Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Le Clan des Siciliens / The Sicilian Clan

Le Clan des Siciliens. Alain Delon (Roger Sartet), Jean Gabin (Vittorio Manalese), Lino Ventura (inspector Le Goff).

Sisilialaisklaani / Sicilianska klanen. FR © 1968 Les Productions Fox Europa, Les Films du Siècle. P: Jacques-Eric Strauss. D: Henri Verneuil. SC: Verneuil, José Giovanni, Pierre Pelegir – based on the novel by Auguste Le Breton (1967). DP: Henri Decaë – Panavision – Eastmancolor. PD: Jacques Saulnier. COST: Hélène Nourry. M: Ennio Morricone. ED: Pierre Gillette.
    Starring: Jean Gabin (Vittorio Manalese), Alain Delon (Roger Sartet), Lino Ventura (inspector Le Goff), Irina Demick (Jeanne Manalese), Amedeo Nazzari (Tony Nicosia), Sydney Chaplin (pilot). 124'.
    A vintage 35 mm print with fine definition of colour and Swedish subtitles by Olle Ekelund.
    Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 31 May 2005.

Henri Verneuil and his trusted star team (Gabin, Delon, Ventura) at their best. It's a big caper story where the Sicilian family located in Paris plans an ingenious heist of the top secure jewelry collection at Rome's Villa Borghese to be transported to New York. They hijack the plane to a highway construction site as all NYPD are waiting for them at La Guardia. The weakness of Delon for women in general and the voluptuous charms of Irina Demick in particular does for them what the united police forces of France, Italy and the USA cannot. Designer Saulnier and cinematographer Decaë are at the top of their game. There's an elegant confidence and a sure sense of timing in Verneuil's touch right from the beginning as Delon's flight from the police prison car is detailed. There is a master of mise-en-scène to be discovered in Verneuil's best films. Yes, the crooks are impossibly glorified. Gabin to Ventura: "On y va". To his grandson: "Pas ce soir".

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932)

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932). Maureen O'Sullivan (Jane Parker), Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan).

Tarzan, viidakon valtias / Tarzan, djungelns konung. US © 1932 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. P: Bernard Hyman. D: W. S. Van Dyke. SC: Cyril Hume – dialogue: Ivor Novello – based on the characters by Edgar Rice Burroughs. DP: Harold Rosson, Clyde De Vinna. PD: Cedric Gibbons. ED: Ben Lewis, Tom Held. Sound: Douglas Shearer. Wrangler: Bert Nelson.
    Starring: Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan), Maureen O'Sullivan (Jane Parker), C. Aubrey Smith (James Parker), Neil Hamilton (Harry Holt). 99'.
    An intact, somewhat duped, 35 mm print with Finnish / Swedish subtitles.
    Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 29 May, 2005, at the family viewing performance.

I intended to check the start only, but the film is so gripping, I stayed till the end. It still is an excellent jungle fantasy. Everything borders on the caricature, but it works, as there is a sense of wonder all through the picture. For the child, it's an exciting adventure (it's not for the very youngest, as the climax in the giant gorilla pit is quite grim); for the grown-up it's a vision of the Garden of Eden where Tarzan and Jane rediscover what Adam and Eve did. Yes, the blacks are depicted with racism, but also the whites are caricatured as greedy, whip-wielding, insensitive "civilized savages" who do not understand the jungle. They find the elephants' burial ground in the end, and there Jane's father finds his final place to rest. There is a sense of nobility in Tarzan's mutual help network of the jungle, and there is grandeur in the final view as Jane decides to stay with Tarzan, and the sole surviving white ivory-hunter is seen leaving empty-handed.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Eichmann und das dritte Reich / Eichmann and the Third Reich

Eichmann ja kolmas valtakunta / Eichmann och det tredje riket.
     CH 1961. PC: Praesens Film AG (Zürich). P: Lazar Wechsler, in association with Artur Brauner.
    D+SC: Erwin Leiser, in association with Miriam Novitich. DP of new footage: Emil Berna. ED: Hans Heinrich Egger. Original length (Filmportal) 2460 m / 90 min. Finland: 2290 m / 84 min
    A vintage 35 mm print, compilation quality with good definition in the new footage, with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Aito Mäkinen / Bengt Pihlström.
    Viewed at Orion, 26 May 2005.

Still an exceptional Holocaust movie focusing on one Nazi criminal. It starts in a Jewish cemetery to the sound of a Kaddish. We hear Hitler shouting that the day will come when the ten commandments, the curse of Sinai, will be replaced by the law of nature. The curse of so-called morality will perish in the immortal battle of the survival of the fittest.

Cut to Jerusalem in 1961: video images of Adolf Eichmann's trial. His career is tracked down from 1933 to the present. The anti-semitic propaganda of the Third Reich is documented in great detail. The Nazi euthanasia programme is documented. Eichmann's role in Austria after the Anschluss, in Czechoslovakia, and in occupied Poland is examined. He was the "Referent der Judenfrage", the expert of the Jewish question in the Gestapo.

Leiser handles with care the antisemitic Nazi propaganda imagery, the real story in the looks of the victims forced to pose for their tormentors. A great deal of the footage is little known even now; the images are both shocking and surprising. New footage includes bland video images from the Eichmann trial and good interviews with three survivors, from the Warsaw Ghetto Yitzhak Zuckermann and Zibia Lubetki, and from Treblinka, Jakov Wiernik.

To the end, Eichmann denies having been more than a little civil servant following the Führerbefehl. He could not even bear the sight of blood, he "had not the makings of a doctor". He was a new kind of murderer, one that kills by signature, an instance of transference of guilt on a world-historical scale. The film would deserve to be better known. Essential in the debate on Holocaust deniers, Holocaust evidence and Hitler's orders. He shouts his aim here loud and clear.

La notte di San Lorenzo / The Night of the Shooting Stars

Tähtikirkas yö / Stjärnklar natt . IT 1981. PC: RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, Ager Cinematografica. P: Giuliani G. De Negri. D+SC: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani. DP (1,66, colour, Agfa): Franci Di Giacomo. PD: Gianni Sbarra. M: Nicola Piovani; Verdi: Requiem; Wagner: "O du mein holder Abendstern". ED: Roberto Perpignani. Location: Tuscany.
    CAST: Omero Antonutti (Galvano Galvani), Margarita Lozano (Concetta), Claudio Bigagli (Corrado), Massimo Bonetti (Nicola), Norma Martelli (Ivana). 108'.
    A vintage 35 mm print, mediocre definition, with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Eija Pokkinen / Maya Vanni.
    Viewed at Orion, 26 May 2005.

During the retreat of the Germans in WWII the inhabitants of the Italian town San Martino flee during the night fearing a retribution which does indeed occur, during a service in the church, of all places. This is the story of the flight of a group of people of all ages. On a field they meet the partisans and join them, having to change names in the process. The story culminates in the final battle with the Fascists, where former friends slay each other. The news of liberation are received in pouring rain. There are several dimensions in this historical epic: it is a study of society in extreme transformation; strangers become bedfellows, friends become mortal enemies. History blends with legends from the Classical Age as all is seen through the memory of a six year old girl who now tells a bedtime story to her own little daughter. The famous image of the Fascist impaled by a dozen spears is a fantasy of the little girl.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Yhden miehen sota traileri

One Man's War trailer. FI 1973. PC: Filminor. D: Risto Jarva. 3'. A brilliant 35mm print. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. Trailer to the film of the quixotic enterprise of Erik Suomies and his earth mover on the construction sites of Finland.

Finlandia Katsaus 680

Finlandia Journal 680. FI 1964. 1. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The burial of Unto-Pekka Martikainen, the first Finn to die in the line of duty in the peace corps.

Finlandia Katsaus / Finlandia Journal 678 (1964)

Finlandia Katsaus / Finlandia Journal 678 (FI 1964). The first group of soldiers of the Finnish UN battalion leaving for Cyprus on a Hercules transport aeroplane of the U.S. Air Force at the end of April 1964. Old porcelain exhibited at Kunsthalle Helsinki. Flea market at the Ateneum Art Museum. Exhibition of the Work Efficiency Institute at the Exhibition Hall in Helsinki. Annual exhibition of the Finnish Association of Camera Clubs. Päijänne motorcycle race. Exploding bananas: acetylene gas explosion in a banana ripening room in Helsinki.

Finlandia Journal 678. FI 1964. 1'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The Finnish UN Battalion arrives in Cyprus on a Hercules plane.

Tulilahden murhenäytelmä / The Tragedy of Tulilahti

Tulilahden murhenäytelmä / The Tragedy of Tulilahti (FI 1959). A Suomen Filmiteollisuus newsreel also available at Yle Areena. The visual quality of the 35 mm print is superior to this photograph.

FI 1959. PC: Suomen Filmiteollisuus. SC: Arno Carlstedt, Niilo Ihamäki. DP: Olavi Tuomi, Veikko Mård. Narrator: Ihamäki. 11'. A fine 35 mm print. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The gruesome double murder of two girls from Jyväskylä in Tulilahti in August 1959 was never solved. The meticulous investigation processes are documented here as is the funeral which was an event for national mourning. There is a detailed content protocol of the newsreel at Elonet.

Finlandia Katsaus 498

Finlandia Journal 498. FI 1961. PC: Suomi-Filmi. 3'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The first big aviation disaster in Finland on 3 January 1961 in Koivulahti with 25 casualties.

Kuurilan junaonnettomuus

The Kuurila Train Disaster. FI 1957. PC: Suomi-Filmi. 2'. A beautiful 35mm print. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The worst after-war train disaster in Finland on 15 March 1957 with 26 left dead and 48 injured. The newsreel was ready for screening the next day.

Sinä olet Punainen Risti

You Are the Red Cross. FI 1957. PC: Suomi-Filmi. D: Harry Lewing. SC: Gunnar Rosén. 11'. A good 35mm print. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The 80th anniversary of the Finnish Red Cross is an ambitious and fascinating chronicle covering all aspects of the organization's activity, currently also helping Hungarian refugees in Austria.

Risto Rytin viimeinen matka

The Last Journey of Risto Ryti. FI 1956. P: Olle Åkerblom. DP: Åkerblom, Antero Rautio. Narrator: Martti Silvennoinen. A 35mm print with good definition. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The burial of the wartime President of Finland (1940-1944) was a major national event.

Finlandia Katsaus 290

Finlandia Katsaus 290. FI 1956. PC: Suomi-Filmi. DP: Niilo Heino. Narrator: Hugo Ahlberg. 8'. A 35mm print with good definition. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The 1956 general strike in Finland: many exciting views and situations, including violent long shots of the "gasoline war" where the mounted police rides into a crowd of people.

Finlandia Katsaus 389

Finlandia Journal 389. FI 1958. PC: Suomi-Filmi. 2'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The newsreel on the murder of the policeman Kautto with interesting footage on the extensive searches.

Finlandia Katsaus 252

Finlandia-katsaus 252 (FI 1954). The funeral of the nine children who died in the fire of the Kangasala kindergarten. My screenshot from Elonet.

Finlandia Journal 252. FI 1954. PC: Suomi-Filmi. 2 min. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The fire of the Kangasala kindergarten claimed nine casualties of children under seven.

Finlandia Katsaus 220

Finlandia Journal 220. FI 1953. PC: Suomi-Filmi. Narrator: Yrjö Haapanen. 9'. A 35mm print with good definition. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. A memorable newsreel on the murder of Kyllikki Saari 17 May 1953.

Haikara ei sinua tuonut / The Stork Didn't Bring You

The American book cover of: Lois Pemberton: The Stork Didn't Bring You: Sex Education for Teenagers (1948). In 1952, Veikko Laihanen and Ralf Rubin made a promotion film of its Finnish edition.

FI 1952. PC: Rubin & Co. D: Ralf Rubin. 1'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The author Jussi Talvi and the film producer Veikko Laihanen promote the Finnish edition of Lois Pemberton's book of sex education for the young.


Firestone Children. FI 1949. PC: Suomen Filmiteollisuus. D: Matti Kassila. DP: Sulo Tammilehto. 11'. A vintage 35mm nitrate print with beautiful definition. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. Kassila's first short. A powerful medical and public service film with live action scenes, actual medical footage, and animation. A really memorable warning about the danger of firestone especially for children. Also a fine example of nitrate's silver glow.

Finlandia Katsaus 111

Finlandia Katsaus 111 (FI 1949). "The Bloody Thursday" on 18 August, 1949, is one of the topics. After the government announced 30% wage cuts for Kemi Oy's lumber workers, they, together with lumberjacks, sawmill employees and dockers of the Port of Kemi, went on strike. The police was summoned. In the battle between the strikers and the police, two strikers died. My screenshot from Elonet.

Finlandia Journal 111. FI 1949. 1'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The "Bloody Thursday" of Kemi between the strikers and the police led to the death of two workers.

Filmiseppo-Katsaus 24

Filmiseppo Journal 24. FI 1949. 2'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. Logs are filling the river: the strike in the northern city of Kemi gets dangerous.

Finlandia Katsaus 77

Finlandia Journal 77. FI 1945. PC: Finlandia-Kuva. D: Holger Harrivirta. DP: Unto Kumpulainen. 2'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. In November 1945 the trial against the Finnish politicians accused of being guilty for the war was launched. Powerful images.

Finlandia Katsaus 57

Finlandia Journal 57. FI 1944. PC: Finlandia-Kuva. 1'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The aftermath of the war is always a violent time in terms of post-war crime. The policeman Riistama has been murdered.

Porkkalan evakuointi / [The Evacuation of Porkkala]

Porkkalan evakuointi / [The Evacuation of Porkkala] (FI 1955 [1944]). PC: Oy Filmiseppo. DP: Reino Tenkanen. Narrator: Paavo Nurmi.

FI 1955 (1944). PC: Oy Filmiseppo. DP: Reino Tenkanen. Narrator: Paavo Nurmi.
    8 min
    A beautiful vintage 35 mm print.
    Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005.

Finland was never occupied during or after WWII, but the USSR rented a small piece of land, the Porkkala Peninsula near Helsinki, for a naval base for 11 years. A powerful and fascinating film.

Suomalaislapsia Ruotsiin / Finnish Children to Sweden

Suomalaislapsia Ruotsiin / Finnish Children to Sweden (FI 1944). D: Holger Harrivirta. DP: Björn Soldan. Narrator: Veikko Itkonen. From: Children in Media: Suomalaislapsia Ruotsiin, 6 Sep 2022. Please do click on the photo montage to enlarge it.

FI 1944. PC: Finlandia-Kuva. D: Holger Harrivirta. DP: Björn Soldan. Narrator: Veikko Itkonen. 9'. A vintage 35 mm nitrate print with generally good definition. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. An eloquent documentary on the great Swedish action to take care of Finnish children (70.000 altogether) during WWII. We follow a train journey of Karelian children via Haparanda to Stockholm, and a ship journey on the Ariadne from Vasa to Umeå. Highly moving. Personally touching for me, as my mother was one of "war children" for whom the experience was a happy one.

View Suomalaislapsia Ruotsiin / Finnish Children to Sweden on Elonet.

1918 Mies ja hänen omatuntonsa traileri

1918 A Man and His Conscience trailer. FI 1957. PC: Suomen Filmiteollisuus. D: Toivo Särkkä. 3'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. Trailer of the first sound feature film which tackled the Finnish Civil War 1918.

Finlandia Katsaus 14

Finlandia-katsaus 14 / Finlandia Journal 14 (FI 1943). PC: Finlandia-kuva. Opening item: burial of Finnish victims of Soviet partisans. My screenshot from Tenho.

Finlandia Journal 14. FI 1943. PC: Finlandia-Kuva. 1'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. Burial of Finnish victims of Soviet partisans.

Partisaanien tuhotöitä selustassa 1943 / [Sabotage of the Soviet Partisans Behind the Lines 1943.]

FI 1943. PC: The Finnish Army. DP: Vilho Uomala. 3'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. Brutalities of Soviet partisans photographed in the Viianki village in Suomussalmi 7 July 1943 were never shown to the public at the time.

Suomi-Filmin uutiskuvia 7/1939

Suomi-Filmi Journal 7/1939. 1'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. Visiting the studio of the sculptor Yrjö Liipola at work on the memorial of the shipwreck of the Kuru, which sank in Näsijärvi in Tampere in 1929.

Järkyttävä junaonnettomuus Helsingin lähellä 13.X.1936

A Terrible Train Disaster Near Helsinki 13 October 1936. PC+D+DP: Heikki Aho, Björn Soldan. 3'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. The quickly produced newsreel on a train wreck in Pasila was ready to be screened the day after the fact.

Torpedovene S2:n uppoaminen 1925

The Sinking of Torpedo Boat S2 in 1925. PC: Suomi-Filmi. 3' at overspeed. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May, 2005. Compiled at SEA from unassembled rushes in February 2005. The Finnish torpedo boat sank in heavy seas in the Baltic Sea near Pori, and 53 were killed.

Westkustenin haaksirikko Vaasan edustalla 1913

The Westkusten Shipwreck in front of Vaasa 1913. 3'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May, 2005. This newsreel is the oldest surviving Finnish "catastrophe movie".

Finlandia-Katsaus 684

Finlandia Katsaus 684 (FI 1964) PC: Suomi-Filmi. The first item: funeral and memorial of F. E. Sillanpää. My screenshot from Elonet.

Finlandia Journal 684. FI 1964. 4' Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, May 25, 2005. The funeral of the writer F. E. Sillanpää was a major national event.

Suomi-Filmin Uutiskuvia 5/1939

Suomi-Filmi News Journal 5/1939. 2'. Betacam, alas. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. F.E. Sillanpää has received the Nobel Prize for literature.


Short films, newsreels and trailers from Finland, 1913-1973. Compiled by Lauri Tykkyläinen and Raimo Silius for Tampere Film Festival 2005. Total duration of the show 119' plus 7' extras. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 25 May 2005. A powerful compilation covering major tragic Finnish experiences. ****

Den blodiga tiden

Taisteluni / Mein Kampf. SE © 1960 Minerva Film. P: Tore Sjöberg. D+SC: Erwin Leiser. M: Marton Lorand. ED: Ingemar Ejve.
    Finnish commentary spoken by Olavi Puusaari. 119'.
    A vintage print with good definition and Finnish commentary / Swedish subtitles viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 24 May 2005.

Still a good documentary covering the story from Hitler's birth and the WWI till the Nuremberg trials. There are shots familiar from Triumph des Willens, Miasto nieujarzmione, and Nuit et brouillard, but the focus is on the Polish tragedy, and there is a lot of rare footage on the Warsaw Ghetto and the Polish experience.

Hitler's rise to power is handled with some complexity, as are the Anschluss and the Munich agreement. Also the German resistance is given space. Besides the Holocaust horrors the most shocking images are those of the ruined Warsaw and the ruined Berlin. Erwin Leiser (*1923 Berlin, †1996 Zürich) went to exile in Sweden in 1938, and after the success of this film he settled in Switzerland.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Glen or Glenda

Glen tai Glenda / I Led 2 Lives. US © 1954 Screen Classics Productions. P: George Weiss. D+SC: Edward D. Wood, Jr. DP: William C. Thompson. M: Sandford H. Dickinson.
    Starring Bela Lugosi (Scientist), Lyle Talbot (Insp. Warren ), Timothy Farrell (Dr. Alton / Narrator), Dolores Fuller (Barbara), Daniel Davis (= Edward D. Wood, Jr.) (Glen / Glenda), "Tommy" Haynes (Alan / Anne), Charles Crafts (Johnny), Conrad Brooks (Reporter / Pickup Artist / Bearded Drag), Henry Bederski (Man with Hat and Receding Hairline), Captain DeZita (The Devil / Glen's Father). 69'.
    An Edition Salzgeber distribution print, Screen Classics 25th Anniversary edition titled I Led 2 Lives, good definition, some scratches.
    Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 24 May 2005, with an appreciative audience.

The famous golden turkey of all times is not that bad, there are tens of thousands much worse films. This might be Ed Wood's best film: lunatic, serious, tender, never boring. The Bela Lugosi spirit hovering over it all is a surrealistic aspect, and yes, this is a story of mad love. Bela's last words: "What of the other, less fortunate Glens, the world over" are memorable in his unique voice.

The music sounds like stock archive music from the silent era, and it has a strange impact.

The other main story is about Alan the war veteran who became Anne through a sex change and hundreds of hormone shots. The framing story is about a transvestite suicide, the investigation of which sends the inspector to the doctor. Love is the cure for Glen, who can transfer Glenda to Barbara. The most beautiful scene: Barbara gives Glen her angora sweater.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Das Mädchen vom Moorhof / The Girl from the Marsh Croft (1958)

Das Mädchen vom Moorhof (1958). Photo: Film- und Fernsehmuseum Hamburg.

[Suotorpan tyttö / Tösen från Stormyrtorpet] DE © 1958 Real-Film GmbH. P: Adolf Fischer, Werner Ludwig. D: Gustav Ucicky. Based on the tale Tösen från Stormyrtorpet (1907) and play (1913) by Selma Lagerlöf. DP: Albert Benitz – Agfacolor.
    Starring Maria Emo (Helga Nilsson), Claus Holm (Gudmund Erlandsson), Eva Ingeborg Scholz (Hildur Lindgren), Horst Frank (Jan Lindgren), Werner Hinz (father Erlandsson), Hilde Körber (mother Ingeborg), Hans Nielsen (councelor-at-law Lindgren), Wolfgang Lukschy (Per Eric Martinsson), Joseph Offenbach (Kalle), Berta Drews (mother Nilsson), Josef Dahmen (father Nilsson), Hans Zesch-Ballot, Inge Meysel, Alice Treff (mother Lindgren). 87 min.
    A beautiful InterNationes 16 mm print via Goethe-Institut with English subtitles.
    Viewed at Luckan, Helsinki, Film Society Arkadin, in the Heimat cycle of German films from the 1950s, 19 May 2005, introduced by myself.

The story is supposed to take place in Sweden in the 1880s, and people wear their regional Sunday best at all times. Visually, this is a folklore pastiche in bright colours.

Professionally made impersonal entertainment, not one of Ucicky's best, and far from the best of the six film adaptations of Lagerlöf's tale. Of them, the first, by Sjöström, is still the best. I kept projecting the actors of the 1940 Finnish film adaptation on the flat faces of this one (Regina Linnanheimo, Tauno Palo, Ester Toivonen, Joel Rinne, Aku Korhonen, Siiri Angerkoski... one of the best casts in our country ever). I love also the Sjöström original, its Biblically profound sense of inner justice which finds its way over the hard roads of the law and social pressures.

The fragile girl from the Marsh Croft shatters the lives of the mighty ones and the whole community by her sense of dignity. In this Ucicky film there is a superfluous flashback exposition, the intensity of the courtroom sequence is missed, and everything is heavy-handedly emphasized. An object lesson in a bad adaptation.


16 mm prints have never been more beautiful.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sud narodov / Nuremberg Trials

Roman Karmen: Суд народов / Sud narodov / Nuremberg Trials (SU 1946).

Суд народов / Nuremberg / Kansojen oikeus / Inför folkens dom.
    SU 1946. PC: The Central Studio of Documentary Film. D: Roman Karmen, Jelizaveta Svilova. SC: Roman Karmen. DP: Roman Karmen, Boris Makasejev, Sergei Semjonov, Viktor Shtatland, J. Stalmakov. M: A. Gran. Reader of commentary: L. Shamara.
    A documentary film of the Nuremberg Trials (20 Nov 1945 - 1 Oct 1946) against the most important surviving leaders of Nazi Germany in the political, military and economic spheres, as well as six German organizations. Nürnberger Prozess gegen die Hauptkriegsverbrecher / Nürnberger Hauptkriegsverbrecherprozess.
    THE ACCUSED (in the order of appearance): Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Günter Funck, Hjalmar Schacht, Karl Dönitz, Erich Raeder, Baldur von Schirach, Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Franz von Papen, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Albert Speer, Konstantin von Neurath, Hans Fritzsche.
    PROSECUTORS (seen in the film): Robert Jackson (US), Roman Rudenko, Alexandrov, Scheinin, Raginsky, Pokrovsky, Smirnov (SU), Sir Hartley Shawcross, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe (GB).
    THE JUDGES: Iona T. Nikitchenko, Aleksandr Voltshkov (SU), Sir Geoffrey Lawrence (GB), Norman Birkett (GB), Francis Beverley Biddle (US), John J. Parker (US), Henri Donnedieu de Vabres (FR), Robert Falco (FR).
    66 min. A good 62 min print of the 1960 reissue version with e-subtitles in Finnish by Onni Nääppä.
    Viewed at SEA, Orion, Helsinki, 10 May 2005.

Roman Karmen the daredevil cinematographer was a war correspondent who filmed the war, the capitulation of Dönitz and the (set up) raising of the Soviet flag on the Reichstag building in Berlin. He felt it was his obligation to cover the main Nuremberg trial for the duration, 10 months, from the beginning until the execution.

Theoretically, an ideal pair to Triumph des Willens showing the rightful end of the villains. The authentic documentary footage from ruined Nuremberg and from Nazi horrors, as well as the newsreel footage from the trial with the accused sweating in their stand make this worth seeing. There is also a fascinating montage of the then state-of-the-art technology at the disposal of the court and the press.

But the hectoring commentary spoils the film. Riefenstahl had no commentary and included 20 minute long sequences without speeches. Karmen's film is no work of art. (Kramer's Judgment at Nuremberg, US 1961, does not handle this main trial but a special trial two years later).

This shortened 1970 version never mentions Stalin and has a modern prologue and epilogue heavy-handedly warning against BRD Neo-Nazism and praising the GDR. All the same, worth screening for the interested and attentive audience, who discussed the film quite reservedly after the show.