After the screening of Antti Jokinen’s Flowers of Evil, the Finnish director had a talk with the young filmmakers in the Damned Yard Theatre.
Jokinen said that the his country was both a welfare state and a country with a very high unemployment rate among the young people. This is the social setting of the film.
He said all the young actors in the cast of Flowers of Evil were non-professional actors and that he had chosen them at a casting among more than 500 young people, to accurately portray life in the suburbs of Helsinki. Jokinen said it was important for him to have the cast before writing the script, because as he writes he looks at the photos of the actors on his wall. He wrote Flowers of Evil having his eye on a young rap artist from Helsinki for the role of Juno.
Talking about the difference between working with professional and non-professional actors, Antti Jokinen said that professionals could be given tasks. On the other hand, non-professional actors act as themselves while saying the lines he had written. This is why he gave non-professional actors parts that matched their personalities.
Answering the question about the music in the film, Jokinen said that the punk band Exploited let him to use the music free of charge, asking for just a case of Finnish beer.
Talking about filming with digital technology, Jokinen said that it made two things possible – today, anyone can make a film and everyone can see that it is not easy to make a good film. So, owing to digital technology, the role of the director became more prominent.
As for the editing of his film, Jokinen said that the fast change of short shots made Flowers of Evil stand out from his other films, because he made a film about hysteria, a film which is at the same time a dystopia and a commentary on the state of the Finnish society.