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J. Karjalainen: Beibi ollaan ikuisii

A documentary worthy of its subject
J. Karjalainen is the lonesome cowboy of Finnish pop music of the last 40 years. His idiosyncratic voice is probably better known than any other voice in Finnish music. His music is so well known that if you asked a random person to name one of his songs a good chance is that they would sing you five from the top of their minds. His music has quietly and effortlessly flown into our collective mind over the decades. J. Karjalainen´s music seems to stem from a different world, a crystallized parallel universe where cynicism does not exist and everything rings an emotional bell. J. Karjalainen is not a celebrity, not a star or someone who shares his opinion about a contemporary issue. Nobody seems to know much about him and his personal life. Well, after watching this documentary you won´t be any wiser on that subject. This documentary is about music, and we also get a rare treat, a generous sight-seeing tour into this great artist´s unhindered artistic process.

The Wire

Television at its peak, seminal work
This is the TV series that everyone should watch. On the surface it shows the never-ending cat-and-mouse chase between criminals and law enforcers, but below the surface it's a depiction of how corruption eats its way into each and every institution of power and a full and complete autopsy of a capitalist society.

The Wire doesn't have a single scene that doesn't fit into the whole. It starts out by introducing the key players and the central theme. During the five seasons we follow some very realistic characters on both sides of the law, occasionally trailing off to the other side and then back again. It's never been harder to tell who the good guys are.

This show is addictive, but an acquired taste. At first the bleak setting and hyper realistic portraits might put you off, but just watch one full episode and you will find that there is no coming back. You will find that each season comments each other in a way that is unseen in television.

The Wire is a perfect series in all aspects. The writing is of course sublime as it relies heavily on real events. The characters are complete and some of them you will remember decades from now. The acting is effortless, some of the actors more or less play themselves. Cinematography has never been more realistic, we really feel like we are in there with them. Music, rarely used, sets the mood and gives a hint of how to interpret the theme.

Watch it, then watch it again, and then again. You will have to see it many times in order to get all the nuances and facets. I guarantee you will change in the process.

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