Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Taulukauppiaat / The Painting Sellers

FI 2010. PC: Elokuvayhtiö Oy Aamu Ab. P: Jussi Rantamäki, Auli Mantila. D: Juho Kuosmanen. SC+DP: J-P Passi - shot on Super 16 mm - 35 mm print processed as a Cinevator print from a HD master - 16:9. S: Pietu Korhonen. ED: Jussi Rautaniemi. DD. Cast: Teppo Manner (Toni), Tuomas Airola (Emppu), Auli Mantila (Luukkonen, a painter). 58 min. Distributed by Pirkanmaan Elokuvakeskus. A SES screener dvd with English subtitles by Anne Aho viewed at home, 18 Jan 2011

Taulukauppiaat has been nominated for five Jussi Awards (best picture, director, female lead, screenplay, and art direction), but I had not yet seen the film that only received a limited release.

Taulukauppiaat has already won the Cinéfondations prize in the Cannes Film Festival.

The official presentation:
"It's almost Christmas, but sales are no good.
There are cracks in the collaboration, and it's freezing all the time, but never mind.
The biggest problem, you know, is how to cope with an emerging friendship"

A wintry road movie about three losers, a painter (Auli Mantila), a young driver (Teppo Manner) and a salesman (Tuomas Airola) who try to make ends meet in the countryside of Northern Finland. There are affinities with the films by Matti Ijäs, and the Kaurismäki Brothers. The vision of the cold and windy periphery is captured via a handheld camera in cinéma vérité style. We really get to see a lot of the vapour of the people breathing in the cold. The painter fears cancer. The film deals with big issues of mortality, marginalization, and loneliness. The memorable final encounter of Luukkonen and Toni at the restaurant testifies about the power of friendship.

Juho Kuosmanen reports in an e-mail today that the low contrast look of the movie is intentional.

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