MoMA Presents: Mikko Niskanen’s Eight Deadly Shots and Peter Von Bagh’s The Story of Mikko Niskanen

October 15—22, 2013

The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019, (212) 708-9400, www.MoMA.org.

Long before The Wire, Breaking Bad, and The Killing, there was Mikko Niskanen’s Eight Deadly Shots, an extraordinary Finnish television miniseries that recounted in flashback and unflinching detail the desperate circumstances that led an impoverished tenant farmer to shoot four policemen in a drunken rage. We have the brilliant film historian and filmmaker Peter Von Bagh—who is also the artistic director of Finland’s Midnight Sun Film Festival and the co-director of Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna— to thank for resurrecting this forgotten gem from 1972, which makes its New York debut in itsmoma-logo original five-hour-plus version, presented as part of To Save and Project: The 11th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation.

Von Bagh’s own documentary portrait of Mikko Niskanen is an indispensable companion piece to these screenings, providing the context in which Eight Deadly Shots was made. Niskanen’s aesthetic sensibility—brutal yet compassionate—recalls both Victor Sjöstrom’s silent-era masterpiece The Phantom Chariot (1921) and the neorealist films of Ken Loach. Von Bagh makes evident, through family home movies, film clips, and interviews, the painful degree to which Niskanen identified with the farmer’s defiance and despair.

A scene from Mikko Niskanen's EIGHT DEADLY SHOTS,  presented as part of To Save and Project: The 11th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation.
A scene from Mikko Niskanen’s EIGHT DEADLY SHOTS, presented as part of To Save and Project: The 11th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation.

Screening Schedule

Eight Deadly Shots and The Story of Mikko Niskanen

October 15–22, 2013

Tuesday, October 15

3:45 Kahdeksan surmanluotia (Eight Deadly Shots). 1972. Finland. Written and directed by Mikko Niskanen. With Niskanen, Tarja-Tuuliki Tarsala. Courtesy The Finnish Film Foundation and YLE. Digital projection. In Finnish; English subtitles. 316 min., plus one 10-minute intermission.

A scene from Mikko Niskanen's EIGHT DEADLY SHOTS,  presented as part of To Save and Project: The 11th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation.
A scene from Mikko Niskanen’s EIGHT DEADLY SHOTS, presented as part of To Save and Project: The 11th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation.

Wednesday, October 16

3:45 Kahdeksan surmanluotia (Eight Deadly Shots). 1972. Finland. Written and directed by Mikko Niskanen. With Niskanen, Tarja-Tuuliki Tarsala. Courtesy The Finnish Film Foundation and YLE. Digital projection. In Finnish; English subtitles. 316 min., plus one 10-minute intermission.

Thursday, October 17

4:15 Kahdeksan surmanluotia (Eight Deadly Shots). 1972. Finland. Written and directed by Mikko Niskanen. With Niskanen, Tarja-Tuuliki Tarsala. Courtesy The Finnish Film Foundation and YLE. Digital projection. In Finnish; English subtitles. 316 min., plus one 10-minute intermission.

Friday, October 18

4:30 Kahdeksan surmanluotia (Eight Deadly Shots). 1972. Finland. Written and directed by Mikko Niskanen. With Niskanen, Tarja-Tuuliki Tarsala. Courtesy The Finnish Film Foundation and YLE. Digital projection. In Finnish; English subtitles. 316 min., plus one 10-minute intermission.

Saturday, October 19

1:30 Mikko Niskanen—Ohjaaja matkalla ihmiseksi (The Story of Mikko Niskanen). 2010. Finland. Written and directed by Peter Von Bagh. Courtesy The Finnish Film Foundation. Digital projection. In Finnish; English subtitles. 178 min.

5:15 Kahdeksan surmanluotia (Eight Deadly Shots). 1972. Finland. Written and directed by Mikko Niskanen. With Niskanen, Tarja-Tuuliki Tarsala. Courtesy The Finnish Film Foundation and YLE. Digital projection. In Finnish; English subtitles. 316 min., plus one 10-minute intermission.

Sunday, October 20

2:00 Kahdeksan surmanluotia (Eight Deadly Shots). 1972. Finland. Written and directed by Mikko Niskanen. With Niskanen, Tarja-Tuuliki Tarsala. Courtesy The Finnish Film Foundation and YLE. Digital projection. In Finnish; English subtitles. 316 min., plus one 10-minute intermission. Introduced by Peter Von Bagh.

Tuesday, October 22

4:00 Mikko Niskanen—Ohjaaja matkalla ihmiseksi (The Story of Mikko Niskanen). 2010. Finland. Written and directed by Peter Von Bagh. Courtesy The Finnish Film Foundation. Digital projection. In Finnish; English subtitles. 178 min

MoMA Presents: Mikko Niskanen’s Eight Deadly Shots and Peter Von Bagh’s The Story of Mikko Niskanen is organized by Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator, Department of Film.

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