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Imaginaerum (the movie)


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"Imaginaerum tells the story of an elderly composer, Tom, who suffers from severe dementia. As he has had the disease for years and has regressed into childhood, he remembers practically nothing from his adult life. His music, friends, all his past including the memory of his daughter are a blur in his fragile mind. All he has left is the imagination of a ten year old boy. As he drifts away into coma, it seems impossible to get back what he has lost. Or is it?"

  • Directed by Stobe Harju
  • Screenplay by Stobe Harju, Mikko Rautalahti, Richard Jackson
  • Story by Stobe Harju, Tuomas Holopainen
  • Produced by Neil Dunn, Jukka Helle, André Rouleau, Markus Selin
  • Starring: Marianne Farley, Quinn Lord, Francis-Xavier McCarthy, Ilkka Villi, Joanna Noyes, Keyanna Fielding, Stéphane Demers, Ron Lea, Hélène Robitaille
  • Cinematography: Benoît Beaulieu
  • Edited by Mathieu Bélanger
  • Music by Nightwish, Petri Alanko
  • Production companies: Solar Films, Caramel Films
  • Distributed by Scene Nation
  • Release date: November 23, 2012 (on DVD April 23, 2013)
  • Running time: 85 minutes
  • Countries: Finland, Canada
  • Language: English
  • Budget: $3.7 million
  • Box office: $190,819 (Finland, Russia, and Malaysia)


Today is the 10th anniversary of the first screening of the movie Imaginaerum, after Nightwish's Helsinki show on Nov 10, 2012. It would be publicly released a few weeks later. Anette wasn't attending since she already left the band little more than a month earlier.

So I thought this would be a good time to watch it for the first time myself! 😳 I'll let you know how it goes! 😁

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A very interesting blog post about an American producer's journey to attend the Imaginaerum premiere in 2012:


As well as YouTube recordings of Marko and director Stobe Harju introducing the movie at Hartwall (Finnish only):



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Here are a few comments about the movie after a first viewing, and I'll try to avoid spoilers!

Imaginaerum is good fun, perhaps confusing at first but the plot getting clearer as it goes. It's probably a movie I need to watch more than once to fully appreciate. It's likely inspired by the Tim Burton movies (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory...) as well as the animated The Snowman (the original 'Walking In The Air').

Considering the budget was tight, the photography and special effects are surprisingly good.

I'm trying to figure out how much the general public, without an interest in Nightwish, would enjoy the movie. The transitions to band performances (Slow Love Slow, Scaretale) are perhaps a bit jarring and one might wonder what's the purpose of the band interludes in the big picture. I'd say if there's an issue with the movie it's that it's constructed around a playlist, and perhaps juggling the needs of the band/music exposure and the needs of the plot were a major challenge.

But as a Nightwish fan, there's a lot to love. Apparently the movie was panned in Finland, and never really went anywhere internationally. I suppose that the band lost some money in the endeavour, but they might have still derived indirect profit from the hype surrounding the project.

Anette was apparently unhappy about the movie, both the expense and the result. Looking back perhaps she was right in that the movie never made profit, but I think it was more a pet project for Tuomas and something he just had to do at least once. There will never be another Nightwish-inspired movie, so let's enjoy what we have!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/2/2022 at 11:02 PM, Moondance said:

I watched this film back in high school. Really enjoyable experience, though it took a few watches to understand the message the film was telling me.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I missed a good number of things on my first watch! I'm sure it's a movie that keeps on giving. 😁

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