Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Force That Through the Green Fire Fuels the Flower

(Fargone Films, GB 2011) D, P, SC: Otto Kylmälä; DP: Joni Juutilainen, asst: Ruby Kobayashi, James Chegwyn; AD: Saule Norkute; M: Stephen Horne; ass D: Jonas Trukanas; storyboard, poster artist: Marga Doek; hair, make-up: Monica Rossi; cast: Michael Eden (Ian), Carolyn Lyster (Maggie), Edward French (young man), Sarah Wolff (young girl), Emma Packer (karaoke lady), Nick Hoad (bartender), Alan Smith (doctor); DigiBeta, 8’, sd. (Le Giornate showing silent, with live musical accompaniment); from: Fargone Films, London. English intertitles. Viewed at Teatro Verdi, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone, with e-subtitles in Italian, 5 Oct 2011.

Score by Stephen Horne played by Stephen Horne (grand piano) and Romano Todesco (accordeon).

David Robinson (GCM Catalogue): "This is an astonishing debut, by any standards, whether of silent or sound film. The title is an intriguing paraphase of the title of one of Dylan Thomas’s first poems, “The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower”. Otto Kylmälä’s own method is purely poetic. In 8 minutes he touches upon two lives, love, disappointment, regret, solitude, mortality. All is done in tiny scenes, with mots trouvés, words and phrases caught as it seems by chance, written on mugs or beer mats or in the air. Every shot or phrase is, in the way of poetry, precise and exact, totally expressive – right. Kylmälä does not create a “new” silent film, or explore or imitate historic conventions: in the outcome he has set out to form his visual poem in the most appropriate language, and that happens to be wordless film. Kylmälä’s images inspired Stephen Horne’s score, which is now recorded on the finished film, but will be exceptionally performed live for the Giornate screening." – DAVID ROBINSON

Otto Kylmälä writes: “After a long love affair with silent cinema, and taking part in the Pordenone Collegium last year, I decided to put theory into practice. This film is therefore an attempt to use silent film in a contemporary setting with a contemporary story. “I have noticed that filmmakers attempting silent films today most often invent fantastical excuses for the lack of dialogue, which I wanted to avoid. I wanted to tell an ordinary story, which just happens to suit the silent form. The agenda of adapting and updating some of the conventions led to interesting new forms, but deep down it is a story of a man conflicted with memories. After deciding upon the silent film form, I found myself enjoying the process, and storytelling by purely visual means came to me very naturally.

AA: Revisited Otto Kylmälä's poetic short film about the brevity of life, evoked by karaoke bar lyrics and beer mat slogans. The digibeta image looked sharp from the deepest end of the Teatro Verdi, where I was sitting on the very last row.

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