Tom of Finland (2017)

tom-of-finland

Tom of Finland is a 2017 Finnish biographical drama film, directed by Dome Karukoski and written by Aleksi Bardy. It stars Pekka Strang as Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, a Finnish homoerotic artist.

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Storyline:
Touko Laaksonen, a decorated officer, returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II, but life in Finland during peacetime proves equally distressing. He finds peace-time Helsinki rampant with persecution of the homosexual and men around him even being pressured to marry women and have children. Touko finds refuge in his liberating art, specializing in homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free of inhibitions. His work – made famous by his signature Tom of Finland – became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution.Written by Helsinki-filmi

Tom of Finland a film about Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, gets its first poster. Biopic directed by Dome Karukoski stars Finnish actor Pekka Strang in the title role.

Review:

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Then there’s the jaw-dropping nature of those gigantic penises. Karukoski clearly remembers his first viewing of Laaksonen’s work at school when he was about 12. “Someone had nicked or found his comic books. We were too young to understand sexuality in any form, I think our wildest dream was Samantha Fox Strip Poker on the Commodore 64. We were looking at it behind the school, and we were like: ‘Do the dicks really grow so big?’”

Tom’s real name was Touko Laaksonen. By day, he was a senior art director at advertising agency McCann Erickson. In his spare time, however, Laaksonen drew his sexual fantasies – bikers and lumberjacks, mounties and policemen going at it hammer and tongs in forests, prisons and parks, the smiles on their faces almost as big as their enormously tumescent penises. Initially published in American gay proto-porn magazines such as Physique Pictorial, they were disseminated worldwide in dime stores, sex shops or leather bars through an international underground of fans, despite laws against the distribution of such explicit material.

In September 2014 the Finnish postal service, Itella Posti, published a set of three first class stamps featuring drawings by Laaksonen and in association with the stamps’ release exhibited some of his correspondence at the Finnish Postal Museum. Two of the stamps include portions of an illustration of a nude man sitting between the legs of another man dressed as a police officer; the other depicts nude buttocks with a man’s face included between the thighs. The stamp set exceeded Posti’s expectations, with pre-orders from 178 countries, making it the best-selling stamp set in the service’s history.

“What he represents to us is freedom,” says Dehner. Dressed in a leather suit and tie when we meet on a warm afternoon in London, he runs the Tom of Finland Foundation, which is based in his and Laaksonen’s house in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles. “There was a French contemporary photographer I saw at an exhibition of Tom’s work and she was radiant. I asked her to share what she was feeling and she said: ‘Here’s a man who did not inhibit what was in his heart.’” Or, indeed, his pants.

Title:Tom of Finland
Release:24 February 2017 (Finland)
Runtime:115 min.
Genre:Biography, Drama
Stars:Lauri Tilkanen, Jessica Grabowsky, Pekka Strang, Werner Daehn, Seumas F. Sargent, Taisto Oksanen
Overview:Touko Laaksonen, a decorated officer, returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II, but life in Finland during peacetime proves equally distressing. He finds peace-time Helsinki rampant with persecution of the homosexual and men around him even being pressured to marry women and have children. Touko finds refuge in his liberating art, specialising in homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free on inhabitations. His work – made famous by his signature ‘Tom of Finland’ – became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution.

 

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