Sunday, November 04, 2007

Family Meeting

Family Meeting / Family Meeting. Finland (c) 2007 Mokul Filmi. A documentary on the 2oth anniversary concert of Wentus Blues Band. Video>35 mm. Locations: Kokkola; The Alexander Theatre, Helsinki. 83 min. In Swedish and English. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Janne Staffans. Released by FS Film. Viewed on Saturday, 3 November 2007, in Kinopalatsi 8, Helsinki.
WENTUS BLUES BAND:
Juho Kinaret (vocals, percussions)
Niko Riippa (guitar)
Robban Hagnäs (bass, background vocals)
Kim Vikman (guitar)
Pekka Gröhn (keyboards)
Mikael Axelqvist (drums)
SPECIAL GUEST STARS:
Eddie Kirkland
Louisiana Red
Lazy Lester
Mick Taylor
Kim Wilson
Sven Zetterberg
Clas Yngström
Barrence Whitfield
Omar Dykes
Eric Bibb
Documenting the blues experience that can transcend the borders of continents.

01: Intro Scoremusic: Going To The Sho
02: Moonshine
03: You Gonna Make Me Cry
04: Since I Been Loving You (feat. Sve Zetterberg)
05: I Got To Go (feat. Sven Zetterberg
06: Passenger Blues (feat. Kim Wilson)
07: Pick Up The Pieces (feat. Sven Zet Erberg)
08: Lonesome Fugitive
09: Angel Blues (feat. Omar Dykes)
10: Stop Twisting My Arm (feat. Barren E Whitfield)
11: Cyhmk (feat. Mick Taylor)
12: Intro Scormusic: Eddie Arrives
13: I Heard The Angels Singing (feat. Ric Bibb)
14: Down The Line
15: Looking For Trouble (feat. Kim Wil On)
16: Hold That Note (feat. Clas Yngströ )
17: Annie Lee (feat. Barrence Whitfiel & Eddie Kirkland)
18: Blind Willie Mctell (feat. Mick Ta Lor)
19: Backroom Delta
20: Ride On Red (feat. Louisiana Red)
21: Raining In My Heart (feat. Lazy Le Ter)
22: Biscuit Roller (feat. Clas Yngströ & Barrence Whitfield)
23: Outro Scoremusic: Great Final

Du levande

Sinä elävä / You, the Living. Sweden (c) 2007 Roy Andersson Filmproduktion and six other companies. P+D+SC: Roy Andersson. 92 min. Finnish subtitles by Anitra Paukkula. Released by Cinema Mondo. Viewed on Friday, 2 November 2007, at Maxim 2, Helsinki. Roy Andersson's fourth feature film in his 40-year career. His unique style has a resemblance to early cinema: long shots, long takes, no camera movement, depth of field, faces heavily made up. There is a strange pallid light in the film. Andersson's is a personal version of surrealism, with absurd things happening in mundane surroundings. One could compare his film with a collection of poems. This one has a motto from Goethe's Roman Elegies:
Therefore rejoice, oh thou living one, blest in thy love-lighted homestead
Ere the dark Lethe's sad wave wetteth thy fugitive foot
Andersson's observations are on the depressive side, yet permeated with humour. The audience laughed a lot, in the right places.

Sicko

Sicko - aivan sairasta / Sicko. USA (c) 2007 Dog Eat Dog Films. A documentary by Michael Moore. Video>35 mm. 123 min. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Janne Mökkönen / Ditte Kronström. Released by FS Film. Viewed on Friday, 2 November 2007, at Kinopalatsi 10. Heavy video look. There has been a backlash against Michael Moore during the last couple of years. He has been accused of fraud. As his issues are good, he should take care. I loved this film, it's a strong and provocative pamphlet on U.S. health care. For an European viewer, it's frightening. The film is so well made, one does not notice how long it is. Heavy video look I don't like on the screen, but the film is other ways very cinematic. In his sense of humour and provocation and as a character of his own films Michael Moore belongs to the great tradition of Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut. The audience reaction was strong as usually in Moore's films.

ON DVD AND BLU-RAY

During the two-year break of this diary I have seen more films than ever. Besides covering Cinema Orion, commercial premieres and various film festivals I started to take dvd seriously. In 2006 I checked some 500 dvd's, typically during long Saturday evenings, screening some two dvd's per week at the correct speed and the rest with fast-forward, paying attention to the extras. Recently I have been convinced that BluRay and HD-DVD are the perfect home-viewing formats and the first home video formats that I might consider collecting. I have no vhs or dvd collection, as I don't trust in their durability. The recent years have been those of full maturity of the dvd phenomenon with excellent transfers and editions. Comparing three different transfers of popular dvd titles the most recent ones are always evidently superior.
Yet the cinema experience is not threatened, it's something else to see a movie in the cinema. My favourite example is the Titanic: in the cinema, we are in the big ship, bigger than us; at home, at the remote control, we sink the little ship, smaller than us. In the cinema, there is a sense of space, of atmosphere, a sense of air. I was surprised recently to see some excellent chamber pieces by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and A Letter to Three Wives) in the cinema for the first time. I had seen them previously on video / tv only, and now they were different and much more intensive because of the sense of atmosphere on the big screen. There are also fine nuances that may get lost if the film is not seen on screen. And in many best films, the nuances are the point.
Unfortunately the visual standards of new cinema films are at their lowest ever because of the current practices for digital intermediates. There is a huge loss of information in current digitization. A digital image may look sharp, but it usually eliminates most of the detail that borders on the invisible. If one looks at a perfect 70mm print for instance, no single frame might be as ultra-sharp as a digital image, but instead there is a much stronger and fuller sense of life and atmosphere: air, breath, heat, dust, smoke, fog, small particles that may blur the contours. Real life is not ultra sharp and completely defined. The strength of the photochemical image is something bigger than sharpness: it can give a sensual feeling of life and infinity.