Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Singing Revolution

Laulev revolutsioon / Laulava vallankumous / Den sjungande revolutionen. US/EE (c) 2006 Mountain View Productions. D: James Tusty, Maureen Castle Tusty, Mike Majoros. Narrator: Linda Hunt. 97 min. A 35mm print with title sequences and subtitles in English from Mountain View Productions. Viewed at Cinema Orion, 31 March 2009. - A good print, with many of the news footage from video origins, and at least some new footage looked like it is shot or edited digitally. - An excellent documentary film of Estonia's way back to independence 20 years ago. - Magnificent aerial footage on the Laulupidu song festivals. - The memory of the free republic. The forest brothers. The gulag survivor. The last forest brother captured in 1978. Russification. I (interview): Lennart Meri. - One of the largest collections of folk songs in the world. - The song fest of 1947: Stalin era, Soviet hymn, and "Mu isanmaa" (Gustav Ernesaks, Lydia Koidula). The unofficial national anthem. The sign of protest. - 1969: the centenary song festival, revival of "Mu isanmaa". They had to let Ernesaks conduct. - 1985: Gorbachov. 1987: non-violence, environment, phosphor mines. - Official debate on the occupation. The revelation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. - The Tartu revolt. I: Mart Laar. The Heritage Society. The guy on the motorcycle with a flag - soon flags everywhere. - Revolution with a smile and a song. - Glasnost = free speech. - Popular front. Edgar Savisaar. Carrying out perestroika. - USSR replaced hardliners with Vaino Valjas. Russians got nervous. 40% Russians in Estonia. Interfront. - All had different strategies. - Laulupidu: 300.000 - one third of the Estonians. - I: Edgar Savisaar. I: Marju Lauristin. I: Heinz Valk. I: Vaino Valjas. - Developing Estonian Laws. I: Arnold Rüütel. The Estonian language. The Estonian flag. - 1989: avoiding direct confrontation. An example of responsibility. - Footage of Gorbachov meeting the Estonians. - The 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. - The giant human chain through the three Baltic countries. - The Soviet Party warns the Baltic countries. - Illegal occupation. Political violence. Estonian citizenship exists. Registration campaign. Denying legitimacy of occupation. It was easy to start. 860.000 registered. An overwhelming referendum. - 1990: the Congress of Estonia. Not declaring any official authority. Russians lose privileges. Interfront increasingly hostile. - Hammer and sickle illegal. - Interfront at Toompea. I: Jevgeni Kogan (Interfront). - The crowd stormed. The defense of Toompea Castle. Liberty! The crowd stayed calm. - 1991: Vilnius: Soviet soldiers killed 14, hundreds wounded. I: Lennart Meri. Free media. Riga: 6 more killed. - Soviet system collapsed. Hardliners agains Gorbachov. Gorbachov always late. Restructuring. Tanks. - The Hirve Park demonstration. - Heinz Volk gave the Singing Revolution its name. - A calmly engrossing documentary film. - Essential viewing for any Finn.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bottle Rocket (print check viewing)

Wes Anderson: Bottle Rocket (US 1996) with Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson and Robert Musgrave.

Cinema Orion, 27 March 2009. – Bottle Rocket was imported to Finland for cinema release, but in the period of a dearth of cinemas before the opening of the Tennispalatsi multiplex it was shelved. – I checked 45 minutes of the brilliant vintage unused print with full colour in the Texas light. – The screening was well attended, and the audience audibly enjoyed the fine picture. – A film that rewards repeated screenings.

See my remarks on Bottle Rocket viewed on vhs.

Antti Alanen: "The Class of 1999" in American Cinema (lecture)

Spike Jonze: Being John Malkovich (1999).

Cinema Orion, 27 March 2009. Main points:

1. A new generation of directors:
Paul Thomas Anderson,
Wes Anderson,
Darren Aronofsky,
Sofia Coppola,
Michel Gondry,
Spike Jonze,
Alexander Payne,
David O. Russell,
Todd Solondz.
The screenwriter Charlie Kaufman.

2. Key films of 1999:
Three Kings,
Being John Malkovich,
Fight Club,
American Beauty,
The Matrix,
The Virgin Suicides,
Boys Don't Cry.
The most exciting year in American cinema in the last ten years.
The following year: Requiem for a Dream.

3. The network: many of the new directors were friends

4. The video generation

5. Low tech not a problem

6. The music video background (especially Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry)

7. The skateboard video background

8. The issue of violence and crime

9. The sensitivity to young people

10. The widening register of sexual issues from virginity and restraint to paedophilia and incest.

Three Kings

Kolme kuningasta. USA (c) 1999 Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Films. PC also: Coast Ridge Films, Atlas Entertainment, TK PRoductions. D+SC: David O. Russell - based on an idea by John Ridley. DP: Tom Sigel - Technicolor - Super 35 - 2,35:1. CAST: George Clooney (Maj. Archie Gates), Mark Wahlberg (Sgt. Troy Barlow), Ice Cube (Staff Sergeant Chief Elgein), Nora Dunn (Adriana Cruz), Jamie Kennedy (Walter Wogaman), Spike Jonze (Private Conrad Vig). Colour, 2,35:1, DD 5.1, 114 min. Dvd (Finland): Sandrew / Warner, 2003, extras galore. - From my MMM Film Guide: A political action satire featuring Major Archie Gates (GC) on the verge of retirement in the Gulf War in 1991 on one of his last missions. He finds out that three soldiers possess a map based on which it is possible to find a gold treasure stolen by Saddam Hussein's troops from the Kuwaitians. But as they embark on the quest for the treasure they find themselves having to defend innocent civilians who are in the line of fire of Saddam's troops, and they are soon in danger from their own forces, as well. - The media war. - The clash of the civilizations. - George W. Bush in 1999: then I guess I'll have to finish this war?

The Virgin Suicides

Sofia Coppola: The Virgin Suicides (1999).

Kauniina kuolleet.
    US © 1999 Virgin Suicides, LLC. O: Sofia Coppola. M: Air. C: James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, Michael Paré, Scott Glenn, Danny DeVito. Colour, 1,85:1, DD 5.1, 97 min. Finnish subtitles Marko Hautala. Dvd, Future Film 2001.
     [My suggestion for the Finnish title: Nuorena nukkuneet.]

Sofia Coppolas debut feature revisited on dvd.

Wikipedia capsule: "Based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, the film tells of the suicides of the five Lisbon sisters in an upper middle class suburb of Detroit during the 1970s. The girls’ suicides fascinate their community as their neighbors struggle to find an explanation for the acts."

The Lisbon sisters have overprotective, isolating parents. – This is an account of the awkward age. – The movie has an interesting 1970s soundtrack. – The movie is a tragedy, but there also moments of joy, happiness, and love. – I saw the film during the first run. It was interesting to see it again now, having seen the development in their later films of Sofia Coppola, Kirsten Dunst, and Josh Hartnett. – The Virgin Suicides is a story of repression. One of the motifs is tree protection. The home becomes a prison. – Messages are sent via music codes. There is a gang of boys admiring the virgins. – There is a profound sense of loss and sadness. – The motif of the collective suicide resonates also with the contemporary school tragedies of Columbine, 1999, and later.


Vaalit. USA (c) 1999 Paramount Productions. PC: MTV Films. D: Alexander Payne. CAST: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon. 99 min. Colour, anamorphic 2,35:1, DD 5.1, 99 min. Dvd release in Finland: Paramount / Finnkino. With audio commentary with Alexander Payne. - A good transfer. - Tom Charity in Time Out Film Guide: "This remarkable film may be set in high school, but its satiric take on moral corruption, political chicanery, adultery and seduction is anything but juvenile. In a smart role reversal, Ferris Bueller (aka Matthew Broderick) plays Mr. McAllister, a responsible, concerned teacher worn thin by long years at George Washington Carver High, by his sexless marriage, and by the plight of his best friend, sacked for sleeping with the redoubtable but under age Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon). Come elections for student council president, Tracy is far and away the front runner, but Mr. McAllister, terrified by the prospect of working so closely with this closet Lolita, and charged with overseeing the proceedings, discreetly sponsors a rival candidate, gormless jock Paul (Chris Klein). Things hot up when Paul's lesbian younger sister joins the race. Granted, McAllister's narration has a sour, misogynistic aftertaste, even if director/co-writer Payne affects a certain balance by giving Tracy her say. There's more than a whiff of Monica Lewinsky about Ms. Flick. With her clipped diction, prim demeanour and blinkered ability to see only her side of every issue, she makes a frighteningly credible proto despot. This may not be politically correct, but as a microcosm of the malaise creeping through Western democracies, the apathy, vote rigging, and character assassination manifest at Carver High serve all too well". - Sharp, focused, satirical, visually expressive. - The ending is an original development of "what happened to them afterwards".

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Welcome to the Dollhouse

Tervetuloa nukketaloon. USA (c) 1995 Suburban Pictures. D: Todd Solondz. CAST: Heather Matarazzo, Dawn Wiener, Brendan Sexton, Jr., Daria Kalinina, Matthew Faber, Angela Pietropinto. 90 min. Finnish subtitles by Simo Tarkkonen. Dvd (Future Film 2006).

A moving account of the coming of age, school harassment, and growing pains at 12. Leonard Maltin crystallizes this very well: "The pain of puberty has never been portrayed so unflinchingly; smart-but-ordinary Matarazzo has to deal with her incredibly un-nurturing suburban family (which dotes on her "adorable" younger sister), and worse, the pranks and sexual threats of virtualy her entire junior high school. Amid this dire lack of support and warmth is a heroine of enormous pluck and cunning. While viewer may wince as numerous unpleasant situations play out, there is also terrific satire (and guffaws) as life in the Seventh-Grade-From-Hell is depicted with dead-on clarity. Strong performances, sharply scripted by the director". - Sensitive, humoristic, with a lively soundtrack incorporating nice surprises of familiar classical music excerpts. - Themes include sexual initiation and drugs. The ballerina little sister adored by everyone is kidnapped. The bully boyfriend Brandon McCarthy (Brendan Sexton III) escapes to New York. The egoistic rocker Steve Rodgers (Eric Mabius) insults the protagonist. She tries to find the lost little sister with a terrible sense of guilt.

Bottle Rocket

Lurjukset. US 1995. PC: Gracie Films. D: Wes Anderson. SC: Owen Wilson, Wes Anderson. DP: Robert Yeoman. M: Mark Mothersbaugh. CAST: Luke Wilson (Anthony), Owen Wilson (Dignan), Robert Musgrave (Bob Mapplethorpe), Lumi Cavazos (Inez), James Caan (crime lord). 91 min.
    Viewed on vhs (Nordisk Finland 1996).

Wes Anderson's debut feature film is a freewheeling account of three would-be criminals, who are rather stupid than evil.

The title means a small firework, which the guys use in the big caper.

In comparison with Tarantino this is realistic, sensitive, vibrant with life.

There is a touching, tentative relationship between Paraguyan Grace and Anthony.

The spoilt rich Mapplethorpe brothers.

Planning a big caper, a bit I soliti ignoti, but completely original. Also an affinity with early Fellini (I vitelloni).

There is also a soundtrack album.

A favourite of Martin Scorsese, Tony Rayns and Robin Wood.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


[The Path of the Cross] / [Ristin tie] / Homeland / Um Freiheit zu singen. LV (c) 1990 JPS Productions. PC: Jura Podnieka Studija, Channel 4 (GB), NHK Japan. D+SC: Juris Podnieks. DP: Andris Slapiņš, Gvido Zvaigzne, Juris Podnieks - IMAX 70mm 1,44:1. ED: Antra Clilinska. S: Anrijs Krenbergs. 64 min. A Betacam SP from the Latvian Embassy. English subtitles. Viewed at Cinema Orion, 24 March 2009. - A masterpiece on the Baltic liberation 20 years ago. Beautiful image and sound. - The bells. The old man in his log house. Archival footage of the song festivals of the past. The oldest conductor of the Baltic countries. Occupation footage. Reunions. Aerial footage of the song festival. Latvian choirs from many countries. Estonia: Saarenmaa, the occupation in 1940. -The deportations. - Interviewed: Miss Saarenmaa of 1931, taken to the Gulag. The Saarenmaa song festival of 1931. Once again she wears her ribbon. - Will the Russians leave? - WWII: 10% of the men conscripted. The veteran who is missing his other arm. - Saldus military test site. - Demonstrations: citizens vs. soldiers. - Siberia: Bulani village. - 10% of the Baltic people left for the USA. - The return from the Gulag. "With the eyes of an animal". Forgiveness. I wore a mask. We became actors. The bones of the deported. - The graveyard in Siberia. 200.000 from the Baltic are buried here. The repatriation of the dead. - The hill of the crosses. The masses under their umbrellas. - Lithuania: the cross is an ancient symbol of power. - The hill of a million crosses. Although it was rolled over, it rose time and again. - The KGB opened all foreign mail. - The path of the cross. - The huge bust of Lenin is rolled down. - The Baltic countries have been put down. - 1990: the Supreme Soviet: the debate on independence. 53% of the people in Latvia are non-Latvians. - Every 10. Latvian belongs to the Red Army. - Police violence against the peaceful demonstration. - Water of life, water of death. - The camera rises to an aerial shot of the huge song festival. - Two cameramen were later shot by Red Army snipers, and the director died in a car accident.

Fear Beyond the Wall (memorial event 2009)

Fear Beyond the Wall event at Cinema Orion, 24 March 2009. In memory of the 60th anniversary of the deportations in the Baltic countries and the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall. Organized by the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian Embassies together with National Audiovisual Archive, WSOY, Sofi Oksanen, and Imbi Paju. In the photo: Anna Žīgure, author, ex-Ambassador of Latvia and Merle Pajula, Ambassador of Estonia. Foto Kai Vase.

In memory of the 60th anniversary of the deportations in the Baltic countries and the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall.
Organized by the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian Embassies together with National Audiovisual Archive, WSOY, Sofi Oksanen, and Imbi Paju.
At Cinema Orion, 17.00-21.00
Moderator: Ms. Iivi Anna Masso

Ms. Merle Pajula, Ambassador of Estonia
Mr. Einars Semanias, Ambassador of Latvia
Ms. Halina Kobeckaité, Ambassador of Lithuania
Ms. Anna Žīgure, author, ex-Ambassador of Latvia

Mr. Toomas Hiio (International Commission of History, Estonia): Management of the Past in Estonia by Historical Research
Mr. Martin Arpo (Security Police, Estonia, ex-researcher of war crimes and crimes against humanity): Deportations as a Crime Against Humanity
Prof. Seppo Zetterberg: The Estonian Historiography from the Viewpoint of a Finnish Researcher

Mmes Imbi Paju and Sofi Oksanen, editors of the anthology book Kaiken takana oli pelko (Fear Was Beyond Everything, WSOY 2009) interviewed by Iivi Anna Masso

AA: Gulag and the Cinema the Fear Beyond the Wall retrospective [the first retrospective in Finland on the theme, curated by Sofi Oksanen and Imbi Paju]

the original presentation of
Jüri Reinvere: Requiem
presented by the Scotch flautist Richard Craig and four singers from the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
combined with a film on Digibeta by Catherine Jarvis, compiled from rare Estonian footage from 19111945
text written by Jüri Reinvere, recited by Catherine Jarvis

The cinema was packed, the atmosphere was calm and intensive, and there had already been the book presentation two hours earlier at the Mediatori at Sanomatalo. There was great media attention, but, alas, half of it was devoted to a bizarre demonstration of a group of Nashi of 15 (misled to believe that the film The Soviet Story was being shown).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Belle of the Nineties

Kaunotar ja lemmenoikut. US (c) 1934 Paramount. D: Leo McCarey. SC: Mae West. DP: Karl Struss. COST: Travis Banton. M performed by: Duke Ellington's Orchestra.
    "Pom Tiddley Om Pom (Beef Trust Chorus)" (comp. Walter Passmore, lyr. R. H. Douglas, arr. Sam Coslow)
    "My Old Flame" ( Arthur Johnston, Sam Coslow)
    "Troubled Waters" (Johnston, Coslow)
    "My American Beauty" (Johnston, Coslow)
    "I Met My Waterloo" (Johnston, Coslow)
    "I'm In Love With A Tattooed Man" (Johnston, Coslow)
    "When A St. Louis Woman Comes Down To New Orleans" (Johnston, Coslow, Gene Austin)
    "Meet The King" (Arthur Johnston, Leo McCarey)
    "The Royal Wedding" (Johnston, McCarey)
    "Memphis Blues" (trad.)
    CAST: Mae West (Ruby Carter), Roger Pryor (Tiger Kid), John Mack Brown (Brooks Claybourne), John Miljan (Ace Lamont), Katherine de Mille (Molly Brant), Duke Ellington's Orchestra. 73 min
    A brilliant Universal Paramount print.
    Viewed at Cinema Orion, 18 March 2009.

Revisited: a marvellous Mae West film. She is a master of sexual parody, making fun of sexual hype and sexual inhibition. "My American Beauty" where she transforms from a butterfly to the Statue of Liberty could be her signature production number. This film has her best music numbers, thanks to Duke Ellington, and their "Memphis Blues" would be my all-time favourite Mae West performance. This film, one of the working titles of which was "It Ain't No Sin", fell victim to the tightening of the Production Code, but there is still enough life in it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Six of a Kind

Rehellinen mies / Äventyr på brollopsresan. US (c) 1934 Paramount. D: Leo McCarey. Cast: Charles Ruggles (J. Pinkham Whinney), Mary Boland (Flora Whinney), W. C. Fields (Sheriff ["Honest"] John Hoxley), George Burns (George Edward[s]), Gracie Allen (Gracie Devore), Alison Skipworth (Mrs. K. Rumford), Bradley Page (Ferguson), Grace Bradley (Goldie), William J. Kelly ([A. B.] Gillette). 65 min. A brilliant Universal-Paramount print. Viewed at Cinema Orion, 17 March 2009.
The six of the kind are presented during the opening credits: six aces, the pairs:
- Charles Ruggles and Mary Boland, planning their 20th anniversary honeymoon trip coast-to-coast: from New York to Hollywood and back in two weeks
- George Burns and Gracie Allen, sharing the trip to cut costs, turning the trip to disaster
- W.C. Fields and Alison Skipworth in Nuggetville, Nevada, where the two couples stop
The funniest performer is W.C. Fields with his twisted pool stick routine and an incomprehensible account on why he is called "honest John".
The plot is also about a bank robbery. A crooked bank teller colleague slips 50.000 dollars in Charles Ruggles' suitcase in order to retrieve them later.
Ok, not great.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

John Ford: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (US 1962) starring James Stewart (Ransom Stoddard), John Wayne (Tom Doniphon) and Vera Miles (Hallie Stoddard).

THE ANN RUTLEDGE THEME (from Young Mr. Lincoln) is the main music theme of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. (There is also a theme song recorded called The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, but it is not heard in the film.) The Ann Rutledge theme is played seven times:
1) Hallie and Link arrive in their cart at Tom's burned hut.
2) Ransom promises Hallie to teach her to read.
3) Tom brings a cactus rose to Hallie.
4) Hallie alone in the classroom.
5) Hallie binds Ransom's wound.
6) After the statement "print the legend", the train whistle, "getting late", Hallie's cactus flower on Tom's coffin.
7) After the statement "nothing's too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance", the train disappears in the horizon, THE END.

1) The main symbols: the cactus rose and the gun.
2) The psychologically sensitive actors Vera Miles and James Stewart, both Hitchcock regulars.
3) Das Unbehagen in der Kultur: the theme of civilization being built upon the repression / control of our wild primitive forces.
4) The unhappy, unsatisfied woman, the childless Hallie.
5) Alcoholism. What makes the man drink: Tom loses Hallie, takes to the bottle, burns his house, almost commits suicide, and in a way the rest of his life is a slow suicide.

The unique combination of the over-the-top (the character of Liberty Valance, several other characters verging on the caricature and parody) and restraint. The most beautiful scene of restraint is the one where Hallie sits besides Link, and their looks tell everything. During the film, Vera Miles acts with her eyes.

The eloquence of the restraint is evident on the cinema screen but may pass unnoticed on the home monitor. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is readily available on dvd and in tv programming, but to evaluate it it's necessary to see it on the screen.

Cinema and Psyche: The Touch of Horror (Symposium 13-14 March 2009)

Cinema Orion, 190 participants


Chairman AA
9.00 Film: El espíritu de la colmena (Victor Erice, ES 1973)
- an infinitely rich film, inspired a high level discussion with several in-depth interpretations; the print was not brilliant
11.00 Lecture: Christel Airas: The Spirit of the Beehive by Victor Erice
11.45 Recital: Arto Leppänen: the commentary to La Morte Rouge (ES 2006, Victor Erice)
- the film itself is not yet available for screenings (it is reserved for viewing at the marvellous Erice / Kiarostami exhibition only), but in this case, the commentary is highly rewarding in itself, as the film is largely speech-driven
12.15 Lunch break

Chairperson Aune Raitasalo
13.45 Lecture: AA: Media and Violence
14.45 Film: Retour en Normandie (Nicolas Philibert, FR 2006)
- a fascinating documentary look on the countryside, mirroring the making of Moi, Pierre Rivière 30 years earlier, the changes and fates of the performers
16.40 Coffee break
17.05 Lecture: Jussi Kotkavirta: Retour en Normandie
18.30 Film: Moi, Pierre Rivière (René Allio, FR 1976)
- the first screening of this film in Finland, based faithfully on the dossier edited by Michel Foucault's team, an unique film made on location with lay performers, on a turning-point in the French history of jurisdiction and psychiatry, Pascal Bonitzer and Serge Toubiana among the screenwriters


Chairperson Stig Hägglund

9.00 Film: Nosferatu (DE 1922)
- the Lumière project restored version (1995), always rich and fascinating
10.25 Break
10.40 Lectures: Mikael Enckell: Nosferatu, and Aune Raitasalo: Latterday Vampires
11.45 Film: Tuholaiset [Devastators / Pests / Vermins] (Katja Lautamatti & Mina Laamo, FI 2007) 39 min + discussion with Stig Hägglund and Mina Laamo
- an excellent documentary on the reality and nightmare projections of household insects
13.00 Lunch break
14.30 Film: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (US 1962)
- see separate entry
16.30 Coffee break
17.00 Lecture: Vesa Manninen: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
- the male images of Tom Doniphon and Ransom Stoddard
18.00 Conclusion

18.15 Buffet dinner at Restaurant Dubrovnik

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Milky Way

Aivotärähdys / Folkets jubel. US (c) 1936 Paramount. D: Leo McCarey. Starring Harold Lloyd (Burleigh Sullivan), Adolphe Menjou (Gabby Sloan), Helen Mack (Mae Sullivan), Dorothy Wilson (Polly Pringle), George Barbier (Wilbur Austin), Lionel Stander (Spider Schultz), Bonita (landlady). 92 min. A Harold Lloyd Entertainment print. Viewed at Cinema Orion, 10 March 2009. - A good, clean print but not brilliant [a victim of Paramount's negative-burning?]. - Revisited: most of this very good comedy, which I last saw last year on dvd. - This film may not have the same excellent reputation as the Harold Lloyd 1920s masterpieces, but it is a perfectly enjoyable comedy with so many delicious touches that the film is worth revisiting every now and then. A great difference to the 1920s films that the women are now more independent, and even more charming. Helen Mack portrays Harold's sister, and Dorothy Wilson his girlfriend, who distances herself from him when his personality changes as a result of his phony boxing success. - There are psychological depths in the Harold Lloyd comedies: big themes of self-esteem, self-image, illusion vs. reality, self-awareness, self-confidence. This film is rich with them.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Ultimate Sexual Massage

Bernie Zilbergeld: Ultimate Sexual Massage (US 2002).

USA © 2002 Alexander Institute. Bernie Zilbergeld. 60 min. From Sin City, Helsinki, 7 March 2009.

A sexually explicit education video, somewhat amateurish, with a framing story of a massage video being watched by a couple. The woman performer who shows he video to her man is really pleasant. She seems really aroused and orgasming. Her vaginal massage scene is superb.

On the flipside of the two-sided dvd there are advertisements of other Alexander Institute releases plus the best scenes of "G-Spot and Genital Massage Techniques from Ultimate Sexual Massage" without the unnecessary framing story.

Tantric Sexual Massage for Lovers

USA (c) 2008 Alexander Institute (Sherman Oaks, CA, USA). Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson. Complete Explicit Version. 75 min. From Sin City, Helsinki, 7 March 2009.

A sexually explicit educational video with two performing couples (one normal people, the others very fit performers) and one teaching couple. Good advice for everybody on the road to ancient Indian wisdom. Basic video record. Nondescript computer music. Mundane commentary and dialogue.

The trapezius muscle
The sacrum
The parasympathetic nervous system
Breath up spine
Dry friction rub
Mons veneris of the hand
Achilles tendon
Full body massage
Nipple stimulation
External female genital massage
Internal female genital massage
External male genital massage
Internal male genital massage

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Kid from Spain

Härkätaistelija / Tjurfäktaren. US (c) 1933 Samuel Goldwyn. D: Leo McCarey. SC: William Anthony McGuire, Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby. DP: Gregg Toland. AD: Richard Day. COST: Milo Anderson. MD: Alfred Newman. SONGS: "In The Moonlight", "Look What You've Done", "What A Perfect Combination" (Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby). CHOREO: Busby Berkeley. ED: Stuart Heisler. CAST: Eddie Cantor (Eddie Williams / Don Sebastian II), Lyda Roberti (Rosalie), Robert Young (Ricardo), Ruth Hall (Anita Gomez), John Miljan (Pancho), Noah Beery (Alonzo Gomez), J. Carrol Naish (Pedro). AFI: 118 min, 101 min, 90 min. The print viewed was 82 min and seemed complete as for plot. At Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 3 March 2009. - This film does not have a good reputation, but it is a wacky comedy that is completely enjoyable, and there was an applause after the movie. - The huge Busby Berkeley setpieces are comically disparate from the plot, starting from the girls' dormitory with patterned swimming in a huge pool. A mixup with robbers brings Eddie to Mexico. Even there the women are gorgeous. Eddie needs to pose as the bullfighter, Don Sebastian II. - What an imperfect combination!