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nordic hooligans

Neo-noir & skiing combined

Q: Ski and action sport films are thematically quite the same: they are like collages of music videos where only the best tricks are showcased by a soundtrack. Nordic Hooligans is definitely not part of that genre so what were your primary ideas when you started making this movie?

A: At the beginning we had a more ambitious narrative which we had to simplify due to budget limits and lack of snow. We still wanted to do something different both with visuals and sound design. I believe that we succeeded well in doing that. The urge to making this movie came from Art of Flight and AII.I.Can which are the movies that put ski movies to another level and as visual references we used movies like Drive and the Purge. The gritty visuals were perfectly supported by experimental music that came from artist such as Ann Hiko and Cheung Express.

Hooligans using a winch to get more speed at the spots.

Roope Poikonen hitting a stairgap.

Q: Was it difficult to get all the skiers to do an experimental ski movie like this?

A: Sometimes we had to explain some of our ideas and on some spots we used more time to shoot the other stuff. In the beginning it was a bit difficult but we got on the same page pretty quickly.

Q: Two years is a long time. You could even film a feature length film in that time. Was there any progression and did the idea change from its original form?

A: We simplified the idea quite a lot. At times we had trouble with lack of inspiration but we still managed to do stuff on every snowy day we had in southern-Finland during these two years. After realising we weren't getting any sponsors to the project and the first skiing season seemed pretty bad right from the beginning, we decided to fund the project entirely ourselves. That way we had more time for us and for the movie to grow better.

Otto Venäläinen roofjibbing.

Q: The hooligan theme is quite evident in the shots between the skiing parts. People dressed in black wandering with chains and crowbars in railroads in East-Helsinki. Does the "Hooligan" name have something to do with urban skiing?

A: Hooligans as a name and the anarchism is more of a frame for the visual language of the movie. It's also a reference to all the sports you do on the streets. Whether it is skateboarding, urban-skiing or snowboarding there is always someone who is against it. I must say that mostly after we leave, the spot is in better conditon than it was before we came. For example we have ploughed snow and have fixed broken handrails a couple times.

Paul Mikkonen handplanting.

Roope Poikonen going against the wall.

Q: Now as the Hooligans is wrapped do you have any plans to make another ski related film in the future?

A: We have been thinking of a bigger documentary project sometime now. Let's see what happens. Now we are planning to shoot some skateboarding in brighter and warmer conditions during the summer.

Q: Are you going continue the same Neo-noir, nordic crime style with skateboarding as well?

A: I think so!


Director: Matti Vesanen
DOP: Juho Vesanen
Executive Producer: Rasmus Poikonen
Skiers: Paul Mikkonen, Otto Venäläinen, Roope Poikonen, Otso Räisänen.