Monday, December 27, 2010

Freetime Machos

Freetime Machos / Freizeit-Machos / [Part-Time Machos might be a more apt title?]. FI / DE © 2010 Klaffi Productions. PC: Klaffi Tuotannot, Prounen Film. P: Mika Ronkainen, Kimmo Paananen, Michael Trabitzsch. D+SC: Mika Ronkainen based on an idea by Arto Nivala. DP: Mika Ronkainen, Vesa Taipaleenmäki - shot on HD and HDV - mastered on HD - copied directly on 35 mm. S: Esa Nissi. M: Samuli Putro, Ahti Marja-Aho. ED: Anders Villadsen. LOC: Oulu. Featuring: OYUS Rugby Team - Matti Keränen, Mikko Koljonen, Jarmo Stoor, Roger Holden, Tuomo Jaakkonen, Ana Vidal, Niina Keränen, Kaisa Koljonen, Pekka Löppönen, Konsta Salmela, Richard Gomez, Lance Fono, Janne, Pauli Leviäkangas, Tero Hyvönen, Atte Kallijärvi, Jani Kukkohovi, Tapani Niva, Kimmo Pietilä, Jari Savolainen, Mika Vähäkuopus, Antti Rantapelkonen, Reijo Pantsar, Eero Auer, Mikel Echogoyen, Lassi Kojola, Matti Mäkikyrö, Risto Nurmi, Toni Salo, Arto Pantsar, Tiina Takalokastari. 83 min. Languages: Finnish, English and some Spanish. A 35 mm Pirkanmaan Elokuvakeskus print with the credits in English. Finnish subtitles. Viewed at Cinema Orion (The Jussi Awards), Helsinki, 27 Dec 2010.

A documentary film in candid camera style.

"A comedy about a rugby union team - the most Northern and the third worst in the world" (the official presentation).

The Oulu rugby union team faces the threat of falling into minor league. Their British coach Roger does his best to prevent it. Recruiting new players the team chairman Mikko acquires the young Spanishwoman Ana. Nokia is the big employer in Oulu, and its cutbacks threaten Roger's job. Jarmo prepares a novel criticizing Nokia.

The movie is a documentary on Finnish "äijäkulttuuri" (macho culture). The men are nice and domesticated, and rugby is the outlet of their primitive male energy, aggression, violence, and fury. The team's mascot is a "pumpattava barbara", a life size inflatable rubber sex doll.

The movie follows the team during the four seasons of the year. It opens perspectives to the impossibly contradictory expectations in the roles of today's young men. Oulu is a city of high technology enterprises, vulnerable to globalization.

The movie was screened in a 35 mm film print but it looks like it has been originally shot on digital video. The advantage is the candid intimacy, the disadvantage is the surveillance camera look.

Mika Ronkainen is a leading expert of the music video (the city of Oulu has an excellent music video festival), and he has made documentary features on the Northern spirit such as the tour documentary Huutajat on a choir of shouting men. The special merit of his new film is the candid record of the team spirit. He has managed to win an extraordinary confidence with the members of the team.

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