Friday, December 06, 2013

Sampling Vuosi 1952 / The Year 1952

Paavo Nurmi lights the Olympic fire in Helsinki in 1952.
Vuosi 1952 / År 1952 / L'Année 1952 / [The Year 1952]. FI 1980. PC: Yleisradio / TV1. P: Pertti Klemola. D+SC: Peter von Bagh. DP: Antero Virta, Hannu Lundström, Pauli Laalo, Kari Mattson ‒ 16 mm. FX: Jussi Olkinuora. S: Pekka Heinonen, Juha Silander. ED: Risto Salo. Script girl: Leena Bäckström. First telecast: 1.1.1980 Yle TV1 ‒ col & mv, 1,37:1 ‒ 120 min
    "The topic of the compilation film is one year in Finnish history: what really happened in the minds of people in that year of Helsinki Olympics, Armi Kuusela the Miss Universum and the final war reparations. Materials include fiction films, radio programmes, phonograph records, newsreels and other documentary sources made in the year 1952. Moreover there are almost 30 people from different walks of life as narrators."
    Featuring: Jussi Mikkonen (gold-digger), Pelle Kankainen (gold-digger), Niilo Raumala (gold-digger), Ritva Arvelo (director, actress), Hannes Tiainen (agronomist, minister), Pentti Holappa (writer, minister), Esa Pakarinen (singer, actor), Paavo Rintala (writer), Sylvi Saimo (farmer, paddle racer), Onni Kähkönen (lumberjack), Veikko Lavi (singer), Björn Westerholm (technical director, vuorineuvos), Armas Jokio (actor), Paavo Noponen (sports journalist, sports commentator), Kauko Kare (journalist), Yrjö Lintunen (professor), Vilho Hassinen (electrician), Eeva Mäkinen (weaver), Leo Kalervo (odd job man, writer), Arvo Hautala (district secretary, trade union leader), Matti Kuusi (researcher), Tauno Lukkarinen (settlement farmer, writer), Jörn Donner (journalist, film director), Eero Tuomikoski (film director), Kauko Käyhkö (entertainer, artist), Sulo Kivinen (journalist).
    Released on vhs: 1985 Yleisradio / Tallennemyynti and Finnkino Oy.
    Yle Export digibeta screened at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (Independence Day, Peter von Bagh), 6 Dec 2013.

In memoriam Ritva Arvelo (1921-2013), a great personality of the Finnish theatre and cinema.

Sampled the ending of Vuosi 1952, for me Peter von Bagh's first masterpiece. I voted it for the best Finnish film of the decade at the time. It's an account of the transitional year when the period of hardship and suffering was coming to an end, and a period of a more optimistic and relaxed reconstruction was starting. The compilation film is a genial symposium of a variety of voices. The interviewees relish reminiscing. The sense of relief is palpable in their memoirs.

There are no photographs, no stills. There is no newly written music, no commentary. The movie is a work of material aesthetics: the material is original from the period, and the witnesses testify of their own personal experience.

It's rich, it's crazy, it's exhilarating.

The visual quality of the digibeta was not hot, and the sound was slightly out of synch. Engrossing all the same.

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