James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Paloma (Ana de Armas) in ‘No Time to Die.’ Photograph: Nicola Dove © 2020 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

James Bond Welcomes Viewers to Korjaamo

Korjaamo Kino has re-opened its doors in Helsinki’s Töölö district. After a year-long closure, the independent theater is ready to welcome visitors again. 

James Bond Welcomes Viewers to Korjaamo

Korjaamo Kino has re-opened its doors in Helsinki’s Töölö district. After a year-long closure, the independent theater is ready to welcome visitors again. 

Daniel Craig stars as James Bond and Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann in ‘No Time to Die.’ Photograph: Nicola Dove © 2021 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

By Jan Artiček | October 2, 2021 | 02:30 pm | Films, Helsinki

On Thursday, the day of the grand opening at Korjaamo Kino, visitors were treated with a premiere of the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die.

The cinema venue had recently changed ownership, but the new owners were forced to postpone the opening due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, with the gradual loosening of restrictions and the fitting timing of the 007 premiere, the release of which had also been delayed for the same reason, the cinema is ready to welcome visitors again.

We spoke with one of the owners, Finnish actor Antti Luusuaniemi, about the new concept for the venue, its place in Helsinki cinema culture, and, of course, about James Bond.

Antti Luusuaniemi, the ‘godfather of Korjaamo Kino,’ and his partner in business, Jaajo Linnonmaa. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

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The cinema has long been collaborating with film festivals, and this collaboration is set to continue, according to Luusuaniemi, who has his own film festival called Red Carpet Film Festival in Hyvinkää. However, he points out that “we also need to be a little bit more mainstream.”

Korjaamo will, for example, consider the needs of families with young children, namely by offering family films on weekends, while the choice of the grand opening screening also signals this move towards more mainstream releases.

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As Luusuaniemi says, “for a movie theater to be able to survive the competition in Helsinki, you cannot just be an art film theater.”

Gallery (click to view). Photographs: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

Besides the cinema itself, the venue features a restaurant and bar area which offer food and drinks that movie-goers can take into the screening. These are meant to create an atmosphere that goes beyond just watching movies; the opening had a DJ there to get everybody in the mood, and there are all sorts of concerts planned for the future.

Luusuaniemi, who saw the latest Bond film ahead of time, raised our expectations for the premiere by assuring us it was “fantastic; the best James Bond film I’ve ever seen.” He recalled the words of his friend, also an actor, who compared the film to Mozart composing a symphony. “You put all these different instruments together. Movies do something similar in the modern context; so many different artists putting their skills together to create a work of art.”

Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

Despite the high praise, however, this reviewer kept his expectation in check. Many a time high expectation—or any expectations at all—have spelled but bitter disappointment, especially in the recent history of the Bond franchise, intent as it has been of late to peddle luxury wares instead of delivering a compelling story about the beloved secret agent of Her Majesty’s Government.

But this time around it was different; No Time to Die is certainly not a two-hour luxury brand commercial, and that fact alone broke the ceiling of my expectations. Rather, it is a formidable action film that abides by all the tropes of the genre, provides the obviously indispensable nods to franchise mainstays, and might just hit you with a twist you weren’t expecting.

Kulttuuritehdas (Culture Factory) Korjaamo is located in old tram depots in the idyllic Töölö district. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

Whether Luusuaniemi was right in proclaiming this the best Bond ever may still require further reflection and will likely be the subject of many fan debates, but at the very least this is the best Bond film with Daniel Craig in the role of 007. And it is certainly appropriate to go out with a bang, so to speak, since this is the last time Craig will be ordering shaken, not stirred, martinis and purposefully forgetting to mention his first name the first time round introducing himself.

The rest of the cast deliver solid performances, especially Lea Seydoux and Rami Malek, the latter in the role of evil bad guy, although the character lacks sufficient screen time to be built up properly. There are setups without payoff (what was the purpose of Ana de Armas’ character is beyond me), unexplored possibilities, and characters with vague motivations, but for some reason—call it nostalgia, perhaps—these don’t seem as bad as in previous installations.

All in all, it is a worthy send off for Daniel Craig, and this premiere was a great way to welcome Korjaamo Kino back to the scene of Helsinki cinema.

Author

  • Jan Artiček lives in Helsinki and he writes about politics, culture and films. His hobbies include long epic novels, old Hollywood cinema and basketball.