Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ikäluokka / Their Age

Åldersklassen / Their Age [the English title on print]. FI 1976. PC: 2P Production. P+D+SC+ED: Pirjo Honkasalo & Pekka Lehto. DP: Pirjo Honkasalo. FX: Oskari Viskari. M: Heikki Valpola. S editor: Tuomo Kattilakoski. S: Pekka Lehto, Oskari Viskari, Paul Jyrälä. Graphic design: Sami Wirkkala. 460 m (16 mm) / 43 min. A print with English subtitles viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (A Tribute to Pirjo Honkasalo), 19 Jan 2011

Documentary. Revisited Pirjo Honkasalo and Pekka Lehto's fine debut film which I had not seen since its original release and which now felt much stronger. I could now appreciate more its Flahertyan value as the portrait of two craftsmen, the bootmaker Onni Nousiainen (then 70) and the blacksmith Toivo Niskanen (then 75), both born in the Grand Duchy of Finland in the Russian Empire, remembering the 1918 tragedy, with a full five year war service in 1939-1944. Although the film was produced during a period of radical political idealism, there is no bias in this timeless quality production. The cinematography is gorgeous (original in 16 mm), and there is a fine sense of humour in the narrative.

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