- An unrealized masterpiece

The Sunday 15 Sep 2003 issue of Helsingin Sanomat (Finnish newspaper) ran a story on aborted plans for film biographies of Finland's "national composer" Jean Sibelius, in occasion of Timo Koivusalo's new epic biopic 'Sibelius' now at Finnish theatres.

Among the planned but aborted film projects by such venerable film-makers as Edvin Laine is also mentioned Jimi Tenor's "Gigelius" from 1990 (another Jimi-favoured "willy humour" pun). Jimi had in plans to do an unorthodox - to say the least - take on the great composer's life, where Sibelius, aka Gigelius, creates all his masterpieces by chance, when being drunk and pissing in snow, as the renowned Sibelius expert Erik Tawastjerna keeps following him and writes Sibelius/Gigelius' piss marks down as notes. And this way such famous compositions as "Finlandia" would have had their origins.

So, Jimi Tenor's Sibelius would have been a talentless drunkard who gained his reputation just by accident. Jimi also intended to put Sibelius' virginity on focus in the film, even received some funding from AVEK (which supports audiovisual arts), but quite understandably, the iconoclastic project fell through eventually. Jimi says it was only his intention to get everyone pissed off, since Jean Sibelius is somewhat a sacred cow in Finnish cultural life, and thinks Sibelius' music is "a bit too stern and romantic" to his own tastes.

Text: pHinn

More about Jimi Tenor's "art film" projects here: