Love And Fury is a story about love so wild and strong it changes the course of one’s life forever.
In 1980’s Helsinki, a city just about to burst with young energy and rebellion, two young writers determined to conquer the world fall madly in love. For Inka, their love affair puts everything in motion: she finds her own voice – and becomes a sensation. The intensity of their love has a different affect on Juhana, who starts to lose control. At the height of the relationship Inka starts to suspect that being madly in love may actually be driving Juhana mad.
I was just a first year film student in Helsinki, when I first read Anja Snellman’s book Autumn Prince, and immediately wanted to make it into a film. Years later, when I was graduating from NYU and living in New York, I reread this gem of a book – and was in love again. This time I was ready to make my first feature film – and luckily, so was Anja Snellman. Other directors had pitched an Autum Prince movie to her, but she had not allowed anyone to adapt it yet. I felt very excited to have her permission, and started to write. Autumn Prince is richly layered, poetic and atmospheric. The story is simple on the surface but complex psychologically, and there is a wonderfully mysterious aura about the characters and their love affair. This made the book a wonderful but very difficult one to adapt. Add to the mix the fact that Anja’s book is based on a true story, which proved both helpful and hurtful in the adapting process. In the end, I chose to write a free adaptation with fictional characters, but took inspiration from the real life story. It took me eight drafts to nail down a structure with precise turning points and the right level of subtlety and force. In the spring of 2015 Autumn Prince went into production and brought me to Finland, where the film was shot last fall (2015). Autumn Prince is a love story. It’s a story about a woman who finds her own voice and herself, and a story about a man who goes through the opposite; loses his voice and finally himself. The love affair of my main characters, Inka and Juhana, is like a game with explosive materials. Together the lovers feel like they can do anything. This sets Inka free in a completely new way. While at the same time Juhana’s fragile mind – under attack by bipolar disorder running in his family – can’t sustain all this force. Despite Inka and Juhana’s great efforts to protect their love, the relationship spins out of control. The background for the story is a 1980’s Helsinki, a cold war era city ready for change and a newfound freedom of expression. In this wonderful urban landscape Inka leads a group of young cultural provocateurs stirring up controversy, when she meets Juhana, a man whose hunger for life changes Inka’s life forever. The love story is book-ended by another time level: the former lovers meet in 1996 at a mental hospital, where Juhana is being treated for deep depression. Finally they resolute their beautiful love affair, left unresolved 15 years earlier. So you could say I had the perfect building blocks for a film with equal measure of beauty and turmoil, of intimacy and grandeur, of specificity and timelessness. The story was brought to life by my astonishing crew and stunning cast lead by Laura Birn as Inka and Lauri Tilkanen as Juhana. Their talent and on screen chemistry continues to astonish me in the editing room as it did on set. Right now Love And Fury (Autumn Prince) is in the final stages of picture editing, and the film will be completed in early June 2016. I can’t wait to show it to you.
Director & writer
Love And Fury will premiere in Finland in October 2016.
ALLI HAAPASALO is a Finnish film director and screenwriter. She received acclaim for writing and directing On Thin Ice, her thesis film for New York University’s famed film school Tisch School of the Arts. This mercenary story won several awards in the United States and was nominated for Prix Europa in 2012. Haapasalo’s debut feature Love And Fury will premiere in 2016.
JUKKA HELLE, MARKUS SELIN
Based on the novel by
RAUNO RONKAINEN F.S.C.
colour - DCP - dur. 94 min