Friday, August 13, 2010

Sisko tahtoisin jäädä / Run Sister Run

Sisko tahtoisin jäädä with Sara Melleri and Ada Kukkonen. Photo: Solar Films / Jani Häkli.

Spring syster spring
    FI 2010. PC: Solar Films. P: Jukka Helle, Piia Nokelainen, Markus Selin. D: Marja Pyykkö. SC: Marja Pyykkö, Laura Suhonen. DP: Konsta Sohlberg – shot on 35 mm – digital intermediate Generator Post 4K / 2K – released on 35 mm [and DCP?]. COST: Tiina Kaukanen. Make-up: Mari Vaalasranta. Hair: Ester Räisänen, Jani Räisänen.
    M: Antti Lehtinen. – "Lasten mehuhetki", "Onnen lintunen" (Tuomari Nurmio). – "Sata salamaa", "One Way Ticket (Menolippu)", "The Night Chicago Died (Kun Chicago kuoli)" perf. Vicky Rosti. – "Oh My God" (Ida Maria). – "Rush" (Anna Abreu, Timo Laiho, Tommy Lindgren, Kari Saarilahti) perf. Don Johnson Big Band. – "Broken Boy Soldiers" perf. The Raconteurs. – "Moottoritie on kuuma" (Pelle Miljoona, Ari Taskinen) perf. Ada Kukkonen, Sara Melleri. – "C30 C60 C90 GO!" (Malcolm McLaren, Mathew Ashman, Leroy Gorman, David Barb) perf. Bow Wow Wow.
    S: Panu Riikonen. ED: Mikko Sippola. Loc: Helsinki.
    C: Ada Kukkonen (Emilia), Sara Melleri (Siiri), Anna-Leena Uotila (Elsa), Seppo Pääkkönen (Juhani), Kristiina Halttu (Tuula), Heikki Nousiainen (Pentti), Santeri Kinnunen (Esa), Riitta Havukainen (Sari), Samuli Niittymäki (Tomi), Henri Huttunen (Iivo), Anita Ruokolainen (Minna), Tytti Junna (Juulia), Roope Karisto (Antti).
    The title of the film is from the lyrics of "Moottoritie on kuuma".
    105 min. Released in Finland by Nordisk Film Theatrical Distribution with Swedish subtitles by Markus Karjalainen.
    Viewed at Kinopalatsi 1, Helsinki, 13 August 2010 (day of premiere)

An excellent debut film by director-screenwriter Marja Pyykkö and co-screenwriter Laura Suhonen and strong performances by the young actresses Ada Kukkonen and Sara Melleri.

A coming-of-age story of two young girls at 15 and 16. Emilia has been Miss Responsibility, but then she meets wild Siiri.

Among the most interesting characters in recent cinema have been Juno (written by Diablo Cody, directed by Jason Reitman) and Lisbeth Salander (in the Stieg Larsson crime novels such as The Girl Who Played With Fire, impersonated on screen by Noomi Rapace). Emilia and Siiri belong to this new exciting generation of young women.

This film is character-driven, and Marja Pyykkö is a strong director of actors. There is a consistent intensity in the performances. Teenage is a state of confusion, and nobody can learn from the previous generations how to grow up, although one always has to try. Pyykkö knows how to convey subjective states of bewilderment.

The story is set firmly in Helsinki, and Marja Pyykkö finds fresh locations and new angles to familiar ones. The forbidden collective night swim in the Olympic Stadion a week before the school starts is the powerful opening. Emilia seems to like unusual high places with large perspectives, and so does Siiri.

This is a story about taking chances, stretching one's limits, and transgression, doing what is forbidden, including committing crimes: the girls get to deal with the police and with watchmen and patrolmen. At worst, at the beach they assault and rob an old man who has to be hospitalized. The girls are not only nice and misunderstood, they commit terrible things which we are not meant to sympathize with.

There is an interesting throwback to the 1970s in the soundtrack, including Vicky Rosti, Tuomari Nurmio, and Pelle Miljoona. The Finnish title is a line from Pelle Miljoona's 1970's new wave hit song "Moottoritie on kuuma" ["The Motorway Is Hot"] which the actresses perform forcefully during the end credits.

In the screening it was evident from the start that the film struck the right chord with the target audience.

The film print has been processed from a digital intermediate but this time so well that I could not tell the difference.

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