Monday, September 15, 2008


Jon / Jon. FI (c) 1983 Tambur Film. P+D+ED: Jaakko Pyhälä. SC: JP, Heikki Vuento. DP: Pertti Mutanen - colour: Agfa-Gevaert - Technovision 1:2,35. M: Antti Hytti. Sound: Paul Jyrälä, Matti Kuortti - Dolby Stereo. Starring Kari Väänänen (Jon), Vesa-Matti Loiri (Öljys-Heikki), Pia-Beate Tellefsen (Gunilla), Anne-Beate Odland (Susanne de Wrees, film producer-director), Vesa Vierikko (Dietmar), Helena Lindgren (waitress). 127 min. In Finnish, partly in Swedish and Norwegian with Finnish subtitles. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 14 September 2008. - In the presence of Matti Kuortti, interviewed by Markku Varjola. MK told about the extreme conditions of film-making in the Far North in the autumn storms, with hail raining upwards the hill, the ferry line precarious to the island of Vuoreija / Vardö. The Technovision equipment was heavy, the scope format was the sound engineer's dream, this was the second or third film in Finland in Dolby Stereo. Loiri stayed in costume also outside the shooting, and he surprised the local yuppies with his skill at pool. They never got to enter the game. - The print did justice to one of the best examples of cinematography in Finnish cinema, with the haunting light of Lapland, shot by the Barents Sea, Nordkap. There is a pleasant warmth in the sunlight. - I saw this film for the first time. Visually it's striking and original, it has a true vision, and there are several strong and memorable visual ideas to the sequences. The bar, the art exhibition, the escape in the rain, the Hakaniemi square, the military exercises in the fog, Ivalo, the Barents Sea, the Island of Vardö. - The brilliant images keep coming, but the film is going nowhere. - This is one of the Finnish films (the first?) where a large vintage white Cadillac convertible serves as the escape vehicle. - Conceived first as an "account of the end of the world", and subsequently as "a young man's odyssey" it displays strong visual talent but the basic feeling is confused. - Kari Väänänen as the chaotic Jon has a tough anti-hero attitude. No nice guy, he beats women, is rude, his speech is ugly. He has the makings of a gangster. Yet he protects a child from her mother, and in women he attracts sympathy that he does not deserve. - The main content of the protagonists' lives is wandering, drinking and fighting. There are gunfights, and finally the gangsters on Dietmar's trail find him. Jon survives. - The women are attractive, their parts underwritten. - Although set in the cod fishing milieu, there is little sense of fishing and the industry linked with it.

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