Saturday, December 08, 2012

Robin (2012)

Robin. FI © 2012 Solar Films Inc. EX: Jesse Fryckman. P: Jukka Helle, Oskari Huttu, Markus Selin. D: Inari Niemi. SC: Inari Niemi, Oskari Sipola. DP: Joonas Pulkkanen. DCP: Post Control. M: from Robin's albums Koodi (2012) and Chillaa (2012) - record label: Universal Music Group - songs see beyond the jump break. S: Juha Hakanen. ED: Oskari Sipola. Narrator: Inari Niemi. Featuring: Robin Packalen, Jimi Constantine, Niko Koivuhovi, Minna Koivisto, Samuel Johansson, Krippe. Locations: see beyond the jump break. 82 min. Released by Nordisk Film with Swedish subtitles by Markus Karjalainen. 2K DCP viewed at Tennispalatsi 2, Helsinki, 8 Dec 2012.

A documentary on the 13-14 year old Robin (Robin Packalen, *24 August, 1998) who became a huge pop star when his single "Frontside Ollie" was released on 16 January 2012 in iTunes. Robin is also a sportsman interested in sailing, taekwondo, rollerskating and downhill skiing. He has always loved singing, and he also plays the piano and the guitar. In 2008 Robin won the song contest Staraskaba, and in 2009 he was the representative of Finland in the New Wave Junior song contest in Moscow, singing his interpretation of Europe's "The Final Countdown".

"Frontside Ollie" refers to a skateboard trick. Despite the title the song is in Finnish.

From the production information: "Robin is a movie about an ordinary schoolboy in an extraordinary situation: a feature film, two albums, four singles, four music videos and dozens of wild gigs during the same year! How does it feel to perform for a crowd of thousands of fans who know the lyrics to every song? How does it feel when the girls are screaming your own name? Can one get used to clicking mobile phone cameras and autograph seekers? How does it feel when you get to do what you have always wanted to do? The documentary follows Robin's sold-out summer tour and the rushed production of a new album while Robin himself wants to participate increasingly in songwriting." (My translation.)

An engrossing documentary on the breakthrough of a Finnish teenage pop artist and his first big tour. Robin is a sunny person and a born performer. I even thought for a moment about the young Al Jolson and the wonderful Tex Avery parody about him: "I Love To Singa". There is the similar irresistible quality of a born entertainer in the 13-14 year old Robin. It seems that Robin is being well taken care of, and there is in him a great promise of a long and happy career.

A hallmark of the best tour documentaries is the understanding of the artist's rapport with the audience. That is why I like David Mallet's documentaries with AC/DC, Tina Turner, U2, and many others. Inari Niemi has created an affectionate fan movie about Robin. It is a video tour diary and scrapbook but it is also well structured: it is the story of a development and also a story about the facing of the crisis of the voice break just in the middle of the breakthrough. The conclusion is particularly engrossing. We can feel the warmth between Robin and his audience, his touching the hands of the fans in the front row and the special feature of young mothers with babies on their shoulders visiting the concert. Robin is seen as a life force, as an emanation of the joy of life.

I do not exactly belong to the target audience, but I was impressed by the pure and strong quality of Robin's voice. He really can sing, and I look forward to what he will have to offer.

The visual quality of the presentation: compilation quality.

ROUGH NOTES: - Inari Niemi: her voice is strongly present as the friendly and admiring narrator. - X-ray footage of Robin in her mother's womb. - A montage from Robin's early childhood. - When I sang "Lapin kesä" ["In Lapland the summer blossoms very quickly"] people hushed down. - I loved to sing. - Robin swims and does the ski. - Staraskaba: Robin Packalen, 9 years. - Kristin Meurman. - Video diary. - "The milling crowd". - I: Kim Kuusi. - Moscow: New Wave Junior. - Flashback: Aikakone: Maki Kolehmainen. - ♪ "The Final Countdown", Rossiya 1 TV. - "It sounded too right to be true." - I: Hannu Sormunen. - Robin sings in English, Russian, Finnish, and Italian. - Record label: Universal. - Comparison: Justin Bieber. - I: Jimi Pääkallo: Robin was supergood, timidly polite. - Hannu Sormunen left the label - did not know what to do with Robin - ♪ "Räjäytät mun pään" ["You blow my mind"] "sydämeni on villi levoton" ["my heart is wild and restless"] - Robin doing somersaults - ♪ "Frontside Ollie" - the huge internet success, two million downloads in less than a week - Fan documentation - the promotional tour - Loc: Espoo: Sello mall - mobile phone video footage - the screaming fans - the album sold quadruple platin - the foundation of the success is solid: the parents, the team, the class mates - this 13 year old can take it - feng shui - this guy is a born performer - Robin and Samppa - the first song of his own - "drawn" letters and texts comment on the images - Samppa is the best friend - Robin has changed surprisingly little - he is not a kite - touring: Lahti, Jyväskylä, Kaarina, Kalajoki - Krippe: guitar - Nikko: drums - Minna: bass - Sotkamo - ♪ "Räjäytät mun pään" - you cannot conserve this energy - bass, treble, white noise - somersaults - rain - grass - writing and developing tunes - sailing images - Imatra to Helsinki - Peacock flash mob - the "like" page on the net - the voice break is imminent and starts to take place - no one knows how it will turn out - the key of all the songs has been lowered - ♪ "Faija skitsoo" ["Dad is freaking out"] - the sea of mobile phone cameras - sing along - I did not think it would be a girl thing - boys started to disparage - flash mob - negative feedback on Facebook - "we don't want Frontside Ollie" - ♪ "Chillaillaan" ["Chilling Out"] - he is constantly renewing himself - Robin doing his own beatboxing - Loc: Aitoo, Turku - sports montage: like benji jumps, sailing - for the first time for an older audience - I: Toni Wirtanen - somersaults - Loc: Iisalmi, Jämsä - I: Lauri from The Rasmus - "some day I'll do everything myself" - sports: trampolines - backwards 180° - Loc: Kotka - the voice breaks - ♪ "Huominen saa odottaa" ["Tomorrow can wait"] - ♪ "Hiljainen tyttö" ["The quiet girl"] - ♪ "Ihan helmi" ["Quite a pearl"] - I: Aija Puurtinen, the voice coach - Loc: Pori - ♪ "Kun nuoruus päättyy" ["When days of being young come to an end"] "en pelkää" ["I'm not afraid"] - sports: mölkky [a traditional Finnish game of throwing wooden pins, with a slight affinity to the petanque type of games] - three tracks from the forthcoming album - how songs are made - Loc: Hämeenlinna - "everybody is walking calmly" - little children love Robin - Robin shakes hands with fans - ♪ "Puuttuva palanen" ["Missing Piece"]: "a piece is missing from my heart" - ♪ "Chillaillaan": "viikonloppu alkaa" ["the weekend is beginning"] - the new songs are good, better than the old ones - I: Brädi - life is now, not in memories - beautiful conclusion - the hands of the fans in the front row are raised, and Robin caresses them all - skateboard - ♪ "Haluun sun palaavan" ["I want you to come back"].

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