Like Kaurismäki going hilarious
February 15th, 2011
Red Nose Day by Mikko Rimminen was presented to the film producers at Books at Berlinale event today. The interest for the Scandinavian humor is enormous and Red Nose Day got lots of attention from the international film producers.

The novel is character driven story about Irma who feels lonely and starts seeking friends in a very peculiar way. Red Nose Day is like Aki Kaurismäki going hilarious and Irma is a Kaurismäki-kind of woman: a lonely, working-class underdog. An outsider in the society, a person who we do not take notice of when we pass her on the streets. Mikko Rimminen – just as Aki Kaurismäki does – combines dry comedy with warm-hearted humanism. He doesn’t laugh at his characters but feels great compassion for them. The reader finds the persons very peculiar and cannot help herself from laughing to the scenes Mikko Rimminen builds up. The comedy of Mikko Rimminen gets its fuel from the characters that take themselves seriously trying to solve the problems they are facing – failing repeatedly.

Mikko Rimminen is a master of describing the details of everyday occasions. His narrative style is minimalistic and focused on the details of the embarrassing social dialogue Irma finds herself. Despite the minimalistic approach, Rimminen describes in detail the traffic in Helsinki, wall clocks on the flats Irma visits, the way of cooking, the details of a telephone conversation – all this narrated as the inner world of Irma. Mikko Rimminen is the master of language. He started his career as a poet and uses special narrative tricks even in his prose. He calls his writing style for “blattering” and is famous for the new words he creates.

Mikko Rimminen won the prestigious Finlandia-prize with the novel Red Nose Day. The end scene of the novel is, despite the hard-times underdog Irma faces, touching in its nearly heart-breaking positivity: Christmas is coming, it’s snowing for the first time, grey Helsinki turns to white. Irma has found a friend, Mr. Virtanen, an underdog him too. The friendship is suddenly possible.

As one of the literary critics puts it: “If you begin to feel cynical or the world appears cold or overly logical, go and read this book!”

Picture: Agent Kristoffersson preparing for the pitch.