The Plant

Documentary

by Mika Taanila

(in post production)

A village in the Finnish wilderness is overwhelmed by superlatives: the largest building site in Europe, prototype for the most efficient nuclear power station in the world – and a catastrophy for the trusts involved: supply difficulties of unimagined scale, lawsuits amounting to billions. In Mika Taanila’s visual style, using multilayered visual experiments and an abundance of impressing material, a dynamic collage about the utopia of ceaseless growth develops.

PanSonic composes the soundtrack. German distribution by Real Fiction.

A co-production with Kinotar Oy, YLE, ZDF/ARTE and WDR which is supported by the Filmstiftung NRW, the Media Program of the EU and Nordic funding bodies as well as pre-sold to various territories.

MIKA TAANILA

film director – born 1965 in Helsinki – lives and works in Helsinki

SHORT FILMOGRAPHY

Mika Taanila is an artist working fluently in the fields of documentary filmmaking, avant-garde filmmaking and visual arts. His films deal with the issues of urban artificial surroundings and futuristic utopias of contemporary science.

Taanila‚s film ‘Optical Sound’ (2005) has been described by film critics as „an instant classic, wildly expressionistic, hypnotic masterpiece of abstract cinema‰. It is a six-minute short film based on The Symphony #2 for Dot Matrix Printers by Canadian group [The User]. Obsolete office technology transforms into musical instruments of the future. The film is a haunting mix of beautiful cinematography, dirty security camera footage, and rough animation phocopied straight onto clear film without camera.

‘The Future Is Not What It Used To Be’ (2002) is a portrait of one of the unsung pioneers of early electronic art, Finnish nuclear scientist / artist Erkki Kurenniemi. ‘A Physical Ring’ (2002) is a short found-footage film, based on anonymous scientific test material from the 1940s. ‘RoboCup99′ (2000) is a sports film about a football World Cup tournament for autonomous robots. Reasearchers world wide have created this collective annual event to find out about the new horizons and potential dangers of artificial intelligence. ‘Futuro ˆ A New Stance For Tomorrow’ (1998) is a dramatic epoch on the rise and fall of a Finnish plastic weekend cottage for the 21st Century. ‘Thank You For The Music ˆ A Film About Muzak’ (1997) shows the insidious effetcs of supermarket background music, being at the same time an hommage to its makers.

Taanila‚s films have been screened altogether at more than 200 international film festivals and special events. His films have also recently found an audience in the context of visual arts. The first major solo exhibition of Taanila‚s cinematic works was held at Zurich‚s Migrosmuseum in 2005. Before that they‚ve been exhibited in dozens of international group shows, such as The 7th Istanbul Biennial (2001), The 3rd Berlin Biennial (2004), Transparente at Centro Nazionale per le Arti Contemporanee, Rome (2003) and Manifesta 4 (Frankfurt-Am-Main, 2002).  Retrospective screenings of Taanila‚s films and videos have been run at many international film festivals such as Hamburg (2003), Uppsala (2004), Tampere (2005) and Pesaro (2005).

A dvd anthology entitled ‘Mika Taanila: Aika & aine – films 1998-2005′ has been released by Dutch label Reel23.

FROM THE PRESS

“An artist, filmmaker and documentarist, Mika Taanila integrates and goes beyond the different registers of contemporary art. His films are built according to the principles of connection, interaction and collaboration. Between sound and image, the latest electronic culture and the technological aspirations of the 1960s, between documentary film and advanced experiment, between fiction and reality, Taanila is working out a novel and protean approach to our representations of modernity and progress through his futuristic techno-utopias.”

Stéphanie Moisdon Trembley – Manifesta 4 Short Guide, 2002

“A profound interest in science fiction, and a mastery of documentary film is evident in the work of Mika Taanila. Sophisticated in terms of research as well as in their use and editing of historical material, Taanila‚s films are not only informative but also dig deeper.”

Andreas Schlaegel, Angela Rosenberg, Flash Art

„Relics and artefacts from futures both past and possible are the stuff of which Mika Taanila‚s oeuvre is made. Taanila is a creature of our in-between times, which makes his works hard to classify.”

„In Taanila‚s realm, a state in the paraphysical Republic of Immodest Ideas, the strangest things tend to happen”

Olaf Möller, Film Comment, May/June 2005