Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hard Eight

Sydney / Kivikova kahdeksikko. US © 1996 Rysher Entertainment / Green Parrot. P: Robert Jones, John Lyons. D+SC: Paul Thomas Anderson. DP: Robert Elswit - Super 35. M: Jon Brion, Michael Penn. Song: "Christmastime". AD: Michael Krantz. ED: Barbara Tulliver - cut on film [statement in the end credits]. C: Philip Baker Hall (Sydney Brown), John C. Reilly (John Finnegan), Gwyneth Paltrow (Clementine), Samuel L. Jackson (Jimmy), F. William Parker (hostage), Philip Seymour Hoffman (craps player), Robert Ridgely (Keno manager), Melora Walters (Jimmy's girl). Loc: Reno. Not theatrically released in Finland - VHS: 1997 Egmont Entertainment - telecast: 2.4.2001 MTV3, 15.7.2006 MTV3, 21.5.2011 Nelonen - VET V-3395 – K16 – 102 min. A Filmoteca Española print with Spanish subtitles by Juan Manuel Ibeas viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (Paul Thomas Anderson), 31 March 2013

Sydney was the title given by the director for his long-term project. Hard Eight is the on-screen title.

'Hard eight describes a dice roll in the game of craps wherein each of two dice land on "four."' (Wikipedia)

Wikipedia synopsis: "Sydney (Philip Baker Hall), a gambler in his 60s, finds a young man, John (John C. Reilly), sitting forlornly outside a diner and offers to give him a cigarette and buy him a cup of coffee. Sydney learns that John is trying to raise enough money for his mother's burial. He offers to drive him to Las Vegas and teach him how to make some money and survive. Skeptical at first, John agrees."

"Two years later, John, having gotten the money for the funeral, has stayed in Reno and become Sydney's protégé. John has a new friend named Jimmy (Samuel L. Jackson) who does security work, and is attracted to Clementine (Gwyneth Paltrow), a cocktail waitress dating John. John and Clementine get married, but later Sydney gets a frantic late-night phone call. He arrives at a motel to find the newlyweds holding hostage a customer refusing to pay Clementine, who moonlights as a prostitute."

"Sydney manages to smooth the situation over. He then advises John and Clementine to leave town and head to faraway Niagara Falls for their honeymoon. After the two leave, Sydney is confronted by Jimmy, who demands a large amount of money. He knows something about Sydney and threatens to tell John if necessary - that Sydney is the one who killed John's father."

"Sydney acquiesces and pays the money, but later sneaks into Jimmy's house and shoots him. He then returns to the same diner where he met John. The film ends with Sydney covering up blood on his shirt cuff."

An impressive debut feature from Paul Thomas Anderson. These were the first cinema screenings in Finland of Hard Eight, which has been previously been seen here only on video and tv. 35 mm prints are rare.

Certain structures typical for the director appear already here: like The Master, Hard Eight is based on the relationship between a father figure and a vagabond.

The authority figure is dubious, however. Sydney is a gambler with a shady past, perhaps in gangland.

John, the rootless desperado with violent impulses, has lost his father, and Sydney becomes his father figure. In the conclusion it turns out that it was Sydney who killed John's father.

Fatherhood, biological or otherwise, is the deep theme here. Sydney has failed as the father of the children of his own, and he sincerely wants to help John and Clementine to succeed in a better life. Jimmy's most fatal mistake may be his proclamation to Sydney that "no matter how hard you try you're not his father".

Hard Eight belongs to the great gambling films like California Split. Gambling is not the theme; it is the environment of illusions, violence, and instant gratification.

The most impressive feature of the movie is the excellent casting. Paul Thomas Anderson has discovered many members of his actors' ensemble already here. The performances are moving and deeply felt, including that of Gwyneth Paltrow, who has not appeared in other films of the director.

Hard Eight is based on a relaxed and spontaneous approach. Sometimes it feels even lax and prolonged.

It seems like it has been shot in available light, at times perhaps too puristically.

The print is ok, and that certain darkness seems intentional.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sokkotanssi / Blindfolded

Blindbock. FI 1999 © 1998 Dada-Filmi Oy. P: Kari Sara. D+SC: Matti Ijäs. DP: Kari Sohlberg. AD: Pertti Hilkamo. M: Eero Ojanen. "Sokkotanssi" piano theme tune by Eero Ojanen. Music selections include "El Cumbanchero", "Perfidia", "Sun suudelmas" and "Hopeapilvet" sung by Olavi Virta, "Tiger Shark", "Ranskalaiset korot" sung by Helena Siltala, "Coimbra" / "April in Portugal", "Sweetie Pie" sung by Eddie Cochran. ED: Jukka Nykänen. S: Jari Innanen, Heikki Innanen. Cost: Ulla-Maija Väisänen, Elina Kolehmainen. C: Walter Gröhn (Joonas Putkonen = Jontti), Mikko Vanhala (Länki Lehikoinen), Martti Suosalo (Ripa = Risto Putkonen, Jontti's father), Sulevi Peltola (teacher), Vesa-Matti Loiri (Himanen, a former sailor), Johanna Kerttula (Jontti's mother), Pirkka-Pekka Petelius (Ilmari Lätti, hairdresser), Henna Hakkarainen (Inkku = Inkeri), Anni Asikainen (Eija), Turo Rannema (Pikkis), Pirjo Luoma-aho (Eija's mother), Maria Aro (Länki's mother), Riitta Elstelä (shopkeeper), Bakary Barrow (Bothuhin), Liisa Kantokorpi (Vieno Carmen Putkonen), Veikko Tiitinen (old man on the street). Loc: Dragsfjärd, Hamina, Helsinki, Kotka, Järvenpää, Tallinn. Helsinki premiere: 12.3.1999 Kino-Palatsi, Tennispalatsi – VET 27979 – K10/8 – 2480 m / 91 min. KAVA print viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (tribute to Matti Ijäs) 27 March, 2013

Revisited Sokkotanssi, a labour of love from Matti Ijäs. Sokkotanssi has grown with time, and deserves to be watched every now and then with full attention. Matti Ijäs developed and matured the screenplay during a decade. The screenplay was inspired by elements from the childhood of the director in the 1950s and experiences with children of his own.

It is a story of two boys of nine years, schoolmates called Jontti and Länki. The story takes place in a harbour town which might be Kotka, but the movie has been shot on various locations. The time frame is the early 1960s.

It is a story of childhoods in broken families. Jontti's father is an inveterate womanizer ("hyppykulli"). Länki is being raised by a single mother.

The structure is episodic, with vignettes such as: -  the summer holiday island - the school health inspection - the slide show - the first black man in the town - detention - the father's escapades with his mistress - shoplifting - the practical joke on the authoritarian teacher: the boys fill his shampoo bottle with hair remover - the teacher's revenge: the boys lose their tryst in an abandoned house - the retired sailor living in a stranded shipwreck - stealing dynamite at a construction site - the practical joke on the father: rigging his bicycle (dangerously) - the dynamite explodes at Länki - Länki's foot is amputated, "I can still feel the toes" - hunting pheasants for lunch - the itinerant hairdresser in his Citroën Camionnette, playing hit records, fascinating for women - stealing the blind workers' cash register - the beehive hairdo of little Eija, "the terrible Sputnik" - little Eija is more mature and curious - the boys' experiments with liquor - Länki even tries to rob the church - Jontti's father has escaped with Inkku, and Jontti tries to fetch his father back - Länki would like to go to the sea, but the sailor's letter of recommendation is no good, and the furious Länki threatens the sailor with a gun - the sailor throws the gun away, and it lands on logs on the shore - when Länki runs to retrieve it he falls under the logs and cannot get out - Jontti misses Länki's hoarse laughter while he walks blindfolded on the holiday island, the moon shining on the white summer night sky.

An original and personally felt account of childhood, of experiencing great and little things of life for the first time.

The cinematography is wonderful, covering mostly the seasons of summer, winter, and spring - the most memorable images being perhaps those of winter.

There is a juicy and vibrant photochemical quality in the print which looks like it has been struck from the negative.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Books on my ski holiday

We took a ski holiday in Lapland, in Äkäslompolo, next to the Ylläs fell, in Kolari, which is the northernmost railway stop in Finland. Äkäslompolo is the most popular ski holiday center in Finland. On the tracks and in the café stops we met, besides the kuukkeli birds (Siberian jays), Englishmen, Italians, Frenchmen, and Germans. The weather was superb, but the ski tracks were a bit gruff after the exceptionally low night temperatures.

Jörn Donner: Mammuten eller Jörn Donners efterlämnade handlingar. Om illamåendets historia i Finland. Första delen [The Mammoth, or Jörn Donner's Posthumous Papers. About the History of Ill-Being in Finland. First Volume]. Helsinki: Schildts & Söderströms, 2013. - My first impression of these 1100 pages were of a mere notebook, a cut-up job, but soon it became evident that there is a basic epic drive in this distanced anti-autobiography. Large chunks have been published before elsewhere, but the episodes make different sense in this context. In the first 200 pages there is an account of Donner's last meeting with Kari Kairamo, the Nokia CEO, only days before his suicide, candid revelations of the family's (and Jörn's) German sympathies during WWII, and many pages about Donner's lifelong passion for fishing, even including an essay on the ruda / ruutana / Crucian carp. There have been many reactions to this book (see for instance: Michel Ekman, Hufvudstadsbladet, 5 Feb, 2013), and some may have just glanced at it, but I would recommend it for focused reading page for page (well.. some pages maybe just for skimming...)

Patrick McGilligan: Nicholas Ray. The Glorious Failure of an American Director. New York: It Books / HarperCollins Publishers, 2011. Patrick McGilligan is a great scholar about screenwriting, and his many volumes dealing with screenwriters are indispensable. I don't know if he is actually working for the Writers Guild of America and for the Motion Picture Academy in verifying screenplay credits, but if he isn't, he should. The strength of this book, too, is in the account of the pre-production of films. Book publishing companies have departments which collect materials for possible biographies, and they push the writers to find a commercial angle. "The dark side of the genius" used to be a fashionable angle in the 1980s, and they made McGilligan write a dreary book on Fritz Lang with such a bias. The life of Nicholas Ray is so full of actually sensational tabloid matter that nothing needs to be exaggerated. Bernard Eisenschitz already gave an honest account in his great Nicholas Ray biography twenty years ago (still highly recommended!). The distaste of this writer towards the subject is obvious from the beginning, and I was reluctant to read this, but I forced myself to. There is no new insight here, and when the author quotes something positive about his subject, there is usually a slightly ironic twist. It may indeed be the case that Nicholas Ray had great difficulty in expressing himself verbally, but he had a unique talent in visual expression. Might that be one of the secrets to the fact so many of his movies (even those whose pre-production and production histories were catastrophic) are still so enthralling to new generations of lovers of the art of the cinema around the world? Perhaps the author, a screenwriting expert, is constitutionally incapable of understanding such a purely visual artist as Nicholas Ray? - Among the juicy details: I did not know or had forgotten that Ray conducted affairs with Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and Gavin Lambert simultaneously.

Samuli Paulaharju: Wanhaa Lappia ja Peräpohjaa [Old Lapland and Deep North]. Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Kirja, 1923.
Samuli Paulaharju: Sompio. Luiron korpien vanhaa elämää [Sompio. From the Old Ways of Life in the Deep Forests of Luiro]. Porvoo * Helsinki: WSOY, 1939.
Kalervo Niskakoski, Keijo Taskinen: Äkäslompolo. Seitsemän tunturin kylä ajan virrassa [Äkäslompolo. The Village of the Seven Fells in the Stream of Time]. Äkäslompolo: Kirjakaari, 2012.
Ismo Korteniemi: Aakenuksen mailta [From the Lands of the Fell Aakenus]. Helsinki: Metsähallitus, 1990.
Ismo Korteniemi: Ylläksen kairoilta [From the kaira Forests of Ylläs] [kaira = a huge uninhabited forest area in North Finland]. Helsinki: Metsähallitus, 1991.
Janne Narvio: Tunturimaan lauluja [Songs from the Land of Fells]. Raisio: Janne Narvio, 2009. - Great Lapland reading. The word magic of Samuli Paulaharju works best, he is in a league of his own.

Tapio Rautavaara: En päivääkään vaihtaisi pois [I Wouldn't Change a Day] 5-cd collection. Warner Music Finland, 1995. Probably the best release of Rautavaara's songs, this edition is chronological, and makes sense in this way. In the 2004 edition they changed the order, to the worse. At Ylläs Rautavaara and his friends wrote the beloved "Rakovalkealla" [By the Log Fire]: "tuo köyhä karu maa / mut lumoihinsa saa / on avautunut sydämeni sille" ["this poor and rugged land / has caught me in its spell / I have opened my heart to it"]. In the silence of Lapland music and lyrics were more powerful, and I paid more attention to how Rautavaara interprets not only original song lyrics but also poets such as Runeberg ("Joutsen" / [The Swan]), and Paloheimo ("Ontuva Eriksson" / "The Limping Eriksson").

Robert E. White: "A chance to remake U.S.-Cuba relations". International Herald Tribune, 9-10 March, 2013. - Interesting insights to the Latin American politics of the U.S. by an expert who was the U.S. ambassador to Paraguay 1977-1979 and to El Salvador 1980-1981. The death of Hugo Chávez offers Washington an opportunity to a new opening in Latin America. White's perspective ranges from the Monroe Doctrine (1823) to the present.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Jari Halonen: How My Films Were Made (a lecture)

Jari Halonen: Miten elokuvani ovat syntyneet? Lecture in the series organized by the HYY:n Elokuvaryhmä / The Film Society of The Student Union of the University of Helsinki. Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 15 March 2013.

Jari Halonen (born 1962) belongs to the wildest rebels in the Finnish theatre, television, and cinema. The world heard about him for the first time as a member of Jumalan Teatteri [God's Theatre], whose performances included throwing actual shit on the audience in 1987. All of Halonen's four theatrical films have been special: Back to the USSR - takaisin Ryssiin (1992 - a mad hallucination about the ghost of the Soviet Union, featuring a vampire who is a Lenin lookalike), Lipton Cockton in the Shadows of Sodoma (1995 - a futuristic view about the year 2037. Europe has united into a giant federation. The capital of Pan-Europe is Vladivostok. Somewhere in its Ugrian quarter a man explodes, and a detective starts to investigate the flood of serial murders plaguing the overpopulated city), Joulubileet ([Christmas Party], 1996 - an ex-convict released from prison arranges a party to remember), and Aleksis Kiven elämä ([The Life of Aleksis Kivi], 2002 - an unconventional biopic about the writer who wrote the first great Finnish-language novel and the first great Finnish-language play and died in abject poverty, discriminated by the establishment). Halonen's interpretation of the Finnish national epic Kalevala is announced to be released in November.

Jari Halonen, back from India, spoke at a high energy level for two hours without any breaks for excerpts.

You need to know something more. Otherwise it does not make any sense.

The story of Aleksis Kivi: there is no escaping into the forest. He told the truth about anti-rationalism. Studying is the keyword: how a forest people became a civilized state.

Back to the USSR was the first film anywhere about the fall of socialism. The feedback included a remark wishing the members of God's Theatre to ship this effort back to where it came from [a reference to the shit incident].

Lipton Cockton was a reflection on the state of the world, where we are going. It is an image of its time, and I was also trying to make sense of myself, and I realized that I was an ultra-feminist. (Now I am an anti-feminist.) I have been raised by a single mother, meaning that I am katukasvatettu [raised on the street]. My first child was a girl. So I was an ultra-feminist, but a failed one. Femininity is inbuilt, but the world has been led to a masculine, patriarchal sidetrack. The balance is moving towards feminity. The conventional heroes are warriors, stars like Schwarzenegger. We also need heroes who are feminine men, such as Jesus and Buddha. 

In Lipton Cockton the protagonist is discovering his feminine side. The protagonist, the real man, understands the extreme solution, and saves the world.

Joulubileet [Christmas Party] was a so-called välityö, a minor commitment. Nobody wanted it. "This is the worst screenplay I ever saw", said Reima Kekäläinen. But I got some support from the short film funds at SES and AVEK. The result was the best-acted movie in the world. The distribution was a disaster.

The aim is to understand more. Be brave. Then things start to happen. But admittedly this is slow going.

The premiere of Kalevala is set for 15 November 2013. It is 100 minutes. My best movie.

With Esa Kirkkopelto we taught making observations. That was a central theme in our teaching. Make 100-200 observations. [The artist and caricaturist] Kari Suomalainen was great in observation. He had the talent of expressions. There was a sense of truth in his observations. Insight.

Jouko Turkka was the one who introduced the focus on observation. Learning is not the idea. Anybody who thinks he knows gets nothing.

The concept was that of the master and the apprentice. But there are damn few masters around. Now the only idea is that we are pals with the students. Get out! Don't be my pal.

Not that Turkka was easy. He had a thing with egoism. But he was a guru in his field.

What is new in Kalevala? The understanding of the ancestors about everything. The Lönnrot Kalevala is like Pocahontas by Disney. Lönnrot is a Christian to the core. The Gallen-Kallela Kalevala is not true, either. There is a huge history behind the tales. The Swedes from their bastion cities destroyed Finnish history. I may get a nationalist stigma. The reception of Aleksis Kiven elämä already hinted into that direction. It was called "a nationalist film". What is the reason for Finnish racism? We have never been allowed to feel what we are. 280 000 I financed myself.

Be brave! It always turns to the positive. You think that the opposite of fear is courage. You think there are two. The Tao of Yin and Yang. But there are always three. The past, the future, the present. There is no black and white. Courage is the balance, the normal state. On the one side is fear, on the other side is recklessness. 

Life is understanding what is illusory.

I am just back from India. I have put my head into the tiger's mouth. I have been giving a rap performance here. Trying to be spontaneous. It makes no sense to arrive well prepared. Anyway, I thought this would be but an introduction of 15 minutes to Lipton Cockton.

Q: What has been the easiest, what has been the most difficult? A: Lipton Cockton is like Jeanne d'Arc by Carl Th. Dreyer. Jorma Tommila is one of the best actors in the world in these fingers [shows five fingers]. He does not act. It is something bigger. For the method I give full marks to myself. Tommila did not need to go to the lataamo [battery-charging station = madhouse]. He lives, he does not act. It is truly remarkable.

In the late 1980s at TV3 they launched a series of short films. I threw the screenplays away. Out of a ten minute project I made a programme of one hour. I had never made a movie. Timo Heinänen, the cinematographer, was superb.

Jouko Turkka said [imitating Turkka]: "Remember that everybody is your enemy - they try to destroy your thing". I understood nothing. What I understood was that you need forest. I shoot for the editing room. I edited the whole thing. It was shot on video, and I decided that we need no clapperboards. In five days we shot eight hours of footage, and there were no clapperboards. It was shot on U-Matic, and I had to edit it myself.

In Back to the USSR and Lipton Cockton we had to interrupt the editing. They would be better movies if we would have been able to edit more. We did not have a Steenbeck of our own. Editing was expensive.

The direction begins when there is a problem. Trying to get at least 5% of the images in the right direction. But there are distractions all the time.

When there is no money the direction begins when you need to invent. The days get long. If I only could focus merely on the direction of actors.

You need to adapt to the resources.

Nowadays most actors won't come. I slapped Olavi Uusivirta. It only adds to my reputation. The job of the director is to help the actor.

Mike Tyson was the toughest as long as he had a good coach. When he lost him they beat him up.

Every director should go to the stage, himself. [As an actor.]

I have tested all the most notable actors
[in Finland].

In the 1980s the acting team was quite something, the mood was terrific, you could not help participating.

The standard of Finnish acting has fallen, and now it is as weak as in Sweden.

I remember when as I child I went to see Eila Pehkonen in Viekää tuhkatkin pesästä
[You Can Even Take the Ashes from the Fireplace] with my mother. The actor was bigger then. He was an artist. Bigger than the current celebrities. Now actors are businesspeople, their job is adulation. In Finland, the art of acting was bigger than in Europe.

The Jouko Turkka revolution was the insight of acting as physical action. Work out your body so that you can express with it. Some people realized it, and it pulled them higher.

Real drama has not vanished anywhere. Whenever you face death, it is there. 

The theatre is closer, more meaningful: it is the testimony of a living person to a living audience. I realized that in Daniel Hjort in Theatre Jurkka, in Kullervo, in Apteekkari at the Summer Theatre  1990.

Now the biggest thing is Putous
[The Fall, a hugely popular sketch show at MTV3 since 2010].

Q: There is a lot of video in the theatre these days. A: When you have no actor you need to get around it. Ryhmäteatteri after Jouko Turkka. Arto af Hällström was great with supporting actors. There were great supporting actors who were incapable of expressing the dramatic curve of a protagonist. There was a dearth of leading players.

In the cinema you can cheat. Aki Kaurismäki is a master in cheating. There is no drama without an actor, but he can pull it off, he can get around it.

It is the easiest thing in the world, the most difficult thing in the world.

There is the chair method of acting. The school of acting that the actor is a chair, and you build around it.

On the other hand there is the actor with as much depth as you dare look. Does it save the world?

Q: How do you get it to work? A: It is a formidable job. You need to cut your body to pieces and rediscover it all over again.

I have total respect for Kaurismäki. But if the actor would start to act, Kaurismäki would be in deep trouble. But he circles around. Affe
[Arto af Hällström] did so, too. He created a new dramaturgy, a dramaturgy of supporting players.

Q: How about dvd's of your movies? - A: Dvd's are forthcoming.
Q: Influences? A: These are my views. Others do otherwise. Observation is the key. Fellini. Chaplin. Russian literature. Turkka. My own perversions. Pasolini. Those have influenced me, too, a great deal.

Q: Joulubileet [Christmas Party]. - A: It is a true story. All the characters are real. One of them is still alive. It was an actual Christmas in my youth. It is a reconstruction of the truth. It was in a way a minor commitment since it faced such opposition. Now there are Joulubileet-seuroja [clubs]. I have participated, myself, and I nauroin sikana [laughed my socks off]. There is a sairaan hyvä [damn good] rhythm, too. It is a bit pointless. It tells where I come from.

Q: It is a brave film. - A: It is a prophecy of a kind. Egoism is stupid. If I live ten years longer I will be much humbler still. I am no author. We are all one.

[This is where I had to leave, on my way to the train to Lapland, but soon I saw the crowd coming out of Orion after the full two hours lecture. Jari Halonen's movie selection after the lecture: Lipton Cockton.]

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Oberhausen Manifesto 2

Screened with e-subtitles in English (SDK), operated by Lena Talvio, Cinema Orion, Helsinki (The Oberhausen Manifesto), 14 March 2013

Curated by Olaf Möller, based on the Oberhausen retrospective Provokation der Wirklichkeit: 50 Jahre Oberhausener Manifest (2012) curated by Ralph Eue und Olaf Möller. Programme notes: 58. Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen 26. April–1. Mai 2012: Oberhausener Manifest 1962. Festival Catalogue.

Bau 60
Building 60. DE 1961. 12‘, 35 mm, b/w, sound . D+P Dieter Lemmel. DP: Wolf Wirth. Distributor: Deutsche Kinemathek.
    The art of building has changed. Old jobs with new tools. That which is created is somehow not at one with those who created it. The built environment of the new West Germany of the economic miracle is cool, strict, angular. That may be nice and modern. But life takes a slower, or at least different, course. - AA: Virtually a silent film, with no meaningful dialogue. An impressionistic view of a construction site, sometimes almost abstract shots of building elements and muscles.

Kommunikation – Technik der Verständigung
Technology of Communications. DE 1961. 11‘, 35 mm, colour, sound. D: Edgar Reitz. Distributor: Deutsche Kinemathek.
    An industry film for the West German Post Office. Using the latest communications technology to link up the world. A technophile ballet in the mysterious world of relays, very high frequency channels and decimetre bridges. - AA: A montage film, often based on stills, with electronic music, showing the way of mail, money, and telegraphs. A times I thought about Fritz Lang and also that Risto Jarva may have seen this; at least he did similar public service and industrial non-fiction films, such as Tietokoneet palvelevat [Computers at Our Service], now priceless documents of the expansion of the computer age.

Der heiße Frieden
Hot Peace. DE 1965. 37‘, 35 mm, colour, sound. D+SC: Ferdinand Khittl. DP: Ronald Martini. Distributor: Deutsche Kinemathek
    Research is a natural process that can be studied like any other natural process. It will have its difficulties, but also its laws, which we can keep. (promotion suggestion for Hot Peace) - AA: An inspired industrial film focusing on science and the scientific impulse based on curiosity. There is an interesting excursion into the question of patents. A passionate plea for research and development. The title "hot peace" means "competition".

Die Maschine
The Machine. DE 1966. 11‘, 35 mm, sound, colour. D: Wolfgang Urchs. Distributor: Deutsche Kinemathek.
    The film is a rigorous essay about a person who starts building a machine, developing it further and further until it becomes too powerful and in the end turns its inventor into a part of itself. (Wolfgang Urchs, 2010) - AA: Limited animation. A cutout animation with affinities with the Polish school (Lenica). The machine which produces anything, including cannons. The machine of production becomes a machine of destruction. No translation is needed for this movie.

Die Utopen
The Utopias. DE 1967. 9‘, 35 mm, sound, colour. D: Vlado Kristl. P: Boris von Borresholm. Distributor: Deutsche Kinemathek.
    When I made animated films, people criticised me, saying they were conceived as live-action films. When I then made live-action films, the term ‘animated film’ was mentioned. Before, I thought that the two forms were actually close and that no decision needed to be taken in favour of the one or the other. Now I know that this is not the case at all: that ani-mated film basically belongs to painting. (Vlado Kristl, 1966) - AA: Limited animation, cutout animation, artpen, and pastel. Electronic music. The Utopists are executed. The imagery is macabre. Disjecta membra, "splatter", blood spills over the canvas.

Brilliant new 35 mm prints in an intelligently mounted show.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Oberhausen Manifesto 1

Screened with e-subtitles in English (SDK), operated by Lena Talvio, Cinema Orion, Helsinki (The Oberhausen Manifesto), 12 March 2013

Curated by Olaf Möller, based on the Oberhausen retrospective Provokation der Wirklichkeit: 50 Jahre Oberhausener Manifest (2012) curated by Ralph Eue und Olaf Möller. Programme notes: 58. Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen 26. April–1. Mai 2012: Oberhausener Manifest 1962. Festival Catalogue.

A new era is dawning! More than any other important film-historical document of those years, the Oberhausen Manifesto marks a radical break – with an aesthetic, with a culture of subsidy, production and distribution, with an entire history. Alexander Kluge called his feature film debut Abschied von gestern (Yesterday‘s Girl, 1966) – three words, like a manifesto, that encapsulate the entire project of Young German Cinema. The gesture was so powerful that it also swept up both cinema-lovers and filmmakers from New York, Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm, Budapest, Buenos Aires and Belgrade to Barcelona – to a degree equalled only by the Nouvelle Vague, the Oberhausen Manifesto stands worldwide for this era of new departures, radical changes, breakthroughs - and simply ruptures. Walter Krüttner’s That Must Be a Piece of Hitler shows how necessary this gesture was – today we can barely imagine how present the Nazi past was back then. It is also hard to imagine that a work such as That Must Be a Piece of Hitler could fall into oblivion. At the time, the film was a scandal – it was responsible for putting an end to Berghof tourism, after all – but these days one seeks it in vain among the conventional film literature. Cinema history, as is seen here once again, is not set in stone – in reality, it is a construction site. As part of the project Provoking Reality, to which the theme programme Mavericks, Mouvements, Manifestos belongs, new copies were prepared of 35 films in whose making the signatories of the Oberhausen Manifesto played an important role. This means 35 possibilities to approach history – and not only that of cinema – in a different way. And perhaps the dream of a different kind of cinema, a different way of engaging with culture, politics and ourselves, has to be dreamt again in a different way.

Brutalität in Stein
Brutality in Stone. DE 1961. 11‘, 35 mm, b/w, sound. D: Peter Schamoni, Alexander Kluge. DP: Wolf Wirth. P: Peter Schamoni, Alexander Kluge, Dieter Lemmel. Distributor: Deutsche Kinemathek.
    An original and historically important attempt (...) to infer the barbarity of an accursed epoch from its buildings – Hitler’s Nuremberg party buildings, which are confronted in contrapunctal fashion with the former pomp and horror (...) a painting in sound and images with a relentless inner logic. (Hans Sahl, 1961). - AA: A powerful double montage: contemporary images of Nazi monuments and illuminating sounds.

Parolen und Signale
Plakate der Weimarer Republik / Slogans and Signals. DE 1962. 10‘, 35 mm, colour, sound. D: Haro Senft. SC: Haro Senft, Hans Loeper. DP: Heinz Furchner. Distributor: Deutsche Kinemathek.
    A photo – or poster–film. Posters from the Weimar Republic – another title of this film – serve as starting points for passing on the history of the first German republic and the reasons for its failure to future generations. - AA: A compilation of posters grows into a history of Germany, with sounds such as "Die Wacht am Rhein".

DE 1962. 18‘, 35 mm, b/w, Sound. D: Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet. Based on a story by Heinrich Böll. C: Erich Kuby (Oberst Erich von Machorka-Muff), Renate Lang (Inniga von Zaster-Pehnunz). Distributor: Deutsche Kinemathek
    The former colonel, and now General Erich von Marchorka-Muff fulfills a life dream: the opening of the Hürlanger Hiss Academy for Military Memories. A vivid abstract dream, not a story about the re-armament of the Bonn Republic. - AA: Revisited the delicious Heinrich Böll satire realized by Straub and Huillet in their most accessible mode. It indeed is a comment on the remilitarization.

Das Unkraut
The Weeds. DE 1962. 11‘, 35 mm, colour, sound. D: Wolfgang Urchs. Distributor: Deutsche Kinemathek.
    Animated film about a city that is swallowed up by weeds growing with malevolent vigour because its inhabitants have not taken enough initiative. The complaints are lodged with a cop, who extends an antenna and constantly sends a despatch to the ‘responsible authorities‘: “There is a weed. It must go!“ - AA: Stylish limited animation (qf. certain Disney episodes of the 1940s, later known as the UPA style). "Es ist doch gar nicht unsere Sache" - "It's none of our business". - Soon the Unkraut, the weed, is everywhere, and it has become everybody's business. A sharp ecological comment. Or political comment.

Es muß ein Stück vom Hitler sein
That Must Be a Piece of Hitler. DE 1963. 12‘, 35 mm, b/w, sound. D+SC: Walter Krüttner. DP: Fritz Schwen-nicke. Distributor: Deutsche Kinemathek.
    Scenes of the Führer cult on the Obersalzberg, presented as a mixture of direct cinema and Mad. Tourists from all over the world are carted in in bus loads, led through the ruins of Hitler‘s Berghof and finally offered souvenir. At the end, one of the guides describes the bus companies as “transports”... - AA: An unobtrusive satire on the phenomenon of Hitler's "holy mountain" becoming a huge tourist attraction. There is a recommendation to rather visit a concentration camp.

Arme Leute
Poor People. DE 1963. 12‘, 35 mm, b/w, sound. D: Vlado Kristl. Distributor: Deutsche Kinemathek.
    People run after a pot full of gold that is perhaps empty and possibly not even a pot any more. The important thing is: completely obsessed, they run after something that they believe will change something. But it doesn‘t. Not in that way. - AA: A stark, silent tale with affinities to the theatre of the absurd.

Brilliant new 35 mm prints of restored versions of the films. The programme has been judiciously curated: there are thematic links and continuities in the films screened.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Robin Wood: Ingmar Bergman: New Edition (2013) (a book)

Robin Wood: Ingmar Bergman. New Edition. Written by Robin Wood (1931-2009). Original book (1969), with later essays on Cries and Whispers (1973), Fanny and Alexander (1983), Persona revisited (1994), and From the Life of the Marionettes (2000). Edited by Barry Keith Grant. A new preface by Richard Lippe. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2013.

Wayne State University Press has published expanded editions of Robin Wood's books Howard Hawks (2006), Personal Views (2006), and now Ingmar Bergman (2013).

When I got hold of this volume it instantly bypassed all the other works in my towering book piles. I had read the original book a long time ago, but now I felt the urgency much more acutely.

These writings belong to the very best ever written on Ingmar Bergman.

Robin Wood responds to the personal and daring subjectivity in Ingmar Bergman's films. He also reveals aspects of his personal life to conduct a kind of a symposium with the great artist.

A personal and subjective response is the impetus for the book, but the actual argument is matter-of-fact, based on precise observations.

In the final pages of the extended edition Wood expresses critical remarks about Bergman's fondness of isolating his characters from all social context.

In the 1970s and the 1980s I also felt that Bergman was out of touch with society, but then I realized that it was me who was having a tunnel vision and that Bergman was a great artist aware of his strengths and limitations, constantly exploring and developing along his own chosen and difficult paths. From subjects propitious to him Bergman could discover infinite riches.

In his original book Wood writes that Bergman's full mastery starts with Winter Light. Shame, the most recent Bergman film at the time of the writing of the original book, was then for Wood the culmination of Bergman's art.

I don't agree with Wood about everything, but at this reading this book became truly alive to me, I understand the films of Bergman more profoundly, and many films I now cannot probably see without acknowledging Wood's remarks. Kvinnors väntan / Waiting Women is a film I'll need to see more often.

The discussion on Winter Light ends with a Finnish connection: "Sibelius's Fourth - a work as austere, compressed, and enigmatic as Winter Light - is as far as I know unique among symphonies in ending not with a decisive fortissimo or pianissimo but with an indeterminate mezzo-forte. No conductor in my experience has ever played it like that; similarly, few seem willing to accept the very precisely defined 'mezzo-forte' of the end of Winter Light for what it is."

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Napoléon vu par Abel Gance (1981 Zoetrope Studios - Coppola version)

Napoléon vu par Abel Gance (FR 1927). The 1981 Zoetrope Studios version with a soundtrack on film by Carmine Coppola.

Napoléon vu par Abel Gance
Napoleon Bonaparte /  Napoléon

Ranska 1927. Tuotantoyhtiöt: Films Abel Gance / Société générale de films. Tuotannonjohto: Louis Osmont, Noë Bloch, Edouard de Bersaucourt. Tuottaja, ohjaaja, käsikirjoittaja: Abel Gance. Apulaisohjaajat: Henri Andréani, Pierre Danis, Henry Krauss, Anatole Litvak, Mario Nalpas, Viatcheslav Tourjansky, Alexandre Volkoff. Kuvaus: Jules Kruger; Léonce-Henry Burel, Joseph-Louis Mundwiller, Nikolai To-porkoff. Lavastus: Alexandre Benois – Pierre Schildknecht. Puvut: Mme. Augris, Georges Charmy, Mme. Neminsky. Erikoistehosteet: Segundo de Chomón, Paul Minine, Ed-ward Scholl, Eugen Schüfftan, Nicolas Wilcké. Kuvalliset tehosteet: Schüfftan, W. Percy Day (mattemaalaus), Wilcké (pienoismallit). Leikkaus: Abel Gance – Marguerite Beaugé. Pääosissa: Albert Dieudonné (Napoléon Bonaparte), Wladimir Roudenko (Bonaparte lapsena), Gina Manès (Joséphine de Beauharnais), Nicolas Koline (Tristan Fleuri), Annabella (Violine Fleuri ja Désirée Clary), Edmond Van Daële (Robes-pierre), Alexandre Koubitzky (Danton), Antonin Artaud (Ma-rat), Marguerite Gance (Charlotte Corday), Abel Gance (Saint-Just), Yvette Dieudonné (Élisa Bonaparte), Suzanne Bianchetti (Marie-Antoinette), Damia (La Marseillaise), W. Percy Day (amiraali Hood), Favière (Fouché), Henry Krauss (Moustache), Philippe Hériat (Antoine Saliceti). Musiikki kino-orkesterille: Arthur Honegger. 12800 m /20 fps/ 9 h

Helsingin ensiesitys: 28.11.1927 Capitol, maahantuoja: O.Y. Ufanamet A/B – tv-lähetys: 28.12.1995 Yle TV1 (Coppola-versio) – tarkastusnumero 14599 – K16 – Suomen tarkastuspituus 3250 m / 20 fps/ 140 min

Helsingin ensi-iltakierroksella Marseljeesi-kohtauksessa esiintyivät oopperalaulaja Teddy Björkman ja kuoro.

Elokuvasta on 27 erilaista laitosta. Yleinen ensilevitysversio (myös Suomen levitysversio) 140 min, ääniversio Napoléon Bonaparte (vu et entendu par Abel Gance) (1935) 101 min ja 140 min, Bonaparte et la Révolution (1971) 252 min ja 262 min

Coppolan levitysversio Photoplayn (Kevin Brownlow) rekonstruktiosta (US 1981, M: Carmine Coppola), 235 min

Photoplayn (Kevin Brownlow, David Gill) rekonstruktio in progress (1980–) jatkuu yhä. M: Carl Davis mm. Beethovenia sovittaen (Eroica, 5. pianokonsertto, 5. sinfonia) /20 fps/ 330 min

Kolmen valkokankaan polyvisio on uudella ajalla yleensä nähty yhdelle filmille yhdistettynä scope-toteutuksena, mutta vuodesta alkaen 1999 Photoplay ja BFI ovat esittäneet aitoa polyvisioversiota kolmella rinnakkaisprojektorilla suurissa live cinema -erikoisnäytöksissä.

Orion 9.3.2013: Coppola-versio Kevin Brownlow -rekonstruktiosta (polyvisio scope-formaatissa), 235 min
Abel Gancen pääteos lähestyy historiaa legendan avulla samoin kuin vaikkapa Griffith, Ford tai Visconti. Tavoitteena ei ole kuvata historian koko vyyhteä vaan ajan olemusta edustavien hahmojen ja tapausten kautta. Ottamistaan vapauksista huolimatta teos kuuluu kaikkien aikojen parhaisiin historiallisiin elokuviin. Harvoin tulee niin voimakkaasti tunne siitä, että henkilöt todella elävät tapahtumia eivätkä ole vain juuri asunsa vaatevarastolta hakeneita statisteja.

Gance otti määrätietoisesti käyttöön elokuvan mahdollisuudet, ja Napoleonista tuli visuaalisen mielikuvituksen ensyklopedia. Huipputeknikot palkattiin valmistamaan erikoislinssejä, kameroita ja tehosteita. Elokuvaa tehtäessä syntyneitä keksintöjä patentoitiin. Gance kehitti käsikameran ja subjektiivisen kameran käytön niin pitkälle, että siitä oli esikuvaa vielä Ranskan uuden aallon ohjaajille 30 vuotta myöhemmin. Kamera asetettiin hevosen selkään, keinuihin, myrskyaallon tai lumipallon rataa jäljitteleviin koneisiin, rintakiinnikkeisiin, hisseihin, kaapeleille, veden alle, liikkuviin kattovaijereihin, suureen heiluriin ja jopa giljotiiniin. Ihmeellisintä tässä on se kurinalaisuus ja tarkoituksenmukaisuus, jolla rikasta ilmaisurekisteriä käytettiin.

Keksinnöistä kuuluisin oli polyvisio: kolmella projektorilla heijastettava laajakangaskuva. Tätä Cineraman edelläkävijää Gance käytti elokuvan huippukohdissa, joissa toiminta »repeää» äkkiä laajakankaalle. Muutamassa kohdassa kuva nähdään laidasta laitaan yhtenäisenä panoraamana. Muuten on kyse kolmesta erillisestä rinnakkai-sesta kuvasta, »triptyykistä». »Nähtyäni ensi kertaa polyvision tavallinen elokuva ei enää merkinnyt minulle mitään. Keskikuvassa on pääteema, tarina, jota kerrotaan. Tarina on proosaa, ja sivuilla kulkee runous. Tätä minä kutsun elokuvaksi.» (Gance). 

Tekniikkaansa Gance luonnehti myöhemmin »visuaaliseksi atomipommiksi». Gancelle tunnusomainen salamaleikkaus säilyi keinona polyvision rinnalla. Sellaisissakin kohdissa, joissa polyvisiota ei käytetty, valkokangas saattoi haljeta jopa yhdeksään osaan, joissa oli kussakin eri toiminta. Tekniikka soveltui sekä taistelujaksoihin että subjektiivisiin tajunnanvirtakohtauksiin, joissa Napoleonin ajatusten nähdään välähtelevän valkokankaalla. Loisteliaat erikoistehosteet loi alan nerokkain taiteilija, espanjalainen Segundo de Chomón.

Alkuperäinen versio katosi ja syrjäytyi lyhennelmien tieltä. Syypää tähän oli Gance itse. Kevin Brownlow alkoi kerätä 1950-luvulla säilynyttä materiaalia ja rekonstruoi vuonna 1980 viisi tuntia ja 15 minuuttia kestävän rekonstruktion, johon sävelsi ja koosti upean musiikin Carl Davis, ja myöhemmin tästäkin parempia laitoksia, vuonna 1999 kolmen projektorin polyvisiolaitoksen. Brownlown suurtyö on elokuvarestauroinnin kaikkien aikojen huippusaavutus, ja Napoleonin uudelleenlanseeraus vuonna 1980 oli kansainvälinen suurmenestys. Carl Davisin johtama kinokonsertti nähtiin Helsingissäkin, Helsingin juhlaviikoilla, Kevin Brownlown läsnäollessa, Finlandia-talossa samaan aikaan 7.9.1986, kun oli Urho Kekkosen hautajaiset. Brownlown työ oli keskeinen yllyke mykän elokuvan 1980-luvulla alkaneeseen renessanssiin. Abel Gance (1889–1981) ehti itse kokea arvostuksensa nousun ylimmilleen elinaikanaan. "Ensimmäiset 80 vuotta ovat vaikeimmat", oli hänen kommenttinsa.

Antti Alanen (MMM Elokuvaopas 1995, 2005) AA 9.3.2013

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Aki Kaurismäki (1988/2012): Juice Leskinen & Grand Slam: Bluesia Pieksämäen asemalla

Tampere Film Festival, Opening Screening, Tullikamari: Pakkahuone, 6 March 2013.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Documentary | 18 min | 2K DCP
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Cinematography: Timo Salminen, Olli Varja
Sound: Jouko Lumme
Editor: Timo Linnasalo
Music: Juice Leskinen & Grand Slam
Production: Sputnik Oy / Aki Kaurismäki
Contact: Sputnik Oy / Eevi Kareinen, +35896877100,
    Filmed at Pakkahuone, Tampere, at the anniversary party of Radio 957, 31 August, 1988.

AA: A straight record of a performance of one long song, "Bluesia Pieksämäen asemalla" ["Blues at the Pieksämäki Station"] by Juice Leskinen (1950-2006), one of the great names of Suomi Rock. The audience was moved to view it at the very place where the original performance took place 25 years ago.

Finnish Wikipedia: ""Bluesia Pieksämäen asemalla" is a song written by Juice Leskinen. It was released on the album Boogieteorian alkeet peruskoulun ala-astetta varten, lyhyt oppimäärä ["The Basics of Boogie Theory for Elementary School, Short Course"] , released in 1983. It is the longest piece of music ever written by Leskinen."

"The track which lasts over 16 minutes starts with the accompaniment of a mere acoustic guitar, but little by little more instruments are added. There are altogether sixty stanzas in the song. When the song is coming to an end the number of the instruments starts to decrease, until it ends again to the accompaniment of a mere guitar. Leskinen wrote the lyrics while actually waiting for a train at the Pieksämäki station."

"Artists participating are Matti Alanko, Anneli Heinola, Aki Helin, Hannu Hinze, Juhani Tepponen, Vesa Vartola, Martti Wiklund, Lucjan Czaplicki, Vesa Hyrskykari, Acre Kari, Nalle Lehtonen, Dave Lindholm, Pantse Syrjä, Eero "Safka" Pekkonen, Toni Lähteenmäki, Harri Marstio, Matti Pellonpää, and Mika Sundqvist." (Finnish Wikipedia, my translation)

Juice Leskinen        laulu ja kitara / vocals, guitar

Grand Slam
Antti Tammilehto    basso / bass
Vesa Sytelä        rummut / drums
Ila Louenranta        kitara / guitar
Puntti Valtonen    banjo
Anssi Tikanmäki    piano

Puhallinsektio / Wind instruments
Acre Kari         pasuuna / trombone
Pekka Hyvönen     saksofoni / saxophone
Nalle Lehtonen     trumpetti / trumpet
Lucjan Czaplicki     klarinetti / clarinet

Vierailijat / Guests
Mika Sundqvist    vihellys / whistling
Safka        haitari / accordeon
Pantse Syrjä        kitara / guitar
Harri Marstio        laulu / vocals
Matti Pellonpää    tanska / vocals in Danish
Jyrki Niemi        jouset / strings
Dave Lindholm    kitara / guitar
Toni Lähteenmäki    kuulutus / announcer

Tampere Film Festival 2013: Opening Screening

Tullikamari, 6 March 2013.

Hungary | Unkari 2004
Documentary | 6 min | 35 mm
Director: Béla Tarr
Cinematography: Robby Müller
Editor: Ágnes Hranitzky
Music: Mihály Vig
Production: Zentropa, T.T. Filmmühely
Contact: Magyar Filmunió / Marta Benyi, +3613517760,,
    "This film tells us that each human being has a life, that each human being has a face, a critical look and a name that are inalienable - that each human being has dignity. We must try to protect this dignity. Should anyone be deprived of it, we must try to conquer it back for them. This film is about human dignity, it shows humiliated, offended people. It is a film from Hungary." (Béla Tarr).
    AA: Revisited Béla Tarr's powerful entry to Visions of Europe: it is just a shot of people on the bread line. Unforgettable.

Not announced in the catalogue - information from Vimeo
Finland 2013
Pseudo-documentary | 6'47" | File
Leading actors: Topi Niemi, Juha-Matti Halonen, Marianna Lehtonen.
Toivo Tonta - director, script, editing
Sami Mikkonen - camera operator
Aleksandr Dumanskiy - boom operator
Miina Viljanen - sound assistant
A short film / pseudo-documentary about an inhabitant of Hervanta, the biggest suburb of Tampere, Finland.
    AA: A humoristic mythological portrait of a legendary young prophet called Topi. He lives in the immense underground parking-lot with access everywhere in Hervanta the famous suburb with top architecture on the on hand, dreary, sleepy suburbia on the other hand. "Topi is a part of Hervanta." "I make people think". "You have always known what you need to know in life".

France | Ranska 2012
Experimental | 2 min | 2K DCP
Director: Maxime Berthou (Monsieur Moo)
Editor: Maxime Berthou
Production: Le Fresnoy / François Bonenfant
Contact: Le Fresnoy / Natalia Trebik, +33320283864,,, www.panorama14net/167/yolande-panorama-14
    It is said of ships that 'if they have not tasted wine, they'll taste blood!' But why christen ships with champagne when you can do the opposite?
    AA: A visual gag where a champagne bottle is christened with a ship.
Finland | Suomi 1993
Fiction | 16 min | 35 mm
Director: Ilppo Pohjola
Screenplay: Ilppo Pohjola
Cinematography: Arto Kaivanto
Sound: Pekka Karjalainen
Editor: Heikki Salo
Music: Glenn Branca
Production: Crystal Eye Ltd.
Contact: Finnish Film Contact / Arja Aarnio, +35896129720,,
    Ilppo Pohjola's magisterial experimental film is a vision of a transsexual and her transformation from a biological woman into a biological man.
    AA: Revisited Ilppo Pohjola's furious vision about sex change. Rudi as a girl is played daringly by Leea Klemola, topical this week in the release of Kerron sinulle kaiken [I'll Tell You Everything].

The Philippines | Filippiinit 1984
Animation | 6 min | file
Director: Rox Lee
Music: Pink Floyd
Production: Monlee and Roxlee
Contact: Roxlee and Baybayin Production, +6323796186, +6329156037033,
    The animated short Great Smoke deals with the nuclear holocaust with rough drawings and still images about the effects of the nuclear holocaust. In its way Great Smoke is a satire about the great bomb while showing its gruesome outcome. It was shot on Super 8 mm with some black and white drawings and coloured still images.
    AA: A montage agit film with limited animation on nuclear holocaust. Explosive. Never have I heard music by Pink Floyd used more powerfully than here, the track being "One Of These Days" from Meddle (1971).

Sweden | Ruotsi 2011
Fiction | 15 min | 35 mm
Director: Jonas Selberg Augustsén
Screenplay: Jonas Selberg Augustsén
Cinematography: Harry Tuvanen
Sound: Jan Alvermark
Editor: Alberto Herskovits
Production: Bokomotiv Filmproduktion AB, Filmpool Nord / Freddy Olsson
Contact: Swedish Film Institute / Mirja Hildbrand Wester, +4686651136,
    Bogland is a film exploring the consequences of the loneliness and the sense of loss that self-realization and broken bonds between generations can bring about. The film can be seen as a tragedy of something that is lost or as a tribute to the modern myth.
    AA: The movie starts with an image of a painting on the hospital wall, and the music is the majestic, tragic introduction of Kullervo by Jean Sibelius. The movie is image-driven: there are long shots of dusks and dawns in Lapland. There is a Roy Andersson approach, an early-cinema approach of tableaux, long takes and long shots. The images are strong. This is a story of a girl who tries to find a connection to the ancient Sami myths. In the final image / dream the nude girl encounters the spirits of nude Sami men on the bog in the midnight sun.

Aki Kaurismäki: Juice Leskinen & Grand Slam: Bluesia Pieksämäen asemalla (1988/2012): see separate entry.

Tampere Film Festival 2013: National Competition

Tampere Film Festival is the oldest film festival in Finland. The complete official name of this year's edition is Tampere 43rd International Short Film Festival. Again I am focusing on the national competition. I copy below the official programme notes and add my own remarks having watched the films.

Subtitled in English and Finnish.

National Competition 1
Language: Arabic
Finland, Norway | Suomi, Norja 2012
Documentary | 85 min | 2K DCP
Director: Mohamed El Aboudi
Script: Mohamed El Aboudi
Cinematography: Marita Hällfors
Sound: Martti Turunen
Editing: Erik Andersson
Music: Juuso Hannukainen, Mikko Rajala
Production: Illume Oy / Pertti Veijalainen, Timo Korhonen, Torstein Grude, Venla Hellstedt
Contact: Illume / Maarit Montonen,
    A film about a woman who doesn't exist. Hind, a Moroccan girl, was raped and consequently denied an official identity. She has no other choice but to work as a prostitute and a traditional wedding dancer, but against the odds she refuses to give up.
    AA: Shot in Morocco, an astonishingly intimate documentary tragedy about an extremely sensitive situation. This movie belongs to the noble tradition of giving a voice to those who have been denied it. The camera is also a weapon of protection. In the presence of the camera people don't dare behave the way they would normally behave. The cinematography of Marita Hällfors is of high quality. Attention is paid to the atmosphere, the landscape, and the light. The colour palette is rich and warm.

National Competition 2
Language: ENG/FIN
Finland | Suomi 2012
Documentary | 80 min | 2K DCP
Directors: Anastasia Lapsui, Markku Lehmuskallio
Script: Anastasia Lapsui, Markku Lehmuskallio
Animation: Leena Jääskeläinen, Kaisa Penttilä
Cinematography: Johannes Lehmuskallio
Sound: Martti Turunen
Editing: Anastasia Lapsui, Markku Lehmuskallio
Music: Anna-Kaisa Liedes, Heikki Laitinen
Production, contact: Giron Filmi Oy / Markku Lehmuskallio, tel +358505292317,
    Kuvia kalliossa, kieltä mutta ei sanoja. Hän seisoo kokovartalokuvassa kallioon maalattuna, mutta kuka hän on? Sitä kukaan ei enää muista.
    Images in the rock, a language but no words. A full-length figure stands painted in the rock, but who is he or she? This no one can remember.
    AA: A new entry in Lehmuskallio and Lapsui's great, unique quest for the original, primordial thought and experience of man. This movie is a companion piece to Minä olen [I Am], and it is also related to Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams. This is a film about visual expression before the concept of art. "I look at my double". This movie is a personal, subjective approach to ancient visual expressions, a series of attempts to identify with them, even with painting oneself, animation, singing, and breathing. The film is not pure non-fiction, but an engaged film with active participation. It is a kind of etno-fiction. The visual expressions are viewed at their original sites such as caves, and also in museums. - "The spirit in me paints the animal on the rock". The animals may be humans of previous generations. "He may be hunting his ancestor". - The continuity of prehistoric art today. Shaman drums, animal masks, shaman incantations. - Palimpsest style expressions of rapid movement. - The call of the hunter. - The mystery hands on the cave walls. - The Meandas deer on the Kola Peninsula. - The film-makers invite us inside the ancient images with all means at their disposal, even newsreel footage of a holy dance with digital animation inserts of spirits. - Cro-Magnon images: you need to learn to see. - If you don't know, you don't see. - Finding ancient images around the world: Niaux, the cave which is two kilometers deep, "into the womb of the Earth". - Verlankoski: ancient images of elks. - Del Rio, Texas. - Australia. - Lake Onega, Russian Karelia. - The myth of the Golden Age. - From the primitive weapon till the nuclear bomb.

National Competition 3
Language: FIN
Finland | Suomi 2013
Documentary | 74 min | 2K DCP
Director: Virpi Suutari
Script: Virpi Suutari
Cinematography: Heikki Färm
Sound: Olli Huhtanen
Editor: Jussi Rautaniemi
Music: Matti Pentikäinen, Arto Tuunela, Atso Soivio
Production, contact: Filmimaa Oy / Markku Tuurna, +358505666596,,
    Nuoret ajelehtijat asuvat itähelsinkiläistä vuokrataloa, jota he kutsuvat Hiltoniksi. Nuorilla ei ole koulutusta, työtä, luottotietoja. Hilton! kertoo viiden päähenkilön salatuista unelmista, ja elokuvasta kasvaa väkevä todistus ystävyyden voimasta.
    There is a block of rental flats in Eastern Helsinki suburbs called Hilton. Its inhabitants are school dropouts and various drifters. In Hilton! we share the secret dreams of the five protagonists and witness the power of true friendship.
    AA: This impressive movie I already saw at the DocPoint opening screening.

National Competition 4
Language: English mostly, Finnish also
Finland | Suomi 2013
Documentary | 90 min | 2K DCP, scope
Director: Aleksi Salmenperä
Cinematography: Hena Blomberg
Sound: Pelle Venetjoki
Editor: Samu Heikkilä
Music: Ville Anselmi Tanttu
Production, contact: Made Oy / Ulla Simonen, +358409005505,,
    Elokuva kertoo miehestä, joka toteuttaa unelmansa: ystäviensä avulla hän yrittää korjata kuorma-auton, rakentaa sen päälle itselleen kodin ja ajaa sen Anchoragesta, Alaskasta Vancouverinsaarelle. Alcan Highway on road movie vapaudesta ja ystävyydestä.
    Alcan Highway is the story of a man making his dream come true: with the help of his friends he attempts to fix a truck, build a home on top of it and drive it from Anchorage, Alaska to the Vancouver Island. A road movie about freedom and friendship.
    AA: There seems to be a small revival of the road movie, including the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Alcan Highway is a humoristic documentary account of a crazy project of Hese (Heikki Tolonen), building a unique mobile home, and driving 4000 kilometers from Anchorage to Vancouver Island. There is a sense of fun in the opening where the mobile home is built. There is an inner monologue about Hese's childhood: how he was forced to play the piano and engage in classical music. The explosion under the engine bonnet is the big crisis, but even this problem is solved. Spare parts are built on the road in an engine shop. Motto: "We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us" (John Steinbeck). A fine road movie score by Ville Anselmi Tanttu and his orchestra of seven players; their final tune is a nice interpretation of "Wheels" (Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman). The landscapes are magnificent in the scope images in the journey sections.

National Competition 5
HAZARDS [the English title on the print]
Language: ENG
Finland | Suomi 2012
Documentary | 47 min | blu-ray>file
Director: Virke Lehtinen
Screenplay: Virke Lehtinen
Animation: Virke Lehtinen
Cinematography: Virke Lehtinen
Sound: Hannu Koski
Editors: Tuuli Kuittinen, Juuso Lavonen
Production, contact: Filmiryhmä Oy / Virke Lehtinen, +358405026025,,
    Sattuma ohjaa elämää. Sattumalta olen kuvannut tapahtumia, joihin en olisi halunnut joutua.
    Life happens by chance. By chance I have filmed situations I did not want to get into.
    AA: A film-maker's eloquent testimony. An excellent, personal essay by Virke Lehtinen based on footage shot him during fifty years. It starts with three dangerous accidents he has recorded with his camera. It goes on with three tragic stories of schoolmates. It expands the perspective to the world, to nature, to the universe. A work of lasting value with a special message to film archives. - The footage shot at the entrance of the KAVA vaults is about a then recent deposition by Virke Lehtinen, and the full story of the to-and-fro of that footage is quite complicated.

Language: Russian commentary, English subtitles
Finland | Suomi 2012
Documentary | 58 min | digibeta
Director: Kira Jääskeläinen
Screenplay: Kira Jääskeläinen
Cinematography: Timo Peltonen
Sound: Janne Jankeri
Editor: Katja Pällijeff
Music: Uno Helmersson
Production: Katharsis Films / Jouni Hiltunen
Contact: Katharsis Films / Kira Jääskeläinen, +358440270220,
    Kolja ja Sasha asuvat pienessä valaanpyytäjäyhteisössä Beringinsalmen rannalla. Heidän isänsä muistellessa vanhoja hyviä aikoja veljekset yrittävät löytää oman paikkansa nopeasti muuttuvassa maailmassa, jossa perinne kohtaa nykyajan.
    Kolya and Sasha live in a whale hunter community by the Bering Strait. While their father remembers the good old days the two brothers try to find their own paths in a rapidly changing world.
    AA: A leisurely account of the way of life in an arctic whaling community at Chukotka on the Russian side of the Bering Strait, where "the Ice Curtain" between Russia and the USA was located 25 years ago. Kira Jääskeläinen has managed to get very close to the people living in the extreme conditions that prevail there. Tagikaks belongs to one of the oldest traditions in the documentary cinema (Robert Flaherty, Mario Ruspoli, Pierre Perrault), but it is different, original, and unique. Dealing with corruption and gross mismanagement belongs to the themes of the movie. As do memories of the Soviet era. First towards the conclusion do we see the whale hunt. "If you lose control, that's the end of the story." In the cinematography I liked the majestic long shots of the stark landscapes.

National Competition 6
Language: FIN
Bilingual: in Finnish and Swedish
Finland, France, Germany, Sweden | Suomi, Ranska, Saksa, Ruotsi 2012
Documentary | 90 min | 2K DCP
Director: Mika Ronkainen 
    Nelikymppinen entinen muusikko Kai ajaa isänsä Taunon kanssa Oulusta Göteborgiin missä he asuivat Kain lapsuuden 70-luvulla. Pojan ja isän automatka muuttuu musiikilliseksi retkeksi yhteiseen tunnemuistiin ja suomalaissiirtolaisuuden historiaan.
    Kai, an ex-musician in his forties, drives with his father from Northern Finland to Southern Sweden where they lived in in the 1970's. The journey turns into a musical trip into the emotional memory and the history of Finnish immigration in Sweden.
    AA: Having lived three years in Sweden, myself, I have a personal interest in this original film about a quest for the roots of one's identity between Finland and Sweden. - Kai Latvalehto (in Aknestik 1984-2002) has had enough of Suomi rock. As he drives with his father from Oulu to Gothenburg (Göteborg) he learns things he never knew as a child in 1973, forty years ago: truths about moonshine liquor, being always drunk after work hours. There are Fenno-Swedish popular song performances every now and then, a sequence of a Swedish Finnish-language radio talk show, memories of inferior school circumstances for Finnish Swedes, views of traditional Finnish dancing spots in Sweden (Kai, the rock musician, has never danced on a dance floor). A Finnish Swedish woman says she had to work to find her identity, dramatized on the ferries sailing between Finland and Sweden. - Why am I an outsider? asks Kai. - In a discussion group he remembers embarrassing scenes from his childhood at the Pressbyrån stand in Gothenburg. - Kai still has a Swedish accent when he speaks Swedish. - Visiting the Slussen station, formerly an infamous spot of "Slussenin sissit", bums including Finns. - The powerful turning-point: the father tells about his vision / dream which made him stop drinking. - In Gothenburg Kai meets local rock guys who play Aknestik in their repertoire. - Destination Raggarkullen hill. - Father confesses that he had stolen money, and the move to Sweden made it possible to pay it back. - The spectacle of the Viking ferry leaving Stockholm for Finland. - The image of a green woodpecker as a present to the grandson from Gothenburg.

Music of Finnish immigrants of the 1970s was sung by Love Antell, Markus Fagervall, Mirella Hautala, Anna Järvinen, Darya Pakarinen, and Jukka Takalo. - Månskensorkestern. - Eskilstuna Boys.

National Competition 7
Language: ENG/FIN
Finland | Suomi 2013
Documentary | 79 min | digibeta
Director: Jouni Hokkanen
    Body of God kertoo siitä, kuinka 12-vuotiaan Fakir Musafarin 40-luvun alussa Etelä-Dakotassa suorittamista yksityisistä kokeiluista tuli maailmanlaajuinen ilmiö 90-luvun puoleenväliin mennessä.
    Body of God tells the story of how Fakir Musafar's private experiments on his body as a 12-year-old boy in South Dakota in early 1940s expanded to a worldwide phenomenon by the middle of the 1990s.
    AA: An amazing account of a lifetime in the culture of piercing. Fakir Musafar (born 1930) is eloquent about his experiences and the cultural links and connections. There is a lot of incredible vintage footage. New Guinea: tightlacing. The culture of tattooing. The Lakota sundance. The O-Kee-Pa ceremony: chest pierced (like in A Man Called Horse): "I saw the white light, and the white light spoke to me". In 1952 Queen Elizabeth inherited the crown jewels and had her ears pierced. I invented the name "modern primitives". The body piercing movement was started. Fakir's piercing school. Aerosmith: Crazy video with Alicia Silverstone started the piercing fashion. The African warrior tradition of branding. With internet we found one another. The question of body modification vs. mutilation / amputation.

National Competition 8
Finland | Suomi 2012
Documentary | 12 min | 2K DCP
Director: Jussi Lehtomäki
    Olipa kerran puunhakkaaja, joka asui kahden lapsensa ja vaimonsa kanssa tuvassa metsän laidassa. Pojan nimi oli Hannu, tytön Kerttu. Onko tämä Grimmin satu tuttu? Elokuva vie katsojan sadunkerrontahetkeen ja lähettää matkalle vanhaan metsään.
    Once upon a time a woodcutter lived with his wife and two children in a cottage next to a forest. The boy was called Hansel, the girl Gretel. Do you know this old story by the brothers of Grimm? The movie sends the audience on a journey into the dark woods.
    AA: A short film of prestige and ambition. Hansel and Gretel as a multi-meta-essay: the fairy-tale told straight, seen as silhouette animation, illustrated in live action and landscape footage, and discussed in circles of grown-up women and senior people. There are also visions of desolation and alienation. Cinematographer: Hannu Kähi. "Tuu tuu tupakkarulla" perf. Maija Kauhanen, kantele. "Nuku, nuku" perf. Sari Kaasinen & Sirmakka.

Finland | Suomi 2013
Experimental | 7 min | file
Director: Niina Suominen
    In Memoriam kuvaa ihmiselämän hetkellisyyttä. Elokuva yhdistää autioituneiden talojen kuvat ja huutokaupan äänet, muodostaen meditaation siitä, mitä meistä jää jäljelle kun poistumme näyttämöltä.
    In Memoriam addresses the transience of life. Images of desolate houses and sounds from an auction combine to form a meditation on what will be left of us when we have left the stage.
    AA: Soundtrack: a humoristic barker at full fling at an auction; rhythmic electronic dance music. Images: a montage of abandones houses.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Fiction | 20 min | blu-ray>file
Director: Katja Niemi
    AA: It is winter, and the town is snowbound. The movie is a subjective vision from the viewpoint of a young woman (Manuela Bosco) who is expecting. The young couple is at their morning routines. She meets a young mother with her baby. "I haven't told him yet". Visiting a shop for baby matters. The beginning is edited normally, then there is a Roy Andersson shot at the abortion clinic. Handheld camera for the consultation with the doctor about the abortion. Extended realistic hospital footage from a discreet camera angle. She is given tablets for the abortion. She walks out in a trance. Throughout the movie she is casting glances at children. Blood on the floor of the shower cabinet. Her envious gaze at a mother with her baby. Blurred vision to express her confusion. Extreme close-ups of her feet as she trudges slowly in deep snow in the forest. Handheld camera for a celebration (birthday?) with a piece of cake decorated with a firecracker. At night, is it a nightmare?, she walks to the bathroom and meets a dog grimacing in a pool of blood. She collects the remains of the aborted fetus, buries them in the forest, and puts the tiny mittens on top.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Animation | 4 min | blu-ray>file
Director: Heta Jäälinoja
    Heräsin tänä aamuna. Jäljellä ei ole mitään muuta kuin tilkka kahvia.
    Woke up this morning. There's nothing left but a hint of coffee.
    AA: Animation in stark Priit Pärn style. A black bird leaves the empty room of a man who wakes up alone. He produces a shotgun to get the bird. An old lady and a young black guy dance to a shellac record. Robert Johnson: "Kind Hearted Woman", "Drunken Hearted Man", "Love In Vain".

In Swedish
Finland | Suomi 2012
Documentary | 15 min | dvd>file
Director: Anna-Sofia Nylund
    ”En ole ollut rakastunut yhteenkään elämäni mieheen. En tiedä mitä rakkaus on.” 66-vuotias nainen tarkastelee elämäänsä. Näemme muistojen muovautuvan outojen yökerhokokemusten ja vieraiden miesten kanssa vietettyjen hotelliöiden kautta. Ne eivät ole suoneet kokijalleen minkäänlaista lohtua tai turvaa. Taiteilija Pauliina Turakka Purhosen räsynuket esittävät naista viisi-, kolme- ja kuusikymmenvuotiaana.
    "I've never been in love with any of the men in my life. I don't know what love is". A 66-year-old woman looks back on her life. Through odd experiences at nightclubs and with strangers in hotel rooms, we see memories take shape. Memories that have left their bearer with no comfort nor safety. The artist Pauliina Turakka Purhonen's rag dolls illustrate the woman as a five-, thirty- and sixty-year-old.
    AA: The intimate confessions of a whore (that's the word she uses herself). Three rag doll images of a naked, battered woman illustrate the confessions in a general way. Queen theme tune. "I have lived like an animal". "Who I love are my children and grand-children". "My wing is broken but I'm not defeated". "At the age of five I was sexually abused by a bus driver. In those days we were not supposed to talk about such things. But it has haunted me all my life." Raped by a group of four Norwegian men. I got to alcohol to ease the pain. That was the quickest consolation. There was no safety anywhere.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Fiction | 20 min | file
Director: Juuso Räsänen
    Etiopialaisella maahanmuuttajalla Samuelilla on maailman kiittämättömin työ – hän työskentelee Suomessa joulupukkina osaamatta lainkaan kieltä. Perttilän perheen isä on tehnyt kriittisen virheen ja unohtanut tilata pukin aatoksi. Viime hetkellä hän tavoittaa yhden vapaan joulupukin – Samuelin. Ensin hänen saapumisensa aiheuttaa huvittavan kiusallisia tilanteita, mutta vähitellen perhe alkaa lämmetä ja antaa tulokkaalle mahdollisuuden. Takaako se siltikään onnistunutta iltaa?
   Ethiopian immigrant Samuel has the most ungrateful job in the world – he works as a Santa Claus in Finland and doesn’t speak the language. The father of the Perttilä family has made a crucial mistake, he's forgotten to order a Santa for Christmas Eve. In the last minute he gets hold on the last free Santa – Samuel. At first the arrival of Samuel causes uncomfortably humorous situations but little by little the family starts to warm up and gives a newcomer a chance. But is that still a guarantee for a night to be a success?
    AA: An assured satire on the embarrassment of racism. And an Aki Kaurismäki parody? Christmas Eve. A black guy (Dave Rukeratabaro) as Santa Claus at the door of an ageing couple (Aake Kalliala, Kristiina Elstelä). Green marmelade balls are their treat. Nokia Lumia. The last Santa left at the Santa exchange is the black guy. Even the switchboard operator is speaking Finnish with a foreign (Russian?) accent. The second destination (Petteri Summanen, Minttu Mustakallio, expecting): the family is amazed at the black guy. The glögi (Glühwein) stains Santa's gear, and he is invited into the sauna. The emphasis is on quiet moments of embarrassment. Sauna beer. Christmas dinner. "Thank you, I eat no pig." "I am an Ethiopian Jew". He produces the green marmelade balls. Sister is Catholic, no presents at Christmas. My mother is from Congo. Sings a song of her mother from Congo. Next year, the black guy is a Christmas guest, and the mother has baby twins. Santa now is an Asian guy. "World Around You" perf. by Rubik.

In Kurdish, this version with an English commentary
Finland / Czech Republic | Suomi / Tshekin tasavalta 2011
Animation | 21 min | file
Director: Katariina Lillqvist
    Faruza on keskiaikainen tarina eristetystä saarivaltakunnasta, jonka hallitsijat loivat aikoinaan ankaran lain: jokaisen yli kaksitoistavuotiaan neidon oli lukittava kasvoilleen raskas, kuparista taottu naamio jota kannettiin hautaan asti.
    Faruza is a medieval story of an isolated island kingdom, where the rulers abide by a strict law: the women must wear a copper mask from the day they turn twelve until the day they die.
    AA: A beautiful puppet animation with a rich and juicy colour palette. The theme: the prison of womanhood - symbolized by the copper mask - and the traditional wedding gown. How can anyone escape her destiny? The rebellion of Faruza, the desperation of the blacksmith. He forges a bird out of the mask. Faruza obtains the key with which she can open all the copper masks of the oppressed women. "I wanted to finally see the face of my own dear mother." Faruza is caught, but the rebellion expands into the royal court. "Since then our harbours have been open to all the ships in the world". A beautiful score.

National Competition 9

Finland | Suomi 2012
Animation | 7 min | file
Director: Jenni Rahkonen
    Hän lakkaa pyörimästä maapallon mukana.
    The world won't stop turning even when one stops turning with it
    AA: Limited animation: stark black lines on white. The guy remains on his place while the globe turns around under him. The coffin, too keeps turning with the Earth. Priit Pärn style characters. Speech bubbles. Black birds with heads upside down. The man grabs a tree, and the Earth's turning grinds to a halt for a while.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Documentary | 6 min | 2K DCP
Director: Hannes Vartiainen, Pekka Veikkolainen
    Rautatieasemalla tuntemattomien matkaajien elämänpolut kohtaavat. Virtaavan ihmismassan pyörteistä erottuu häivähdyksenomaisia hetkiä kulkijoiden elämänkohtaloista.
    Brief moments of life stolen from passing-by strangers form a sequence of events hidden in plain sight
    AA: Experimental cinema: electronic static and distortions as forms of expression. Figurative, representational images emerge from the static. Waltz music, carousel associations, and steam engine references on the soundtrack.

WHERE IS FRANK [title on screen]
Finland | Suomi 2012
Fiction | 17 min | dvd>file
Director: Sakari Lerkkanen
    Kaunis tarina ystävyydestä. Kaksi muusikkoa on soittaneet jo vuosia yhdessä. Eräänä aamuna toinen muusikoista on kadonnut. Mykkäelokuva, jonka musiikista vastaa Puhallinorkesteri Oktaavi.
    A beautiful story about a friendship. Two musicians have played music together every morning for years. One morning other one disappears! A silent film where the music is performed by the symphony orchestra Puhallinorkesteri Oktaavi.
    AA: A trombone player and a guitar player. Laconic images with sunlit scenes and dark night scenes alternating. A music driven movie. The dialogue and the thoughts appear in spare intertitles. The quest for the lost trombone playing friend.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Experimental | 5 min | file
Director: Arttu Nieminen
    Mökin ikkunasta näemme upean öisen hetken, ja kun kurkistamme ulkoa sisään, jokin yhtä ihmeellinen kirkastaa talon. Yläpuolellamme kiihdytetyt revontulet jäljittelevät vettä, joka yhdistää maan ja tähdet.
    We look out a cabin window on a glorious night scene, then peer in from outside as something just as spectacular brightens the house. Above, the sped-up northern lights mimic water, connecting earth and stars.
    AA: Electronic rhythm music score. Time lapse imagery. Extreme low camera angles towards treetops. Moths circling lights at night. Mirror effects. Jump cuts. Nature magic. Magnificent northern lights. Human forms as warmly glowing figures in time lapse in the cabin.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Fiction | 15 min | 2K DCP
Director: Mikko Kuparinen
    Miten käy, kun yksinäinen nainen löytää vauvan roskiksesta, eikä kerro kenellekään vaan päättää pitää vauvan itse?
    What happens when a lonely woman finds a baby in the dumpster, doesn’t tell anybody and decides to keep the baby herself?
    AA: Revisited Sirocco, Mikko Kuparinen's adaptation of Tuuve Aro's short story "Merkki". A movie with minimal dialogue. I now noticed the participation of the Autism and Asperger Association.

Finland | Suomi 2013
Experimental | 3 min | file
Director: Sini Liimatainen, Azar Saiyar
    Maanantaiaamusta perjantai-iltaan.
    From Monday morning to Friday evening.
    AA: The sound of the Baltic ferry. The sea, gray. On the soundtrack remarks such as: "Time just seems to run out". "It all happens so fast". Quick flashes of landscapes, city and forest. A sound image of race car driving. Speed and acceleration. Electronic music score. A montage of voices, with remarks about perpetual hurry.

In Swedish.
Switzerland, Finland | Sveitsi, Suomi 2012
Documentary | 24 min | 2K DCP
Director: Joakim Chardonnens
    Kyrkogårdsö on pieni saari keskellä Itämerta. Tämä kahdeksan asukkaan saari on kuulunut Nordbergin perheelle kuudentoista sukupolven ajan. Joka aamu pieni 5-vuotias Ida Nordberg ylittää koulumatkallaan jäätyneen meren. Kyrkogårdsö kyseenalaistaa lapsen ja häntä ympäröivän voimallisen ja äärettömän luonnon välisen suhteen.
    Kyrkogårdsö, a small island in the middle of the Baltic Sea. This island of eight inhabitants has belonged to the Nordberg family for 16 generations. Every morning, the little Ida Nordberg, 5 years old, is crossing the icy sea to go to school. Kyrkogårdsö is a movie questioning the relation between a child and the immensity and power of the landscape.
    AA: A slow, deliberate, and atmospheric look at life in harsh circumstances in the Swedish-speaking Baltic Sea archipelago. Views of winter, snow and ice on the Baltic Sea. The sky is overcast. The sunlight is bleak. The sun looks like the moon beyond the clouds. There is a distant barking of a dog. Ida (5) at the breakfast table. Taken with an all-terrain vehicle to boat that will take her to the school. The sea passage. The children play on board. No dialogue during the first 12 minutes. - The dominant view: the little human figure in the overwhelming, desolate landscape.

National Competition 10
Finland | Suomi 2012
Fiction | 8 min | 2K DCP
Director: Jenni Toivoniemi
    Tinon, 16, miehisyys on koetuksella Mirkan, 25, ja Lissun, 54, edessä, kun hän joutuu isännöimään perheen kollikissan treffejä.
    Tino’s (16) manhood is put to test in front of two women, Mirka (25) and Lissu (54) when he has to host a date for Diablo, the family’s stud cat.
    AA: Mirka is shocked at what happens to their virgin cat bitch, but Tino assures her that Diablo the tomcat is patient and experienced.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Fiction | 7 min | 2K DCP
Director: Jani Ilomäki
    Poika miettii, mitä kuolema on.
    A boy ponders death.
    AA: A little boy learns from his parents that Jaska the old and sickly bobtailer has to be put out. The boy's thoughts are visualized and literalized in an exaggerated cartoon fashion with horror movie influences. Bold, stylized, inventive. Who really knows what death is. The Goth sisters adds her own remarks to the boy's confused mix. What is emptiness? The universe. Inserts of abstract cinema. A man in an armour buys canned goods. A caveman visits the supermarket. Second Chance insurance company. If war comes I can die at home. No signal. - When the family is about to leave to the veterinarian there is a car crash.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Documentary | 10 min | 2K DCP
Director: Lotta-Kaisa Riistakoski
    ”Jos mie lopettaisin juomisen, niin se on sama kuin vetäisin itseni jojon jatkoksi.” Tarinoita sammumattoman janon maasta.
    ”If I quit drinking, I might as well go and hang myself.” Tales from the land of a thousand drinks.
    AA: Soundtrack: monologue of drinkers. Images: ranging from the desolate walls and views of an alcoholic's apartment to serene views of swan lakes. Drinking songs performed by a beautiful female choir and others: "If all the lakes of Finland would turn to liquor". Another drinker: a season drinker who drinks in the summer only. Third man: a Saturday drinker while watching YouTube. "We'll drink like there's no tomorrow". Fourth man: I never picked up a woman while sober, and I have picked up many. Fifth, a woman: you are not alone when you drink. Alcohol has a central role in our society. Kids may not see me drunk. Sixth: sobriety gives an overdose of normality. It gets to the point that it does not matter what happens. No wallet, no phone, no bag. I passed out in a park. End of the world. I took several days off.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Documentary | 21 min | 2K DCP
Director: Salla Hämäläinen
    Markku on nähnyt lapsesta asti metsänhenkiä ja kokenut henkien liittävän hänet yhdeksi metsän kanssa. Hänen kokemuksiaan pidettiin lapsekkaan mielikuvituksen tuotteena, ja hän tunsi itsensä erilaiseksi. Hän halusi vain olla metsässä eikä sopeutunut hyvin normaaliin elämään. Hänen on aina palattava arkeen, mutta tällä kertaa hän löytää seuraa, jonka kanssa jakaa rakkautensa luontoa kohtaan.
    Already as a child Markku started to see nature spirits and he had an experience of being merged to the forest by the spirits. His experiences were considered as mere childish imagination and he felt different. He only longed to be in the forest and had difficulties to adapt to normal life. He always has to return to normal life but this time he finds a companion to share his love for the nature.
    AA: Images: visions of the forest, also in soft focus and extreme close-up. Sound: a first person confession of the pantheist. "I felt one with nature". "A web of energy descended upon me, and I felt incredibly good." "I did not want to go anywhere". A cave. A rock by the lake. Flute music. Long shots and full shots with the shaman-looking Markku wandering in the forest. "When you acquire the forest nose you always long for the forest." The deeper reality. The poisonous cowbane. "My earliest memory is a lighting that struck our home". "Then I realized the spirits: elves and fairies". Extreme low angle shot towards the treetops. A switch to the winter, the snow-covered forest. "Since my young age I felt estranged from regular life. Later I tried to conform to the mold. I felt ill doing so." Markku has found a woman, Veera. She approaches on ski. They discuss forest birds and flying squirrels. The forest cover is also a tantric path. When you find the right person. Markku gives a massage by the fire in the snowy forest. Swimming in the lake. Time lapse images of clouds.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Animation | 13 min | file
Director: Kai Lappalainen
    Kamarianimaatio vallasta ja kansasta.
    A chamber animation about authority and the people.
    AA: Digital animation starting with black silhouette figures on white. Little figures and a huge ball. Black birds. Colour appears. Visions of industry. Towers of smoke and black birds. Black human figures fall from the smoke towers. Corridors of power. There is no meaningful dialogue, only sounds simulating speech. The big boss falls and transforms into a mass of little figures. The black birds cries.

Finland | Suomi 2013
Experimental | 29 min | file
Director: Jaana Kokko
    Elokuva koostuu kahdesta rinnakkaisesta keskustelusta, jotka edustavat erilaisia näkökulmia. Fiktiivinen ja faktuaalinen aineisto nivoutuvat yhteen muodostaen kokonaisuuden, joka kuvaa kaupunkilaisten suhdetta eläimiin, luontoon ja rakennettuun ympäristöön.
    The film consists of parallel conversations representing different perspectives. The fictive and factual material weave together to form a whole that sheds light on urban people’s relationship to animals, nature and the built environment.
    AA: An essay on man and nature - on our estrangement from nature. The first shot is from the Natural History Museum of Helsinki. A man: how all the trees in the forest are finished. The commentary is in verse. There is no untouched space. There are fragments of space. A woman: I don't know if I exist.

National Competition 11
Finland | Suomi 2012
Documentary | 22 min | 2K DCP
Director: Iiris Härmä
    Katja on nuori eläkeläinen ja turhautunut. 24-vuotiaana hän elää yksinäisyyden vankilassa, jossa päivät kuluvat koiraa ulkoiluttaen ja ikkunasta katsellen. Jos on hiljaa, niin kukaan ei välitä eikä auta. Ahdistaa ja pelottaa, tätäkö elämä on.
    Katja is a young retiree and frustrated. At 24, she is living in a circle of solitude, spending her days walking her dog and looking out of the window. Her loneliness stems from years of being the victim of school bullying.
    AA: The movie starts with colourful crayon-drawn images and a reflection of Katja. Voiceover: the first person account of Katja. "I often feel frustrated." Superimposed images of Katja moving around in her room like a ghost. The account of the school bullying. The parents did not protect Katja. "I just tried to hold on. I did not dare go out. That way I got isolated." Father has been diagnozed as a schizophrenic. Mother is trembling, living under constant anguish and insecurity. "Mother tried to chase me out with the other kids". Katja in a bread line, the food bank. "I am unable to defend myself against the authorities. They are always testing. I think the group is repulsive". Visiting the Advent Church. "There I seem to have found some friends". I have an ache in my bones. Not arthritis. The pain comes from inside my bones. "Many find me mentally ill". "I often think that I would just like to get out of this world. I have nothing to lose". - "We all die one day". - "Thank God". - "My colourings are like scars. They express what I might have become. I escape my gloom into colour". - Making the braids. - "What is your family now?" - "Just the dog and me". - "I need to avoid a life like my mother's". - There are over 50.000 marginalized young people in Finland. 5% of the generation. Every day, five people under 30 become retired.

Ireland | Irlanti 2012
Animation | 4 min | 2K DCP | scope
Director: Teemu Auersalo
    Kesän mentyä kaupunkilokki Johnnyn on opeteltava pyytämään kalaa. Learning to Fish pohtii tietämättömyyttä ja piittaamattomuutta ruoan alkuperästä. Elokuva kertoo henkiinjäämistaitojen unohtamisesta ja halusta löytää nuo taidot uudelleen.
    When the summer is over, Johnny the urban seagull has to learn to catch fish. Learning to Fish is a reflection on not knowing and not caring where our food comes from. It's a film about the loss of basic survival skills and about the desire to find those instinctive skills again.
    AA: Digital animation, stark stylization, simple figures, bold colours. The spoiled city seagulls are in trouble after the holiday season.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Fiction | 12 min | 2K DCP | scope
Director: Niklas Lindgren
    Villellä on uusi harrastus: larppaus, jota hän sekä rakastaa että häpeää. Kun Villen suuri ihastus ehdottaa tapaamista, päättää Ville salata larppaamisen tältä. Treffit etenevät silti katastrofaalisesti, kunnes Ville saa apua yllättävältä taholta.
    Ville has a new hobby: larping, which he loves, even though he knows it´s not cool. When the girl of his dreams wants to meet him, Ville decides to keep his new hobby to himself. The date is nevertheless a disaster, until Ville gets help from an unexpected ally.
    AA: A comic story about live action role playing (larping) vs. dating. Loc: Kapteeninpuistikko. Having to hide the hobby from the girlfriend Asta who is at the Toveri. Asta has Googled Ville. But Ville lies blatantly about his hobby. The lies go on as a larping friend happens to meet him. Facebook reveals everything. But Asta is also an Escapist. Ville dons a Viking gear and abducts Asta. Niko Taskinen, Anna Paavilainen, Samuli Niittymäki, Antti Luusuaniemi.

Language: English.
Finland | Suomi 2012
Experimental | 7 min | 2K DCP
Director: Jan Ijäs
    Elokuva kahdesta valtavasta jätevuoresta New Yorkissa. Ensimmäinen on nyt jo suljettu tavallinen jätevuori, joka oli aikanaan maailman suurin. Toinen on tuntemattomien hautausmaa, ja edelleen toiminnassa.
    Two Islands – Staten Island & Hart Island, NYC is a film about two enormous waste dumps in NYC. The first one is now closed, an ordinary waste dump, which at one point was the largest in the world. The other is a cemetery of unknowns, still in use.
    AA: Black and white footage on the giant waste dump and the cemetery of unknowns (one million people). Four times a week there is a death patrol, a ferry which brings newly dead. Baby Gonzales, age: five minutes. - Colour footage: typewriters, office chairs, potato peels, nail clippers, shoes, hospital waste. The largest human-built monument in the U.S. 890 hectares. One hundred million tons. The most important archeological treasure. The only human construction that can be seen from outer space.

Finland | Suomi 2013
Fiction | 13 min | file
Director: Kimmo Yläkäs
    Mies raahaa tyttöystävänsä sairaalaan tekemään aborttia. Kakaraa tässä nyt viimeksi tarvitaan. Mieli voi kuitenkin muuttua sairaalan naistentautien odotusaulassa.
    Man drags his girlfriend to hospital for an abortion. A brat is a last thing needed right now. But sitting in a waiting room can change your mind.
    AA: In medias res. The man (Antti Luusuaniemi) is incredibly impatient, abrupt, abrasive, and rude. He tries to command the hospital staff. He bullies the fellow customers in the waiting space until he is alone. A child plays hockey ball and refuses to be intimidated. There is a playground downstairs. The man hits the ball several times and hurts the child. "You did not score". The man has a biker vest with initials. The brat passes out, and the bully helps her. He holds hockey night tickets. Meanwhile, the wife has left.

Finland | Suomi 2012
Documentary | 30 min | blu-ray > file
Director: Vesa Kuosmanen
    Ossi Somma, 87, joutui vakavaan auto-onnettomuuteen 1960-luvulla. Onnettomuus jätti häneen fyysisiä jälkiä, mutta vaikutti vielä voimakkaammin hänen taiteeseensa. Palkittu nuori kuvanveistäjä muutti pieneen suomalaiseen kylään toteuttaakseen erikoista, kiisteltyä taidettaan. Vuosien saatossa hän on rakentanut valtavan veistospuiston. Ossin vaimo Sinikka jätti kaiken taakseen ja omisti elämänsä miehensä auttamiselle.
    Ossi Somma, 87, was in a serious car accident in the 1960s. The accident left physical marks on him but even more impact it had on his art. The celebrated young sculptor moved to a small Finnish town and started making very odd controversial art there. During the years he has build a massive sculpture park. Sinikka left everything behind and devoted her life helping Ossi.
    AA: The location: Siuro. The subject: the sculpture park of Ossi Somma (born 1926). - "The people who starved to death are in heaven, the greedy languish in hell". - "War of images". - Concentration camp graves. - Macabre figures of horror, images of people who have starved to death. - Dante was lost in the dark forest, and we are lost in the dark forest of commodities. - We have to cut down our consumption, otherwise this is the end. - Dante's path to Hell is recreated in the forest park. Its construction goes on. It's about greed and indifference. It's an installation about the state of the Earth. - Pier Paolo Pasolini: consumer fascism is contemporary fascism. - Rain forests, desertification, child labour, suffering of animals. - Sinikka is losing her eyesight. She can only listen to the landscape. - Exhibition: Sokea sokeaa taluttaa / A blind one walking another blind one. - The Forgotten Soul. - A chair is for me a symbol for the commodity and for power. - In 1960 many of my friends died in a car accident. I was unconscious for four days. Sculpting was hard work and helped me take my thoughts out of the accident. Previously, I was a traditionalist. - Working hours and methods. - Many work for money, but there are many of us who think otherwise, as well.