Petri Luukkanen My Stuff Interview
Petri Luukkanen My Stuff Interview
I think after a month, the only thing you needed was a woman, or a nice relationship. You had lots of other stuff in the storage, and once you got a girlfriend you closed the storage. Does that mean that stuff is left in there, or are you going to give it up? Or is it just memories you can’t part with?

Petri Luukkanen

Now I’m speaking from the director’s perspective. We were thinking about this, how we will edit the film. We were filming another scene with a big camera tracking towards the storage space - the long picture, when it goes into the storage and you see all those items in there. We were thinking in the end should we tell what happens to the stuff? I can say the same thing as you said. After a couple of months, all you need is love.

We decided it would be better not to tell the audience what happens to the stuff in the end. Maybe then people would think about their stuff. I can tell you what happens now. I’m a lazy guy, so I kept the storage there for many months. After the project I had 365 items, or something. After some months I went there and looked in the storage and thought, ‘What can I do with this?’ Out of everything I took maybe 100 items.

Other people talk about this emotional value you have on things and I kind of get that. But all the emotional value comes from the fact that it’s present in your life, you see it. It’s present in your apartment. You see things and you never touch them, you never use them. Just like with relationships. We can have, like, ten friends because we see them all the time. But if we have a friend that moves to another city, you don’t see him for a couple of years, you find a distance. So when I’ve been away from my things, I didn’t have them close by, all the emotional value of everything just cut loose. I go to the storage and think, ‘Oh this is nice, but am I really going to use this?’

In the end I just called the local recycling centre. They have this thing, if you have a couch you can call them and they will pick up the couch. I called, ‘Is this the pickup service?’ And they say, ‘Should we take a van, how much do you have?’ And I said, ‘It’s almost all my possessions. Just bring a truck.’ They took everything. I was quite liberated. In the end, what you see in the storage, I don’t have it anymore.
Did you change your perspective about stuff, when you met your girlfriend, or when you went to see your grandma’s place when she was in hospital?

Petri Luukkanen

I told her about the project when we had been going out for a month or something - in the beginning I didn’t tell her. I couldn’t find the way to. You meet an interesting person and say, ‘I’m making this film about myself.’ How would that work in a relationship, coming to a first date with a camera - ‘I’m going to film this.’ Of course, I started to make my chances better by getting some new clothes. I started to use items. For example, with cutting the bike lock. Probably I may have done it without her, it’s just about how much help you want with things, or where your comfort zone goes. I was totally capable already with the stuff that I had.

Nowadays I talk a lot about stuff with the film, but I’m not so concerned about stuff anymore. I’ve been thinking about the candy jar. In the scene when we pack up grandma’s flat, I feel that all the love that I had in my childhood gathers in this one candy jar, you know? It felt really important. I bring it back to my apartment and I put it in the best place in my apartment and it’s there like a shrine. After a couple of months I put it on another table, so I won’t break it. Then it goes to a cupboard and I still kind of remember that that’s one of the most important items in my life. For me, because I remember it’s in the film and I really remember when I got it there and I think, do I still need the item to remember my grandma’s love? Does the thing justify my emotional needs of it? I don’t know.

When my grandma went in the end, she had four surgeries or something. She couldn’t make it back home, so she went to a retirement house. My uncle took some of her stuff, to give my grandma more of a feeling of home. Of course if I think, if I was 86 years old and I had to go and live in a white hospital, maybe it would be nice if there were some of my things. I would make room for them. I’m not free of stuff, but at the moment I’m not so interested in stuff anymore. All the things are best when they are modest.

This is not my idea, this is something I heard someone say to me. Candy, for example. If candy’s good, you eat candy and you like it, but if you eat four packs of candy you will feel sick and you cannot eat candy every day. If you just eat candy now and then - that’s actually the ultimate pleasure. With stuff, if it’s modest, then actually I will get the ultimate pleasure. That’s my individual feeling about it.
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Content updated: 21/04/2018 10:42

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