Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tarkastaja / [The Inspector]

FI © 2011 AV-Heltech / Riskifilmi. P: Anssi Mänttäri, Pentti Kasurinen. D+SC: Anssi Mänttäri. Poems: J.K. Ihalainen. DP: Heikki Katajisto. Cost: Suvi-Marja Korvenheimo. M: Asko Mänttäri, Antero Priha. S: Matias Hakala, Petri Varpiola. ED: Sampo Laine, Paavo Virtanen. Cast: Niko Saarela, Eeva Putro, Anna-Maija Tuokko, Kari Hietalahti, Matti Onnismaa, Jukka-Pekka Palo, Anssi Mänttäri, J.K. Ihalainen, Antti Litja, Leena Uotila, Tom Pöysti, Juuso Hirvikangas, Aake Kalliala, Mervi Herranen, Jari Sedergren. A Riskifilmi DCP viewed at Cinema Lapinsuu, Sodankylä (Midnight Sun Film Festival), 16 June 2011.

In the presence of Anssi Mänttäri, hosted by Eero Tammi: Usually the subject dictates the style. Now the style came first. There is a surrealistic touch, with something like automatic writing. I don't know what a subject-matter is. But there has to be some kind of a structure. My films are about the haahuilijat [drifters] and the others. It's about a controlled chaos. It's about that all the others win in the lottery.

From Lauri Timonen's catalogue notes: "A surrealistic tragicomedy with an undercurrent of Godardian detective stories especially in the key of Alphaville. An insurance inspector played by Niko Saarela is given a desperate mission of establishing what happened to the accounting books of a certain company. As he continues his investigations it soon looks more and more certain that they have been burnt to the last ledger, but oddly enough everyone he meets seems to tell a different version of the events. The film glows in deep red hues, taking the spectator to the borderline of dream and reality amidst fatal women and soulless cronies of the business world. The film's dialogue, consisting primarily of cryptic but weighty sentences, has a flow stronger than truth. The bar still provides a (sort of) home to those who come, and the adventures of the small-time bureaucrat in the monument of capitalist structures bigger than himself never lack Kafkaesque touches. There is a fundamental trust in cinematic licence in Mänttäri's grungy directorial sound, and he does not set question marks between realism and poetry. The inspector learns to know many faces of humanity during his quest, and even the heat of romance is not necessarily farther than a lottery jackpot away."

Anssi Mänttäri's first [released] cinema feature film in seven years, his [second] digital film. His cinema is largely based on faces, and that central aspect looks fine in digital. There is a brighter colour palette than before, but not in a jarring way. [Corrections in square brackets based on Anton Asikainen's remarks.] [Joensuun Elli was shot digitally but released on 35 mm film. Tarkastaja was also screened from a DCP.]

It was close to midnight. I hadn't slept much the night before and not at all the night before that, and I fell asleep during the film, so I need to see it again.

1 comment:

Anton Asikainen said...

Small corrections: Tarkastaja is Mänttäri's first r e l e a s e d film in seven years. He has three other features almost ready, of which I have seen Musta koira olkapäällä (otherwise finished, but with the soundtrack unpolished) well over a year ago. Also, Joensuun Elli was shot digitally, then printed on 35 mm.