Erkki Karu

Erkki Karu

Infobox Actor
name = Erkki Karu


birthdate = birth date|1887|4|10
birthplace = Helsinki, Finland
birthname = Erland Erkki Fredrik Kumlander
deathdate = death date and age|1935|12|8|1887|4|10
deathplace = Helsinki, Finland
occupation = film director, screenwriter, producer
yearsactive = 1919–1935
spouse = Elli Kylmänen
children = Olavi (1916–1992) and Sinikka (1917–1994)
Erkki Karu (born Erland Erkki Fredrik Kumlander [imdb name|0440261|Erkki Karu] ) (April 10, 1887 HelsinkiDecember 8, 1935 Helsinki) was a Finnish film director, screenwriter and producer, and one of the pioneers of the Finnish cinema.

Career

Karu started his career as a member of a theater troupe in 1907. [Uusitalo 1994, p. 21] He became interested in cinema during the 1910s and was reportedly interested in starting his own film company as early as 1915. [Uusitalo 1994, p. 22] Karu dabbled in filmmaking, and directed, wrote, edited and produced the comedy short films "Ylioppilas Pöllövaaran kihlaus" and "Sotagulashi Kaiun häiritty kesäloma" for Suomen Biografi Oy, both of which were released in 1920. [Uusitalo 1994, p. 23]

Karu founded the film production company Suomi-Filmi in 1919, which by the end of the 1920s had grown into the largest company in its field in Finland. [Uusitalo 1972, p. 148] cite web| url=http://www.sea.fi/english/laine_starring.html| title=The production companies Suomi-Filmi and Suomen Filmiteollisuus as builders of Finnish national cinema in 1933-1939 (summary)| author=Kimmo Laine| language=English| accessdate=2008-03-19] Karu not only worked as the CEO, but was also the head director for most of his stay in the company. Working to secure the finances of his company, Karu had to wait until 1922 before starting work on his feature-length debut, an adaptation of the Väinö Kataja novel "Koskenlaskijan morsian", which saw its release on New Year's Day 1923. [Uusitalo 1972, p. 88] The film was a success, as was Karu's next work, the Aleksis Kivi adaptation "Nummisuutarit", released in the same year. [Uusitalo 1972, p. 92] Because of both the popularity and artistic merit of these works, the year 1923 has been called the pinnacle of Karu's directing career. [von Bagh, p. 411] [Uusitalo 1972, p. 92] Throughout the rest of the decade and the early 1930s, Karu continued to direct popular films, such as "Myrskyluodon kalastaja" (1924), "Suvinen satu" (1925), "Muurmanin pakolaiset" (1927) and "Nuori luotsi" (1928). He remained the most successful director during the early years of Suomi-Filmi. [von Bagh, p. 412]

Suomi-Filmi ran into financial difficulties after the global depression stemming from the Wall Street Crash of 1929 caused the attendance figures of cinemas to drop. [Uusitalo 1994, p. 84] Karu was accused of financial irresponsibility by the rest of the company's shareholders and in 1933 had to resign from the company he had started. [Uusitalo 1994, p. 106-108] After leaving Suomi-Filmi, Karu wasted no time, and only months later started what would become his old company's main rival, Suomen Filmiteollisuus. Karu had originally intended to start the company alongside an assistant director from Suomi-Filmi, Risto Orko, but Orko eventually chose to remain in Suomi-Filmi when he was offered the spot of head director. Instead, Karu found another partner, Toivo Särkkä, [Uusitalo 1994, p. 119] who himself would go on to become the most prolific director in not only Suomen Filmiteollisuus but the whole of Finland. [von Bagh, p. 459]

Karu held the title of head director in his new company, but during his short stay there could only direct two films, "Syntipukki" and "Roinilan talossa", both in 1935, neither of which was very successful. [von Bagh, p. 412] He died unexpectedly on December 8, 1935. [Uusitalo 1994, p. 128]

Family

Karu married his wife, Elli Kylmänen, at the end of 1915. [Uusitalo 1994, p. 22] The couple had two children, Olavi (1916-1992) and Sinikka (1917-1994).

Filmography

*Ylioppilas Pöllövaaran kihlaus (1920)
*Sotagulashi Kaiun häiritty kesäloma (1920)
*Se parhaiten nauraa joka viimeksi nauraa (1921)
*Finlandia (1922)
*Koskenlaskijan morsian (1923)
*Nummisuutarit (1923)
*Kun isällä on hammassärky (1923)
*Myrskyluodon kalastaja (1924)
*Suvinen satu (1925)
*Muurmannin pakolaiset (1927)
*Runoilija muuttaa (1927)
*Nuori luotsi (1928)
*Meidän poikamme (1929)
* [ukkipojan morsian (1931)
*Meidän poikamme merellä (1933)
*Voi meitä! Anoppi tulee! (1933)
*Ne 45000 (1933)
*Meidän poikamme ilmassa – me maassa (1934)
*Syntipukki (1935)
*Roinilan talossa (1935)

Notes

References

*cite book|author=Peter von Bagh|authorlink=Peter von Bagh|title=Suomalaisen elokuvan uusi kultainen kirja|publisher=Otava|year=2005|language=Finnish| isbn=951-1-12705-5
*cite book|author=Kari Uusitalo|title=Eläviksi syntyneet kuvat|publisher=Otava|year=1972|language=Finnish| isbn=951-1-03535-5
*cite book|author=Kari Uusitalo|title=Kuvaus - kamera - käy! Lähikuvassa suomifilmit ja Suomi-Filmi Oy|publisher=Kirjastopalvelu Oy|year=1994|language=Finnish| isbn=951-692-344-5

External links

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