Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sodankylä Forever 1-4

Sodankylä ikuisesti: Elokuvan vuosisata / A Century of the Cinema, Ensimmäisen elokuvamuiston kaiho / The Longing of the First Cinema Memory, Ikuinen aika / Eternal Time, Valon draama / A Drama of Light. FI 2010–2011. PC: Nosferatu Oy / Bufo Film Production Company. P: Ilkka Mertsola, Mark Lwoff. D+SC: Peter von Bagh. DP: Arto Kaivanto. S: Martti Turunen. ED: Petteri Evilampi. 270 min. Screening format: Digital Betacam. A dvd viewed at home, 12--15 March, 2012

A Century of the Cinema: Milos Forman, Marlen Khutsiev, Robert Parrish, Ettore Scola, Jacques Demy, Samuel Fuller, Mario Monicelli, Elia Suleiman, Youssef Chahine, Francis Ford Coppola, John Sayles, Amos Gitai, John Boorman, Michael Powell, Freddie Francis, Roy Ward Baker, Val Guest, Joseph H. Lewis, Claude Sautet, Sergio Sollima, Vittorio De Seta, Miklós Jancsó, Andrei Konchalovsky, Jerzy Skolimowski, Andrei Smirnov, István Szabó, Ivan Passer, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Francesco Rosi, Dino Risi, Victor Erice, Dušan Makavajev, Krzysztof Zanussi, Richard Fleischer, André De Toth, Abbas Kiarostami, Jafar Panahi, Aleksei Guerman, Agnieszka Holland, Bob Rafelson, Jonathan Demme.

The Longing of the First Cinema Memory: Maud Linder, Jean Dréville, Roy Ward Baker, Francesco Rosi, Costa-Gavras, Claude Goretta, Victor Erice, Vincent Sherman, Val Guest, Jean Rouch, Dino Risi, Jerry Schatzberg, Bob Rafelson, Wim Wenders, Jean-Charles Tacchella, Stanley Donen, Andrei Konchalovsky, Francis Ford Coppola, Irvin Kershner, Richard Fleischer, Emir Kusturica, Claude Chabrol, Agnès Varda, István Szabó, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jacques Demy, Terry Gilliam, John Boorman, Milos Forman, Manoel de Oliveira.

And many other directors in the two other parts of the movie.

Every morning for 25 years at the Midnight Sun Film Festival Peter von Bagh has interviewed masters of the world cinema at length. The interviews have been video-recorded, they have been published in extenso in the Filmihullu magazine, and a book has been published on them, also called Sodankylä ikuisesti / Sodankylä Forever.

Continuing themes emerge. A historical view where the WWII is a central common experience. Some directors are fatherless as a consequence of the war or the persecution by Hitler and Stalin. The festival started during the glasnost period in Eastern Europe, and the fall of the wall happened early on during its existence. Russian and Eastern European artists from Kieslowski to Khutsiev commented openly on experiences of tyranny, censorship, and stagnation. A great Italian panorama from the era of liberation and reconstruction till the end of the golden age in the 1970s emerges from the interviews. A special continuum is about the Roger Corman school with Demme, Sayles, Coppola... and Corman, himself. Certain directors (Maud Linder, Jean Dréville, Robert Parrish) hark back to first hand experiences with masters of the silent era. There is also a continuum of the masters of Iranian cinema, including Kiarostami, Panahi, and the Makhmalbaf family. The first question is always "what was the first movie you saw", and a definitive reaction was by Víctor Erice, leading ten years later to his movie La Morte Rouge.

This mosaic is a unique introduction into the history of the cinema, shot during the white nights of Lapland when the sun never sets, by the river Kitinen, the flow of which is a central visual motif. Most of these discussions I have experienced first hand, taking extended notes, and reading the full transcripts in the Filmihullu magazine. For me they are primary, but these four movies with the commentary by Peter von Bagh make new connections and offer new insights. In an atmosphere of unconditional respect the artists have often revealed something of the innermost, secret sources of their creativity. This set of movies is a valuable record for world culture.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Onko dvd-julkaisusta tietoa?