Saturday, May 07, 2011

Elokuu / [August]

Augusti. FI © 2011 Bronson Club. EX: Jukka Helle, Markus Selin. P: Jesse Fryckman. D: Oskari Sipola. SC: Oskari Sipola - from an original idea by Harri Paananen - incorporating Shakespeare's sonnets 46 and 73. DP: Joonas Pulkkanen - Cameras: Canon 5D Mark II (B Camera), Canon 7D (second unit), Red One Camera - cinematographic process: digital - 2.35:1. PD: Heini Kervinen. Cost: Jenni Rousu. Makeup: Hanna Minkkinen. M: Joel Melasniemi. S: Karri Niinivaara. ED: Antti Reikko. LOC: Espoo, Helsinki, Joutsa, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kemijärvi, Kirkkonummi, Mäntyharju. CAST: Eppu Pastinen (Aku), Lina Turkama (Juli), Zagros Manuchar (Freda), Niina Koponen (Erika), Pihla Viitala (Johanna), Ilkka Heiskanen (father), Henrika Andersson (mother), Juha Lagström (Hannu), Markku Maalismaa (Risto), Heikki Ranta (Timppa), Timo Torikka (Eero), Matleena Kuusniemi (Sari), Jaana Joensuu (Sointu), Mika Kurvinen (Kalle). 111 min. Distributed by Nordisk Film. In Finnish with some Swedish with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Aretta Vähälä / Saliven Gustavsson, Shakespeare translations Aale Tynni / C.R. Nyblom. DCP 2K viewed at Tennispalatsi 4, Helsinki, 7 May 2011

"That time of year thou mayst in me behold" is one of the Shakespeare sonnets read to each other by the young summer lovers, perhaps surprisingly as it is about an old man reflecting on young love. Oskari Sipola has made his debut feature film about the first summer of the young man after the ylioppilastutkinto (matriculation examination after high school, necessary for starting academic studies in a university) and before military service. His pregnant girlfriend leaves for the summer to an Interrail trip via St. Petersburg. Aku (Eppu Pastinen) is like a sleepwalker, profoundly confused, and at a Midsummer party he gets stone drunk and wakes up at home with a strange girl, Juli (Lina Turkama). Nothing has happened because Aku has passed out. He gives her a lift home, but gets carried away to an all-summer road adventure with her with no destination, losing car, money, and telephone on the way. Aku is the son of a well-to-do family, and Juli says that his problem is that he does not realize with how big a silver spoon in his mouth he was born. The story structure is familiar, from Ingmar Bergman's summer love films for instance, and there is no problem with that, as it is a good structure. Another point of comparison is Something Wild with Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels. Oskari Sipola invests the movie with personal feeling and observation, and I predict that Elokuu will have lasting value at least in our country. I keep wondering what one should think about Aku's prim character, which is reinforced towards the end. And what about the wild ones, Aku's best friend Freda (Zagros Manuchar) and Lina who completely explodes Aku's regular life albeit just for the summer? All the grown-ups seem disenchanted.

The digital cinematography is clean, sharp and restrained. There is sometimes a subdued and low-contrast look. Not bad, but the feeling is digital. Warmth is difficult in 2K.

No comments: