Thursday, December 18, 2008


Uppgörelse / The Final Arrangement / [Un règlement de comptes] / [The Final Account]. FI (c) 1987 Villealfa. P: Aki Kaurismäki. D: Veikko Aaltonen. SC: Veikko Aaltonen, Aki Kaurismäki. DP: Timo Salminen - Eastmancolor - 1:1,85.
Live performance: Markus Allan: "Syyspihlajan alla".
Oldies records: "Rattaanpyörä" perf. Ilkka Rinne and Rytmi-yhtye. "Harmaat silmät" perf. Henry Theel. "Pieni kukkanen" perf. Laila Kinnunen. "You Are My Thrill" perf. Billie Holiday. "Pojat" perf. Laila and Ritva Kinnunen.
Jussi Björling tracks: "Du är min hela värld", "Tra voi belle".
Hymn at the church: Hymn 440 "Jo vääryys vallan saapi".
Filming locations: Suodenniemi, Kankaanpää, Lavia (in the middle between Tampere and Pori).
Cast: Juhani Niemelä (Kalervo Mäkinen, "Nieminen"), Esko Nikkari (Timo Varjola, mayor), Kaija Pakarinen (Leena Palo), Seppo Mäki (Reidar). 72 min. An excellent vintage print with perfect colour. At Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 17 Dec 2008. - Two men commit grand burglary. Varjola murders the two drivers of the mail bus and tries to kill his companion, Nieminen. Seven years after, Nieminen, on leave from the prison, returns to the town where Varjola is now mayor, a father, and a pillar of society (church, Lions Club, etc.). - An interesting film in the Villealfa canon. Veikko Aaltonen has a good grip on the ironic, laconic, antirealistic Melville style of the crime movie. There is a good steady cinematic drive all through the picture. The collaboration with the cinematographer Timo Salminen is perfect and functional. There are also affinities and touches common to the Villealfa school, such as 1) the terse, telegraph-style dialogue, 2) the almost autistic passivity of the male protagonist, 3) the man is also passive towards the woman, 4) the imagery and the colour scale are strong and recognizably like Salminen's work with Aki Kaurismäki, 5) the importance of music records and the jukebox, 6) Kekkonen, 7) the final insane act of violence of the passive protagonist. - The most lively figures are Esko Nikkari as the former robber and murderer, now a pillar of the society, soon promised a career as a minister of justice, and Kaija Pakarinen as the hairdresser who needs to take the initiative in seeking male company. - Veikko Aaltonen, himself, has stated that the screenplay was unfinished. The film was shot in ten days. - Well made but does not finally quite make enough sense.

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