AS Finland’s population continues to diversify, one constant over the past quarter-century has been that of the Etnosoi! Festival. Organised since 1989 by the Global Music Centre, the festival annually brings a range of musical styles and approaches from around the globe to illuminate the November gloom.

Nightcrawler (K16)

It’s been a little while since we have had an unhinged character onscreen to rival Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle. Offering up his best shot at the title, Jake Gyllenhaal bravely steps up to the plate. And in true de Niro style, he has dramatically altered his appearance as Lou, shedding weight to the extent that his performance demands to be taken seriously. So, let’s give him our best shot in a film that resides in the darkness of Los Angeles.

The Equalizer (K16)

Time for some lunk-headed action fun, then, after the tepid, reserved violence of The Expendables 3 earlier this summer. Here Denzel Washington stars in a reboot of the ‘80s TV show centered on an ex-government agent who lends a helping hand to those in need. Teaming up with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, Washington continues to keep one foot equality in both serious thespian and action cheese territories. Regardless of the end result he is always a magnetic screen presence. While Fuqua’s career has had its ups and downs, expectations are relatively high for this latest outing.

OFFERING a range of new European drama reading, Reading EuropeAn Drama Festival (aka R.E.A.D.) is on offer from 6 to 8 October in Helsinki. Bringing together international theatre professionals who are currently living and working in Finland, fresh texts from Germany, Hungary, France, England, Norway, Russia, Italy and Estonia are on offer for audiences.

LOVERS of cinema rejoice – Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy is on the horizon, being held from 18–28 September. Organised for the 27th occasion, this year sees more than 170 feature films and some 150 short films being screened.