Saturday, August 04, 2012

Miss Farkku-Suomi / Miss Blue Jeans

Miss Farkku-Suomi [Swedish title]. FI © 2012 Periferia Productions. P: Outi Rousu, Markku Flink. D+SC: Matti Kinnunen - based on the novel (2003) and the album (2001) by Kauko Röyhkä. DP: Peter Flinckenberg - camera: RED - resolution: 2K. PD: Saara joro. Cost: Tiina Wilén. Makeup and hair: Marjut Samulin. M: Kauko Röyhkä (songs and lyrics): "Koulun portilla", "Cooperin testi", "Disko-Datsun", "Miss Farkku-Suomi", "Teiniunelma". M performed by Torttu [a band created for the movie, inspired by Narttu] with Mikko Neuvonen (voc, guitar), Elias Gould (bass), Olavi Uusivirta (perc) and Flash with Mikko Neuvonen (voc, guitar). Kuusrock festival 1977 reconstruction with Aija Puurtinen (from Honey B & T-Bones) with Moses Hazy. M arranged, dramaturgy, selections, manager: Riku Mattila. Score composer: Fredrik Viklund. Songs by Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground cleared by Ivan Chandler. Further songs: New York Dolls, "The Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet, Three Degrees, "Aamu" (comp. Markku Henrik Johansson, Pepe Willberg, lyr. Vexi Salmi) perf. Pepe Willberg, "Bony Moronie" by Larry Williams. ED: Jyrki Keränen. C: Mikko Neuvonen (Välde), Sanni Kurkisuo (Pike, Miss Blue Jeans Finland), Elias Gould (Sasu, the bassist) - Misa Lommi (Anki, the new wave girl, Sasu's girlfriend), Mikko Virtanen (Partanen, the Datsun man), Olavi Uusivirta (Karhila, the drummer) - Pirkko Hämäläinen (Välde's mother), Maria Ylipää (Kara, the painter), PK Keränen [of 22Pistepirkko] (Ana, the manager), Ville Myllyrinne (Heikinoja, the gymnastics teacher), Juha Kukkonen (Sasu's dad). Loc: Oulu. 96 min. Released by Oy Nordisk Film Ab. 2K DCP without Swedish subtitles viewed at Tennispalatsi 2, Helsinki, 4 August 2012 (premiere weekend).

Today at the Kinopalatsi the box office staff was wearing Madagascar wigs, and at Tennispalatsi there were Madagascar characters hugging children. This week I have noticed for the first time the new Finnkino logo based on the zeroes and ones motif with the watchwords "unique", "digital".

Synopsis: the year 1977 in the city of Oulu. Välde is a schoolboy, 17 years old, a son of a working class single mother. He is inspired by Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground and also by Patti Smith, New York Dolls, Captain Beefheart and David Bowie (Low). He does not feel at home at the disco where the music is "The Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet. He is attracted to Pike, the most beautiful girl in the class, elected Miss Blue Jeans by the hugely popular Suosikki magazine. In another party Pike picks up Välke at night and invites him to thin ice, but fortunately the water level is shallow. Together with Sasu Välde starts a band called Torttu [= Sweetie Pie, a reference to the female love organ]. They are aware of punk and the new wave (Suicide, Clash, The Sex Pistols) but keep their distance to it. They also distance themselves from the night of the acoustic music inspired by Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Välde writes his own kind of songs about the Cooper test, the Disco Datsun (the car in which Partanen plays the romantic song "Aamu" to soften girls) and Miss Blue Jeans, and they are successful at the Rattori club. When Sasu's new wave girlfriend invades the band Välde is forced to join Flash which is planning to play rock and roll standards at the Kuusrock festival, but instead Välde pushes his own songs which are received with enthusiasm. Välde feels he is not mature enough to date Pike, and Kara, a 30-something woman artist (whom Välde compares to Nico), becomes his reluctant mentor and initiator in affairs with the opposite sex. On the other hand, Katja, Pike's 13-year old little sister, becomes Välde's platonic friend and mediator to approach Pike.

Kauko Röyhkä (born 1959) is a talented rock musician (singer, songwriter, guitarist, band leader) who has released 26 albums since 1980. He is also an author who has published 12 prose works and five other books since 1980. Miss Blue Jeans is his semi-fictional "portrait of the artist as a young man". In the movie adaptation there is a lot of accurate reconstruction of the music, disco, club and festival scene around the city of Oulu in 1977.

Miss Blue Jeans is a fine rock film, coming of age story and period movie. It is an original account of the agony of growing up and being young and unexperienced. There is grim realism and a humoristic bite in its study of working class circumstances (the drab factory and the cramped room shared by mother and son) but no miserabilism. A main theme is the contrast between conformism (the Miss Blue Jeans phenomenon) and non-conformism.

Several forces of conformism are confronted. There are the teachers of the school where Välde startles everybody with his outrageous essay on the ugliness of his hometown. Worse are his schoolmates who keep bullying Välde and try to make him stay like everybody else. Välde rejects leftists because of their group pressure, and he also rejects the right-wingers because of their idealization of American style consumerism. They only see the surface of Miss Blue Jeans, but Välde is attracted to Pike's soulful, dream-inspiring side.

The way the theme is handled is not simplistic. For everybody discovering one's true identity is a personal battle. Välde is hopeless in the Cooper test, but having decided to become a rock artist he starts to exercise in his own way. The story contains original reflections on the phenomena of idols and stars (Miss Blue Jeans vs. Välde) and how the teenage dreams of rock lyrics can be a foundation for poetic observation.

A theme in the movie is the prominent presence in Oulu of Lutheran fundamentalism, the movement of Laestadianism with its literal prohibition of the image, including movies, television and illustrated magazines, and all sinful phenomena such as dancing. Two little boys from the Laestadian home next door sneak into Välde's home to watch Westerns on tv, to listen to Lou Reed albums and to borrow a catalogue of the Anttila mail order company to see images of ladies' underwear.

A motif of the movie is the telephone. Välde's mother cannot afford one, and Välde visits a telephone booth to listen to the waiting signal of the telephone in order to tune the A major string of his guitar. When he starts to earn money with his gigs he buys a telephone to his home and leaves a call me message to Pike's home, Pike having boarded a bus to Kemi. But the image of Pike behind the rain-soaked bus window will remain the last Välde will have of her.

The visual quality of the presentation was of the currently dominant transitional less than brilliant definition, probably from a digital intermediate of 2K or less.

Full music credits beyond the jump break:
Elokuvan musiikkisuunnittelija Riku Mattila

Säveltäjä / composer Fredrik Viklund
Muusikot / musicians Gothenburg Radiophonic Workshop Ensemble:
Anders Lindström
Fredrik Normark
Jonas Gustafsson
Henrik Alsér
Fredrik Viklund
Sovitus/ arrangement GRW Ensemble
Musiikin äänitys ja miksaus Fredrik Viklund & Henrik Alsér
Studio Gothenburg Radiophonic Workshop Studios

KAUKO RÖYHKÄN musiikki
Uudet sovitukset ja tuotanto Riku Mattila
Äänitys ja miksaus: Mikko Raita
Finnvox B / Studio Kekkonen / HIP-studiot

Musiikkikappaleet:
MISS FARKKU-SUOMI
KOULUN PORTILLA
DISCO DATSUN
TEINIUNELMA
säv Röyhkä, Huldén, Kling, Vikkula, san Röyhkä
esittää Mikko Neuvonen & Jesper Geitel, Heikki Pajunen, Heikki Pajunen, Onni Toikka, Oula Yliperttula

COOPERIN TESTI
DISCO DATSUN
säv Röyhkä, Huldén, Kling, Vikkula, san Röyhkä
Esittää Mikko Neuvonen & Elias Gould, Olavi Uusivirta

YHDELTÄ VIIMEISTÄÄN POIS GO-GO
Säv. & san. Kauko Röyhkä
Esittää Misa Lommi & bändi Elias Gould, Olavi Uusivirta, Aatu Hokkanen

SPOTLIGHT QUEEN
Säv & san, Fredrik Normark
Esittää The Goat Boys

DISCO QUEEN
Säv, san, sov, esittää The Goat Boys

GOIN NOWHERE BLUES
Säv, san, sov, esittää The Goat Boys

VÄLDE’S BLUES
Säv, san, sov, esittää The Goat Boys

Lou Reed -musiikin lisensiointi ja neuvottelut / The Lou Reed music licences were negotiated by
Ivan Chandler, Musicalities Ltd, UK

VENUS IN FURS
Esittää / performed by Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground
Courtesy of Island Def Jam
courtesy credits for EMI Music Publishing,
Under license from Universal Music Operations Limited

MEN OF GOOD FORTUNE
Esittää / performed by Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground
Courtesy of EMI Music Publishing and Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd

BALLROOM BLITZ
Säv. & san. Chinn & Chapman
esittää Sweet
courtesy by Sony Music Ent. Finland Oy
Under license from Warner Chappel Scandinavia

PERSONALITY CRISIS
Säv. David Johansen & Johnny Thunders
suom. sanat Matti Kinnunen
sov. Riku Mattila
Esittää Mikko Neuvonen & Elias Gould, Aatu Hokkanen, Topi Hannula
Under licence from Warner Chappel Scandinavia

HANGAROUND
Säv. Aija Puurtinen
San. Esa Kuloniemi
Sov. Aija Puurtinen, Esa Kuloniemi, Jaska Lukkarinen
Esittää Aija Puurtinen & bändi Moses Hazy

AAMU
säv. Pepe Willberg & Markku Johansson
san. Vexi Salmi
sov. Markku Johansson
esittää Pepe Willberg
Poptori 2008

WHEN WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN
Säv. & san. Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff.
Esittää The Three Degrees
Courtesy by Sony Music Ent. Finland Oy
Under license from Warner Chappel Scandinavia

BONY MORONIE
säv. &  san. Larry Williams
Esittää Mikko Neuvonen & Jesper Geitel, Heikki Pajunen, Onni Toikka, Oula Yliperttula
Courtesy by Sony ATV/Media Publishing Scandinavia

VICTIMS OF PARADISE
Säv, sov, esittää Unchained
Courtesy by Janne & Ljudbang AB

WE SHALL OVERCOME
säv, & san. Trad.
Esittää Hannu Sepponen & Rauhalan hipit

TEINIUNELMA
säv. Röyhkä, Huldén, Kling, Vikkula, san Röyhkä
Sov. Riku Mattila
esittää Sanni Kurkisuo, akustinen kitara Riku Mattila

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