Close Up

30 January 2022: Under Your Skin


Under Your Skin
Mikko Niskanen, 1966, 99 min, 35mm
Finnish with English subtitles

Introduced by Ehsan Khoshbakht

Directed by Mikko Niskanen, an indispensable figure of Finnish new cinema of the 1960s, Under Your Skin (Käpy selän alla) is one of the most significant films in the history of Finnish cinema which, in the spirit of New Wave, embraces a whole new generation of Finns dreaming of "a universal sense of responsibility." (Peter von Bagh). The tender and real depiction of this new politically-conscious generation, as well as fresh cinematic ideas employed, were warmly welcomed by both the Finnish audiences (making the film the second box office hit of 1966) and the critics, the latter leading to the film winning six Jussi awards, the Finnish equivalent of the Oscar.

"Set against a background of white birch trees, a glittering lake and early summer greenery, [Under Your Skin] has a rhapsodic character and describes the relationships between four young adults. The agile camera work still captures [the] fluidity of the relationships and the private feelings of the characters in a spontaneous way. The summer beauty of nature corresponds gracefully with the Scandinavian fantasy world that is always associated with freedom, youth and sentimentality. But Käpy selän alla also breaks the illusion of reality of the narrative cinema on several levels, and the focus of the camera goes beyond the confines of the narrative, and draws in the audience." Tytti Soila

Supported by Finnish Institute in London and Finland's National Audiovisual Institute – KAVI.

Never on Sunday is a series of screenings of rare classics, archive masterpieces, obscure delights and forgotten gems carefully curated and introduced by Ehsan Khoshbakht and taking place the last Sunday of each month at Close-Up.