Ohjaus/Director: Mika Taanila
Teksti/Text: Harry Salmenniemi
Graafinen suunnittelu/Graphic Design: Markus Pyörälä
Leikkaus/Editing: Mika Taanila
Ääni/Sound: Olli Huhtanen
Musiikki/Music: Mika Vainio
Tuotanto/Production: Elokuvayhtiö Testifilmi Oy
Tuottaja/Producer: Jussi Eerola
Esityskopio/Print Source: Testifilmi / Mika Taanila
Esitysformaatti/Format: 2K DCP
Kieli/Language: Finnish version
Made without a camera on 35 mm film.
There is a Finnish version and an English version. Neither can have additional subtitles.
Midnight Sun Film Festival (MSFF), Sodankylä.
In the presence of Mika Taanila introduced by Olaf Möller.
Finnish version screened at the Little Top, Sodankylä, 17 June 2016
Lauri Timonen (MSFF catalog): "Mika Taanila is one of Finland’s most important and internationally acknowledged filmmakers. His Tectonic Plates examines the boundaries of the silver screen and the possibilities of expression. The film about fear of flying, security checks and time zones was made completely without a camera, and the segments of the moving image by photocopying documents about flying directly onto film, in addition of which Taanila utilises darkroom-made photograms, thus piercing out the deeper states of existence of banal objects."
"The text stream of announcements and warnings, at the same time familiar-feeling and nightmarish – almost like the pounding waves towards the bow of l’Atalante – flows hypnotically through the silver screen, challenging its boundaries into a virtually cosmic game. The dizzy feeling connected with fear of flying comes across strong, sometimes even ironically enriching the experience from the shadows of the bottle of heartburn pills."
"Using the methods of Lettrism (e.g. Prince’s music video Sign O’ the Times), Taanila searches for the independent echo of letters, syllables and phones over the conventional meaning of words. The various levels of panic and symptoms open up in a way that will burn in the viewer’s mind even weeks after this unique cinematic experience." (LT)
AA: Mika Taanila has always been interested in films made without camera, without image, even. He is aware that the question about the affinity with radiophony, with the radioplay is then relevant. Tectonic Plate, his Lettrist film, created in collaboration with the poet Harry Salmenniemi, is a film of strong visuals and strong sounds.
Taanila links himself to the official wave of Lettrism launched by Isidore Isou in 1945, its cinematic current launched in 1951 by Isou and Maurice Lemaître. In Finland he quotes the influence of the poet Kari Aronpuro, especially his collage novel Aperitiff - avoin kaupunki (1965). Isou acknowledged that the primus motor for Lettrism was Dadaism, especially Tristan Tzara. Also Apollinaire and the Surrealists were relevant. There are influences in Finland since the 1920s (Tulenkantajat = The Torch Bearers), including also Aaro Hellaakoski's Jääpeili [Ice Mirror].
Tectonic Plate is an original and powerful work of modern poetry in the form of cinema. Every great poem reinvents poetry, and Tectonic Plate is such a poem. Internationally there is an affinity with French artists like Godard, Marker, and Resnais. (Lettrism is relevant also in Godard. In his last period even Walt Disney was influenced by Lettrism in his Winnie the Pooh movies).
This is a stream of consciousness movie. It is about jet lag, and like all experimental films, a philosophical study on perception. Flyers, frequent or not, face the categories of time and space. Boarding passes, security checks, bulletin boards, and announcements in terminals become fodder for this poem.
The jungle of signals, the discomfort of modern flying, the fatigue due to a quick passage to a distant time zone, all contribute to a sense of chaos. But in this film there is an order, a structure, and a rhythm, visually and musically. The rhythm is engrossing, and the film is an exercise in making poetic sense out of incoherence.
Tectonic Plate is witty and humoristic. There are poetic insights, satirical remarks, one-liners, and non sequiturs. Harry Salmenniemi's poetry appears as intertitles. Tectonic Plate is a contender to a list of films with the best intertitles.
EDITED FROM MY NOTES SCRIBBLED DURING THE SCREENING:
Flicker - stardust - scratches - announcements
Thunder - dirt - rhythmical graphic patterns
Escalator - crescendo - visual - aural
Noise - interference - jam - as means of expression
Ritardando - accelerando
Sound - image synchrony
Meaningful text (Salmenniemi)
Meaningless text (graphic static)
The history of poetry and cinema.
Homer. Goethe. Pushkin. Baudelaire. Runeberg. Ibsen. Auden. Salmenniemi.
Rhythm. Calm / hectic
Action and contemplation
Sound and silence
Ultra fast edits.
Self in the modern world.
Echoes of the space.
Philosophy of perception.
The sound of rain from the outside.
The smell of the wet grass in the Little Top.
Fleeting shadows of the tent structure on the screen when there is light from behind.
Text conveying meaning.
Text as a meaningless carpet of letters of the alphabet.
An ultra long zoom-out from the legal terms of insurance.
Intertitles as lines of poetry / aphorisms / one-liners.
An affinity with Jean-Luc Godard (Adieu au langage).
And Chris Marker (La Jetée) and Alain Resnais (Je t'aime, je t'aime).
Organic / synthetic.
Reinventing poetry. Reinventing music.
White screen / mindscreen.
Twilight's last gleaming.
An announcement in Japanese.
Categories of time and space.
Bonus programs for frequent flyers.
Found images and texts.
Attachments of experiences.
The rhythm, the pulse, the sound.
Flight departure announcements.
Flight departure bulletin boards.
Jungles of numbers.
Immanuel Kant: the things that awe me most: the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.
TECTONIC PLATE PRESSKIT