Saturday, January 31, 1998

Good Will Hunting

100584 / 12 / US / 1997 / Van Sant, Gus / / drama
Good Will Hunting / Will Hunting. © Miramax Film Corp. P: Lawrence Bender. D: Gus Van Sant. SC: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon. DP: Jean Yves Escoffier. CAST: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, Stellan Skarsgård. 126’. 1,85. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Timo Porri / Janne Staffans. DIST: Scanbox Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Friday 30 January 1998. *** Probably one of the top ten films of the year, this is Gus Van Sant’s best achievement so far. It takes place between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and South Boston: the elite and the underdog. Damon plays the boy wonder from the slums. He has become a delinquent, a multiple offender, on a serious downward spiral. He is noticed by the master mathematicist Skarsgård who finally finds for him a psychiatrist whom the boy cannot drive crazy - Robin Williams. There is true anger and true wisdom in the story. Gus Van Sant keeps developing his visual style, too, here together with his excellent DP Escoffier.

Friday, January 30, 1998

As Good As It Gets

100580 / 12 / US / 1997 / Brooks, James L. / drama / comedy
As Good As It Gets / Elämä on ihanaa. © TriStar Pictures. P+D: James L. Brooks. SC: Mark Andrus, James L. Brooks. CAST: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding, Jr. 138’. 1,85. Finnish subtitles by Timo Porri. DIST: Columbia TriStar Egmont Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 29 January 1998. *** New York stories of a misanthropic writer (Nicholson), a gay artist (Kinnear) and Helen Hunt as the only waitress in town who can stand Nicholson. It is a different and surprising story where one never can tell what will happen next. In the attempt at a relaxed tempo the film loses momentum, but it has interesting things to say.

Thursday, January 29, 1998

Muistiratoja

A-027719 / G / FI / 1998 / Salmenhaara, Eero / documentary essay
Muistiratoja. © Kari Kekkonen Ky. D: Werneri Salmenhaara = Eero Salmenhaara. SC: Alpo Ruuth. FEATURING: Alpo Ruuth, Werneri Salmenhaara. 42’. 16mm. DIST: Kari Kekkonen Ky. VHS /PAL 25 fps: 40’/ projection in Helsinki, VET, Wednesday 28 January 1998. The filmmaker and the screenwriter, the well-known author Alpo Ruuth, share the common fate of paralysis. Together they travel the railway tracks running through the city of Helsinki. It’s a personal documentary essay.

Wednesday, January 28, 1998

The Celluloid Closet

/ / US / 1995 / Epstein, Robert etc. / documentary
Celluloid Closet, The / Luuranko kaapissa. © Reflecting Image Ltd. D: Robert Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman. Based on the book by Vito Russo. Narration written by Armistead Maupin. M: Carter Burwell. Theme song: ”Secret Love” performed by k.d. lang.
    CLIPS: Their First Mistake, Morocco, Queen Christina, Red River, Calamity Jane, Rebecca, The Maltese Falcon, Ben Hur, Victim, Advise and Consent, A Walk On the Wild Side, Cruising, Making Love, Sunday Bloody Sunday, The Color Purple, Thelma & Louise, Boys On the Side, Philadelphia, Parting Glances, Desert Hearts, Pillow Talk, Caged, Silkwood.
    FEAT: Tony Curtis, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Dyer, Gore Vidal, Farley Granger, Stewart Stern, Shirley MacLaine, Tom Hanks, Ron Nyswaner, John Schlesinger, Susan Sarandon. 101’.
    Telecast by Yleisradio TV2 ”25th Hour” on 27 January 1998 (PAL). Finnish commentary and subtitles by Petri Griinari, Tuija Westerholm. Below average transmission quality. Viewed in Helsinki on VHS on Saturday 31 January 1998. ****

A first rate compilation film about the hidden story of homosexual love in the history of the American cinema. The clips are marvellous and put in context get new resonance. The international dimension is completely missing. The first feature film depicting homosexuality was Wings (1916) directed in Sweden by the Helsinki-born Mauritz Stiller.

CopLand

100578 / 16 / US / 1997 / Mangold, James / thriller
CopLand / CopLand. © Miramax Film Corp. EX: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Meryl Poster. D+SC: James Mangold. M: Howard Shore. CAST: Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro, Janeane Garofalo, Annabella Sciorra. 105’. 1,85. MPAA 35498. Rated R = 17. BBFC: 15. Finnish subtitles by Movision. DIST: Scanbox Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Tuesday 27 January 1998. *** Fine realistic police drama reaches dimensions of true tragedy as slow witted sheriff Stallone has to confront a team of corrupted top officers. Moving, elegic score by Howard Shore.

Tuesday, January 27, 1998

Flubber

100577 / 8 / 5 / US / 1997 / Mayfield, Les / / comedy
Flubber / Maailman mahtavin mönjä. © Disney Enterprises. P: John Hughes, Ricardo Mestres. D: Les Mayfield. Based on the screenplay by Bill Walsh for The Absent Minded Professor / Hajamielinen professori (Walt Disney Company 1961). M: Danny Elfman. CAST: Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden. 93’. MPAA 35540. Rated PG-13. Finnish subtitles by Hannele Vahtera. DIST: Finnkino. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Monday 26 January 1998. ** I have never seen the original and did not warm up to this remake. Loud noise and special effects cannot fill the void when style and warmth are missing.

Saturday, January 24, 1998

Pornographic videos 23 January 1998

Stripper Nurses
100576 / 18 / US / 1997 / Holliday, Jim / / pornography
Stripper Nurses / Stark medicin / Vahvaa lääkettä. PC: Plush Entertainment. A Max’s release. D: Jim Holliday. CAST: Debi Diamond, Bionca, T.T. Boy, Nick East. 115’ /25 fps/ PAL. Finnish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Friday 23 January 1998.

Shock
100571 / 18 / US / 1996 / Ninn, Michael / / pornography
Shock / Shock. © VCA Labs. A Max’s release. D: Michael Ninn. CAST: Shayla LaVeaux, Tyffany Million, Jon Dough, Peter North. 130’ /25 fps/ PAL. Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Friday 23 January 1998.

Pirate 1 - Fetish Hotel
100572 / 18 / FR / 1997 / Thring, Frank / / pornography
Pirate 1- Fetish Hotel. © Milcap Publishing Group. A Private / Max’s release. D: Frank Thring. CAST: Jessica, Reka, Ana. 74’ /25 fps/ PAL. Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Friday 23 January 1998.

Woodman Casting 4
100573 / 18 / FR / 1997 / Woodman, Pierre / pornography
Woodman Casting 4. © Milcap Publishing Group. A Private release. D: Pierre Woodman. CAST: Barby, Bettina, Laura, Pierre Woodman. 121’ /25 fps/ PAL. Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Friday 23 January 1998.

The Temptations of Clarisse
100574 / 18 / FR / 1997 / Clark, Christophe / pornography
Temptations of Clarisse, The / Clarisses frestelser / Gaia 5 - The Temptations of Clarisse. © Milcap Publishing Group. A Private release. D: Christophe Clark. CAST: Carmen, Hyapatia, Andrew Youngman, Christophe Clark. 75’ /25 fps/ PAL. Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Friday 23 January 1998.

Triple X Files
100575 / 18 / FR / 1997 / Clousot, F., etc. / / pornography
Triple X Files. © Milcap Publishing Group. A Private release. D: F. Clousot, A. Milo, C. Clark. CAST: Nicole, Angelica, Christina. 106’ /25 fps/ PAL. Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Friday 23 January 1998.

The Winter Guest

100568 / G / GB / 1997 / Rickman, Alan / / drama
Winter Guest, The. © The Winter Guest Ltd. D: Alan Rickman. Based on the play by Sharman MacDonald. DP: Seamus McGarvey. CAST: Emma Thompson, Phyllida Law, Gary Hollywood. 106’. Finnish subtitles by Movision. DIST: Scanbox Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Friday 23 January 1998. ** The minimalistic chamber piece takes place on a cold day in a Scottish seacoast town. Excellent photography and performances don’t add up to a stirring experience.

Wednesday, January 21, 1998

Beavis and Butt-head Do America

/ 12 / US / 1996 / Judge, Mike / / animation
Beavis and Butt-head Do America. © MTV Networks. A Paramount release. D: Mike Judge. Tracks and performers include: ”Two Cool Guys” theme by Isaac Hayes; ”Lesbian Seagull” by Engelbert Humperdinck; tracks by White Zombie, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc. Voice talent: Mike Judge, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Robert Stack. 81’ = 78’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Finnkino. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Tuesday 20 January 1998. **** First rate animated feature succeeds in the difficult task of transcending the televisual origins of the material. Most of the Beavis and Butt-head routines are discarded. Instead, the story is based on the picaresque form. The film starts as the duo’s TV set is confiscated. During their quest of a new one they get to travel from coast to coast , become America’s Most Wanted criminals, darken the lights of Vegas, break the Hoover Dam and cause the worst freeway catastrophe in history. Well paced, with a solid soundtrack, and many good jokes.

Pornographic videos 20 January 1998

Megameloner 4
100557 / 18 / US / 1997 / / / pornography
Megameloner 4. © Max’s. CAST: Meesha Lynn, Angelica Fox, Veronica Brazil, Holly Body. 126’ /25 fps/ PAL. Finnish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Tuesday 20 January 1998.

New Wave Hookers 5 - The Next Generation
100558 / 18 / US / 1997 / Ninn, Michael / / pornography
New Wave Hookers 5 - The Next Generation. © VCA Labs. A Max’s release. D: Michael Ninn. CAST: Juli Ashton, Vicca, Peter North, Mark Davis. 118’ /25 fps/ PAL. Finnish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Tuesday 20 January 1998.

Super Max’s Magazine 8
100559 / 18 / SE / 1997 / / / pornography
Super Max’s Magazine 8. © Max’s. CAST: Selena Steele, Jill Kelly, J.R. Carrington, Max Hardcore. 178’ /25 fps/ PAL. Finnish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Tuesday 20 January 1998.

Nya nyp 9
100560 / 18 / SE / 1996 / / / pornography
Nya nyp 9. © Max’s. CAST: Tina Tyler, Sean Michaels, Stacey Valentine, Jessie James. 141’ /25 fps/ PAL. Finnish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Tuesday 20 January 1998.

Paris Chic
100561 / 18 / US / 1997 / Blake, Andrew / / pornography
Paris Chic / Erotica 2. © Studio A Entertainment. A Max’s release. D: Andrew Blake. CAST: Lea Martini, Coralie, Anita Blond, Bruno Aissix. 92’ /25 fps/ PAL. Finnish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET,Tuesday 20 January 1998.

Tuesday, January 20, 1998

Amistad

/ / US / 1997 / Spielberg, Steven / historical drama
Amistad / Amistad. © DreamWorks. P+D: Steven Spielberg. CAST: Djimon Hounsou (Cinque), Matthew McConaughey (Baldwin), Anthony Hopkins (John Quincy Adams). 152’. 1,85. Spoken in English and in Mende. Finnish subtitles by Janne Staffans. DIST: UIP Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Monday 19 January 1998. *** A pedagogical historical drama, a message picture about the 1839 Spanish slave ship rebellion of La Amistad. Meticulous production.

Monday, January 19, 1998

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, poster by Theo Matejko. Please click to enlarge.
011308 / 16 / DE / 1920 / Wiene, Robert / / horror
Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Das / Tohtori Caligarin kabinetti. PC: Decla-Film. EX: Erich Pommer. D: Robert Wiene. SC: Carl Mayer, Hans Janowitz. DP: Willy Hameister. AD: Walter Röhrig, Walter Reimann, Hermann Warm. CAST: Werner Krauss (Dr. Caligari), Conrad Veidt (Cesare), Lil Dagover (Jane), Friedrich Fehér (Francis), Hans-Heinz von Twardowski (Alan). Silent b&w toned. Originally 1703 m /18 fps/ 82’. ZDF 1983 reconstruction with music, not toned by Gerd Luft and Jürgen Labenski based on the 1923 re-release with material from the Munich and SDK Archives, ca 74’. Finnish subtitles by Riitta Piironen. Silent frame uglily cropped to Academy. With the edges cut off, the beautiful title cards turn illegible and the composition of the image is thrown off balance. Yleisradio TV2 transmission viewed in Helsinki, Sunday 18 January 1998. **** The film is one of a kind, still magnetic. One has to adjust to the twisted style to find the strange fascination and the black humour of the film. It is the first great zombie story of the cinema. This Luft / Labenski reconstruction was the best available 15 years ago, although the music and sound effects are best turned off at once. Today one should screen the 1995 Lumière Project restoration.

Saturday, January 17, 1998

Pornographic videos 16 January 1998

The Inferno
100552 / 18 / US / 1995 / Dark, Gregory / / pornography
Inferno, The / Satans slynor. © VCA Labs. A Max’s release. P: The Dark Bros. D: Gregory Dark. CAST: Juli Ashton, Felecia, Darcy McDaniels, Leslie Forbes. 93’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Friday 16 January 1998.

Woodman Casting 1
100553 / 18 / FR / 1997 / Woodman, Pierre / pornography
Woodman Casting 1 / Woodman Casting X 1. © Milcap Publishing Group. A Private release. D: Pierre Woodman. CAST: Blondie, Inna, Julia Channel, Pierre Woodman. 124’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Friday 16 January 1998.

Woodman Casting 2
100554 / 18 / FR / 1997 / Woodman, Pierre / pornography
Woodman Casting 2 / Woodman Casting X 2. © Milcap Publishing Group. A Private release. D: Pierre Woodman. CAST: Aliza, Barbara Doll, Christy, Pierre Woodman. 125’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Friday 16 January 1998.

Woodman Casting 3
100555 / 18 / FR / 1997 / Woodman, Pierre / pornography
Woodman Casting 3 / Woodman Casting X 3. © Milcap Publishing Group. A Private release. D: Pierre Woodman. CAST: Nikky Anderson, Betty, Diana, Pierre Woodman. 124’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Friday 16 January 1998.

Friday, January 16, 1998

Police Investigation 14 Jan 1998

Pintaa syvemmältä
/ 18 / FI / 1992 / Koivisto, Kullervo / pornography
Pintaa syvemmältä. PC: Dawai Corporation. D: Kullervo Koivisto. CAST: Jorma K. Salonen, Ina Uni, Martin Bär, Michelle Brant. Director’s cut. 86’ /25 fps/ PAL. Police investigation. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 15 January 1998.

Russian Sexmachine Rasputin
/ 18 / FI / 1996 / Jylhä, Mikko / / pornography
Russian Sexmachine Rasputin. PC: Reindeer Film Company / Nitoly. D: Mikko Jylhä. CAST: Gregory Smirnov, Alexandra Romanov, Isak Novgorod. 83’ /25 fps/ PAL. In English. Police investigation. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 15 January 1998.

Sabina Story 1
/ 18 / FI / 199- / Jylhä, Mikko / / pornography
Sabina Story 1. PC: Calbourne Trading; Papillon Films. D: Mikko Jylhä. CAST: Sabina, Lynn Lemay, Edwin, Vivian. 75’ /25 fps/ PAL. International cut. In Spanish. Police investigation. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 15 January 1998.

Sabina Story 1
/ 18 / FI / 199- / Jylhä, Mikko / / pornography
Sabina Story 1. PC: Calbourne Trading; Papillon Films. D: Mikko Jylhä. CAST: Sabina, Lynn Lemay, Edwin, Vivian. 85’ /25 fps/ PAL. Finnish cut. In Finnish. Police investigation. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 15 January 1998.

Maistuisiko sexi?
/ 18 / FI / 1996 / Kooma, Kauko / / pornography
Maistuisiko sexi? / Do You Think I’m Sexy? PC: Sexy Sally Video Production. D: Kauko Kooma. CAST: Tiina, Berit, Wilma, Anne, Marco. 71’ /25 fps/ PAL. Dubbed in Finnish. Police investigation. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 15 January 1998.

Euro Clips Doppel
/ 18 / DE / 199- / / / pornography
Euro Clips Doppel / Euroturbo 2. Compilation edited by Sex-Shop Finland. 177’ /25 fps/ PAL. Dubbed in German. Police investigation. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 15 January 1998.

Amatöörivideot 1
/ 18 / FI / 1996 / Jylhä, Mikko / / pornography
Amatöörivideot 1. PC: Calbourne Trading. D: Mikko Jylhä. CAST: Ilona, Virpi, Leena, Sepi, Martin. 81’ /25 fps/ PAL. Finnish commentary. Police investigation. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 15 January 1998.

Teiniorgiat 4 - Kiimainen kesä
/ 18 / FI / 1995 / Koivisto, Kullervo / pornography
Teiniorgiat 4 - Kiimainen kesä. PC: Calbourne Trading. A Seventeen Production release (Amsterdam). D: Kullervo Koivisto. Filmed in Estonia. 75’ /25 fps/ PAL. Finnish commentary. Police investigation. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 15 January 1998.

Pissa Video
/ 18 / FI / 1997 / / / pornography
Pissa Video. PC: PNG Productions. Filmed in Estonia. 56’ /25 fps/ PAL. Police investigation. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 15 January 1998.

Thursday, January 15, 1998

Boogie Nights

100543 / 16 / US / 1997 / Anderson, Paul Thomas / drama
Boogie Nights / Boogie Nights. © New Line Productions. EX: Lawrence Gordon. D+SC: Paul Thomas Anderson. Tracks and performers include ”Boogie Shoes” by K.C. & The Sunshine Band, ”Livin’ Thing” by ELO, ”You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate. CAST: Mark Wahlberg (Dirk Diggler), Burt Reynolds (Jack Horner), Julianne Moore (Amber Waves), Heather Graham (Rollergirl). 152’. Scope. MPAA 34763. Rated R = 17. Finnish titles by Jari Niittylä. DIST: Warner Bros. Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Wednesday 14 January 1998. **** The saga of the California porn movie business from the 1970s to the 1980s. A fast-moving excursion into a soulless, tawdry world. Required viewing for anybody interested in that huge, mysterious, and little explained industry. Great performers, great pop music selections.

Tuesday, January 13, 1998

The Front Page (1931)

072986 / G / US / 1931 / Milestone, Lewis / drama / comedy
Front Page, The / Etusivu uusiksi. PC: Caddo Company. P: Howard Hughes. D: Lewis Milestone. SC: Bartlett Cormack - based on the play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. CAST: Adolphe Menjou (Walter Burns), Pat O’Brien (Hildy Johnson), Mary Brian (Peggy Grant), Mae Clarke (Molly Malloy), Edward Everett Horton (Roy Bensinger), Slim Summerville (Irving Pincus). B&w Early Sound 1,2. 101’ /25 fps/ PAL = 105’ /24 fps/. This film was never released in Finnish cinemas nor on video. Yleisradio TV2 transmitted it in 1996 and again 11 January 1998. Transmission’s 16mm start material had awful definition and poor sound, and the early sound aperture was uglily cropped. Viewed in Helsinki on VHS, Monday 12 January 1998. *** Because of the miserable TV print it was impossible to enjoy the film. But it is evident that this is a superbly acted version of the tough, almost horrifying, Hecht / MacArthur play. This Pre-Code version is probably the toughest of the four films based on the play, and in many ways more daring than the 1940 remake His Girl Friday. It was not such a big step for Hawks to turn Hildy into a woman. Not that Pat O’Brien is at all feminine, but in this version, too, it is obvious that the true love story is between Walter Burns and Hildy Johnson.

Saturday, January 10, 1998

Anastasia

100541 / 8/5 / US / 1997 / Bluth, Don & Gary Goldman / animated
Anastasia / Anastasia. © 20th Century Fox. P+D: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman. SC based on the screenplay by Arthur Laurents for the 1956 20th Century Fox live action motion picture. Finnish voices: Petra Karjalainen, Paavo Kerosuo, Markku Riikonen. 94’. CinemaScope. MPAA 35550. Rated: G. Finnish version. DIST: Columbia TriStar Egmont Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Friday 9 January 1998. *** Breathtaking, sumptuous animated historical fantasy with a strong, temperamental central character and several engrossing setpieces (the runaway train, the butterfly dream). History is played for fairytale as the Russian Revolution is crystallized in the figure of Rasputin as the Mad Monk From Hell. The animation of the fantasy elements is first rate. The human characters are wooden, Anastasia fortunately being more lively. Everybody keeps praising the Finnish dubbing of the animated films, but I find it affected and condescending. Children should not be insulted by talking down to them, on the contrary, the standards should be higher.

Spawn

V-003445 / 16 / US / 1997 / Dippé, Mark A.Z. / fantasy
Spawn / Spawn. © New Line Productions. P: Clint Goldman. D: Mark A.Z. Dippé. Based on the comic book by Todd McFarlane. DP: Guillermo Navarro. FX: Steve ”Spaz” Williams - Industrial Light & Magic. Music selections include performances by Incubus, Marilyn Manson, Prodigy, and Metallica. CAST: Michael Jai White (Spawn), John Leguizamo (Clown), Martin Sheen (Jason Wynn), Theresa Randle (Wanda), Nicol Williamson (Cogliostro), Melinda Clarke (Jessica Priest). 95’ /25 fps/ PAL. MPAA: PG-13. BBFC: 12. DIST: Warner Home Video Finland. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Thursday 9 January 1998. *** An astounding feast of special effects from Industrial Light & Magic, Spawn is full of sound and fury, signifying almost nothing. It is an exhibition of the state of the art of special effects.

Friday, January 09, 1998

The Arrangement

078229 / 16 / US / 1969 / Kazan, Elia / / drama
Arrangement, The / Tilinteko. © Athena Enterprises; Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. P+D+SC: Elia Kazan - based on his novel (Sopimus elämän kanssa in Finnish translation). DP: Robert Surtees. PD: Gene Callahan. CAST: Kirk Douglas (Eddie Anderson), Faye Dunaway (Gwen), Deborah Kerr (Florence Anderson), Richard Boone (Sam Anderson), Hume Cronyn (the lawyer), Harold Gould (the analyst). 125’. Scope. MPAA 22184. SEA / Warner Bros. print with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Christina Kilpi / . Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Wednesday 8 January 1998. *** The film definitely gains being seen within a week from America, America. Its protagonist is on his deathbed now, and we follow the life of his son. It’s ”about a man whose entire life is a series of phoney arrangements: his marriage, his work, his sexual escapades and his friendships”, to quote the synopsis of the BFI CD-ROM. Kazan’s ultra sharp dialogue is delivered with gusto by top performers. The film is marred by clumsy and overdone satire, awkward hallucinations and flashbacks, and irritating experiments without style of any kind. In many ways it’s terribly dated, but still retaining a sense of epic vision, especially in the context of America, America. Together they are a great counterpart to the Godfather trilogy.

Thursday, January 08, 1998

Eurodisc Playlist for 14.64.12

100536 / G / US etc. / 1997 / various / / music video
Eurodisc Playlist for 14.64.12 / Musiikkikooste 14-64-12. Compiled by Pioneer Video Manufacturing. DIST: Ulkokaupat Oy. Laserdisc. Projected at VET, Helsinki, Wednesday 7 January 1998.
Natalie Imbruglia: Torn ***
Brand New Heavies, The: You’ve Got A Friend **
Rolling Stones, The: Anyone Seen My Baby? ***
Puff Daddy: It’s All About The Benjamins ***
Sly & Robbie Featuring Simply Red: Night Nurse **
Depeche Mode: Useless **
Joe Cocker: N’oubliez jamais qui tu es **
Jimmy Ray: Are You Jimmy Ray? **
Smash Mouth: Walkin’ On The Sun **
Barbra Streisand & Celine Dion: Tell Him *

German Natdisc Playlist for 16.24.12

100535 / G / DE etc. / 1997 / various / / music video
German Natdisc Playlist for 16.24.12 / Musiikkikooste 16-24-12. Compiled by Pioneer Video Manufacturing. DIST: Ulkokaupat Oy. Laserdisc. Projected at VET, Helsinki, Wednesday 7 January 1998.
Cappuccino: Du fehlst mir *
Lutricia McNeal: Ain’t That Just The Way **
Nana: He’s Comin’ *
Rhapsody, The, Featuring Warren G. & Sissel: Prince Igor **
Eros Ramazzotti: Quanto amore sei **
Touché: I Want You Back… **
Future Breeze: How Much Can You Take ***
Savage Garden: To The Moon And Back **
Refugee Camp All Starts Featuring Pras: Avenues **
Trademark: I’ll Be The One **

Tuesday, January 06, 1998

Eurodisc Playlist for 10.40.01

100590 / G / US etc. / 1998 / various / / music video
Eurodisc Playlist for 10.40.01 / Musiikkikooste 10-40-01. Compiled by Pioneer Video Manufacturing. DIST: Ulkokaupat Oy. Laserdisc. Projected at VET, Helsinki, Thursday 5 February 1998.
Bryan Adams: Back To You **
U2: MOFO **
Janet Jackson: Together Again ***
Steven Houghton: Wind Beneath My Wings **
Boyz II Men: A Song For Mama **
Bobby Brown: Feelin’ Inside **
Shola Ama: Who’s Loving My Baby **
Louise: Let’s Go Round Again **
Genesis: Shipwrecked *
Steps: 5,6,7,8 *

Italian Legacy

100524 / 18 / IT / 1997 / Clark, Christophe / pornography
Italian Legacy / Gaia Private 4 - Italian Legacy. PC: Milcap / Private / Max’s. D: Christophe Clark. CAST: Monica, Petra, David Perry, Jonathan Morgan. 88’ /25 fps/ PAL 1,66. English version, Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection Helsinki, VET, Monday 5 January 1998.

Reporter

100525 / 18 / FR / 1997 / Clark, Christophe / pornography
Reporter / Private Gold 18 - Reporter. PC: Milcap / Private / Max’s. D: Christophe Clark. CAST: Christophe Clark, Katarina Martinez, Violetta, M. Foster. 94’ /25 fps/ PAL. English version, Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection Helsinki, VET, Monday 5 January 1998.

Sex Voyage

100526 / 18 / FR / 1997 / Woolf, Jürgen / / pornography
Sex Voyage / Private Gold 19 - Sex Voyage. PC: Milcap / Private / Max’s. D: Jürgen Woolf. CAST: Susan, Dina Jewel, Jack Slater, Zoltan Hess. 91’ /25 fps/ PAL. English version, Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection Helsinki, VET, Monday 5 January 1998.

When the Night Falls (1997)

100527 / 18 / FR / 1997 / Woolf, Jürgen / / pornography
When the Night Falls / Private Gold 25 - When the Night Falls. PC: Milcap / Private / Max’s. D: Jürgen Woolf. CAST: Jade, Lenox, Roberto Malone, Philippe Dean. 90’ /25 fps/ PAL. English version, Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection Helsinki, VET, Monday 5 January 1998.

Private Stories 19 - Upstairs

100528 / 18 / / 1997 / / / pornography
Private Stories 19 - Upstairs. PC: Milcap / Private / Max’s. CAST: Katalyn. 82’ /25 fps/ PAL. English version, Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection Helsinki, VET, Monday 5 January 1998. Six episodes: Witchcraft, Upstairs, Ballgames, In the Picture, The Carpenter’s Workshop, Lucky Day.

Private Stories 26 - Unlimited

100529 / 18 / / 1997 / / / pornography
Private Stories 26 - Unlimited. PC: Milcap / Private / Max’s. CAST: Beata. 94’ /25 fps/ PAL. English version, Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection Helsinki, VET, Monday 5 January 1998. Six episodes: Make Some Room For Me, Forest Gang, Unlimited, Celia, Champagne Shower, Vivienne & Nicolette.

Private Stories 27 - Galactic Girls

100530 / 18 / / 1997 / / / pornography
Private Stories 27 - Galactic Girls. PC: Milcap / Private / Max’s. CAST: Angelica, Regina. 76’ /25 fps/ PAL. English version with Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection Helsinki, VET, Monday 5 January 1998. Six episodes: Amongst Three, The Pool, Galactic Girls, The Lover, The Dancer, The Sadist Chamber.

Triple X 29

100531 / 18 / / 1997 / / / pornography
Triple X 29. PC: Milcap / Private / Max’s. 96’ /25 fps/ PAL. English version with Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection Helsinki, VET, Monday 5 January 1998. Seven episodes: Where’s the Waitress, Eniko, Sandra, Rescue in Hawaii, The Antique Car, Backstage In Italy, Just Not Married.

Triple X 30

100532 / 18 / / 1997 / / / pornography
Triple X 30. PC: Milcap / Private / Max’s. 96’ /25 fps/ PAL. English version with Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection Helsinki, VET, Monday 5 January 1998. Seven episodes: Clarisse, Leather Lady, Nikky Anderson, We’re Not Gay, The Gynecologist, Backstage In Australia, Holiday Massage.

Triple X 31

100533 / 18 / / 1997 / / / pornography
Triple X 31. PC: Milcap / Private / Max’s. CAST: Erica Bella. 100’ /25 fps/ PAL. English version with Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection Helsinki, VET, Monday 5 January 1998. Seven episodes: Lingerie Design, Dominator, Don’t Mess With The Mob, Picking Flowers, Nastasy, Report From Costa Brava, What A Birthday.

Triple X 32

100534 / 18 / / 1997 / / / pornography
Triple X 32. PC: Milcap / Private / Max’s. 95’ /25 fps/ PAL. English version with Swedish subtitles. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS projection Helsinki, VET, Monday 5 January 1998. Seven episodes: The Ambulance, Angelica & Laura, South Africa, Home Sweet Home, Leader, Barcelona Erotic Film Festival, The Cabine.

Monday, January 05, 1998

Sokko

A-027826 / G / FI / 1997 / Koskinen, Susanna / documentary essay
Sokko / Blindfolded. © Kinotar Oy. P: Lasse Saarinen. D+SC+artwork: Susanna Koskinen. DP: Jouko Seppälä, Susanna Koskinen. Sound: Pietari Koskinen, Jaakko Nousiainen. ED: Mika Taanila. FEAT: Jyri Autio. 45’ /PAL/. DIST: Kinotar Oy. VHS projection in Helsinki, VET, Wednesday 4 February 1998. *** Jyri Autio was born blind. The film is a story of his quest of vision. The film itself is visionary, worth repeated viewing because of the exquisite blend of images and sounds.

Nosferatu

011586 / 12 / DE / 1922 / Murnau, F.W. / / horror
Nosferatu. Eine Symphonie des Grauens / Nosferatu (video, TV). PC: Prana-Film. D: F.W. Murnau. SC: Henrik Galeen [based, unauthorized, on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker]. DP: Fritz Arno Wagner. AD+CO: Albin Grau. CAST: Max Schreck (Count Orlok, aka Nosferatu = Dracula), Gustav von Wangenheim (Hutter = Jonathan Harker), Greta Schröder (Ellen Hutter = Mina), Alexander Granach (Knock = Renfield), John Gottowt (Bulwer = Van Helsing). Silent b&w toned, cinema M by Hans Erdmann. 1967 m /18 fps/ 95’. Restored version by Enno Patalas / Munich Film Museum. Image and music edited by ZDF. Finnish TV premiere Yleisradio TV2. Finnish subtitles by Marja Hannula. Viewed in Helsinki, Sunday 4 January 1998. **** Still haunting. This restored version is incomparably better than the one that was available before the 1980s. Maybe they could correct the instability of light definition. This is maybe the fifth different score I hear to Nosferatu. This music is no worse than the others, but I was grateful for the opportunity to turn it off. The film becomes more compelling in total silence. It has a strong structure, rhythm and harmony of its own. Perhaps a master composer could succeed with a soundtrack. Tod Browning’s Dracula had little music except the theme from Tshaikovski’s Swan Lake. Carl Th. Dreyer’s Vampyr, which has almost no dialogue at all, has an overwhelming score by Wolfgang Zeller. It’s either way. No compromise works.

Ivanhoe

037002 / 12 / GB / 1952 / Thorpe, Richard / romance / adventure
Ivanhoe / Ivanhoe (TV) / Ivanhoe - musta ratsastaja (cinema). PC: MGM British Studios. P: Pandro S. Berman. D: Richard Thorpe. SC: Noel Langley - based on the novel (1819) by Walter Scott. DP: Freddie Young. PD: Alfred Junge, Roger Furse. M: Miklos Rozsa. CAST: Robert Taylor (Ivanhoe), Elizabeth Taylor (Rebecca), Joan Fontaine (Rowena), George Sanders (De Bois-Guilbert). 107’. Technicolor. MPAA Production Code Seal 15505. Yleisradio TV2 PAL transmission. Viewed in Helsinki, Sunday 4 January 1998. **** In the same league with the Curtiz / Flynn The Adventures of Robin Hood. Excellent production with stirring cinematography, design and music. The actors relish their chivalrous / villainous dialogue. The emphasis on the antisemitic persecution and the witch-hunt trial fuels the story with authentic passion. Elizabeth Taylor (the Gentile who converted to Judaism in 1959) is hauntingly beautiful as Rebecca, maybe the all-time greatest Jewish princess. Her eyes burn a trace of profound accusation.

Sunday, January 04, 1998

Kuningasjätkä

A-027824 / G / FI / 1998 / Pölönen, Markku / drama / comedy
Kuningasjätkä / A Summer By the River. © Fennada-Filmi. P: Kari Sara. D+SC: Markku Pölönen. DP: Kari Sohlberg. ”Yö kerran unhoa annoit” performed by Olavi Virta. CAST: Pertti Koivula, Simo Kontio, Esko Nikkari, Anu Palevaara, Peter Franzen, Sulevi Peltola, Vesa Mäkelä, Heikki Kujanpää. 85’. 1,85. DIST: Fennada-Filmi. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Tuesday 3 February 1998. *** In the mid-1950s in Eastern Finland the logrollers drive a large raft of logs along the river. The recently widowed Tenho joins them with his ten year old son. He becomes everyone’s laughing stock. The comedy of the hopelessly clumsy logroller’s turning into the King of the River is in homage to the Buster Keaton formula, which is a good act to follow. The humour is completely original, though. I still prefer Onnen maa (Land of Love), but this is a first rate entertainment film, certain to become the blockbuster of the year in Finland in competition with Titanic.

Saturday, January 03, 1998

Alien Resurrection

100570 / 16 / US / 1997 / Jeunet, Jean-Pierre / science fiction
Alien Resurrection / Alien - ylösnousemus. © 20th Century Fox. D: Jean-Pierre Jeunet. SC: Joss Whedon - based on characters by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. DP: Darius Khondji. CAST: Sigourney Weaver (Ripley), Winona Ryder (Call). Scope. DIST: Columbia TriStar Egmont Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Monday 2 February 1998. *** Fascinating expansion of the slowly evolving Alien saga. Two hundred years later, Ripley has been cloned. A bunch of pirates invade the space station where the alien species is being recreated. Among them is Call, who is revealed to be an android. More horror than science fiction, the film belongs to the best in recent memory. The whole does not make a lot of sense, but the individual images are striking, indeed.

Zazel

100513 / 18 / USA / 1997 / Mond, Philip / / pornography
Zazel / Zazel. PC: Metro Pictures Inc. A Max’s release. D: Philip Mond. CAST: Sasha Vinni, Gina LaMarca, Nikie St. Gilles. 127’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS big screen projection Helsinki, VET, Friday 2 January 1998.

Sex (1994)

100514 / 18 / USA / 1994 / Ninn, Michael / / pornography
Sex / Sex. PC: VCA Labs. A Max’s release. D: Michael Ninn. CAST: Sunset Thomas, Tiffany Million, Gerry Pike, Jon Dough. 103’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS big screen projection Helsinki, VET, Friday 2 January 1998.

Lollipop Shoppe

100515 / 18 / USA / 199- / Powers, Ed / / pornography
Lollipop Shoppe / Smått och gott / Pikkumakeaa. PC: Ed Powers / Sin City Entertainment. A Max’s release. D: Luc Wilder. CAST: Lexi Eriksson, Stephanie Swift, Tom Byron, Bret Singer, Ed Powers. 82’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS big screen projection Helsinki, VET Friday 2 January 1998.

Babewatch 7

100516 / 18 / USA / 1996 / Adams, Buck / / pornography
Babewatch 7 - Babewatch Nights / Babewatch 7. PC: Sin City Entertainment. A Max’s release. D: Buck Adams. CAST: Amber Lynn, Holly Body, Buck Adams, Alec Metro. 61’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS big screen projection Helsinki VET Friday 2 January 1998.

Erotic Visions

100517 / 18 / USA / 1995 / Grant, Cameron / / pornography
Erotic Visions / Venus. PC: Ultimate Pictures. A Max’s release. D: Cameron Grant. CAST: Jessica James, Tammy Parks, Olivia, Jen Teal. 90’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS big screen projection Helsinki VET Friday 2 January 1998.

Cover To Cover

100518 / 18 / USA / 199- / Armstrong, Brad / pornography
Cover To Cover / Sexobjekt. PC: Wicked Pictures. A Max’s release. D: Brad Armstrong. CAST: Jenna Jameson, P.J. Sparxx, Mark Davis, Gerry Pike. 83’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS big screen projection Helsinki VET Friday 2 January 1998.

Antonio & Cleopatra

100519 / 18 / IT / 1996 / D’Amato, Joe / / pornography
Antonio & Cleopatra / Cleopatra. PC: Butterfly Motion Pictures. D: Joe D’Amato. CAST: Olivia Del Rio, Nicolette, Hakan Serbes, Francesco Mal Com. 94’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS big screen projection in Helsinki, VET, Friday 2 January 1998.

Mask

100520 / 18 / US / 1993 / Thomas, Paul / / pornography

Mask / Wow! PC: Vivid Video. D: Paul Thomas. CAST: Lene Hefner, Brittany O’Connell, Mark Davis, Nick East. 74’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS big screen projection Helsinki, VET, Friday 2 January 1998.

Rock’n’Roll Rocco

100521 / 18 / IT / 1997 / Siffredi, Rocco / / pornography

Rock’n’Roll Rocco / Backstage. PC: Rocco Siffredi Productions. D: Rocco Siffredi. CAST: Rocco Siffredi, Rosa Caracciolo, Anita Blond, Anita Dark. 109’ /25 fps/ PAL. DIST: Obsession Oy. VHS big screen projection in Helsinki VET Friday 2 January 1998.

Friday, January 02, 1998

America America

069715 / 16 / US / 1963 / Kazan, Elia / / drama

America America / The Anatolian Smile / America America. © Athena Enterprises Corporation. P+D+SC: Elia Kazan - based on his novel. DP: Haskell Wexler. PD: Gene Callahan. M: Manos Hadjidakis. CAST: Stathis Giallelis (Stavros Topouzoglou), Frank Wolff (Vartan Damadian), Paul Mann (Aleko Sinnikoglou), Linda Marsh (Thomna Sinnikoglou), Katherine Balfour (Sophia Kebabian). B&w Academy. 168’. MPAA Production Code Seal 20621. SEA / Warner Bros. print with fine definition, Finnish / Swedish subtitles. Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Thursday 1 January 1998. **** Close to perfection, this a great drama of the emigration to America. It is 1896 in Turkey, where the Christian Greeks are oppressed by the Turkish Moslems. Stathis has to endure trials of Biblical dimensions to get to Ellis Island. He is robbed, beaten, shot, embezzled by a whore, almost wed for money, taken to a rich lady passenger’s lover, and finally almost driven mad. He tries his hand at various professions, from a carpet merchant to a shoeshine boy. The deep focus cinematography and the production design are profoundly authentic. Manos Hadjidakis provides another stirring score. The film is let down by the flat English-language dubbing and the lack of authentic background sounds. Stathis Giallelis is fine but the role would have needed to be filled by someone with the charisma of Brando.

Thursday, January 01, 1998

THE BEST OF 1997

The Best New Films Released In Finland In 1997
Ridicule
Le cinquième élément / The Fifth Element
When We Were Kings

The Best Old Films Released In Finland In 1997
La ley del deseo / The Law Of Desire
The Killer
Bullet In the Head

The Best Re-Releases In Finland In 1997
Star Wars Trilogy The Special Edition
Vertigo, restored version
Lady and the Tramp
Le Mépris / Contempt, restored version

The Best Finnish Films Of 1997
Today / Tänään (Eija-Liisa Ahtila)
Underwater Iceland / Vedenalainen Islanti (Marko Röhr)
Minerva (Simo Halinen)
David - Tales Of Honor and Shame / Daavid - tarinoita kunniasta ja häpeästä (Taru Mäkelä)

Bubbling Under - Worth Seeing
Shine
The English Patient
Surviving Picasso
Mars Attacks!
Cold Comfort Farm
Mother Night
One Fine Day
The Crucible
Private Parts
Batman & Robin
Donnie Brasco
Kolja / Kolya
Contact
Basquiat
Microcosmos

The Best Video Premiere of 1997
The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh / Nalle Puh (Walt Disney 1965 - 1977)

The Best Television Movie of 1997
Le Violon de Rothschild (Edgardo Cozarinsky)

The Best New Film at the Finnish Film Archive in 1997
Marcello Mastroianni: mi ricordo si io mi ricordo

The Best Film Event of 1997
Le Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone. Comparable to what opening the Dead Sea Scrolls means to a Biblical scholar. The first films of Friese-Greene (1890). The first definitive Edison retrospective. The first complete Griffith retrospective launched. The Birth of A Nation restored with an astounding symphony orchestra accompaniment.

Coming Attractions of 1998 examined in 1997
Titanic - true grandeur and nobility in the best blockbuster of the 1990s
Event Horizon - the best horror film of the year
Double Team - the best action film of the year: Tsui Hark, Van Damme and Dennis Rodman

Films One Was Supposed To Like in 1997
Lost Highway, Lone Star, L.A. Confidential, Sling Blade, (1998:) U Turn

The Spy In Black

V-003434 / G / GB / 1939 / Powell, Michael / war / spy

Spy In Black, The / Kaksoisagentti. PC: Harefield Productions; Alexander Korda. EX: Alexander Korda. D: Michael Powell. SC: Emeric Pressburger - based on the novel by J. Storer Clouston. PD: Vincent Korda. M: Miklos Rosza. CAST: Conrad Veidt (Captain Hardt), Valerie Hobson (Joan the Schoolmistress / spy). B&w Academy. 79’ /25 fps/ = 82’ /24 fps/. DIST: Finnkino. A timecoded PAL VHS big screen projection in Helsinki, VET, Wednesday, 31 December 1997. *** The first collaboration of the dynamic duo Powell & Pressburger. They were brought together by Alexander Korda, who had been developing this project before either were called. This is the first Finnish release of the film, never seen in Finnish cinemas, television, or video distribution before. It was not banned during WWII, but would have had it been submitted to the Finnish Film Chamber. The story takes place in Scotland during WWI in 1917. Conrad Veidt the German submarine captain meets Valerie Hobson the British contraband. It would probably look great on film. A part of Finnkino’s great Alexander Korda package to be released on video, this belongs to their true discoveries.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

100510 / 16 / US / 1997 / Gillespie, Jim / / horror

I Know What You Did Last Summer / Tiedän mitä teit viime kesänä. PC: Mandalay Entertainment. D: Jim Gillespie. SC: Kevin Williamson - based on the novel by Lois Duncan. Music selections include performances by Kula Shaker, Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Offspring. CAST: Jennifer Love Hewitt (Julie James), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Helen Shivers), Ryan Philippe (Barry Cox), Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Ray Bronson). 102’. Scope. MPAA 35237. Rated R = 17. BBFC: 18. Finnish subtitles by Janne Staffans. DIST: Columbia TriStar Egmont Finland. Viewed in Helsinki, VET, Wednesday 31 December 1997. *** Strong horror picture follows the formulae of the slasher subgenre, but is distinguished by the interesting characterizations of the quartet of young friends. There is honesty and authentic detail in their relationships. This is why I prefer this film to Scream, which bored me with its would-be cleverness. The performances are fine, the suspense is well-built, the last two reels lose all depth, and the soundtrack selections are first rate.