Teuvo Tulio (1912–2000) is one of the most fascinating personalities of Finnish cinema. Tulio began his career in the 1920s as an actor and became an independent producer–director in the 1930s. With the exception of a single comedy, all of his 16 films are melodramas. The director, who shunned publicity, prevented their public screening for many years. The exhibition produced by the Helsinki City Art Museum and the Finnish Film Archive (SEA) presents more than 60 photographs and stirring excerpts and trailers of Tulio's films. The exhibition, put on at Art Museum Tennis Palace, is the first extensive introduction of a Finnish film director.
Tulio's imagery is remarkably personal and dynamic. The radical expressive style and themes of his films attacked narrow-mindedness and moralism. The protagonist in almost all of Tulio's films is a woman, and the key motif is a woman's inability to achieve fulfilment in love and sexuality in a society that is dominated and governed by men; surrendering to love spells anguish and eventual ruin.
The principal female roles in Tulio's films were played by Regina Linnanheimo (1915–1995). She was a close friend and colleague of the director, and as the final editor of manuscripts, she helped shape the dialogue and rehearse the actors. Their collaboration grew closer during the years and Linnanheimo wrote the manuscripts for two of Tulio's films in the 1950s.
Teuvo Tulio, born Theodor Tugai, was Turkish-Polish on his father’s side and Persian–Latvian on his mother’s. He spent his early childhood in Latvia but moved to Helsinki with his mother at the age of 10 when she remarried. Tulio became a Finnish citizen and server as a combat cinematographer in the Second World War. He continued to make his uncompromising films after the war, but in the 1950s, both the public and his sources of financing began to lose interest in him. He was rehabilitated only in the 1980s when a new generation of directors and scholars discovered his films and talent. Aki Kaurismäki, for example, has said that Teuvo Tulio is one of his idols and in his opinion the greatest master of melodrama in Finnish cinema.
The principal partner in the exhibition is the Anna magazine.
Guided tours: Guided tours free of charge in Finnish on Wednesdays at 18.00 and on Saturdays and Sundays at 14.00 in Swedish on the first and third Sunday of each month at 13.00. To book a private tour at another time or in another language, please call tel. +358 9 310 87003.