Sunday, January 26, 2014

Alvar Aalto at Seinäjoki: four films (Seinäjoki. [Lakeus tulvii]. [Seinäjoen kaupungintalo 1961-1962]. [Lakeuden kaupunki.])

The Seinäjoki City Hall. Alvar Aalto.
Seinäjoki / [Lakeuksien keskus] / [The Center of the Plains]. FI 1952. PC: Suomi-Filmi Oy. Commentary written by: Usko Kemppi. DP: Yrjö Aaltonen - black and white. Commentary read by: Reino Hirviseppä. VET A-4134. 240 m / 9 min. - Rough notes: "Southern Pohjanmaa is not a land of yesterday. Already during the age of the great migrations... " A shot from a river. Seinäjoki established at Törnävä, 1798. The Östermyra iron mill. The establishing of the gunpowder mill. Beautiful imagery. Fine aerial footage. The center of four railways. Bus traffic: more than 50 bus lines. The growth is constant. The kauppala status in 1942. The town plan. 1556: part of Ilmajoki. Jouppi, Mattila. Steady building in progress. Kansakoulu. Maanviljelysseura house. KOP bank house. Oppikoulu schools. Työväentalo. Lakeuden Auto. Car dealers. Hotel, restaurants, four banks, theater, hospital. Kauppalan talo is the heart of the community. Aerial shots. Trucks, truck factories. Butchery. New factories. Textile mills. Choirs. Gymnastics. Sports. Jouppila. Horse races. A new sports field being built. The center is young. A montage of smokestacks. --- The cinematography by Yrjö Aaltonen is professional, dynamic, and exciting. The general sense is modern and forward looking.

[Lakeus tulvii] / [Flood on the Plains]. FI 1961. 4 min. Colour footage of floods, no sound, five boys by the river, venturing to have a dip in the water. Flooded fields, roads. Epic pans on the endless plains under the flood. There is a fine sense of composition and light in several shots.Among the associa tions: Une histoire d'eau.

[Seinäjoen kaupungintalo 1961-1962] / [The Seinäjoki City Hall 1961-1962]. FI 1962. Kaupungintalo (the title on the film). DP: Ossi Pollari. No sound. 14 min. - Rough notes: Alvar Aalto and others around a table with a miniature of the plan of Seinäjoki. The characteristic gesticulation of Alvar Aalto. Intertitle: The work was started on 13.2.1961. A handheld plan. 28.2. Trucks, foundations, a crane, a sledge hammer. 20.3. Work in progress. A record on the work stages. 26.4. A general view and detailed shots. Lakeuden risti in the background. 24.5. Concrete. Peruskivi / The foundation stone 22.6.1961. The ceremony, speeches, Alvar Aalto, the message laid in the foundation stone. 3.8. General views, concrete mill, lifts, bricklaying, cleaning, piping, the Cross on the Plains in the background. 16.8. Harjannostajaiset / roofing celebration 9.9.1961. The feast for all. Speeches. Aerial views. Epic pans. Seinälaattojen tekoa / laying the wall tiles 2.11.1961. 7.11. 12.5.1962. Finishing. Vihkiäiset / The Inauguration 14.10.1962. A concert. Speeches. Alvar Aalto, also speaking. --- A fascinating professional record of the work in progress.

[Lakeuden kaupunki] / [The City on the Plains]. FI 1966. No sound. 20 min. - Rough notes: - A compilation of rough footage in colour. - Aerial shot. Shaky camera. Jump cuts. Seinäjoki views. A basic colour record of the city, its buildings, its surrounding nature. Forest. Seinäjoki 1570. Jouppi, Martola, Jouppila, Uppa. The river, the sky.  Clearing a bog. Kaski. Digging a ditch. Beautiful views. Traditional punamulta red painted houses. 1787. Peasant culture. Traditional country homes. Horses. Details from old buildings. Waterfalls. Bridge. Insignia. Miniatures. Östermyra Bruk. Expressive historical details. Ruutimakasiini 1827-1864. Drawings. Many individual shots are fine. The graveyard, the war heroes' graves. Old grave monuments. Construction at the railroad. Laying asphalt. Road construction. Cranes. Construction sites. Pans. Children at play. Seinäjoki as a junction. An electric engine arrives at Seinäjoki. The railway station. Montages of various trains, including the Lättähattu. An old steam engine. Bus station. General views. Itikka. Tiklas. Kesko. A & O. Harvest time in the field, the traditional way of haystacks. A harvester. Monuments. Water. An art exhibition. Like Nelimarkka. A summer festival. Library. An orchestra. Speeches. Bicycles. Schoolchildren as traffic cops. Hairdressing. Factories. Drawing architects' plans. An industrial kitchen. Dressmaking. Coats of arms. Speeches. Kekkonen. A male choir in Pohjanmaa dresses. Pelimannit. Sampo. Maakuntaravintola. Maakuntaliitto. Nuorisoseura. SPR = The Finnish Red Cross. Maanviljelysseura. Seutukaavaliitto. Aerial shots. Children. Old people. Boy scouts. Girls' gymnastics. Football. Horse races. Javelin throwing. Pole jumping. Running. Young people. Children in a little carousel. Swings. Slides. A flood sequence. The borough council. The city library. The Lakeuden Risti. The Alvar Aalto center. Jump cut montage. The exteriors, the interiors. The city hall. Gardening. Water fountains. Coats of arms. Zoom to Seinäjoki's coat of arms. --- This silent roughly compiled footage seems like an illustration for a live lecture presentation on Seinäjoki.

The original films are at the Seinäjoki City Archive. Viewed from a memory stick at home, 26 Jan 2014.

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