Posts Tagged ‘Night Visions Festival’

After over six years since the initial shooting began for the trek that would become my story on the silver screen, Spandex Sapiens finally had it’s grand world premiere in Helsinki this past Thursday!  And to be honest, what better place to hold the premiere than here in Finland, as the movie was funded with Finnish money and tells a tale about the pioneer of Finnish pro wrestling?  Rather apropos. I would wager to say!

Today, I heard the good news that Spandex Sapiens had won the “Audience Favorite Award” at this year’s Night Visions film festival in Helsinki, which ends today.  People genuinely seemed to be touched, moved or otherwise stirred by the movie, as I was witness to myself this past Thursday night, as I shook hands with movie goers after the premiere.

Having now seen the movie myself on the big screen, I must say that it truly is a powerful piece of cinema.  Several people have told me the same thing, “It was much better than I initially expected”, which, after so long of a time in the making and having so much money put into it, shouldn’t be too much of a shock.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

I was especially proud to stand at the end of the movie, on stage with the producers, my family and a host of FCF wrestlers, for an open Q&A about the film itself.  Viewers presented a plethora of questions, and one that that was directed toward my father, Taimo, specifically had an impact on me.  Or moreso, my father’s answer to the question presented stirred me, as he said: “Michael said at one point that he wanted to become a role model for the young boys and teenagers of today.  Not some ambiguous figure who wants to be half male and half female, but a true embodiment of solid masculinity.”

That statement, in and of itself, also spoke volumes of the movie itself, and the impact of my personality and character in the film.  I was truly humbled to receive such high adulation from my own Dad in front of a host of strangers, acquaintances and friends alike.  It felt like I had done something right in my life, especially the following day afterward. when I ran into an online article about a 100% increase in gender role confusion amongst today’s children.

All that said, I have seen a clear change in the social consciousness of our modern age, where the lines of clear gender roles are being stealthily erased.  It is no longer accepted to call a spade a spade, or to have clear, dauntless black and white principles.  The world has become a melting pot of grays, or perhaps thought otherwise, a mixture of all of the colors of the rainbow, as it were.  Solid absolutes are being done away with, as people look to justify everything about their lives through relativism.  The only problem is that when absolute truth is done away with, the foundation of one’s society ultimately crumbles.  So there you have it, my brief moment of social commentary in the midst of this milestone of celebration.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

On the night of the movie premiere, following the Q&A, we had an afterparty wrestling show at Gloria Cultural Arena in Helsinki, where I faced my counterpart from the Spandex Sapiens film, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love.  It was a damn good match, too, which was building to a classic, when the Musta Aukko (Black Hole) contingent of King Kong Karhula, “Executioner” Petrov, their manager Mr. Tapaturma and female cohort Julia Kyy all interfered.  As the heels beat down Jessica and I, Karhula took the mic directly thereafter and spouted something about being sick and tired of seeing my face in the spotlight, and in addition, having no regard for Jessica Love, who Karhula boasted he had beaten to a pulp on countless occasions.  Karhula blasted that now was his time, and that didn’t seem to sit all too well with his teammates.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

Jessica and I took advantage of the confusion amongst our foes’ ranks and laced into them with a counter assault, sending them out of the ring.  I stepped up to the proverbial plate and challenged Petrov and Karhula to a tag team match right then and there against Jessica and myself, to which they eagerly accepted.  What followed was a donnybrook that saw Jessica Love pin King Kong Karhula with a double-arm DDT after a timely superkick assist from Yours Truly.  We put aside personal, philosophical differences to fight a common enemy and we came out on the winning end, which brings to mind something I have long held to be true: “I don’t have to like you to be able to do business with you.”

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

Spandex Sapiens’ world premiere was just the beginning.  From here, the film is sure to hit various international film festival stages and then get an official theater distribution release in Finland, come the spring of 2016!

All photos by Marko Simonenwww.markosimonen.com

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What a ride it’s been!  Over the past six years, since the summer of 2009 to be exact, film producer Oskari Pastila (whose last film was the acclaimed Knucklebonehead in 2013) has been busy shooting my story, which he entitled Spandex Sapiens.

Spandex Sapiens movie banner

Originally carrying the working title Babyface, Oskari went for more of a Marvel Comics approach and thus dubbed the work Spandex Sapiens.  We’ve been filming as far away as Japan on a couple of occasions, in addition to Germany, Sweden, The Bahamas, USA and even footage from Romania, in addition to Finland.  This thing has been shot on three different continents, for Pete’s sake!

My movie rival, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, looks on at the filmed segments between takes with writer ilja Rautsi and director Oskari Pastila.

My movie rival, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, looks on at the filmed segments between takes with writer ilja Rautsi and director Oskari Pastila.

Now, after much delay and much wait, the official world premiere of the movie is at hand on Thursday, November 5 in Helsinki, as part of the Night Visions Film Festival for 2015, slated for a showtime of 17:45 at Maxim theater (located at Kluuvikatu 1, Helsinki).

It’s been quite a journey!  One that features a tale of love lost and love found, falling out with one girlfriend only for me to find the girl that would become my wife.  It features a scintillating theme of Yours Truly, as the prototypical throwback to the conservative retro kind of caveman from yesterday vs. the all-accepting, liberal values of my antagonist counterpart in the movie, Europe’s only transsexual wrestler, Jessica Love.  It also features the price of the path less traveled by the lone wolf, who makes a way where there is no way, to create a legacy.

Sound engineer Svante Colerus puts the final touches on Spandex Sapiens.

Sound engineer Svante Colerus puts the final touches on Spandex Sapiens.

In short, Spandex Sapiens has a lot of meat on the bone, and something on tap that will touch every viewer in some way.  This movie is not politically correct, nor does it pander to the prevalent social conscience of our modern day.  It’s a film that will divide viewers straight down the middle.  You’ll either love it, or you’ll hate it, simply due to the vivid clash of values that are presented in the film.  I am sure the critics will have a field day with this one!

Mark the date down in your calendars, folks.  November 5, 2015 – the world premiere of Spandex Sapiens!

Spandex_Sapiens_web_poster

On the same night, as an afterparty for the movie, FCF Wrestling and Night Visions will feature the Spandex Sapiens Afterparty & Wrestling Show at Cultural Arena Gloria in downtown Helsinki, with a showtime of 21:00.  I will be grappling against Jessica Love on that show, in honor of the main theme in the movie.  Also on the card, a plethora of other top matches, and fans who bought a movie ticket to the film premiere the same night get 5 Euros off of the ticket price at the afterparty wrestling show.