Helsinki Card

Film director Aki Kaurismäki

10.12.2019 Text: Helsinki This Week Photos: Anssi Lauri
My Helsinki_Aki Kaurismäki

Aki Kaurismäki is Finland’s best-known screenwriter and film director. He is known for his extremely minimalistic style. He has received numerous prizes and awards, such as the Cannes Grand Prix in 2002, the FIPRESCI Award in 2011, and the Silver Bear of the Berlin International Film Festival in 2017.

Aki Kaurismäki, what you are currently working on?

This year I’ve been busy with the relocation of restaurants and that might be the case for the next year too. After that, I hope to return to movies.

You established Corona Bar together with your brother Mika Kaurismäki 30 years ago. Alongside the bar there was also Kino Andorra, Dubrovnik lounge & lobby and Kafe Mockba. How did you originally get involved in the restaurant business?

I dreamt of my own bar and movie theatre even when I was in my twenties. The restaurant business has grown a bit since those days and the original ideas.

Aki Kaurismäki recommends

1. Restaurant Kosmos
2. Restaurant messenius
3. Kallio district
4. Statue of Mika waltari
5. A dog park of your choice

Corona Bar is a cult classic in Helsinki’s restaurant scene but had to move from its original location in the heart of the city to Konepaja area in Vallila district. In addition, you opened another bar, Buenos Aires Cafe/Bar, in Eerikinkatu. Tell us about the ”new” Corona Bar, and what’s Buenos Aires like?

This “new Corona Bar” is still a work in progress, but there is now a pop-up version of Corona in Vallila with 500 square meters. As for Buenos Aires, it’s a small restaurant/bar with Latin American vibes located in Eerikinkatu, just 100 meters downhill from the original Corona. It was partly built for the old regular customers of Corona and ourselves, but it does have a character of its own.

My Helsinki_Aki Kaurismäki

We’ve heard you like Finnish forests. Would you tell us why?

I like all forests, but in Finland they’ll soon be sparse. The one-tree-species forests are something else, mostly dreadful with dead silence. As I get older, I get less and less comfortable in cities, but Helsinki is of tolerable size, everything within walking distance.

In addition to forests, what makes you happy?

Dogs laughing at people.

Buenos Aires Cafe/Bar, Eerikinkatu 24
Corona Baari & Biljardi, Traverssikuja 3

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