Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Noidan kirot (cinema concert)

The Curse of the Witch. FI 1927. D: Teuvo Puro. 2070 m /22 fps/ 76 min. The 1995 restored version by SEA>KAVA, tinted and toned print. Cinema concert at the Finlandia Hall (seating 1700). Premiere of the new music by Tapio Tuomela, conducted by Jan Söderblom, performed by the Radio Symphony Orchestra (at an assembly of 70 players). 27 Oct 2010. - This was my best experience of Noidan kirot whose themes are fascinating: the ancient tension between the Sami aboriginals and the Finns, the terrible family secret, and the restless presence of the lumberjacks. Unfortunately the clumsy and uninspired direction of Teuvo Puro fails to realize the potential of the powerful story. In his hands even the prominent actors seem lost. Now the new music Tapio Tuomela contributes essentially to the drive of the film and helps make much more sense of the undercurrents of the story. It is modern concert music but not too modernistic for this old-fashioned story in which he has appreciated the timeless elements. After the show the composer and the conductor commented discreetly on the editing: whenever there is a climax, there is an abrupt cut to an intertitle related to the next scene. They kept feeling the urge to re-edit the film to prolong the climaxes and give more space to the music. - It would be possible to tour this music with smaller assemblies. - The music was recorded live, and Noidan kirot with Tapio Tuomela's new music will be transmitted at YLE Teema on the Finnish Independence Day, 6 Dec 2010.

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