Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:20
The culture city Oulu
Text and photo: Annika Lamberg
Oulu didn’t quite make it to be the cultural capital of Europe for the year 2011. Even if another city in Finland got the post there is plenty of culture to explore in Oulu. Here’s only a peep into it.
Ingmar Bergman’s horror movie Hour of the Wolf is about to start. I don’t quite know what to expect from it. This movie is from the year 1968 and it is said to be a nightmarish master piece. Now this Bergman’s only horror movie is played in Oulu and it is a very rare long version of it. In this showing you can’t hear any rustle of candy papers or the smell of the popcorn. We are here only to see the film.
The Hour of the Wolf belongs to the program of the horror movie festival Iik! held in Ii, but this time the movie is shown also in Studio. Studio is probably the smallest of the movie theatres in Oulu. Studio’s program is diverse consisting of the new and old movies from around the world.
In Oulu there are two other movie theatres and the program in those is more commercial than in Studio. Star is smaller than Finnkino Plaza. The movies might stay longer in programme there than in Finnkino Plaza and older films are sometimes shown there, too. Star is located in Tuira, a couple of kilometres from the centre of Oulu while the Plaza is situated in the centre of the city.
The horror movie festival Iik! in Ii (about 40 km from Oulu) has been held in the beginning of the November for the last six years. The festival is small, but the program is of good quality. In the end of November there is the annual Oulu International Children’s Film Festival.
Theatre and exhibitions
Oulu is known as a city of the culture for children. Puppet theatre Akseli Klonk is specialised in children’s puppet and other instrument theatre, but the shows are multiform and vivid and offer something for all ages. International Oulu Children’s Theatre Festival is held annually in the end of February.
In the Oulu City Theatre there are three stages where plays are shown. Yearly there are about ten opening nights and altogether about 350 showings. Besides plays there are also opera and other musical theatre productions.
Oulu City Art Museum arranges 10 – 12 exhibitions every year and mostly they are museum’s own productions. Exhibition programme is being emphasised into presenting current contemporary modern art and 20th century fine arts. Yearly there is a chance to see at least one extensive exhibition or retrospective of a local artist.
Dance and music
In the production and promotion centre for professional dance JoJo, there is an around the year programme focused on contemporary dance. The productions also include other fields of dance, for example folkdance and flamenco. In the established programme there is also the Dance Abundance Festival in September.
The biggest and hardest music shows in Oulu can be seen in Club Teatria. It is the largest rock club and multi-function venue in Finland. And the place is hard enough as it is built in a former meat-packing hall of Atria. In Teatria there are both Finnish and international rock and other stars on stage.
Of course there are several other places where to enjoy different kinds of music in Oulu. And every summer there is the rock festival Qstock and in autumn jazz festival Elojazz being held in Oulu.
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