Saturday, August 16, 2008


Stormen / Stormheart. FI (c) 2008 Stormheart. D: Kaisa Rastimo. SC: Rastimo, Marko Rauhala - based on an idea by Rauhala. DP: Tuomo Virtanen - digital intermediate - 35mm film print. M: J.S. Bach: Cantata 147 part 10; Pelle Miljoona. LOC: Hämeenlinna. Starring Ronja Arvilommi (Muru), Laura Malmivaara (mother), Janne Virtanen (father), Sara Tammela (Minttu), Antti Väre (Romppu). In Finnish, some scenes in German and Russian, with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Markus Karjalainen. [After the relentless onslaught of several previews of forthcoming digital animations I was already exhausted.] Released by Buena Vista International Finland. Viewed at Kinopalatsi 1, Helsinki, 16 August 2008. - The digital intermediate look partly disappointing. - A strong and original idea for a film about childhood. In 1989, as the Berlin Wall falls, thousands of Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are executed, but one little puppy is rescued into a Finnish family. Called Storm, it becomes the pet of the little daughter Muru. But as it grows into its full size, following its nature, it obeys only Muru and becomes the menace of everybody else. - The connections between the family world and the world of history are effective, with scenes in the beginning in Berlin, and the ovcharka scenes towards the end in the Caucasus. - In the most startling scene of the film, the family home becomes a mini-East-Berlin, with little Muru as the guard in front of the Wall, complete with an East German military cap. - There are two excellent films to compare with: Cujo, based on the novel by Stephen King (the car siege is included also here), and The White Dog directed by Sam Fuller, where the young girl also faces the shocking truth about a dog bred to kill. Kaisa Rastimo does very well in the comparison. - "Good night, all dead animals of the world".

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