Thursday, April 26, 2007


I've promised to write something about Sampo, the Soviet-Finnish film of the late fifties, based on Kalevala, but it seems I'm running out of time and should have to get on with my life, so I decided just to direct you to these two links. There's one thing I'd like to know about the American version: do they play Hammond organs in the end, during the final battle with Louhi? I mean, they attack with their kanteles - a traditional Finnish instrument, something between a guitar and a harp - and the soundtrack goes full blazing with muzaky Hammond sounds! No wonder Louhi turns to salt!

The Finnish scriptwriters behind the film (mainly Väinö Kaukonen who was a professor of Fenno-Ugrian languages) wanted to emphasize the folklore aspect of the story, while the Soviets wanted to do a fantasy film, which explains why there's so little resemblance to the actual stories of Kalevala. (There's no one attacking Louhi with kanteles in the epic! Lemminkäinen and Annikki don't get married (which must be the most boring scene in the film). Etc.)

I haven't seen the American version, called The Day the Earth Froze, but the original is always better. It seems that the original version isn't available in DVD, which is a pity.

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