land of ice and snow )

In other, girlier news: Am now a redhead again, thanks to the judicious application of chemicals. I'd been sliding slowly back toward my natural colour, or what I assume is my natural colour, and while I have nothing against the colour in general, I just like myself better when I have red hair. (If you're morbidly curious, I can reveal that my natural colour is somewhere between knotty alder and rye grain, a sort of rather plain gold-tinged light brown.)

I'll try to catch up with comments tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for the congratulations re the previous post. :)
empyreus: (Suomi)
( Jan. 29th, 2006 10:28 pm)

(Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] snowgrouse for the pic.)

The votes are in and Tarja Halonen won! *does little victory dance* Another six years of relative peace of mind, then.

The final result: Halonen got 51.8% of the votes, so it was uncomfortably close.

Short rundown courtesy of the Beeb here.

In other, random news: I managed to acquire a six-foot Alexander promo stand on Saturday. I'd only intended to pop via Makuuni (local video store) with [livejournal.com profile] littlemimm and [livejournal.com profile] tackerama to get some candy (they've a huge selection), but then I saw the "Here, take one" sign next to a pile of discarded cardboard promo stands. Interest piqued, I went to look at them and found the Alexander stand, and predictably my "ooh, shiny" reflex blocked any common sense. I had to call my sister and ask her to transport it for me (she had the car and I'd biked to town, seeing as I don't have a driver's license).

Cruddy picture of the stand under this cut )

The stand is currently folded up and stowed away, ahaha Alexander's in the closet since Ninja would eat the entire stand if I left it in the room.
empyreus: (Suomi)
( Jan. 15th, 2006 10:11 pm)
So there's going to be a second round in the presidential election. Colour me surprised.

The final battle is between Tarja Halonen (the incumbent, a social democrat) and Sauli Niinistö (conservative candidate and a right boring wanker, imo).

Here's a bit of info for non-Finns:
* Short report on the election, courtesy of the Beeb
* Wikipedia entry (wow, that was quick)
* The official election site, vaalit.fi in English
* The salient numbers
* Conan O'Brien supports the incumbent president (am not making this up, I swear). More here.
(EtA: one more link. A hilarious chart of the candidates, made by the bloke who keeps the Finland for thought blog.)
EtA the second: hysterical manips poking relentless fun at the candidates, focusing on Niinistö. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] snowgrouse for the link.)

The advance voting in the second round begins on the 18th, and I'll go vote then, because I want this wretched thing to be over with. The "real" election day is the 29th, with results confirmed on February 1st and officially stated by the Council of State on the 2nd.

Damn. I don't think I've ever made a post with this much politics in it.
My hair still smells of lamp oil from the procession and I had lost all sensation in both fingers and toes before the mandatory speeches were over, but the procession is tradition and I wanted to be there.

I felt proud standing there in the cold, holding a torch and singing Maammelaulu (the national anthem) and the Finlandia hymn. I felt proud to be a Finn, to belong to a people who fought ten to one (literally) against a powerful enemy (Russia) and won. I am immensely grateful to those who fought for our independence, and to those who fought in the Winter War to let us keep that independence.

Lyrics to the Finlandia hymn in both Finnish and English )

Happy 88th, Finland.


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