The first trailer for Dome Karukoski’s film about Finnish artist and gay icon ‘Tom of Finland’ has dropped. The powerful biopic is Finland’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2018 Academy Awards.
Tom of Finland is the story of a conscripted soldier during WWII whose real passion was his art. His biopic tells the story of him returning home from the war in a time where homosexuality was considered illegal, and persecution enforced. While working at an advertising agency by day, he began to create homoerotic art in secret. Once the United States caught wind of his talent, they flew him over to the West Coast, allowing his career to take off.
The film stars Finnish actor Pekka Strang as Touko Laaksonen (Tom). Tom’s art has been both praised for its liberation of the gay community, and unsurprisingly criticised for the content. Regardless, Tom of Finland is seen as a gay icon of the 20th century, especially the cultural impact his work had. His art popularised the ‘leatherman’ look, a trend later adorned by artists like Freddie Mercury and Glenn Hughes from the Village People.
The powerful trailer contains a great quote by Tom, “It would be easier to publish these in the Vatican” – a reference in answer to whether he plans to publish his art in Finland. He then travels to America to be greeted with joy by his community, while also facing the challenges presented by everyone else.
Tom of Finland is set to screen at the Palace theatres in Leichhardt and Paddington from the 12th of October. The film has been slated for an Oscar nom next year, which is pretty cool. Scroll back up for the trailer!