Saturday, August 24, 2013

Katsastus / [The Inspection]

FI 1984. PC: Yleisradio / TV1 / Televisioteatteri. P: Hannu Kahakorpi. D: Matti Ijäs. SC: Joni Skiftesvik - dramatized by Matti Ijäs and Timo Torikka - based on the short stories "Vanha mies" (1983), "Näprääjä" (1983), and "Katsastus" (1985) by Joni Skiftesvik - published in the collections Viltteri ja Mallu (2003) and Katsastus (2010). DP: Pauli Sipiläinen. AD: Paula Salonen. Cost: Outi Harjupatana. M: Antti Hytti. "My Way", "Blue Suede Shoes", "Nuoruusmuistoja" ("on arkea elomme tää"), "Not Fade Away". S: Martti Miettinen. ED: Pipsa Valavaara. C: Vesa Vierikko (Viltteri), Sulevi Peltola (Öövin), Markku Maalismaa (Junnu), Kaija Pakarinen (Mallu the wife), Taneli Mäkelä (the priest), Olli Pellikka (iskelmälaulaja / the pop singer), Tuula Nyman (keeper of the hot dog stand), Veikko Kerttula. - The car: Hillman Minx (1958). - Loc: Tornionjokilaakso. First telecast 1.9.1988 Yle TV1 (Kunnon Kino) - video release: 1989 Yle Tallennepalvelu - VET I-01564 - S - 56 min. Yle Tallennepalvelu digibeta screened at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (The Short Story and the Cinema seminar), 24 Aug 2013

Elonet synopsis: "An optimistic tragedy about three ageing bachelors, Viltteri, Öövin, and Junnu. Viltteri takes his sweetheart Mallu to wed, but the wedding party is interrupted by the imminent urgency to rush to the birth clinic. Viltteri has to remain with his other "sweetheart", a 1958 Hillman Minx motorcar which breaks down in an embarrassing moment. On the Swedish side of the border it might be possible to pull the car inspection off."

This television movie by Matti Ijäs has become an authentic Finnish cult movie. Many know it by heart, and it is being repeatedly shown in video and dvd evenings.

This tragicomical and deeply felt story has an affinity with the 1950s classics by Federico Fellini (I vitelloni, La strada, Le notti di Cabiria). There is a sadness, a sense of humour, and a profound, irrepressible sense of vitality in the account of people who have remained in the marginal, and whom the world of the successful may regard as losers. Yet we are them and they are us.

This is an actor-, performance- and character-driven story.

I have been intrigued by the cinema's obsession with the cancelled wedding. This account of a cancelled wedding party comes close to that territory.

Video quality.

No comments: