Antarctic Research Blog #70: Virus

Virus

Film: Kinji Fukasaku: Virus (Japan, 1980)

Virus is an Eighties catastrophe movie about a virus that kills everyone on Earth except for the people living on Antarctic bases. Its definitely a Cold War movie, with the Americans and Russians sharing the blame for the apocalypse that follows.

As sometimes happens with catastrophe movies, this one doesn’t really have any main character, but instead focuses on the effect of the virus first on the world and then on the Antarctic community.

The main thing to like here were the values. Its a wholly pacifist movie, casting the main world powers in a dangerous, possibly psychotic light, espousing the necessity of cooperation if we are to survive. Its dated now that the Cold War is long over, but you can still appreciate the sentiment for the time it was made.

Married for the third time…

…to the same woman. On Friday the 15th of August, I got married to Maria Pettersson in Vanha kirkko, Helsinki.

(The two previous marriages were in Las Vegas on the 7th of July, 2007 and in the Helsinki magistrate office shortly after that.)

The wedding was as perfect as it could have been.

I made a short video for the party, entitled Murmeli pitää puheen häissä (The Marmot makes a speech at the wedding),  photo composite, 01:51.

Post-Ropecon

Ropecon is over for now. I saw a lot of interesting programs, didn’t manage to see a lot of stuff I’d wanted to, and held a few program items of my own. My Roolipelaaja presentation experienced almost insurmoutable technical difficulties, but my larp Lumimyrsky (Snowstorm) went well. I’ll put up documentation from the game shortly. Meanwhile, here’s a photo from the game, by Niklas Vainio:

Lumimyrsky 1 500px

Juhana Pettersson in Ropecon

Lumimyrsky logo

The roleplaying event Ropecon is on 8.-10.8.2008 in Espoo, Finland. I have a number of programs there.

Friday

20:00-22:00, the panel discussion Roolipelien dokumentaatio, in Sali 26

A Finnish-language discussion about the documentation of roleplaying games, led by Jaakko Stenros and featuring Johanna Koljonen, Juhana Pettersson and Jussi Ahlroth.

23:00-01:00, the presentation Roolipelaaja – Maailman (melkein) ainoa roolipelilehti, in Klondyke, by Juhana Pettersson

I talk about Roolipelaaja, the roleplaying magazine I edit.

Saturday

14:00-18:00, the larp Lumimyrsky (Blizzard) by Juhana Pettersson

Signing up for the game is at the larp info desk on Saturday between 10:00 and  14:00. There’s space for ten players.

Description in Finnish:

Antarktis on maailman tyhjin manner. Pahimmillaan se on kuin vieras planeetta, yhtä vihamielinen elämälle. Istut tyhjässä tukikohdassa keskellä jäätikköä muiden selviytyjien kanssa ja ajattelet, että teidän täytyy olla yksin. Lumimyrsky ulvoo ulkona, mutta sisällä on täysin hiljaista, ja lähimmät ihmiset ovat yli tuhannen kilometrin päässä.

RPGnet review of Playground Worlds

RPGnet has a review by Ryan Paddy of this year’s Knudebook Playground Worlds. Here’s what he has to say about my article, The Age of Indulgence:

Juhana Pettersson is a funny guy, given to mock-serious writings. Here he discusses the potential of larp as a vehicle for physical indulgence. He gives some real larp examples ranging from wallowing in flour to hitting people with foam swords, then takes the idea to ludicrous hypothetical extremes, before returning to Earth to contemplate ways in which indulgence can distract from more genuinely fulfilling aspects of play if overemphasised. A fun romp around an under-considered topic.

Antarctic Research Blog #69 – Zombie Zombie: Driving

I spotted the link to this in the irc. It’s described as a “non-official video” for the Zombie Zombie song Driving, directed by Simon Gesler and Xavier Ehretsmann. It manages to combine a whole load of things I love, from French electro and Antarctica to the G.I. Joe toys and the John Carpenter movie the Thing.

In a nice touch, the action figures used in the stop motion animation are all really classic. I used to have that same Outback figure before I gave it to my little brother.

Flour and Circus

Luminescence 5Luminescence 4Luminescence 3Bouffe 6Bouffe 5Bouffe 2

(The images on the top row are from the larp Luminescence. The photos on the bottom row, by Silvére, are from the performance Bouffe c’que j’te donne.)

I’ve put up documentation for the last pieces listed in the Works page in the right sidebar, the larp Luminescence I did with Mike Pohjola and the performance Bouffe c’que j’te donne I did in le Fresnoy.

There’s video documentation of both. Here’s the footage from Luminescence:

Tears

Kadonneet kyynelet

My friend Mike Pohjola has published a novel called (Gummerus, 2008), now reviewed in Turun Sanomat:

Kadonneet kyyneleet lomittaa kaksi tarinaa, jotka näyttävät olevan melko kaukana toisistaan mutta joissa molemmissa on suhteellisen paljon ongelmia – itse asiassa enemmän kuin pienet ihmiset tai olennot ovat valmiita murtumatta kestämään. Se kertoo palasia yksinäisen ja ahdistuneen Roosan ensimmäisestä yläkouluvuodesta ja ensimmäisestä vuodesta ilman isää. Koulu on tytön huolista silti pienin, sillä käytännössä Roosa on isän kuoleman myötä menettänyt molemmat vanhempansa: äiti hakee lohdutuksensa viinasta ja uudesta poikaystävästä ja jättää tyttärensä heitteille.

Roosan maailman tapahtumat sijoittuvat sen paremmin määrittelemättömään nyky-Suomeen ja varmasti voisivat tapahtua missä päin tahansa, mutta naantalilaiset tunnistanevat Nuhjalan sivukirjaston ympäristön.

Toisaalta kirjassa mennään aivan muualle, sukelletaan satuun, jonka todellisuus koostuu keijujen mikromaailmasta. Siellä päähenkilöksi nousee urhea omena-airis Punakaneli ystävineen. Yhdessä nämä kasvien nimikkohenget käyvät taistelua Ketoa diktaattorimaisin ottein hallitsevaa Tuonenkieloa vastaan, sillä sadussakin soditaan ja kuollaan.

Rinnakkaiset tarinat tukevat toisiaan hyvin, joskin maailmojen välisen yhteyden paljastaminen aloitetaan kovin myöhään. Vinkkejä lukijoille voisi jakaa aikaisemminkin, vaikka tarkimmat saattavat jotain jo alusta päätellä. Sopivan kaukana ja samalla lähellä oleminen on aina melkoista taiteilua.

 

Antarctic Research Blog #68 – Ice Bound, the Movie

Ice Bound

Movie: Roger Spottiswoode: Ice Bound (U.S.A. Canada, 2003)

Based on the story (and book) of Dr Jerri Nielsen who was wintering at the U.S. South Pole station when she found out she had breast cancer. The script of this schmaltzy movie seems to consist entirely of characters spouting homilies and life wisdom to each other when its not engaged with exposition and a terrible, cliché-ridden voiceover.

The set design is very nice, though. All of the polar stuff looks good, so if you can look beyond the actors and whatever it is they’re doing in the movie, its not bad.

Big in Slovakia!

My article Battle Against Primitivism from the 2004 Knudebook Beyond Role and Play, edited by Jaakko Stenros & Markus Montola, has been translated into Slovakian by Tomá Kozlík, and published here.

Antarctic Research Blog #67 – Navigation Guide

Navigation Guide

Guidebook: Arturo De la Barrera Werner: Antarctica – Navigation Guide (unknown publisher & year)

This is a bilingual (English and Spanish) navigational guidebook my mother brought to me from Chile. It’s full of navigational data, so I don’t really understand much of it, but it feels very professional! It looks like the material and printing has been chosen mainly to withstand the extreme conditions of the Antarctic sea.