Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Toivo Kärki and Reino Helismaa in the 1950s. Museovirasto.
Repe ‒ sirpaleita Reino Helismaan elämästä / Fragments of the Life of Reino Helismaa. FI 1979. PC: Yleisradio / TV1 / Viihdetoimitus. P: Erkki Pohjanheimo. D+SC: Peter von Bagh. DP: Antero Virta, Pauli Laalo. S: Pekka Heinonen. ED: Paavo Eskelinen. Featuring: Reino Helismaa, Esa Pakarinen, Toivo Kärki, Tapio Rautavaara, Regina Sjöholm, Tamara Dernjatin, Ossi Runne, Olavi Virta, Matti Louhivuori, Jorma Ikävalko, Metro-Tytöt. First telecast: 22.2.1979 Yle TV1 ‒ VET A-25259 ‒ S ‒ colour + b&w, 1,37:1 ‒ 63 min
    "Fragments from the life of Reijo Helismaa. A cinematic portrait of a great figure of entertainment."
    Risto Jarva Prize at Tampere Film Festival 1980.
    Vhs release: 1985 Yleisradio / Tallennepalvelu.
    Yle Export digibeta viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (Peter von Bagh), 28 Aug 2013

Reino Helismaa (Repe, 1913-1965) was a Finnish writer, entertainer, comedian, singer, songwriter, lyricist, composer, actor, and screenwriter. He wrote some 5000 song lyrics, 1500 of which were recorded. Many of his songs have become evergreens. He also wrote many popular radioplays.

Peter von Bagh's tv movie is a tribute to the great entertainer, told by Repe's best friends and compagnons, full of memorable songs, covering important aspects such as - the lure of Lapland - the rillumarei phenomenon of lowbrow farce - touring life on the road - teaming with Tapio Rautavaara - teaming with Toivo Kärki the genius songwriter - teaming with Ossi Runne the bandleader - the incredible speed - the Wild West in the comic radioplays - voracious reading of the best poets: Asunta, Jylhä, Leino, Shakespeare - the secret sources of a great sense of humour - he was a shy guy deep down - the popular tradition of jätkä, reissumies: the tramp, the vagabond, the lumberjack, "Me tulemme taas" - he was a country boy fundamentally.

The key to von Bagh's story is the friendship of Tapsa and Repe, based on a deeply moving account by Tapio Rautavaara, perhaps with aspects of "print the legend" for instance in the unforgettable deathbed story.

The autumn landscape, filmed for Repe, has a Tarkovskyan quality. "Repe ei oo enää". "Repe is no more".

Visual quality: digibeta from a 1979 tv production.

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