HELSINKI, Finland—Though titled a "Splendid Movie Orgy," the Viva Erotic Film Festival, returning for its third year, is clearly about much more than video porn. Attendees can look forward to celebrating Finnish independence, checking out feminist Italian porn, sampling exotic love potions and much more.
Offering a curated respite from the glut of internet porn, Viva Erotica, which will take place Thursday through Sunday, May 4-7, 2017, will explore the creative potential of erotic cinema and its history. This year, the annual film fest will be held in Helsinki at , and it is considered a unique addition to the international arthouse and porn film festival circuits.
In honor of Finnish independence, the festival will be taking a close look at the early days of Finnish erotic cinema, from the country’s first home-grown offering Sauna (Holger Harrivirta's 1947 look at Finnish-style steam-bathing) and Väreitä (from 1965, Ilmari Sarki's sexy fairytale of a group of mermaids who turn a recluse's life upside down) to Teuvo Tulio’s 1971 cult classic “Samisploitation” melodrama Sensuela.
But as mentioned earlier, the festival is not just about showing porn films. Appearing live and in person will be Finland’s leading porn researcher Dr. Susanna Paasonen, presenting “Finlandia Fuck,” a lecture that looks at home-grown porn and the Finnish psyche through the lens of national pride, and Italian feminist director Monica Stambrini, presenting Queen Kong (2016), her fantastical pornographic short film.
On the novelty side, the festival will also be spotlighting films featuring love potions and sex magic, including a wild take on Cinderella (1977, Michael Pataki); boundary-pushing Italian erotica by masters such as Tinto Brass and Alberto Cavallone; extremely rare early 20th-century X-rated films curated by Dolly Kuhn of Munich’s Werkstatt Kino; the blockbuster Australian sex comedy Alvin Purple (1973, Tim Burstall) that launched an industry down under; a wonder of contemporary Japanese erotica with Hayami Kyōko; Golden Age greats Georgina Spelvin and Lisa De Leeuw in the award-winning comedy Garage Girls; and more.
Even though it's a European festival, the minimum age for attending the event and all screenings is 18, though many of the individual films are not X-rated. For the full program, please visit .
Fans can follow the festival on , and on Twitter using the hashtag #vivaerotica.
Also on tap: Former AVN associate Saskia Vogel will be delivering a lecture at the Open School at the Konstfack University Svarta Havet lecture hall on May 3, beginning at 4:30 p.m., entitled "Masturbating In The Cinema: On Sex As A Creative Force."
According to a description of the lecture, which will be given in English, "Drawing from her experience with literature, pornography and the Viva Erotic Film Festival in Helsinki, Saskia Vogel will be talking about how you can access new springs of creativity by leaning in to topics that make us uncomfortable and by uncovering invisible stumbling blocks—ideas you never thought to question and that impact how you engage with your art, yourself and the world around."