(1957- )
Nationality: Finnish

Ilppo Anssi Pohjola is an independent filmmaker, producer and artist based in Helsinki, Finland. His international breakthrough was Daddy and the Muscle Academy (1991), a documentary about Tom of Finland.

Ilppo Pohjola works with the vocabulary of film, examining its structural and social elements in order to create a body of work that pushes the limits of the medium's physical possibilities. He works between the narrative tropes of Hollywood and the deconstructive methodologies of independent film. The cumulative bodies of knowledge in Pohjola's works are noticeable for their crispness of conception and excess of information. Given his interest in the formal elements of filmmaking, the content of Pohjola's works are surprisingly physical and sensual, even if assaultive.

A recurring theme running through all of Pohjola’s work is transformation – how a person can change from one gender to another (P(l)ain Truth), how flesh and steel can fuse in an apotheosis called the crash (Routemaster), what time and chemicals do to film images (1 Plus 1 Plus 1 – Sympathy for the Decay). What all these films have in common is their intoxicating imagery. Little that cinema has brought forth in the past quarter century leaves the viewer as ecstatic, agitated and euphoric as the films of Pohjola.

In addition to directing and scriptwriting, Pohjola works as a producer and has through his company Crystal Eye produced Eija-Liisa Ahtila's films and cinematic installations since 1993. He has directed several television documentaries and videos. Pohjola is also known as a photographer and a graphic artist.


ROUTEMASTER - Theatre of the Motor
1999 / Super 8mm / color-b&w / sound / single screen / 17' 00 / 98 €
distribution: 35mm or DCP on server
1993 / 35mm / color-b&w / sound / single screen / 15' 00 / 81 €
distribution: 35mm