Screening: Failed Emptiness

Film director Mika Taanila and author Harry Salmenniemi update their depiction of modern alienation in their cinematic-poetic collaboration about a world that vibrates and melts.

Taanila and Salmenniemi depicted various strains and difficulties pertaining to air travel in their first film collaboration, The Tectonic Plate (2016), that was produced completely without a camera.

Their newest film The Failed Emptiness (2024), filmed solely with a thermal camera, carries the portrayal of modern alienation into the new decade. The Scandinavian sleekness and fluidity known from interior magazines clash with a vibrating and melting world. A humidifier buzzes in the corner; a robot vacuum moves without disruption. The film’s human character (Ariane Tretow) performs her gymnastics mechanically and neatly, like a character in a video game. The music by Nika Son and Klara Lewis tunes into urban dizziness.

The smoothness is countered by the diverse roughness of stone, demanding the climber to grip firmly. Salmenniemi’s assertively absurd texts further erode the smoothness, stretching it to the limits of strangeness and disturbance: “My experiences can be described in any way / In any case, they have been.”

The screening is organized in collaboration with the Espoo Ciné Film Festival. After the screening, Mika Taanila and Harry Salmenniemi will discuss the creative friction between film and literature with Tytti Rantanen, the executive director of Espoo Ciné.

Duration: 66 min + discussion. Languages: Finnish, subtitled in English


Kino Tapiola
Mäntyviita 2
02110 Espoo