Wednesday, December 31, 1997

1997

Checklist: some of the films I saw theatrically in 1997 - Orion

16.12.1997 21.15 Revoljutshioner (Bauer), Orion
16.12.1997 19.00 Raskolnikov (Wiene), Orion
16.12.1997 16.30 L'Inhumaine (L'Herbier), Orion
2.12.1997 19.00 Poikien pesula, Orion

26.11.1997 17.00 Kasvot väkijoukossa, Orion
25.11.1997 21.00 Nukkevaimo, Orion
18.11.1997 21.00 Viva Zapata!, Orion
12.11.1997 18.45 Täältä tullaan, elämä, Orion
12.11.2997 16.30 Viettelyksen vaunu, Orion
4.11.1997 18.45 Hiljainen sopimus, Orion
2.11.1997 16.00 Marcello Mastroianni, Orion
XX.XX.1997 Orion

26.10.1997 18.00 Les Travailleurs de la mer (Antoine), Orion
7.10.1997 17.00 The Last of Dolwyn, Orion
2.10.1997 19.00 Pépé le Moko, Orion
2.10.1997 17.00 Rakastajatar, Orion

28.9.1997 18.15 Germinal (Capellani), Orion
23.9.1997 17.00 Tulipunainen kirjain (Sjöström), Orion
18.9.1997 19.00 Pako pohjoiseen, Orion
18.9.1997 17.00 Poljettu tähti, Orion
17.9.1997 19.00 Nuoruus sumussa, Orion
17.9.1997 17.00 Onnen kiertolaiset, Orion
16.9.1997 17.00 Kiihko, Orion
11.9.1997 18.30 Pietarin viimeiset päivät, Orion
10.9.1997 19.30 Nuoria ihmisiä, Orion
7.9.1997 17.30 Parrasvalot, Orion

27.8.1997 19.15 Elämän maantiellä, Orion
13.8.1997 21.00 Clerks - tiskirotat, Orion
13.8.1997 19.00 Veronika Vossin kaksoiselämä, Orion
XX.XX.1997 Orion

29.7.1997 19.00 Koskematon kauneus, Orion
24.7.1997 21.00 Syötti, Orion
24.7.1997 19.00 Kramer vastaan Kramer, Orion
23.7.1997 19.00 Elämäni koirana, Orion
22.7.1997 19.00 Shokkikäsittely, Orion
1.7.1997 19.00 Lähtö, Orion

4.5.1997 20.15 Suuri illuusio, Orion
3.5.1997 19.00 Atomic Café, Orion

29.4.1997 21.00 Slacker, Orion
27.4.1997 19.00 Kaos, Orion
24.4.1997 20.15 Maa järisee, Orion
23.4.1997 19.00 Mu qin san she shu, Orion
23.4.1997 17.00 Kahden tanssin välillä, Orion
22.4.1997 18.45 Jie tou xiang dei, Orion
17.4.1997 19.00 Hongkongilaista lyhytelokuvaa, Orion
16.4.1997 21.00 Ei kahta ilman kolmatta, Orion
16.4.1997 19.00 Qin shao nian nuo, Orion
15.4.1997 21.00 I she i jia, Orion
15.4.1997 19.30 Myrkky, Orion
15.4.1997 17.00 Si Paris était conté, Orion
11.4.1997 21.00 Long men ge zhan, Orion
10.4.1997 19.00 Qiou jue, Orion
9.4.1997 21.00 Wue li hung, Orion
9.4.1997 19.45 Tie shan gong zhu, Orion
8.4.1997 17.00 Kruunun helmet, Orion
5.4.1997 21.00 Miehitetty kaupunki, Orion
5.4.1997 19.00 Faisons un rêve, Orion

31.3.1997 18.15 Hamsa Geethe, Orion
29.3.1997 17.00 Sindhu bhatravi, Orion
26.3.1997 21.00 Pilvien takana, Orion
26.3.1997 18.45 Naisen tunnistaminen, Orion
25.3.1997 20.30 Hamsa Geethe, Orion
25.3.1997 19.00 Matti Manushulu, Orion
25.3.1997 16.30 Oberwaldin salaisuus, Orion
20.3.1997 16.30 Moondram Pirate, Orion
19.3.1997 20.45 Shankarabharanam, Orion
19.3.1997 19.00 Marattam, Orion
18.3.1997 19.00 Kiina, Orion
18.3.1997 17.00 Zabriskie Point, Orion
13.3.1997 21.00 Swarna kamalam, Orion
13.3.1997 18.45 Anantaram, Orion
12.3.1997 18.45 Piravi, Orion
11.3.1997 21.00 Blow-Up, Orion
11.3.1997 18.45 Punainen erämaa, Orion
7.3.1997 19.15 Antonionin lyhytelokuvia, Orion
5.3.1997 21.00 Kuumetta, Orion
5.3.1997 18.45 Yö, Orion
4.3.1997 19.00 Antonionin lyhytelokuvia, Orion
4.3.1997 16.30 Seikkailu, Orion

27.2.1997 21.00 Kaipuun punainen hetki, Orion
27.2.1997 16.45 Pikku ystävättäriä, Orion
26.2.1997 19.00 Nainen vailla sielua, Orion
25.2.1997 19.00 I vinti, Orion
25.2.1997 17.00 Erään rakkauden tarina, Orion
15.2.1997 17.00 Kaksoiskotka, Orion

25.1.1997 19.00 Kohtalon isku, Orion
25.1.1997 21.00 Varjojen vanki, Orion
24.1.1997 21.00 For Them That Trespass, Orion
20.1.1997 21.00 Mahtavat Ambersonit, Orion

Shooting Fish

100509 / G / GB / 1997 / Schwartz, Stefan / comedy

Shooting Fish / Huijareita kuten me. PC: Gruber Brothers. P: Richard Holmes, Glynis Murray. D: Stefan Schwartz. SC: Stefan Schwartz, Richard Holmes. Music selections include performances by Space, Strangelove, and The Supernaturals, and Burt Bacharach tunes like ”Do You Know The Way To San Jose”. CAST: Dan Futterman (Dylan), Stuart Townsend (Jez), Kate Beckinsale (Georgie). 113’, 109’. Scope. BBFC: 12. DIST: Cinema Mondo. Viewed in Helsinki, Tuesday 30 December 1997. *** Two con artists meet a medical student who becomes their secretary in their outlandish schemes. Pleasant yarn with funny inventions and weak morals. Excellent soundtrack.

Tuesday, December 30, 1997

The Jackal

100507 / 16 / US / 1997 / Caton-Jones, Michael / thriller

Jackal, The / Sakaali. PC: Universal. D: Michael Caton-Jones. SC: Chuck Pfarrer - based on the screenplay The Day of the Jackal (1973) based on the novel by Frederick Forsyth. M: Carter Burwell. Title music: Massive Attack. CAST: Bruce Willis (The Jackal), Richard Gere (Declan Mulqueen), Sidney Poitier (Cater Preston), Diane Venora (Valentina Koslova). 124’. Scope. MPAA 35563. Rated R = 17. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Outi Kainulainen / Ditte Kronström. DIST: UIP Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, Monday 29 December 1997. *** Without reaching the standards of the 1973 classic, this film offers pleasures of its own. Bruce Willis as a man of many disguises is excellent, better than Val Kilmer as The Saint.

Sunday, December 28, 1997

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

I-008197 / G / US / 1965 - 1977 / Disney, Walt / / animation

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The / Nalle Puh (video) / Nalle Puhin seikkailuja (TV). PC: Walt Disney Productions. A compilation of three Winnie the Pooh episodes linked with special animated material on the concept of the ”living book”. Based on the original stories by A.A. Milne and the original illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard. The first video release of this compilation in Finland in 1997 by Buena Vista Home Video. Finnish dialogue and songs by Pekka Lehtosaari. Total length 71’ VHS PAL /25 fps/. Plus Making Of bonus track. Viewed in Pirkkala, Saturday 27 December 1997. ****
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree / Nalle Puh ja hunajapuu. 1965. D: Wolfgang Reitherman. 074566
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day / Nalle Puh ja tuulinen päivä. 1968. D: Wolfgang Reitherman. 077773
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too / Nalle Puh ja Tiikeri kans! 1974. D: John Lounsbery. 086028
This film has been labeled a Disney Classic, one of the 35 official classic animated Disney features. As such, it has been the most elusive of them in Finland. The original episodes were promptly released in Finnish cinemas, but this 1977 feature edition first surfaced on television in 1993. Seeing it for the first time now I was amazed at the concept which was so faithful to the Milne / Shepard originals. The relaxed tempo and the gentleness of spirit are in contrast to the hectic rhythm of the regular animated series of the era. The first two episodes belong to the last projects personally supervised by Disney, and of The Blustery Day he won his last (posthumous) Oscar. It has a dream sequence worthy of Dumbo. During the years from The Jungle Book (1967) to Beauty and the Beast (1991) this was probably the greatest Disney animated feature. It probably was the last with Walt’s spirit in it.

Härmästä poikia kymmenen

A-003314 / 12 / FI / 1950 / Unho, Ilmari / / drama

Härmästä poikia kymmenen / Österbottniskt blod / The Blood of Pohjanmaa / Ten Bad Men. PC: Suomi-Filmi. P: Risto Orko. D: Ilmari Unho. SC: Artturi Leinonen. DP: Eino Heino. M: Ahti Sonninen based on popular ballads ”Isoo Antti ja Rannanjärvi”, ”Ei ole leskeä ollenkaan”, ”Enkä minä hurjan luontoni tähren”, ”Anssin Jukka”, ”Härmästä poikia kymmenen”, ”Hurja min oon ollu”, and hymns, ”Minä vaivainen oon mato matkamies maan”, etc. Location: Ylihärmä. CAST: Tauno Palo (Isoo Antti = Antti Koivula), Yrjö Kantoniemi (Iisakki Nukari = Rannanjärvi), Kalervo Nissilä (Anssin Jukka), Kalle Kirjavainen (Kauhavan ruma vallesmanni = the ugly sheriff from Kauhava), Jussi Oksa (Pouttula, lautamies = juror), Hilkka Helinä (Katri Pouttula), Kauko Helovirta (Janne Koivula). B&w Academy. 86’ according to sources. A Suomi-Filmi PAL VHS release, lent from Helsinki City Library. 79’ /25 fps/ = 83’ /24 fps/. Viewed in Pirkkala, Saturday 27 December 1997. **** One of the best Finnish films. Taut storytelling, excellent cinematography, inspired performances, fine screenplay and dialogue in perfect blend with a score crammed with first rate adaptations of popular ballads about the notorious knifeslingers (puukkojunkkarit) in the great plains of the province of Pohjanmaa, the Texas of Finland. This film is Red River meets The Wild One in the 1860s, when Finland lived under Russian rule. The son must confront his outlaw father who is turning to a monster. The Finnish sheriff risks his life trying to tame his wild compatriots alone because he would never summon the Cossacks. The badmen (häjyt) speed their carts recklessly on the highways. They are not out for material gain, but just to raise hell and infuriate the deeply religious people of the plains. Among their offenses: spoiling the well with sour milk! In this film about the violence of men, women stay stoically in the background. The six professional lead actors were helped by over 30 laymen from Pohjanmaa. Among them, I spot a relative, Väinö Alanen, as the first landholder confronting the outlaws on the bridge.

Saturday, December 27, 1997

Le Mépris

068575 / 16 / FR / IT / 1963 / Godard, Jean-Luc / drama

Mépris, Le / Keskipäivän aave / Sen täytyi tapahtua. PC: Rome-Paris Films; Films Concordia; Compagnia Cinematografica Champion. P: Georges de Beauregard, Carlo Ponti. D+SC: Jean-Luc Godard - based on the novel Il disprezzo by Alberto Moravia. DP: Raoul Coutard. M: Georges Delerue. CAST: Brigitte Bardot (Camille Javal), Michel Piccoli (Paul Javal), Jack Palance (Jeremy Prokosh), Fritz Lang (Fritz Lang), Giorgia Moll (Francesca Vanini). Franscope, Technicolor. Versions: 84’, 100’, 103’. Re-released in Finland in the restored version in 1997. Not re-examined: if it had been, it would have rated G. The screening I saw took 98’33”. Finnish / Swedish subtitles Pekka Lanerva / Johan Förnäs. DIST: Cinema Mondo. Viewed in Helsinki in the premiere screening in Kino Engel 2 on Friday, 26 December 1997. **** Brilliant colour restored to vintage Godard. Le Mépris was his rare outing with big producers, and he had savage fun with them in this metafilm. Godard and Warhol were the first postmodern film directors. Now this film does not look strange anymore. The music is sumptuous.

Friday, December 26, 1997

King Creole

049763 / 16 / US / 1958 / Curtiz, Michael / / rock / crime

King Creole / King Creole / Kitara kainalossa / King Creole - kitara kainalossa. PC: © Hal B. Wallis and Joseph K. Gazzo. A Paramount Picture. P: Hal B. Wallis. D: Michael Curtiz. SC: Herbert Baker, Michael V. Gazzo - based on the novel A Stone For Danny Fisher by Harold Robbins. DP: Russell Harlan. M: Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller. ”Lover Doll”, ”Trouble”,”Young Dreams”, ”Hard Headed Woman”, ”King Creole”, ”Don’t Ask Me Why”. CAST: Elvis Presley (Danny Fisher), Carolyn Jones (Ronnie), Walter Matthau (Maxie Fields), Dolores Hart (Nellie), Paul Stewart (Charlie Le Grand), Vic Morrow (Shark), Dean Jagger (Mr. Fisher - the Father). 111’ /25 fps/ = 116’ /24 fps/. B&w VistaVision. A Finnish release by Barium Video in 1983, lent from Helsinki City Library. Finnish subtitles. Cropped to Academy. Poor definition, soundtrack slightly damaged. Viewed in Helsinki on VHS PAL on Thursday 25 December 1997. **** Pop culture endures the video transfer much better than Fritz Lang. Whereas Scarlet Street is caricature, this is a comic strip, and a very good one. Elvis Presley performs strongly in his one note characterization as the singer / delinquent. The dialogue is excellent, and the whole cast seems to relish this New Orleans crime melodrama. Astounding accomplishment from that old Hungarian.

Thursday, December 25, 1997

Scarlet Street

026475 / 16 / US / 1945 / Lang, Fritz / / thriller

Scarlet Street / Punainen katu. PC: Universal Pictures. P: Walter Wanger. D: Fritz Lang. SC: Dudley Nichols - based on the novel and play La Chienne by Georges de La Fouchardière. DP: Milton Krasner. CAST: Edward G. Robinson (Chris Cross), Joan Bennett (Kitty), Dan Duryea (Johnny). 102’. B&w Academy. A JEF Films / Aikman Archive video release of 1993, in Finland by Castle Communications 1994; lent from Helsinki City Library. Finnish subtitles. Viewed in Helsinki on VHS PAL on Wednesday 24 December 1997. *** This one does not endure the video transfer. The black circle of fate of the murderous caricature seems pale on the small box. The best sequence: Dan Duryea is taken to the electric chair while Edward G. Robinson hears from the journalist in the subway that nobody can escape punishment. Joan Bennett is totally believable and realistic but should be bigger than life to make this work. Lang would have needed Dietrich. Renoir’s La Chienne with Michel Simon is the better film adaptation.

Little Women (1933)

018720 / G / US / 1933 / Cukor, George / / drama

Little Women / Pikku naisia. PC: RKO Radio Pictures. EX: David O. Selznick. P: Kenneth MacGowan. D: George Cukor. SC: Sarah Y. Mason, Victor Heerman - based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott. M: Max Steiner. CAST: Katharine Hepburn (Jo), Joan Bennett (Amy), Jean Parker (Beth), Frances Dee (Meg). B&w Academy. 111’ /25 fps/ = 116’ /24 fps/. Yleisradio TV2 PAL transmission on 22 December 1997. Finnish subtitles by Annu James. Viewed in Helsinki on VHS on Wednesday 24 December 1997. *** Although this is generally considered the best of the four film adaptations of the novel, I actually prefer the latest one with Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, and Susan Sarandon.

Tuesday, December 23, 1997

Benjamín Dúva

100504 / 10 / IS / 1995 / Erlingsson, Gísli Snaer / drama

Benjamín Dúva / Ritari Benjamin Kyyhkynen. PC: Baldur Film; Icelandic Film Corp.; Neue Deutsche Filmgesellschaft; Migma Film. D: Gísli Snaer Erlingsson. CAST: Sturla Sighvatsson, Gunnar Atli Cauthery, Sigfús Sturluson. 90’. 1,85. Finnish / Swedish subtitles: Janne Staffans. DIST: Walhalla. Viewed at VET, Helsinki, Monday 22 December 1997. *** Intelligent, well-made drama for young viewers. It’s about 10-12 year old boys who establish orders of knighhood. For fun, yes, but it gets deadly serious, too.

Monday, December 22, 1997

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 7

/ / FI / 1997 / Bagh, Peter von / / TV documentary

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 7 - Jänöjussin mäenlasku. [Ca 1970 - 1988]. PC: Nosferatu; Yleisradio TV1. Concept and direction by Peter von Bagh. 60’. PAL TV transmission, viewed in Helsinki, Sunday 21 December 1997. Interestingly, the visual material gets shabbier as we approach the present.

Saturday, December 20, 1997

Titanic

100501 / 12 / US / 1997 / Cameron, James / catastrophe

Titanic / Titanic. PC: Paramount, 20th Century Fox. D+SC: James Cameron. ”Nearer My God To Thee”. CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack Dawson), Kate Winslet (young Rose DeWitt Bukater), Gloria Stuart (old Rose DeWitt Bukater), Kathy Bates (Molly Brown). Scope, 194’. MPAA 35593. PG-13. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Hannele Vahtera. DIST: Columbia TriStar Egmont Finland. Viewed at VET, Helsinki, Friday 19 December 1997. **** I had become bored with megabudgeted catastrophe spectacles, but Titanic is really in a class of its own, ahead of the Twisters and the Jurassic Parks. This is also Cameron’s best film together with the first Terminator. He knows all about effects now, does not have to flaunt them anymore, can concentrate on the simple human story. It’s about life over machine, as in the Terminators. The culminating image is that of DiCaprio and Winslet grabbing the bow of Titanic as it is finally sinking vertically to the ocean. It is a mind-boggling sight. It is then about survival instinct, and also about true heroism. DiCaprio helps Winslet on a floating door before slowly freezing to death. A Night To Remember (GB 1958) was also a magnificent interpretation of the Titanic story, concentrating on the viewpoint of those running the ship. These two films complement each other perfectly. I predict before having heard of any box office results that this film will be the greatest success in the history of the cinema.

Friday, December 19, 1997

Un air de famille

100498 / G / FR / 1996 / Klapisch, Cédric / drama

Air de famille, Un / Suku on pahin. PC: Telema, Le Studio Canal+, France 2 Cinéma. D: Cédric Klapisch. ”Una furtiva lagrima” performed by Caruso. CAST: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Agnès Jaoui, Jean-Pierre Darroussin. Scope. 109’. Finnish / Swedish subtitles. DIST: Kamras Filmgroup. Viewed at VET, Helsinki, Thursday 18 December 1997. *** ”Suis-moi, je te fuis. Fuis-moi, je te suis”. A neurotic chamber piece taking place in a small restaurant after hours, where a birthday is being celebrated. Impeccably performed.

Thursday, December 18, 1997

Mad City

100495 / 12 / US / 1997 / Costa-Gavras / / drama

Mad City / Yksinoikeudella. PC: Warner Bros. P: Arnold Kopelson, Anne Kopelson. D: Costa-Gavras. SC: Tom Matthews. CAST: John Travolta, Dustin Hoffman, Mia Kirshner, Alan Alda, Blythe Danner. 114’. Scope. MPAA 35278. PG-13. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Timo Porri. DIST: Warner Bros. Finland. Viewed at VET, Helsinki, Wednesday 17 December 1997. *** Viewed at VET after Money Talks, both sharing the premise of mortal danger being exploited as a media attraction. This is a serious contribution in the reliable Costa-Gavras tradition of social issues. The grandfather of all the media films of this type was Billy Wilder’s The Big Carnival (1951). However, Dog Day Afternoon (1975) is the closest prototype to Mad City. It’s a well-known formula, but still a good and valid one, and the screenplay has a lot of wit and good dialogue. Costa-Gavras, then, is to be blamed for the fact that the film is not brilliant but only good enough in spite of the first-rate cast and crew

Money Talks

100494 / 16 / US / 1997 / Ratner, Brett / / action

Money Talks / Rahalla saa. PC: New Line Film Productions. D: Brett Ratner. SC: Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow. CAST: Chris Tucker, Charlie Sheen, Heather Locklear, Paul Sorvino. 95’. Scope. MPAA 34762. Rated R = 17. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Hannele Vahtera. DIST: Warner Bros. Finland. Viewed at VET, Helsinki, Wednesday 17 December 1997. *** Action comedy mostly in furioso. Motormouth Chris Tucker is a small-time crook who happens to land in the middle of big intrigue. Slick TV newsman Charlie Sheen gets involved and tries to milk every drop of ”his” exclusive story. They are forced to team up against fearsome adversity. Yarn is full of jaw-dropping action spectacle.

Wednesday, December 17, 1997

Revoljutsioner

/ / RU / 1917 / Bauer, Jevgeni / / drama

Revoljutsioner / (((((((((((( / The Revolutionary. PC: A. Hanzhonkov & Co. D: Jevgeni Bauer. SC: Ivan Perestiani. DP: Boris Zavelev. CAST: Ivan Perestiani (Grandfather - the Revolutionary), Vladimir Strizhevski (Son), Zoja Barantsevitsh (Daughter). Silent b&w, premiered 3 April 1917. Gosfilmofond 1989 restoration from an incomplete, defective original, with the first reel of four missing /18 fps/ 35’. Finnish translation spoken by Riitta Tyventö. Viewed at SEA, Helsinki, Cinema Orion, Tuesday 16 December 1997. ** A drama turned quickly after the March 1917 overthrow of the Romanov dynasty. Several of these liberal revolutionary films were shown in Finland, but this one was now seen for the first time in Helsinki, although similar Hanzhonkov and Drankov films were released at the time. It is a series of liberal-patriotic vignettes, transfigured by the masterful photography of Boris Zavelev (well-known from After Death, Zvenigora, etc.). There are traces of nitrate decomposition from the original. It is odd to face the slogan ”The proletariat has no fatherland” in a film like this. It is the son who utters this shameful sentence, only to reconcile with his father in the final scene, where they join the army train to the front.

Raskolnikow

012128 / (banned 1923) / DE / 1923 / Wiene, Robert / / drama

Raskolnikow. PC: Neumann Film-Produktion. P+D: Robert Wiene. Based on the novel Crime and Punishment by F.M. Dostojevski. DP: Willy Goldberger. AD: Andre Andrejew. CAST: Grigori Hmara (Raskolnikov), Maria Kryjanovskaja (Sonia), Mihail Tarhanov (Marmeladov). Silent b&w. Restored version by the Netherlands Film Museum with contributions from Gosfilmofond. Munich print 3031 m /18 fps/ 147’. Fine Finnish translation spoken by Laura Mehto. Presented by Kristin Thompson. Viewed at SEA, Helsinki, Cinema Orion, Tuesday 16 December 1997. *** The film, banned by the Finnish Film Chamber in 1923, was now seen for the first time in Finland. Part of the Russian fashion of the era, this one was actually filmed with actors from Stanislavsky’s Moscow Art Theatre. Full of soul but horribly overacted. One is struck by the difference with the subtle understatement of Jevgeni Bauer’s 1917 films. Still, this is faithful to Dostoyevsky: it has the passion for the suffering of humanity. The actual text of the novel is judiciously used in the titles, which take full advantage of the author’s grim sense of humour. The words sound good in German. ”Nach langem, schwerem Fieber…”. The Russian art director is totally under the influence of Caligari. This is one of the very few purely Caligarian films.

L’Inhumaine

088474 / 08 / FR / 1924 / L’Herbier, Marcel / drama

Inhumaine, L’. PC: Cinégraphic. D: Marcel L’Herbier. SC: Marcel L’Herbier, Pierre Mac Orlan. DP: Georges Specht. PD: Fernand Léger, Cavalcanti, Claude Autant-Lara, Robert Mallet-Stevens. CAST: Georgette Leblanc (Claire Lescot - ”The Inhuman”), Jaque Catelain (Einar Norsen), Philippe Hériat (Maharadja). Silent b&w designed to be screened tinted and with live music accompaniment composed by Darius Milhaud. CNC Bois d’Arcy untinted print reduced to Academy format. 3631 m /22-24 fps/ 135’. Finnish translation read by Leena Talvio. Viewed at SEA, Helsinki, Cinema Orion, Tuesday 16 December 1997. *** A classic of production design, the Frenchmen’s riposte to German expressionism, and an obvious influence to Metropolis and Marienbad. Excellent montage sequences. Too bad that all the characters are indifferent.

Monday, December 15, 1997

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 6

/ / FI / 1997 / Bagh, Peter von, etc. / TV documentary

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 6 - Lumi teki enkelin eteiseen. 1964 - 197-. PC: Nosferatu; Yleisradio TV1. Concept and direction by Peter von Bagh, Elina Katainen, Iikka Vehkalahti. 60’. PAL TV transmission, viewed in Helsinki, Sunday 14 December 1997.

Sunday, December 14, 1997

Pardners

045501 / 12 / US / 1956 / Lewis, Jerry / / comedy

Pardners / Peloton sheriffi. PC: York Pictures. A Paramount release. D: Norman Taurog. Based on the film Rhythm on the Range (1936). Songs by Sammy Cahn, James Van Heusen. CAST: Jerry Lewis (Wade Kingsley), Dean Martin (Slim Mosely). 88’. Technicolor, VistaVision. PAL transmission cropped to Academy. Below average colour definition. Yleisradio TV2 on Saturday, 13 December 1997. *** Absurd comedy Western wears well today. It’s a Jerry Lewis showcase as a mama’s boy who has to transform into a rodeo star, a cowboy, and a sheriff. His pantomimes are masterful. On the small box it is hard to appreciate them properly, since they are often in medium or general shot.

Sunday, December 07, 1997

Charley Varrick

081990 / 16 cut / US / 1973 / Siegel, Don / / thriller

Charley Varrick / Tappakaa Charley Varrick! PC: Universal. EX: Jennings Lang. P+D: Don Siegel. SC: Howard Rodman, Dean Riesner - based on the novel by John Reese. DP: Michael Butler. M: Lalo Schifrin. CAST: Walter Matthau (Charley Varrick), Jacqueline Scott (Nadine Varrick), Andrew Robinson (Harman Sullivan), Felicia Farr (Sybil Fort), Sheree North (Jewell Everett), John Vernon (Maynard Boyle), Joe Don Baker (Molly). PAL TV transmission 5 December 1997 MTV3: 106’13” /25 fps/ = 110’39” /24 fps/. Cut: the scene where Molly tortures and slaughters Harman Sullivan (same scene was cut in the Finnish cinema release version). Cropped from 2,35 Panavision to 1,35 Academy. Finnish subtitles by Sirpa Glantz. Viewed on video Saturday, 6 December 1997. ***½ The screenplay is excellent. The dynamics between the bucolic scenes and the crisp bursts of action is perfect. They don’t make action films like this anymore. Almost everything in the 1990s is nervous and hysterical with the exception of Clint Eastwood who has not changed since his apprenticeship with… Don Siegel. Here the total sense of control is to be relished. Small things stand out. ”Nadine was a hell of a driver”. ”I never thought I’d be willing to trade places with a cow”. The complaint: Siegel’s customary nihilism. All betray. Trust nobody. So then: why care?

Friday, December 05, 1997

G.I. Jane

100481 / 16 / US / 1997 / Scott, Ridley / / action

G.I. Jane / Sotilas Jane. PC: Trap-Two-Zero Productions; Hollywood Pictures. D: Ridley Scott. CAST: Demi Moore (Lt. Jordan O’Neil), Viggo Mortensen (Master Chief John Urgayle), Anne Bancroft (Senator Lillian DeHaven). Scope. 126’. MPAA 35019. Rated R = 17. BBFC: 15. Finnish/Swedish subtitles by Timo Porri. DIST: Finnkino. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 4 December 1997. *** A woman’s fight for equal opportunities carried to psychopathic lengths as Demi Moore insists against all odds on getting an elite Navy SEAL training. The story may be crucial in the bizarre context of the war of the sexes in the US, but from a Nordic perspective it does not carry at all. Fascinating stuff for a psychiatrist, though. The motto is from D.H. Lawrence’s ”Self-pity”: ”I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself / A bird will fall frozen down without ever having felt sorry for itself”.

Pippi Långstrump (1997)

100480 / G / SE / 1997 / Lindgren, Astrid / animated

Pippi Långstrump / Pippi Longstocking / Peppi Pitkätossu. PC: Svensk Filmindustri; Iduna; TFC; Nelvana. P: Waldemar Bergendahl. D: Clive Smith. SC: Catharina Stackelberg - based on the novels by Astrid Lindgren. 78’. 1,35/1,66. Finnish spoken version by Esa Kauppila. DIST: Forum Film. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 4 December 1997. *** Having seen the preview I was fearing a poor man’s Disney but was gladly surprised. The visuals are competitive. Best of all, the spirit is right. This is true Astrid Lindgren. Many excellent films have been made from her novels: the live action Longstocking series, the Children of the Isles, the Bullerby series. There is something unique and distinctive about Pippi which the filmmakers have captured. It is her special winning spirit against adversity and her stunning friendliness against her very worst enemies. It completely differs from the Americans. The feeling of amazement is there. I hope they’ll continue this series. What I missed was the great theme music from the 1960s series. The Finnish dialogue was as affected and awful as in all other contemporary animated films. Why do they keep imitating second rate acting styles of two generations ago?

Thursday, December 04, 1997

U Turn

100478 / 16 / US / 1997 / Stone, Oliver / / thriller

U Turn / U-käännös helvettiin. PC: Phoenix Pictures. A TriStar Pictures release. D: Oliver Stone. SC: John Ridley - based on his novel. DP: Robert Richardson. M: Ennio Morricone. CAST: Sean Penn (Bobby Cooper), Jennifer Lopez (Grace McKenna), Nick Nolte (Jake McKenna). 125’. 1,85. MPAA 35464. Rated R = 17. DIST: Columbia TriStar Egmont Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Wednesday 3 December 1997. *** Hyperrealistic. High contrast. Offbeat. Hallucinated. Indulging in misleading cuts. Feverish. Uncontrolled. All characters are overblown. There is no normality in it. It impresses at first but gets slowly boring. Oliver Stone has been in fine form, never boring, and Nixon was a masterpiece. This one is an unwitting film noir parody. Might be best on video in 15’ doses.

Tuesday, December 02, 1997

My Beautiful Laundrette

094889 / 16 / GB / 1985 / Frears, Stephen / / drama

My Beautiful Laundrette / Poikien pesula / Rakas pesulani (TV). PC: Channel Four. P: Sarah Radclyffe, Tim Bevan. D: Stephen Frears. SC: Hanif Kureishi. CAST: Gordon Warnecke (Omar), Daniel Day-Lewis (Johnny), Saaed Jaffrey (Nasser). 97’. 1,66. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Anna-Lisa Holmqvist. A somewhat soft Finnkino/SEA print. Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Tuesday 2 December 1997. *** (In a bizarre accident the film’s Finnish cinema premiere was delayed to September 1987. Two weeks later TV already transmitted it, killing it in theatres!) Forceful stuff from Frears’ strongest period. British realism at its best - examining the cultural clash between the Pakistani and the skinheads, facing the challenges of the Thatcher era. Visually unappetizing - is it because the print is unfocused or is it because it was made on 16mm for TV and not even supposed to look good on a big screen? This film has my favorite credits effect of all time: the lines stay on the screen and then whirl like in a laundromat drum. It is a simple and fascinating rhythm.

Tomorrow Never Dies

100476 / 14 hard cut / GB / 1997 / Spottiswoode, Roger / action

Tomorrow Never Dies / Huominen ei koskaan kuole. PC: Danjaq LLC; United Artists Corporation. P: Michael Wilson, Barbara Broccoli. D: Roger Spottiswoode. Based on the characters created by Ian Fleming. Title song performed by Sheryl Crow. CAST: Pierce Brosnan, Michelle Yeoh, Jonathan Pryce. Scope. 121’. Soft cut BBFC 12. MPAA 35272. Rated PG-13. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Timo Porri / Janne Staffans. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Tuesday 2 December 1997. *** This screening introduced me to the world of the many different versions of the James Bond films. Of GoldenEye, there were at least three main versions. In Finnish cinemas, the hard cuts of the Bond films have been generally released. We rated this new one 16, too, although in its country of origin it was rated 12 - and the Brits generally are stricter with ratings. But they apparently toned down the violence quite a bit in their cut. / NB: A week later, The Finnish Film Appeal Board surrendered to the distributor’s appeal of 14. / This is escapism in the best professional style. They ought to beef up the villains and the women more. The new Bonds feed off the glory of the old ones but don’t create new aficionados.

Sunday, November 30, 1997

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 5

/ / FI / 1997 / Bagh, Peter von, etc. / TV documentary

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 5 - Viattomuuden vuodet. 1952 - 1964. PC: Nosferatu; Yleisradio TV1. Concept and direction by Peter von Bagh, Elina Katainen, Iikka Vehkalahti. 60’. PAL TV transmission, viewed in Helsinki, Sunday 30 November 1997.

Friday, November 28, 1997

Mrs Brown

100472 / G / GB / 1997 / Madden, John / / drama

Mrs Brown / Hänen majesteettinsa Rouva Brown. PC: BBC Scotland. A Miramax release. P: Sarah Curtis. D: John Madden. SC: Jeremy Brock. CAST: Judi Dench (Queen Victoria), Billy Connolly (John Brown), Anthony Sher (Benjamin Disraeli). 1,35/1,66. 104’. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Hannele Vahtera. DIST: Columbia TriStar Egmont Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Friday 28 November 1997. *** A subtle psychological study of Queen Victoria’s years of grief after the death of her husband. The two other main characters are John Brown, Victoria’s loyal personal servant, and Disraeli, the Prime Minister who cajoles the Queen back to public life. Essentially a TV movie, it is worth watching on a big screen because of its magnificent Scottish Highlands scenery around Balmoral. British historical drama at its best.

Thursday, November 27, 1997

Microcosmos

100466 / G / FR / 1996 / Nuridsany, Claude, etc. / documentary

Microcosmos - le peuple de l’herbe / Mikrokosmos - ruohikon kansa. PC: Galatée Films; France 2 Cinéma; Bac Films. D: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Perennou. MPAA: G. 77’. 1,35/1,66. DIST: Kamras Film Group. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 27 November 1997. **** Featuring grasshoppers, snails, spiders, ants, ladybirds, timbermen, dragonflies, and centipedes. The miracles of nature - the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, the sundew consuming a fly, the snails getting it on - belong to the very oldest subjects of cinema. They belong to the staples of TV documentaries and popular video series. The French team here recapture the fascination with state of the art cinematographic means, including extreme close-ups and digital surround sound space. It is the unity of the vision and the quirky assemblage that make this stand out. A few computer generated shots enhance the film: the dragonfly’s point of view, for instance. It all takes place on a French meadow during 24 hours.

Wednesday, November 26, 1997

A Face In the Crowd

047628 / 08 / US / 1957 / Kazan, Elia / / drama

Face In the Crowd, A / Kasvot väkijoukossa. PC: Newtown Productions. A Warner Bros. release. P+D: Elia Kazan. SC: Budd Schulberg. DP: Harry Stradling, Gene Rescher. M: Tom Glazer. CAST: Andy Griffith (Larry ”Lonesome” Rhodes), Patricia Neal (Marcia Jeffries), Anthony Franciosa (Joey Kieley), Walter Matthau (Mel Miller). B&w Academy. 126’. MPAA Seal of Approval 16503. BBFC: Passed For Adult Audiences. A NFTVA print with fine definition. Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Wednesday 26 November 1997. *** Great ideas in a pioneering satire on television and celebrity, visually fascinatingly detailed. But with the familiar Kazan cliches: histrionic performances and jarringly overstated naturalism with the trademark dirty, sweat-dripping undershirts. Kazan does not trust a minute in the viewer’s intelligence. Everything has to be overdone and exaggerated. Trouble is, he has no spirit of generosity to back the extravaganza. It gets terribly hollow and futile instead. Kazan is a man of drama, not spectacle. But he lacks the patience for pure drama. Someone shoulda put reins on him. He would have needed a good tough producer.

Eurodisc Playlist for 13.40.11

100463 / G / US etc. / 1997 / various / / music video

Eurodisc Playlist for 13.40.11 / Musiikkikooste 13-40-11. Compiled by Pioneer Video Manufacturing. DIST: Ulkokaupat Oy. Laserdisc. Viewed on big screen at VET, Helsinki, Wednesday 26 November 1997.
Sash! Featuring La Trec: Stay **
Oasis: Stand By Me **
Backstreet Boys: As Long As You Love Me **
Spice Girls: Spice Up Your Life **
Aqua: Barbie Girl **
Janet Jackson / Q-Tip / Joni Mitchell: Got ‘Til It’s Gone **
N-Trance Featuring Rod Stewart: Do Ya Think I’m Sexy **
Dario G: Sunchyme ***
Lighthouse Family: Raincloud: ***
Eternal: Angel Of Mine **

German Natdisc Playlist for 15.90.11

100462 / G / DE etc. / 1997 / various / / music video

German Natdisc Playlist for 15.90.11 / Musiikkikooste 15-90-11. Compiled by Pioneer Video Manufacturing. DIST: Ulkokaupat Oy. Laserdisc. Viewed on big screen at VET, Helsinki, Wednesday 26 November 1997.
Da Hool: Meet Her At The Love Parade **
X-Perience: I Don’t Care **
Wyclef Jean: Guantanamera **
Tic Tac Toe: Ich wär’ so gern so blöd wie du **
Bootsy Collins Featuring MC Lyte: I’m Leavin’ U *
Mr. President: Take Me To The Limit *
Marusha: My Best Friend *
Cultured Pearls: Sugar Sugar Honey **
Blur: MOR **
Fleetwood Mac: Temporary One *

Urpo & Turpo II

A-027800 / G / FI / 1997 / Helminen, Liisa / / puppet animation

Urpo & Turpo II. PC: Lumifilm. P: Hanna Hemilä, Liisa Helminen. D: Liisa Helminen. 70’. Academy. DIST: Lumifilm. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Wednesday 26 November 1997. Seven short animated stories.
Urpo & Turpo jouluvalmisteluissa / Urpo & Turpo Prepare For Christmas
Urpo & Turpo kuntoilevat / Urpo & Turpo Get Fit
Urpo & Turpo autiolla saarella / Urpo & Turpo On The Nature Trail
Urpo & Turpo muuttumisleikissä / Urpo & Turpo Have A Make-Over
Urpo & Turpo ovat rohkeita / Urpo & Turpo The Brave
Urpo & Turpo salapoliiseina / Urpo & Turpo The Detectives
Urpo & Turpo haluavat olla rauhassa / Urpo & Turpo Want To Be Alone

Tuesday, November 25, 1997

Baby Doll

046089 / 16 / US / 1956 / Kazan, Elia / / drama

Baby Doll / Nukkevaimo. PC: Newtown Productions. P+D: Elia Kazan. SC: Tennessee Williams - based on two one-act plays of his own. DP: Boris Kaufman. M: Kenyon Hopkins. ”Shame Shame Shame”, ”Baby Please Don’t Go”. CAST: Karl Malden (Archie), Carroll Baker (Baby Doll), Eli Wallach, Mildred Dunnock. B&w Academy. 115’. MPAA Production Code Seal Of Approval 18129. BBFC: 16. NFTVA print with beautiful definition. Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Tuesday 25 November 1997. ** Badly written, badly directed, and badly acted. But with beautiful cinematography and fine music. The play is dated, and the acting is histrionic. It is amazing to see the Actors Studio hystery resembling here the melodramatic acting style of the early years of the century. The stylization, the self-consciousness, and the nervous, mannered tics make it impossible to take these characters seriously. Then again, the composition and the definition of light are masterful. Someone should take out all the dialogue from Baby Doll and we would have a beautiful set of silent tableaux, with only music accompaniment.

Monday, November 24, 1997

Kummeli Kultakuume

A-027797 / 12 / FI / 1997 / Grönberg, Matti / / comedy

Kummeli Kultakuume / Kummeli Goldrush. PC: Porkkana Ryhmä; Solar Films. D: Matti Grönberg. CAST: Heikki Silvennoinen, Heikki Hela, Heikki Vihinen, Timo Kahilainen. 1,66. Parts in German, with Finnish subtitles. DIST: Finnkino. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Monday 24 November 1997. A crazy comedy about a madman (HS) and his male nurse (HH) wreaking havoc with two delinquents (TK and HV) in Lapland on the trail of a lost gold treasure. They beat the Nazis and get the gold. The madman is cured through happy marriage. Seasoned comedy veterans appears all through the film. It could have more style, but some scenes are actually very funny.

Sunday, November 23, 1997

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 4

/ / FI / 1997 / Bagh, Peter von, etc. / TV documentary

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 4 - Ei onni ole lahja. 1945 - 1952. PC: Nosferatu; Yleisradio TV1. Concept and direction by Peter von Bagh, Elina Katainen, Iikka Vehkalahti. 60’. PAL TV transmission, viewed in Helsinki, Sunday 23 November 1997.

Friday, November 21, 1997

La sindrome di Stendhal

V-003391 / 18 / IT / 1996 / Argento, Dario / / thriller

Sindrome di Stendhal, La / The Stendhal Syndrome. PC: Medusa Film. P+D+SC: Dario Argento. DP: Giuseppe Rotunno. FX: Sergio Stivaletti. M: Ennio Morricone. CAST: Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann, Paolo Bonacelli. VHS PAL cropped from 1,85 to 1,33. Dubbed into monotonous English. Time-coded. Long version 113’26” /25 fps/ = 118’10” /24 fps/. (Cf GB release 110’43” at 25 fps.) DIST: Finn Innovation Productions. Big screen video projection viewed in Helsinki, VET, Friday 21 November 1997. Impossible to evaluate: the plot is not the thing, and the probably exquisite visuals could not be appreciated from this VHS copy. Asia Argento is a policewoman tracking down a serial rapist-killer. Visiting Uffizi Gallery and other marvellous sites of art she succumbs to ”the Stendhal syndrome”: a posttraumatic stress reaction with personality changes. (The title has been taken from the novelist, since he was the first one to record it based on his experiences in Florence.) Her persona changes several times, and after eliminating the killer in a gruesome battle she is taken over by the slain monster: ”He is inside me now”.

Thursday, November 20, 1997

Excess Baggage

100458 / 12 / US / 1997 / Brambilla, Marco / comedy

Excess Baggage / Tuhannen taalan tyttö. PC: Columbia Pictures. P: Alicia Silverstone (First Kiss Productions). D: Marco Brambilla. CAST: Alicia Silverstone, Benicio Del Toro, Christopher Walken. MPAA 34335. Rated PG-13. 98’. 1,85. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Hannele Vahtera. DIST: CB Egmont. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 20 November 1997. ** Clueless was a first-rate film, and Alicia Silverstone was great in it. A hard act to follow? This one is merely a trifle.

Wednesday, November 19, 1997

Starship Troopers

100457 / 16 / US / 1997 / Verhoeven, Paul / science fiction

Starship Troopers / Universumin sotilaat. PC: TriStar; Touchstone. A Buena Vista release. P: Jon Davison. D: Paul Verhoeven. Based on the novel by Robert A. Heinlein. M: Basil Poledouris. PD: Allan Cameron. FX: Phil Tippett, Scott Squires, John Richardson, ILM, Boss. CAST: Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards. 129’. 1,85. MPAA 34343. Rated R = 17. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Timo Porri. DIST: Finnkino. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Wednesday 19 November 1997. ** Great effects, shame about the film. Verhoeven returns to science fiction full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. There is the satire of future TV, done better in RoboCop. There is the resurrection theme. There is the bombastic music of Poledouris and the special effects of Phil Tippett, all these from RoboCop ten years ago. Also Michael Ironside, then the villain, now the instructor of the heroes, though he is basically the same character. The humans are weirdly indifferent, like models from a shampoo commercial: physically perfect, empty inside. What are we to make of the fact that ”we” are fighting for a Fascist empire, against an empire of giant bugs? This is not satire to me, just cynicism.

Tuesday, November 18, 1997

Sling Blade

100456 / 12 / US / 1995 / Thornton, Billy Bob / drama

Sling Blade / Sling Blade. PC: Sling Blade LLC. A Miramax release. D+SC+starring: Billy Bob Thornton (as Karl Childers). With Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh. M: Daniel Lanois. Location: Benton, Arkansas. 1,85. 136’. MPAA 34457. Rated R = 17. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Timo Porri / Eirik Udd. DIST: CB Egmont. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Tuesday 18 November 1997. *** This charts the territory of William Faulkner and Erskine Caldwell. Connecting with Of Mice and Men. And paying homage to To Kill A Mockingbird: Robert Duvall, who played Boo Radley in his debut role, gives a guest performance here as Karl’s father. Very well performed but does not intrigue me much.

The Ice Storm

100454 / 14 / US / 1997 / Lee, Ang / / drama

Ice Storm, The / Jäämyrsky. PC: 20th Century Fox. D: Ang Lee. Based on the novel by Rick Moody. M: Mychael Danna. CAST: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen, Henry Czerny. MPAA 35015. Rating R = 17. 1,85. 113’. Finnish subtitles by Timo Porri. DIST: Finnkino. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Tuesday 18 November 1997. ** Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice revisited. It is Thanksgiving 1973 in Connecticut. Human relationships are a mess. The costumes even worse. Nobody laughs happily. I failed to get interested in any of the characters portrayed.

Friday, November 14, 1997

Niskavuoren Heta

A-004304 / G / FI / 1952 / Laine, Edvin / / drama

Niskavuoren Heta / Heta From Niskavuori. PC: Suomen Filmiteollisuus. P: T.J. Särkkä. D: Edvin Laine. SC: Hella Wuolijoki - from her play (1950). DP: Pentti Unho. M: Heikki Aaltoila. CAST: Rauni Luoma (Heta Harjula), Kaarlo Halttunen (Akusti Harjula), Mirjam Novero (Broken Wing), Eino Kaipainen (sheriff), Leo Lähteenmäki (Lammentaustan Santeri). B&w Academy. Yleisradio Tallennepalvelu VHS PAL cassette from Pirkkala Library. 89’40” /25 fps/ = 93’25” /24 fps/. Swedish subtitles. Viewed in Pirkkala, Saturday 15 November 1997. **** Of Hella Wuolijoki’s dramas only The Farmer’s Daughter is internationally well-known, filmed as it was in Hollywood in the 1940s (and quite well), and later transformed into a TV series. Many others would deserve recognition. Seeing Heta From Niskavuori and A Streetcar Named Desire during the same week it was striking to see how much Heta had grown and how dated Blanche seemed. Perhaps it is also because of the shortage of interesting female roles in contemporary films. There are plenty of Blanches and no Hetas. Anyway, Heta is a totally original drama, covering a quarter of a century of great transformation in Finland. All performances are strong. The life of the countryside, so often forged on the screen, rings true here. The drama itself is so strong that the usual melodramatic excesses of Messrs. Särkkä and Laine are held in check. (The same miracle was repeated three years later in The Unknown Soldier.) Taut, cinematic storytelling full of memorable scenes. Heta reminded me that a movie should really move the viewer!

Xian hunnü

100449 / 12 / CN / 1993 / Xie Fei / / drama

Xian hunnü / Women From the Lake of Scented Souls / Nainen tuoksuvien sielujen järveltä. PC: Tianjin Film Studios; Changchun Film Studios. D+SC: Xie Fei. CAST: Siqin Gaowa (Xiang), Wu Yujuan, Lei Luosheng. 1,66. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Hannele Vahtera. DIST: Kamras Film Group. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Friday 14 November 1997. *** One of the best Chinese films I have seen. The drama of the strong-willed woman brings to mind the Finnish Niskavuori saga. ”In a small village in the Hebei province in northern China Xiang runs a sesame-oil operation. Interest from a Japanese company brings Xiang into contact with a whole world of female independence in contrast to the traditional world she normally inhabits” to quote the BFI CD-ROM. Fine performances, great cinematography are combined with true dramatic force.

Thursday, November 13, 1997

Tetsuo 2 - Body Hammer

097984 / 18 / JP / 1992 / Tsukamoto, Shinya / cyberpunk

Tetsuo 2 - Body Hammer. PC: Kaijun Theatre. D: Shinya Tsukamoto. CAST: Tomorog Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka. 1,85. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Eija Niskanen / Johan Förnäs. Submitted for re-examination by Cinema Mondo. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Thursday, 13 November 1997. **** Tetsuo is the Japanese RoboCop and Blade Runner. The second installment is better than the first one, a poetic masterpiece which gets better with a new viewing. There is true force in the mindflash montages. It is a trick often abused. Here it succeeds.

Wednesday, November 12, 1997

Täältä tullaan elämä!

A-23752 / 16 / FI / 1980 / Suominen, Tapio / drama

Täältä tullaan elämä! PC: Sateenkaari-Filmi. P+D: Tapio Suominen. SC: Yrjö-Juhani Renvall, Pekka Aine. M: Pelle Miljoona, Maukka Perusjätkä. CAST: Esa Niemelä (Jussi), Tony Holmström (Pete), Kati Outinen (Lissu), Pertti V. Reponen (Pappa). 1,66. 117’. Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Wednesday 12 November 1997. **** I saw this Finnish Zeitgeist film of 17 years ago for the first time. The teenage audience watched it with total concentration. It is difficult to make a film about a contemporary generation, but these people succeeded. It is a coming-of-age story worthy of Nicholas Ray and Francois Truffaut. All performances ring true. The Finnish punk classics ”Täältä tullaan elämä” and ”Säpinää” still sound great.

A Streetcar Named Desire

035123 / 16 / US / 1950 / Kazan, Elia / / drama

Streetcar Named Desire, A / Viettelysten vaunu. PC: Charles K. Feldman Group. A 20th Century Fox release. P: Charles Feldman. D: Elia Kazan. Based on the play by Tennessee Williams. M: Alex North. CAST: Vivien Leigh (Blanche Dubois), Marlon Brando (Stanley Kowalski), Kim Hunter (Stella), Karl Malden (Mitch). MPAA Production Code Seal 14871. B&w Academy. 122’. Swedish subtitles by Kerstin Landfeldt. A Cinemateket / Svenska Filminstitutet print. Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Wednesday 12 November 1997. *** From Scarlett to Blanche: the track of the Southern Belle. Legendary performances realized through great photography and backed by a stirring New Orleans influenced score. But the play itself is dated.

…ja minä pelkään yötä / [... And I'm Afraid of the Night]

A-27794 / 10/7 / FI / 1997 / Hassinen, Tomi / / thriller

…ja minä pelkään yötä / I’m Afraid Of the Dark. PC: Technofilm. D: Tomi Hassinen, Marko Nirhola. M: Tomi Hassinen. CAST: Mikko Ehnqvist, Elina Aho, Ilkka Ruutu, Anna-Maria Balk. VHS PAL 60’. DIST: Technofilm. VHS PAL big screen projection in Helsinki, VET, on Wednesday, 12 November 1997. Interesting non-professional mystery thriller about five young friends negotiating their relationships while trying to solve the mystery of a mind-altering toxic gas.

Metallica: Poor Touring Me

100446 / G / US / 1997 / Metallica / / tour documentary

Metallica: Poor Touring Me. PC: E-M Ventures. A PolyGram release. D: Wayne Isham. DP: Daniel Pearl. Featuring: Metallica = James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Jason Newsted, Kirk Hammett. 35mm Academy print with brilliant sound. 52’. DIST: PolyGram Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Wednesday 12 November 1997. **** Excellent documentary. Laconic photography, clean lighting, rhythmic montages. There is nothing to distract from the performance of dark tribal sound. There is at the end, however, the inevitable catastrophe sequence.

Trees Lounge

100447 / 16 / US / 1996 / Buscemi, Steve / / drama

Trees Lounge / Trees Lounge. PC: Live Film and Mediaworks. D+SC+starring: Steve Buscemi. 96’. 1,85. MPAA 34420. Rating: R = 17. Finnish/Swedish subtitles by Hannele Vahtera. DIST: Finnkino. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Wednesday 12 November 1997. ** Steve Buscemi’s strongly felt tale of what would have happened ”if I would have become an alcoholic”. Trees Lounge is the name of a bar in a working-class New York suburb. Each member of the cast does a splendid job.

Monday, November 10, 1997

Jäänmurtaja

A-27793 / 10/7 / FI / 1997 / Kujanpää, Heikki / drama

Jäänmurtaja / Ice-Breaker. PC: Silva Mysterium. D: Heikki Kujanpää. CAST: Sampo Borgar, Siiri Nordin, Tommi Korpela. 63’. 16mm. Viewed on VHS PAL big screen projection in Helsinki, VET, Monday 10 November 1997. Ice hockey drama featuring adult and young players and a drama of a split family involving a coach and a lunatic hockey player who gets extraordinary powers when driven angry.

Sunday, November 09, 1997

Rovioiden ritarit

/ / FI / 1997 / Östling, Tom / / TV documentary

Rovioiden ritarit / Knights of the Bonfires. PC: Yleisradio TV 1. D+SC: Tom Östling. Featuring (film related interviewees): Arvo Salo, Kari Uusitalo, Matti Kassila, Aito Mäkinen, Jörn Donner, Hannu Leminen, Claes Olsson, Leo Stålhammar, Seppo Rustanius, Jarmo Jääskeläinen, Markku Jokipii, Maarit Pietinen, Gunnel Arrbäck, Birgit Bruun, James Ferman, Clifford Christians. 90’. PAL TV transmission. Viewed in Helsinki, Sunday, 9 November 1997. This was a summing-up of Östling’s trilogy on Finnish censorship (on banned books, films, and TV and radio programmes, originally produced in 1994-1996). It is an important survey in cultural history, and the abundant old clips are highly entertaining for today’s viewer. My five major criticisms would focus on: 1) the failure to recognize the difference between voluntary self-control and government censorship (in Finland first since 1946), 2) the neglect to mention that all the banned films mentioned in the lists have since been passed, often a long time ago, 3) most of the clips shown were never banned or cut in the first place: some were hypothetical illustrations, others were of films that got a higher rating than the distributor demanded, 4) the current large problem of criminal matter was only hinted at, and 5) there was no discussion of the Finnish video law, the severest in the world, which causes most of the programmes available to be banned on video distribution. That is a major censorship offense, a blatant infringement in a basic civil liberty.

Saturday, November 08, 1997

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 2

/ / FI / 1997 / Bagh, Peter von, etc. / TV documentary

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 2 - On aivan kuin runon takaa kaikuisivat marssin tahdit. 1930 - 1939. PC: Nosferatu; Yleisradio TV1. Concept and direction by Peter von Bagh, Elina Katainen, Iikka Vehkalahti. 60’. PAL TV transmission, viewed in Helsinki, Sunday 8 November 1997. Better than the first installment, this one scans the decade of political extremism, the Great Depression, and growing prosperity. It has to be admitted that the availability of original sounds makes this kind of chronicle more effective.

Thursday, November 06, 1997

Djöflaeyjan

100443 / 12 / IS / 1996 / Fridriksson, Fridrik Thor / drama

Djöflaeyjan / The Devil’s Island / Pirunsaari. PC: Islendska Kvikmyndasamsteypan; Filmhuset; Peter Rommel Filmproduktion. D: Fridrik Thor Fridriksson. 104’. 1,85. In Icelandic. Finnish subtitles by Lars Lundsten. DIST: Senso Films. Viewed at VET, Helsinki, Thursday 6 November 1997. A grungy family saga covering the 1950s and the 1960s in the US military area of Iceland: violence, booze, romance, rock’n’roll and airplane adventures. I would criticize it for miserabilism and for the fact that the characters remain too unsympathetic or indifferent.

Eurodisc Playlist for 12.40.10

100441 / G / US etc. / 1997 / various / / music video

Eurodisc Playlist for 12.40.10 / Musiikkikooste 12-40-10. Compiled by Pioneer Video Manufacturing. DIST: Ulkokaupat Oy. Laserdisc. Viewed on big screen at VET, Helsinki, Thursday 6 November 1997.
Elton John: Something About the Way You Look Tonight *
Jon Bon Jovi: Queen of New Orleans *
Chumbawamba: Tubthumping ***
Boyz II Men: 4 Seasons Of Loneliness **
Mariah Carey: Honey *
All Saints: I Know Where It’s At ***
Genesis: Congo **
En Vogue: Too Gone, Too Long *
Jam & Spoon Featuring Plavka: Kaleidoscope Skies ***
Diana King: I Say A Little Prayer *

German Natdisc Playlist for 19.77.10

100440 / G / DE etc. / 1997 / various / / music video

German Natdisc Playlist for 19.77.10 / Musiikkikooste 19-77-10. Compiled by Pioneer Video Manufacturing. DIST: Ulkokaupat Oy. Laserdisc. Viewed on big screen at VET, Helsinki, Thursday 6 November 1997.
Down Low: Moonlight *
Bandits: Catch Me *
Blacknuss: Last Night A DJ Saved My Life *
Caught In The Act: Babe *
C-Block: Summertime *
Plastic Voice: Los niños del parque ***
Bell Book & Candle: Rescue Me **
Object One: Typewriter ***
‘N Sync: For The Girl Who Has Everything *
Bed & Breakfast: All I Wanna Do *

Otto e mezzo

066600 / G / IT / 1963 / Fellini, Federico / dreamfilm

Otto e mezzo / 8½. PC: Cineriz. A Titanus release. P: Angelo Rizzoli. D: Federico Fellini. SC: FF, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, Brunello Rondi. DP: Gianni Di Venanzo. M: Nino Rota. CAST: Marcello Mastroianni (Guido Anselmi), Anouk Aimée (Luisa Anselmi), Sandra Milo (Carla), Claudia Cardinale (Claudia). 138’. 1,85 b&w. Swedish subtitles by Stig Almqvist. Worn print from Cinemateket / Svenska Filminstitutet. In Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Thursday 6 November 1997. **** Still an elusive experience. Having seen it three times on the small box (horrors for a Fellini) I now saw it for the first time on the big screen. A musical dream-film, fascinating, but too indulgent, too narcissistic. This is the turning-point in FF’s films where all other characters become just visions of the mind. There is no depth in them anymore. There is only the first person, the dreamer. The film now to be seen three times more on the big screen. To study the music of light. It is a huge launching pad for a film under construction.

Wednesday, November 05, 1997

Slaves To the Underground

100438 / 14 / US / 1996 / Peterson, Kristine / drama

Slaves To the Underground / Slaves To the Underground. PC: Overseas Filmgroup. D: Kristine Peterson. SC: Bill Cody. CAST: Molly Gross, Marisa Ryan, Jason Bortz. 93’. 1,85. MPAA 34998. DIST: Soma Distribution. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Wednesday 5 November 1997. US indie drama on Seattle twentysomething subcultures: a riot girl band called The No Exits, and a publisher of ”zines”. There is a bisexual triangle drama. The characters are boring and no visual style is in evidence.

Tuesday, November 04, 1997

Gentleman’s Agreement

028979 / G / US / 1947 / Kazan, Elia / / drama

Gentleman’s Agreement / Hiljainen sopimus. PC: 20th Century-Fox. P: Darryl F. Zanuck. D: Elia Kazan. SC: Moss Hart - based on the novel by Laura Z. Hobson (1946). CAST: Gregory Peck, Dean Stockwell, Anne Revere, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, Sam Jaffe, June Havoc. 118’. B&w. MPAA Production Code Seal of Approval 12488. A worn 16mm print from Rosebud (Spain). Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Tuesday 4 November 1997. *** Intelligent, dialogue-based thesis film with a great cast of a dozen interesting characters. No visual flair and no cinematic dynamism (further injustice in this department due to the flat 16mm print). Gregory Peck is the crusading, investigative reporter who takes a special project called ”I Was Jewish For Six Months”. The experience is surprising. He gets to experience discrimination immediately, his fiancée becomes estranged, and even his little son gets beaten as ”a dirty kike”. And this is New York.

Monday, November 03, 1997

The Devil’s Advocate

100435 / 16 / US / 1997 / Hackford, Taylor / fantasy thriller

Devil’s Advocate, The / Paholaisen asianajaja. PC: Warner Bros.; Monarch; Regency. P: Arnold Kopelson, Anne Kopelson, Arnon Milchan. D: Taylor Hackford. SC: Jonathan Lemkin, Tony Gilroy - based on the novel by Andrew Neiderman. CAST: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Connie Nielsen. 144’. Scope. Finnish subtitles by Jari Niittylä. DIST: Warner Bros. Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Monday 3 November 1997. *** Faust modernization starts promisingly with brilliant satire, excellent dialogue, and sharp performances. Towards the end, however, it grows overblown, when one twist after another renders everything previously established meaningless. It is a stupefying waste of talent. The special effects may be state of the art, but I would have left them all on the cutting room floor, pruning the film to a 90 minute masterpiece, trying to get rid of the misogyny in the process.

Sunday, November 02, 1997

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 1

/ / FI / 1997 / Bagh, Peter von, etc. / TV documentary

Oi kallis Suomenmaa 1 - Syvä iskumme on, viha voittamaton. 1917 - 1929. PC: Nosferatu; Yleisradio TV1. Concept and direction by Peter von Bagh, Elina Katainen, Iikka Vehkalahti. 60’. PAL TV transmission by Yleisradio TV1, viewed in Helsinki, Sunday 2 November 1997. First part of the 80th Anniversary TV documentary series by the well-known team. They have unearthed exciting unknown / forgotten footage, and many of the interviews are invaluable: it has still been possible to talk with living witnesses to the fight for the independence in 1917. Then again, the result is sloppier than their best work. And I resent vintage footage being reduced to ridiculous jerkiness with wrong speed and the silent frame being cropped mercilessly by the sound aperture. Too much haste this time.

Marcello Mastroianni: mi ricordo si io mi ricordo

/ / IT / 1997 / Mastroianni, Marcello / documentary

Marcello Mastroianni: mi ricordo si io mi ricordo / Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember Yes I Remember. PC: Mikado; Istituto Luce; Cinecitta; RAI; Telepiu. D: Anna Maria Tato. DP: Giuseppe Rotunno. Featuring: Marcello Mastroianni. 95’. Viewed in Helsinki, Sunday 2 November 1997. **** Mastroianni caught in a filmed interview in Portugal shortly before his death in 1996. This is the cinema version of a four-hour TV production. It is a wise, humorous memoir of the self-deprecating star who insists that life has been good and easy for him. The modest man of the people keeps quoting Proust, Kafka, and Chekhov. His own insights are worthy of theirs.

Saturday, November 01, 1997

Larmar och gör sig till

/ / SE / 1997 / Bergman, Ingmar / TV drama

Larmar och gör sig till. PC: Sveriges Television. P: Måns Reutersward, Pia Chronwall. D+SC: Ingmar Bergman. M: Franz Schubert - performed by Käbi Laretei. CAST: Börje Ahlstedt, Marie Richardson, Erland Josephson, Pernilla August, Anita Björk, Peter Stormare. 120’. TV PAL transmission by TV4 Finland / Sveriges Television, viewed in Helsinki, Saturday, 1 November 1997. Minimalistic, intimate TV drama. The title is from Macbeth: ”Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. ”En skugga blott, en saga berättad av en dåre, låter stort, betyder intet”. ”Walking shadows” is a perfect image for the cinema, especially for the silent one, and here IB tells the imagined story of his crazy uncle, who wanted to mount ”talking pictures” in 1925. The uncle’s film is about the death of Schubert, and is meant to be lipsynched by actors behind the screen. Everything goes awry. It is the story of a loser, a companion piece to Det sista skriket (The Last Shriek). It is also worth comparing with Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. IB and TB share the conviction that the step from a genius to a loser is a small one.

Thursday, October 30, 1997

La Fête à Henriette

040366 / 16 / FR / 1952 / Duvivier, Julien / / romance

Fête à Henriette, La / Henrietten juhlat. PC: Regina Filmsonor. D: Julien Duvivier. SC: Henri Jeanson, JD. DP: Roger Hubert. M: Georges Auric, theme ”Sous le pavé de Paris”. CAST: Dany Robin (Henriette), Michel Roux, Hildegarde Neff. 108’. B&w. Swedish subtitles. A beautiful print from Cinemateket / Svenska Filminstitutet. Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Thursday 30 October 1997. *** The Bastille Day is also the calendar day for Henriette. The film takes place during the 24 hours of le Quatorze Juillet. It is a meta-film, based on the argument of two screenwriters who develop two alternative storylines which we see happening on screen. Too tricky for its own good, and too much in love with words. Less would be more. But the photography and the music are beautiful, Dany Robin is charming as the innocent Henriette and Hildegarde Neff plays her role as the seductress with style and sense of humour worthy of Dietrich.

How Green Was My Valley

024943 / G / US / 1941 / Ford, John / / drama

How Green Was My Valley / Vihreä oli laaksoni. PC: 20th Century-Fox. P: Darryl F. Zanuck. D: John Ford. Based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn. DP: Arthur Miller. CAST: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, Donald Crisp, Roddy McDowall. 119’. B&w. MPAA Production Code Seal of Approval 7480. A beautiful NFTVA print. Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Thursday 30 October 1997. **** I knew the film previously only from TV. I had had trouble with the idealization and sentimentalism, and was now able to look through them for the first time. The idyll now seems like a sugar coating to the bitter story. The conditions in the mine are harsh, causing death and suffering. The central romance remains unrequited as the bride marries money. Because of his humble origins the boy-protagonist is brutally harassed at school both by the teacher and by his classmates. All this is acknowledged, and still the film is a praise to the triumph of the spirit, about never giving up. The climax is the final sermon of the preacher portrayed by Walter Pidgeon. It is a highlight in the whole Ford oeuvre. Among the joys of the film: the faces are wonderful down to the smallest parts. They all live the drama.

Tuesday, October 28, 1997

Daavid - tarinoita kunniasta ja häpeästä

A-027791 / G / FI / 1997 / Mäkelä, Taru / / documentary

Daavid - tarinoita kunniasta ja häpeästä / David - Tales of Honour and Shame. PC: For Real Productions. D+SC: Taru Mäkelä. Narration and theme song performed by Seela Sella. ”Gefilte fish”, ”Liturgical Song”, ”S’dremlen voiglen”. Featuring: Scholem Bolotowsky, Leo Jakobsson, Leo Skurnik, Ben Zyskowicz. 94’. English subtitles by Outi Kainulainen. Viewed at VET, Helsinki, Tuesday, 28 October 1997. ****

”In the history of the Shoah there is but one exception: Finland”. In the twists of history, Finland found itself fighting with Hitler against Stalin during the very years of the Final Solution. In spite of this, not a single Finnish Jew was harassed, and Finland managed to save a few hundred Jewish refugees from Central Europe. The moral dilemma now is: could more have been done? Seven refugees perished in Auschwitz because Finland returned them. The film tells the tales of Finnish Jews and the refugees who survived here: three were awarded the Iron Cross by the Wehrmacht - who did not realize at first they were Jewish. The only field synagogues on this side of the front were in Finland. There are several prominent public figures amongst the interviewees. Ben Zyskowicz is a major figure in the Finnish Parliament. In the final scene he tells that his father was the only survivor of his family. All others were murdered. The film is made with an austere style without effects of any kind. It does not need any.

Monday, October 27, 1997

Eurodisc Playlist For 11.39.09

100430 / G / US etc. / 1997 / various / / music video

Eurodisc Playlist For 11.39.09 / Musiikkikooste 11-39-09. PC: Pioneer Video Manufacturing. DIST: Ulkokaupat. Laserdisc. Viewed on big screen projection in Helsinki, VET, Monday 27 October 1997.
Backstreet Boys: Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) **
Will Smith: Men In Black **
Boyzone: Picture Of You **
Hanson: Where’s The Love **
Bellini: Samba De Janeiro **
Texas: Black Eyed Boy **
U2: Last Night On Earth ***
R. Kelly: Gotham City **
The Verve: Bitter Sweet Symphony **
Mark Owen: I Am What I Am **

German Natdisc Playlist For 18.01.09

100429 / G / DE etc. / 1997 / various / / music video

German Natdisc Playlist For 18.01.09 / Musiikkikooste 18-01-09. PC: Pioneer Video Manufacturing. DIST: Ulkokaupat. Laserdisc. Viewed on big screen projection in Helsinki, VET, Monday 27 October 1997.
Dr. Motte & Westbam: Sunshine *
Tic Tac Toe: Mr Wichtig *
Rammstein: Du hast *
Garcia: Bamboleo *
Nena: Let It Rain *
DJ Sammy & Carisma: Prince Of Love *
Masterboy: La Ola Hand In Hand *
No Mercy: Kiss You All Over *
Strike: I Have Peace *
Age Of Love: The Age Of Love *

The Four Feathers

028019 / 12 / GB / 1939 / Korda, Zoltan / / war

Four Feathers, The / Neljä sulkaa. PC: London Film Productions. P: Alexander Korda. D: Zoltan Korda. PD: Vincent Korda. CAST: John Clements (Harry Faversham), Ralph Richardson (Capt. John Durrance), Jack Allen (Ltn. Willoughby), Donald Gray (Peter Burroughs). 114’. MPAA Production Code Seal of Approval 2457. Viewed as a VHS PAL video cassette big screen projection in Helsinki, VET, Monday 27 October 1997. **** Good old-fashioned war adventure on loyalty and honour in the African territories of the British Empire. Breathtaking photography by Georges Perinal, Osmond Borradaile, and Jack Cardiff. A lean, dynamic screenplay by R.C. Sherriff, Lajos Biro, and Arthur Wimperis. A producer’s dream, its Rolls Royce parts seamlessly fitted together in the factory of Alexander Korda.

Sunday, October 19, 1997

Les Travailleurs de la mer

/ / FR / 1918 / Antoine / / drama

Travailleurs de la mer, Les. PC: S.C.A.G.L. D+SC: Antoine - based on the novel by Victor Hugo. DP: Paul Castanci, René Guichard. CAST: Romuald Joubé, Andrée Brabant, Armand Tallier. Restored tinted from La Cinémathèque Fran(aise. 1854 m /18 fps/ 90’. Rehearsed Finnish earphone translation by Leena Talvio. Synthetizator accompaniment by Johannes Raumonen. Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Orion, Sunday 19 October 1997. *** Good solid drama made vigorous by real location shooting by the wild ocean. The photography is exquisite, and the film archives made a good job in rescuing the film that was on the border of extinction.

Saturday, October 18, 1997

The Jazz Singer (1927)

016110 / G / US / 1927 / Crosland, Alan / / music

Jazz Singer, The / Jazzlaulaja. PC: Warner Bros. EX: Jack Warner. D: Alan Crosland. Based on the play by Samson Raphaelson and his short story ”Day of Atonement”. Music performed by the Vitaphone Orchestra. CAST: Al Jolson (Jakob Rabinowitz / Jack Robin), Eugenie Besserer (Mammy - Sara Rabinowitz), Warner Oland (Cantor Rabinowitz), May McAvoy (Mary Dale), Cantor Josef Rosenblatt. 89’. 1,2. Originally a silent film with sound on disc. The Israeli Film Archive print screened had sound on film. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Saturday 18 October 1997. *** 70th Anniversary Celebration. Bad direction, bad acting, and bad camerawork. Even Al Jolson does not help. Pop dinosaurs don’t project in films even now in the age of Madonna, and that curse started with Jolson: charisma magnetic to a huge live audience does not transfer automatically to a great film performance. I don’t even like Jolson’s songs, although I’d love to see a feature-length concert documentary of him. He is perhaps even after Elvis and The Beatles the most legendary performer of the century. To sum up, here is a rare instance where a magnificent screenplay shines through a clumsy mise-en-scene. The story is strong and simple. It is the story of popular culture: the reconciliation of the sacred and the profane. ”In show business we have our own religion, too”. The calling of show business can also be holy. Jack says that performing is now more important to him than anything else. The Jazz Singer is one of the most blatant Oedipal stories of the screen. Challenging his father, disowned by him, but never forgotten by mother, Jakob / Jack wanders through the world searching for his soul. Jakie’s first song is dedicated to ”Mother Divine”. ”He is not my boy anymore. He belongs to the whole world now”, says the mother crying in the audience. The father falls on his deathbed, and on Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, Jack takes his place singing the ”Kol Nidre”. The father’s ghost blesses the son and vanishes. The scene is one of the most electrifying in film history. Musically, it’s Jolson’s best in the film. The other religious performances are great, as well, especially that of Cantor Josef Rosenblatt.

A Corner In Wheat

/ / US / 1909 / Griffith, D.W. / / drama


Corner In Wheat, A. PC: Biograph. D: D.W. Griffith. CAST: James Kirkwood, Linda Arvidson, Frank Powell. 292 m /15 fps/ 17’. Münchner Filmmuseum print. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, on Saturday, 18 October 1997. **** The title means wheat monopoly. As I knew previously only a 16mm paper print transfer of the film, the discovery was startling. Firstly, in contrast to the clumsy and pedestrian Griffiths of only a year earlier. Secondly, in comparison to any modern filmmaking. The laconic force, the immediacy, the boldness of the idea. Lastly, there is the theme of exploitation: the power of the grain speculators versus the suffering of the have-nots.

Pabst wieder sehen

/ / DE / 1997 / Pabst, G.W. / / documentary

Pabst wieder sehen / Revoir Pabst. PC: ZDF. D: Wolfgang Jacobsen, Martin Koerber, René Perraudin. ARTE Betacam PAL big screen projection 60’. Deutsche Fassung. Pordenone, Ridotto del Verdi, Saturday 18 October 1997. **** A first rate documentary on the elusive and erratic genius. Lots of exciting new footage from recently discovered materials and the latest restorations of Münchner Filmmuseum.

Friday, October 17, 1997

Julius Pinschewer’s Commercials Part II: Kupferberg Gold Champagne

/ / DE / 1912-1922 / Pinschewer, Julius / commercial

Brilliant prints from Bundesarchiv Berlin. 18 fps. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Friday, 17 October 1997.
Pierrot auf dem Eise! (1920)
Marionetten (1922)
Schmuggler-Jagd (1920)
Feindlichen Brüder, Die (1920)
Faun und Mädchen. Ein Schattenspiel von Julius Pinschewer (1920)
Ahnenbild, Das (1920)
Colombinchen (1920)
Tanz der Flaschen II (1912)
Sekt-Zauber (1920) DP: Guido Seeber.

Will Day IV - Points de vue sur le monde

Prince of Wales On the Deck of the ”Britannia” On the Riviera, The. GB 1897.
John Tester Queen Victoria’s State Visit To Ireland. GB 1900
Panoramic View On The Thames. GB 1900. Cecil Hepworth
Panoramic View Of the Paris Exhibition. GB 1900. Cecil Hepworth
London Prepared To Make the Coronation of Edward VII a Wonderful Spectacle. GB 1901
Edward VII’s Delhi Durbar. GB 1902.
Memorial To Indian Prince At Bexhill. GB 1910. Gaumont Graphic
St. Martin-De-Ré. A Convoy of Convicts Departs For a French Penal Settlement. GB 1912. Pathé War Of the Five Nations, The. GB 1912. Pathé’s Animated Gazette
State Visit Of Their Majesties To Berlin For the Wedding Of the Kaiser’s Daughter. GB 1910. Gaumont Graphic
French Train Disaster At Melun. GB 1913. Gaumont Graphic
London Wants a Dreadnought. The Great Demonstration In Trafalgar Square. GB 1913. Gaumont Graphic
Trip To The White Sea Fisheries, A. GB 1909. Rosie Films. D: Joe Rosenthal

Der weisse Teufel

016331 / G / DE / 1929 / Volkoff, Alexandre / drama

Weisse Teufel, Der / The White Devil / Valkoinen paholainen. PC: Ufa. P: Noé Bloch, Gregor Rabinovich. D: Alexandre Volkoff. Based on the story Hadzhi Murat by Leo Tolstoy. DP: Curt Courant, Nikolai Toporkoff. M performed by Ufaton-Orchester. CAST: Ivan Mozzhuhin (Hadzhi Murat), Betty Amann (Saira), Lil Dagover (Nelidova). B&w silent with music track. Sonorized SDK print 96’. In the presence of Kenneth Rive, who plays Hadzhi Murat’s son. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Friday 17 October 1997. **** Another forgotten masterpiece from the last years of the silent era. Marvellous production has great dramatic force and an excellent performance by the great Mozzhuhin… in his best role? I have seen some 10-15 of his films, from his early Russian farces to Casanova, from Father Sergius to Michael Strogoff, and this beats them all. This is also one of the best Tolstoy film adaptations.

Abwege

015431 / 16 / DE / 1928 / Pabst, G.W. / / drama

Abwege / Harhateillä. PC: Erda-Film. D: G.W. Pabst. DP: Theodor Sparkuhl. CAST: Brigitte Helm, Gustav Diessl, Hertha von Walther. Silent b&w. Münchner Filmmuseum print /20 fps/ 96’. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Friday 17 October 1997. *** A discovery: a forgotten Pabst film that was 25 years ahead of its time, charting the same areas of alienated relationships as Rossellini and Antonioni in the 1950s. Brigitte Helm ”in her best performance”? Maybe.

There It Is

/ / US / 1928 / Bowers, Charles R. / comedy

There It Is. PC: Educational Pictures. D: Charles R. Bowers. CAST: Charles R. Bowers. GEH print /22 fps/ 20’. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Friday 17 October 1997. **** Weird comedy featuring Scotland Yard and Daffydil Sanitarium.

Thursday, October 16, 1997

At The Villa Rose

/ / GB / 1920 / Elvey, Maurice / / crime

At The Villa Rose. PC: Stoll Film. D: Maurice Elvey. Based on the novel by A.E.W. Mason. CAST: Manora Thew, Langhorne Burton, Norman Page. 1877 m /18 fps/ 91’. Silent, tinted + toned by Harold Brown. NFTVA print presented by Clyde Jeavons. Piano by Edward von Past. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Thursday, 16 October, 1997. ** Dull detective mystery.

High Treason

016464 / 16 / GB / 1929 / Elvey, Maurice / / science fiction

High Treason / Sodan uhka vuonna 1940. PC: Gaumont British. D: Maurice Elvey. CAST: Jameson Thomas, Benita Hume, Basil Gill. 2056 m /24 fps/ 75’. Silent version. NFTVA. Piano by Neil Brand. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Thursday 16 October 1997. * Utterly boring.

Nathan der Weise

/ / DE / 1922 / Noa, Manfred / / historical drama

Nathan der Weise / Die Erstürmung Jerusalems. PC: Filmhaus Bavaria. D: Manfred Noa. Based on the play by Lessing. CAST: Werner Krauss (Nathan), Carl de Vogt, Max Schreck. 2675 m /18 fps/ 128’. Münchner Filmmuseum / Gosfilmofond. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Thursday 16 October 1997. *** Epic adaptation of Lessing’s play made during the Golden Era of German cinema presents exciting mass scenes and a striking mise-en-scène based on symmetry and graphic forms, including masks and vignettes. The film is faithful to the concept of the play - the tragedy of the ”Holy War” of Jerusalem. The staging of the tale of the three rings is impressive. Each of the sons (symbolising Judaism, Christianity and Islam) is given ”the only true ring” by the father. ”He who has the true ring will be revealed by his love of humanity”. It is a tale no less relevant today than when it was written. The film’s release in Munich led to the earliest anti-semitic riots of the Nazi Party.

Will Day III - Le Cinéma des origines

/ / GB / 1890 / Friese-Greene, William / non-fiction
Hyde Park, London. Vertical 65mm transferred to 35mm. 1’.
King’s Road, Chelsea, London. 60mm transferred to 35mm. 1’.
Stereoscopic Film: Hyde Park. 155mm transferred to 35mm. 1’. The greatest treasures of the Will Day collection: the Friese-Greene fragments probably represent ”the world’s first films on celluloid, the first perforated films, and the first films shot on outside locations” (DR). They look beautiful today transferred to the standard film format.
/ / FR / 1896 / Demenÿ, Georges / non-fiction PC: Gaumont-Demenÿ, Comptoir Générale de Photographie. 58mm transferred to 35mm.
Station Ménilmontant, chemin de fer de ceinture
Dancing Girl No. 2
Débarcadère du bateau à vapeur Wilhelm Tell
Dispute espagnole / / US / 1897 / Mutoscope and Biograph / non-fiction PC: Mutoscope and Biograph Company. 68mm transferred to 35mm
[Halle au vin, No 1]
[Halle au vin, No 2]
[Cachette, La] / / GB / 1898 / Biokam camera / / non-fiction Short movies filmed on Biokam camera. 17,5mm transferred to 35mm.
Bain de mer No 1
Bain de mer No 2
Rival Clothiers, The / / GB / 1903 / Jumeaux & Davidson / non-fiction
Trichrome Experimental Film. Colour system by Benjamin Jumeaux and William Norman Lascelles Davidson. / / GB / 1912 / Friese-Greene, William / non-fiction
Posters On Hoarding. Colour system by William Friese-Greene, produced by Lascelles Davidson. / / GB / 1896 / Paul, Robert William / non-fiction
Engineer’s Shop At Nelson Dock
Westminster
Blackfriars Bridge / / GB / 1896 / Collings, Esme / / non-fiction
Children Paddling / / GB / 1899 / Bennett-Stanford, John / non-fiction
Troops Passing Over Mooder River / / GB / 1899 / Hepworth, Cecil / non-fiction
Arrival of Train-Load of Visitors at Henley Station

Will Day II - Comiques et dramas

Devil In the Studio, The. GB 1901. PC: Paul’s Animatograph Works. 2’. Mephistopheles does tricks in an artist’s studio.
How To Stop a Motor Car. GB 1902. PC: Hepworth Manufacturing. 3’. A wild trick film.
Village Fire Brigade, The. GB 1907. PC: Williamson Kinematograph. 6’
That Fatal Sneeze. GB 1907. PC: Hepworth Manufacturing. 5’. Apocalyptic sneezes.
Why Girls Leave Home. US 1908. PC: Edison. 7’. A parody of melodrama histrionics.
If We Only Knew. US 1913. PC: Biograph. D: Anthony Sullivan. CAST: Blanche Sweet, Henry B. Walthall, Harry Carey. 13’. Visually beautiful short in the Griffith style. Interesting to see Carey’s signature gesture here.

Will Day I - Autour de Will Day

Evolution of the Film, The. GB 1924. PC: Pathé Pictorial. 11’.
Will Day shows off his collection: Le Thaumatrope, Anorthoscope, Phenakistiscope, Zootrope, Praxinoscope, Praxinoscope Theatre, The Kinora, Animatograph, Méliès Projector, Cinématographe Lumière, Matagraph 1897.
Inventor of the Kinematography, The. GB 1921. PC: Gaumont Graphic. 4’. Film obituary of William Friese-Greene including funeral footage: the bouquet is in the form of a projector and screen bearing the words ”The End”.
Whitewashing the Ceiling. GB 1914. P: Will Day. D: Joe Rosenthal. 13’ excerpt. Adaptation of a famous music hall sketch by Will Evans.
Will Day Home Movies. GB 1913. 2’

Hommage à Will Day 1873-1936

”Will Day was the world’s first collector of everything pertaining to archaeology and beginnings of cinema, and also a pioneer collector of actual films” (DR). Presented by Michelle Aubert and David Robinson. The films of the Will Day collection, restored by the Archive du Film du CNC, were shown publicly for the first time in Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, 16-17 October 1997. **** = invaluable.

Wednesday, October 15, 1997

Agadati

/ / IL / 1997 / Agadati, Baruch / documentary

Agadati: Screen of an Artist. PC: Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive. D+SC: Hillel Tryster. Betacam PAL big screen projection. 37’. Pordenone, Ridotto del Verdi, Wednesday, 15 October 1997. Portrait of Baruch Agadati (1895-1976), versatile pioneer filmmaker of Israel. An exciting melange of many kinds of rare old film footage.

Enrico Caruso: Lucia Di Lammermoor

/ / FR / 1908 / Caruso, Enrico / / opera

Enrico Caruso: Lucia Di Lammermoor. P: George Mendel. Gaetano Donizetti. CAST: Enrico Caruso. Print: Lobster Film. B&w with synchronized sound. 4’. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Wednesday, 15 October 1997. **** "Chi mi frena in tal momento". A sensational opera discovery: the grande finale of the second act of Lucia Di Lammermoor performed by six opera singers - among them Enrico Caruso as Edgardo. The primitive recording conveys the timbre of Caruso’s voice. Its conquering power is well-known from Caruso records. Here we get to witness his noble carriage and commanding presence, as well. - Comment 2008: the synchronization has been made afterwards, but it is faithful to the original sound and image of the era.

Tuesday, October 14, 1997

Yvette

/ / FR / 1927 / Cavalcanti / / drama


Yvette. PC: Néo-Films. P: Pierre Braunberger. D: Cavalcanti. Based on the short story by Guy de Maupassant. CAST: Catherine Hessling, Ica de Lenkeffy, Blanche Bernis. /22 fps/ ca 90’. Beautiful print from La Cinémathèque Francaise. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Tuesday 14 October 1997. * Cavalcanti’s riposte to Renoir’s Nana. Print beautiful, film boring.

What a Whooper

/ / US / 1921 / Pollard, Snub / / comedy

What a Whooper. PC: Hal Roach Studios. P: Hal Roach. CAST: Harry ”Snub” Pollard. Lobster Film. /18 fps/ 13’. French titles. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Tuesday, 14 October 1997. **** Harry returns from the bar telling his wife he was fishing. His friend tells his spouse he was hunting. Unfortunately, the fish and the duck have traded places.

Une femme a passé

/ / FR / 1928 / Jayet, René / / drama


Femme a passé, Une. D: René Jayet. CAST: Suzanne Talba, Camille Bardou, Gilbert Perigneaux. /24 fps/ 54’. Silent, toned. Brilliant print from Lobster Film. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Tuesday 14 October 1997. *** A visually charming French barge story in the lines of L’Hirondelle et la Mesange and L’Atalante. Fickle woman ruins lives of men and leaves them all. Suzanne Talbe: ”tous les désirs, toute la volupté résumés dans un sourire”.

A Hundred Years Of Boxing In Cinema

A special programme compiled and commented by Luke McKernan (NFTVA) for Le Giornate del Cinema Muto 1997. Piano: Neil Brand. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Tuesday, 14 October 1997. *** ”Boxing was an essential component of the birth of the cinema, forming the subject of some of the first Kinetoscope films, forcing films to be first projected on a screen, and encouraging the production of longer films” (LM).
Leonard-Cushing Fight (US 1894). PC: Edison. D: W.K.L. Dickson. /30 fps/ 1’ excerpt. The first boxing and sporting film ever made, filmed in the Black Maria, featuring Mike Leonard and Jack Cushing. One of the six rounds filmed.
Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight, The (US 1897). PC: Veriscope. 63mm transferred to 35mm 1,75. /24 fps/ 7’ excerpt.
Gentleman Jim Corbett meets Bob Fitzsimmons. The world’s first feature film lasted over 90’.
Great Boxing Contest, The (GB 1907). PC: Charles Urban Trading Company. /18 fps/ 5’.
English heavyweights Gunner Moir vs. Tiger Smith.
Sights and Scenes from the Johnson-Jeffries Fight (US 1910). PC: J.&J. Company. D: J. Stuart Blackton. Short GB version /18 fps/ 16’. The black champion Jack Johnson and the ”white hope” Jim Jeffries. Fear of racial unrest caused an interstate anti-fight film law to be passed that remained in force until the 1930s.
Bill’s Day Out (FR 1911). PC: Lux. Patouillard (Bill in English-speaking countries) visits a fairground boxing booth featuring two black boxers - Bob Scanton and P. Warren.
Trainings for the Great Boxing Contest (GB 1911). /18 fps/ 2’ excerpt. Newsreel footage of two great black heavyweight boxers: Sam McVey and Sam Langford.
Man To Beat Jack Johnson, The (GB 1910). PC: Walter Tyler. /18 fps/ 3’. Four-year old Willie Saunders as a boxing monster. On the strength of this film he became a child star in Eclair’s Willy comedy series.
Jack Johnson Paying a Visit to the Manchester Docks (GB 1916). /18 fps/ 2’. Newsreel footage on Johnson when he was a fugitive from American justice, having been convicted on a ”white slavery” charge.
Battle of the Century, The (US 1921). PC: Fred C. Quimby. /18 fps/ 35’. **** America’s world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey meets France’s Georges Carpentier. One of the all-time great boxing documentaries, standing up to comparison with When We Were Kings.

Taohua qi xue ji / Peach Blossom Weeps Tears of Blood

/ / CN / 1931 / Poh, Richard / / melodrama
The Peach Girl. PC: Lianhua Film Company. D: Richard Poh. DP: Huang Shaofen. CAST: Ruan Lingyu, Jin Yan. Print from Zhongguo Dianying Ziliaoguan. /20 fps/ 100’. Silent b&w. Piano: Philip C. Carli. Chinese and English titles. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Tuesday, 14 October 1997. *** Melodrama about love across the tracks is full of exciting detail on the everyday life. The cinematography is first rate, and Ruan Lingyu is charismatic as the peach blossom girl. The peach tree is withered as we reach the end but the spineless son of the opium-addicted landlady-mother receives the dying heroine’s baby: ”I shall live for her sake”. ”Like teardrops petals from the peach blossoms fall upon her grave”.

Monday, October 13, 1997

Julius Pinschewer’s Commercials Part I: Ads of the Avantgarde

/ / DE / 1912-1930 / Pinschewer, Julius / commercial


Showcase of the pioneering producer of experimental commercials. Brilliant prints from Bundesarchiv Berlin. 18 fps. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Monday, 13 October, 1997.


Nähkasten, Der (1912) Prym push-buttons. A living sewing-kit.

Tanz der Flaschen I (1912) Maggi sauce. Dance of Maggi bottles.

”Dort wo der Rhein…” (1927) AN: Walther Ruttmann. Hand-coloured. Kölnische Zeitung. Newsworld montage.

Am Nil (1921) Excelsior tyres. Even crocodile’s teeth fail to damage them.

Wunder, Das. Ein Film in Farben (1922) AN: Walther Ruttmann. Hand-coloured. Kantorowicz liquor. Two faces. *

Wiedergefundene Paradies, Das (1925) AN: Walther Ruttmann. Hand-coloured. Florists. ”Lasst Blumen sprechen”.

Aufstieg, Der (1925) AN: Walther Ruttmann, Lore Leudesdorff. Hand-coloured. GESOLEI exposition. Bauhaus.

Spiel der Wellen (1926) AN: Walther Ruttmann, Lore Leudesdorff. Hand-coloured. AEG. Radio waves.

KIPHO (1925) FX: Guido Seeber. Kino-Photo-Ausstellung. A vision of the cinema.

Im Filmatelier (1927) AN: Hedwig Otto, Gerda Otto. Bayer’s Aspirin. Puppet animation.

Kirmes in Hollywood. Ein Puppenspiel (1930) AN: Hedwig Otto, Gerda Otto. Nestlé’s chocolate. Keaton vs. Jannings.

Barcarole, Die (1924) AN: Lotte Reiniger. Mauxion chocolate. Romeo and Juliet as silhouettes.

Chinesische Nachtigall, Die (1929) Tri-Ergon disks of Tonbild-Syndikat. 42mm transfer to 16mm. *

En rade

/ / FR / 1927 / Cavalcanti / / drama

En rade. Un rêve irréalisé - un drame sans dénouement. PC: Néo-Films. P: Pierre Braunberger. D: Cavalcanti. SC: Claude Heyman. CAST: Catherine Hessling (la servante), Nathalie Lissenko (la blanchisseuse). Ca 80’. Silent b&w. La Cinémathèque Francaise. Piano: Neil Brand. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Monday, 13 October 1997. ** Melancholy, dreamy scenes at a port. A fragile film in the tradition of Fièvre might work better with careful musical accompaniment. Hessling is not a versatile actress.

Howard Hawks: American Artist

/ / GB / 1997 / Hawks, Howard / / documentary

Howard Hawks: American Artist. PC: BFI. D: Kevin McDonald. Consultant: Todd McCarthy. Narrator: Stephen Frears. Featuring: Lauren Bacall, Angie Dickinson, James Caan, Harry Carey, Jr., Peter Bogdanovich, William Friedkin. Archival footage of Howard Hawks and his films. VHS PAL big screen projection. 60’. Pordenone, Ridotto del Verdi, Monday, 13 October 1997. **** A good lean documentary mixing the familiar and the unfamiliar. No new revelations for readers of the biography by Todd McCarthy. But a perfect joy all the same. - Comment 2008: the Hawks women realize they were saying the same lines from one decade to another. They also realize they resemble Hawks, himself.

La Vengeance du Gâte-Sauce

/ / FR / 1900 / Méliès, Georges / fantasy

Vengeance du Gâte-Sauce, La. PC: Star-Film. P+D: Georges Méliès. 17 m /16 fps/ 53”. Silent b&w. GEH/Vevey. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Monday 13 October 1997. Loose flying heads. - Georges Méliès: The 1997 Discoveries

Le Repas fantastique

/ / FR / 1900 / Méliès, Georges / fantasy

Repas fantastique, Le. PC: Star-Film. P+D: Georges Méliès. 28 m /16 fps/ 1’32”. Silent b&w. GEH/Vevey. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Monday 13 October 1997. The dinner table and other furniture rebel against men. - Georges Méliès: The 1997 Discoveries

Spiritisme abracadabrant

/ / FR / 1900 / Méliès, Georges / fantasy

Spiritisme abracadabrant. PC: Star-Film. P+D: Georges Méliès. 21 m /16 fps/ 1’08”. Silent b&w. GEH/Vevey. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, Monday 13 October 1997. The unsuccessful attempt to remove one’s hat. - Georges Méliès: The 1997 Discoveries

Sunday, October 12, 1997

Edison Motion Pictures, 1890 - 1900

/ / US / 1890-1900 / Edison, Thomas A. / non-fiction


PC: The Edison Manufacturing Company. Print source: Library of Congress.

World premiere in Pordenone of restored 35mm film prints copied from 35mm paper prints. Speed varies. The early ones were to be viewed at 20-40 fps. Until 1895 the films were meant for Kinetoscope viewing. Since 1896 they were manufactured to be projected. The duration was typically one minute. Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, piano accompaniment, 12-18 October 1997.

The viewing prints based on the paper prints do no do justice to the photographic quality of the originals. Of the 936 films, 539 survive. I saw close to a hundred of them. The films are non-fiction if not otherwise indicated.

Edison was the only motion picture producer in the world before 1895 and the leading American producer and distributor of 35mm films through 1900. He built the world’s first motion picture studio, Black Maria, for his productions.

The Pordenone retrospective was mounted to accompany the publication of Charles Musser’s seminal book - Edison Motion Pictures, 1890-1990. An Annotated Filmography (1997).

Mr. Edison At Work In His Chemical Laboratory (1897) - Edison # 344

Giant Coal Dumper (1897) - Edison # 353

Corner Madison and State Streets, Chicago (1897) - Edison # 354

Armour’s Electric Trolley (1897) - Edison # 355

Sheep Run, Chicago Stockyards (1897) - Edison # 356

Cattle Driven To Slaughter (1897) - Edison # 357

Racing At Sheepshead Bay (1897) - Edison # 358

Free-For-All Race At Charter Oak Park (1897) - Edison # 360

Philadelphia Express, Jersey Central Railway (1897) - Edison # 361

Admiral Cigarette (1897) - Edison # 362. Commercial: ”We all smoke”.

Overland Express Arriving At Helena, Montana (1897) - Edison # 363

Coaches Arriving At Mammoth Hot Springs (1897) - Edison # 365

Tourists Going Round Yellowstone Park (1897) - Edison # 366

Lower Falls, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone (1897) - Edison # 371

S.S. Queen Loading (1897) - Edison # 373

Loading Baggage For Klondike, No. 5 (1897) - Edison # 374

S.S. Queen Leaving Dock (1897) - Edison # 375

Horses Loading For Klondike, No. 9 (1897) - Edison # 376

Loading Baggage For Klondike (1897) - Edison # 376.1

S.S. Williamette Leaving For Klondike (1897) - Edison # 377

First Avenue, Seattle, Washington (1897) - Edison # 378

Fast Mail, Norther Pacific Railroad (1897) - Edison # 379

Dancing Darkey Boy (1897) - Edison # 385 - dance

Fisherman’s Luck (1897) - Edison # 386 - comedy

Bowery Waltz (1897) - Edison # 387- dance

Charity Ball (1897) - Edison # 388 - dance

Leander Sisters (1897) - Edison # 390 - dance

Cupid And Psyche (1897) - Edison # 391 - dance

Sutro Baths No. 1 (1897) - Edison # 392

Sutro Baths No. 2 (1897) - Edison # 393

Lurline Baths (1897) - Edison # 394

Fisherman’s Wharf (1897) - Edison # 395

Fishing Smacks (1897) - Edison # 396

Arrest In Chinatown, San Francisco (1897) - Edison # 397

S.S. Coptic At Dock (1897) - Edison # 398

S.S. Coptic Sailing Away (1897) - Edison # 399

S.S. Coptic In The Harbor (1897) - Edison # 400

Stanford University , California (1897) - Edison # 401

Hotel Vendome, San Jose, Cal. (1897) - Edison # 402

Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, Cal. (1897) - Edison # 403

Surf At Monterey (1897) - Edison # 404

Hotel Del Monte (1897) - Edison # 405

Launch Of Life Boat (1897) - Edison # 410

Capsize Of Lifeboat (1897) - Edison # 411

Return Of Lifeboat (1897) - Edison # 414

Chrissie Sheridan (1897) - Edison # 427 - dance

What Demoralized The Barber Shop (1897) - Edison # 443? - comedy: women’s feet

Wash Day In Mexico (1897) - Edison # 450?

South Spring Street, Los Angeles (1898) - Edison # 470

Going Through The Tunnel (1898) - Edison # 477

Sunset Limited, Southern Pacific Railway (1898) - Edison # 478

Freight Train (1898) - Edison # 479

Launch of Japanese Man-Of-War Chitose (1898) - Edison # 480

Launching, No. 2 (1898) - Edison # 481

After Launching (1898) - Edison # 482

Union Iron Works (1898) - Edison # 483

Feeding Sea Gulls (1898) - Edison # 484

Procession Of Floats (1898) - Edison # 485

Native Daughters (1898) - Edison # 486

Parade of Chinese (1898) - Edison # 487

Mount Tamalpais R.R., No. 1 (1898) - Edison # 488

Mount Tamalpais R.R., No. 2 (1898) - Edison # 489

Mount Taw, R.R., No. 3 (1898) - Edison # 490

Hockey Match On Ice (1898) - Edison # 495

Burial Of The ”Maine” Victims (1898) - Edison # 533

N.Y. Journal Despatch Yacht ”Buccaneer” (1898) - Edison # 535

Wreck Of The Battleship ”Maine” (1898) - Edison # 536

U.S. Battleship ”Indiana” (1898) - Edison # 540

Street Arab, A (1898) - Edison # 551 - breakdance

Cuban Refugees Waiting For Rations (1898) - Edison # 563

Troops Embarking At San Francisco (1898) - Edison # 576

Troop Ships For The Philippines (1898) - Edison # 577

Roosevelt’s Rough Riders Embarking For Santiago (1898) - Edison # 590

Cuban Volunteers Embarking (1898) - Edison # 591

U.S. Troop Landing At Daiquiri, Cuba (1898) - Edison # 595

Pack Mules With Ammunition On The Santiago Trail (1898) - Edison # 599

U.S. Cruiser ”Olympia” Leading Naval Parade (1899) - Edison # 735

Admiral Dewey Leading Land Parade, No. 1 (1899) - Edison # 741

Columbia Winning The Cup (1899) - Edison # 761

2nd Special Service Battalion, Canadian Infantry, Parade (1899) - Edison # 763

2nd Special Service Battalion, Canadian Infantry, Embarking For South Africa (1899) - Edison # 764

Automobile Parade (1899) - Edison # 767

Dick Croker Leaving Tammany Hall (1899) - Edison # 769

Why Jones Discharged His Clerks (1899) - Edison # 776 - comedy

Why Mrs. Jones Got A Divorce (1899) - Edison # 777 - comedy

Dull Razor, A (1900) - Edison # 784 - comedy

Animated Luncheon, An (1900) - Edison # 785 - magic

Faust and Marguerite (1900) - Edison # 786 - magic

Magician, The (1900) - Edison # 787 - magic

Ching Ling Foo Outdone (1900) - Edison # 788 - magic

Kiss, The (1900) - Edison # 789 - remake of the May Irwin Kiss

Artist’s Dream, An (1900) - Edison # 795 - magic

Mystic Swing, The (1900) - Edison # 796 - magic

Uncle Josh In A Spooky Hotel (1900) - Edison # 797 - magic