Friday, March 30, 2012

Kohta 18 / Almost 18

Snart 18. FI © 2012 Huh-Huh -Filmi. P+D+AD+Cost: Maarit Lalli. SC: Maarit Lalli, Henrik Mäki-Tanila. DP: Jan Nyman, Rauno Ronkainen, Harry Räty - camera: Canon 5 D/7D SLR - resolution at all stages 1920 x 1020 (source: Maarit Lalli, Petteri Linnus, 16.4.2012). Makeup: Anu Rokkanen. M: Kepa Lehtinen. Sportscaster on hockey cd: Antero Mertaranta. S: Pasi Peni. ED: Maarit Lalli, Jenny Tervakari. Loc: Helsinki (Ullanlinna: Kapteeninpuistikko, etc.).
    C: Henrik Mäki-Tanila (Karri), Karim Al-Rifai (André), Anton Thompson Coon (Pete), Ben Thompson Coon (Joni), Arttu Lähteenmäki (Akseli), Mari Perankoski (André's mother), Elina Knihtilä (Karri's mother), Hannu-Pekka Björkman (Pete's father), Tarja Heinula (Pete's mother), Niina Nurminen (Joni's mother), Mats Långbacka (Joni's stepfather), Ilari Johansson (Akseli's mother). 85 min.
    Original in Finnish with some Swedish with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Hannele Vahtera. Released by Nordisk Film, 2K DCP viewed at Tennispalatsi 6, 30 March 2012.

From the production information: "KARRI, 17, takes his last driving lesson with his own taxi-driver mother as the teacher. She wants to discuss serious things in life. The wheel turns into the wrong direction right on the home yard. Finland loses in ice-hockey to Sweden again, and mother smells alcohol in her son's breath.

PETE, 17, soothes his girlfriend who has taken an abortion pill. Guilt for killing a living being does not leave Pete in peace.

ANDRÉ, 17, has to pick up his little brother from the kindergarten for the third time this week. Mother is again "working extra hours". After midnight mother comes home stone drunk and with a colleague from her workplace in her arms.

AKSELI, 17, heads off to spend a weekend in the country with his grandparents who have, unbeknownst to Akseli, invited his father, an ex-alcoholic. Father and son take off deer-hunting in the forest, in a tiny hunters' hideaway where silence has to be total.

JONI, 18, has a summer job at the Linnanmäki amusement park as a wolf who attracts all teenage girls to his furry arms. After hours Joni freelances as a stripper for grown-up ladies to finance his drug habits.

AA: A serious but humoristic multi-character study about five boys growing-up, about to become men. There are interesting observations about contemporary life. Most of the families are broken and the struggling parents have difficulty giving good guidance. Like in Vuosaari the stories are developing into dark directions but the concluding vignettes are more optimistic. Karri for the first time helps his mother to assemble furniture. Pete's parents (the only intact family in the movie) are getting a new baby. André takes care of his little brother. Akseli's father has drowned on a fishing trip, and Akseli inherits his father's knife. Joni the wolf comes home drunk and says he is afraid.

The harridan theme is pronounced in contemporary Finnish cinema but not in the reality of my experience. In the first story Elina Knihtilä gets to play a harridan taxi driver and in the last story it's Niina Nurminen's turn to interpret a harridan mother-wife. I always wonder in these stories why the husband does not get out, and here the stepfather (Mats Långbacka) starts to do so but then the wife regrets. Women are disappointed by men and turn into harridans. No wonder that families get broken.

In the 2K DCP presentation the close-ups, the medium shots and the interiors were fine, and the exteriors were shot in such a way that the digital limitations were not visible for long.

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