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Mikko Myllylahti The Woodcutter Story

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2022: #71. Mikko Myllylahti’s The Woodcutter Story

© Tero Ahonen/Elokuvayhtiö Aamu

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2022: #71. Mikko Myllylahti’s The Woodcutter Story

The Woodcutter Story

A TorinoFilmLab and Cinéfondation lab selection, and winner of the Critics’ Week’s Next Step Award, there is a lot of forward momentum for Finnish filmmaker Mikko Myllylahti‘s debut film. Filming on The Woodcutter Story (aka Metsurin tarina) might have wrapped up in February of 2021 – but the final touches were completed just this past December. Starring Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Jarkko Lahti (featured in image above), Katja Küttner and Aki Rumbin, Myllylahti tackles the not so rare occurrence of the destructive nature of alcoholism – and in terms of style and tone, we can imagine this might be fitted with some noir Scandi humor. Having directed a half dozen shorts dating back to 2006, Myllylahti scored big with co-writing creds for the Un Certain Regard selected The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki and his last short Tiikeri – was invited to the Critics’ Week in 2018. This feature was produced by Compartment Number 6 producer Emilia Haukka.

Gist: An open-pit mine is unearthed in an idyllic town in Northern Finland, and a strange chain of dreadful events affects the life of Pepe, a kind and optimistic woodcutter. After everything disappears around him, Pepe is faced with the question of evil: he loses his job and the love of his wife, his best friend commits suicide and even his house burns down. But no matter what happens, Pepe seems to be fine with it, as if he holds a secret to existence that is hard to grasp.

Release Date/Prediction: We’re predicting a Critics’ Week showing in Cannes – but this could squeeze into the Directors’ Fortnight or Un Certain Regard as well.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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