Sunday, March 02, 2014

Kadonnut sävel -elokuvanäytelmä (Vol-ryhmä, 2013) / [Film-play The Lost Melody (The Vol Group, 2013)]

Premiere of the reconstruction performance by the Vol Group.

Film credits: 
Kadonnut sävel [original title] [The Lost Melody] [The Melody That Got Lost] / Herra Lahtinen lähtee lipettiin [release title] [Mr. Lahtinen Takes a French Leave] / Bättre fly än illa fäkta. FI 1939. PC: Eloseppo Oy Ab. P+production manager: Erik Blomberg. D: Nyrki Tapiovaara. SC: Nyrki Tapiovaara, Ralf Parlund – based on Kjeld Abell's musical play Melodien der blev væk / The Melody That Got Lost (DK 1935), performed in Finnish as Kadonnut sävel (1937, Finnish translation by Eero Leväluoma). DP: Olavi Gunnari - ass. camera: Reino Lammila. AD: Tapio Tapiovaara, Ilmari Tapiovaara. M+M director: George de Godzinsky – based on Sven Møller Christensen. Makeup: Senja Soitso. Songs: "Mä löysin onnen ihanimman", "Nimi Lahtinen teille ompi tuttu", "Kadonnut sävel". The original play includes "Sangen om Larsen" med den kendte sætning "Det sku' vær' så godt, og så' det faktisk skidt". ED: Nyrki Tapiovaara, Erik Blomberg, Olavi Gunnari. S: Lauri Pulkkila, Evan Englund - sound system: Lauri Pulkkila. Stills: Erik Blomberg, Olavi Gunnari. Järjestäjä: Jan Tschiftschis, apulaisena Paavo Kuoppala. C: Fritz-Hugo Backmann (Lahtinen), Märtha Jaatinen / Märtha Laurent (Edit), Hertta Leistén (mother-in-law), Lauri Korpela (father-in-law), Hugo Hytönen (a worker), Simo Kaario (a scientist), Henake Schubak (a street singer), Rosi Rinne (1. Miss Salminen), Liisa Nevalainen / Liisa Häyrinen (2. Miss Salminen), Aune Grönros (2. Miss Salminen), Jalmari Parikka (newspaper vendor Jaatinen), Antti Halonen (Lord Roquefort), Hannele Keinänen (the melody fairy / the little Edit), Otto Noro (director Lahtinen), Albert Saloranta (singer), P. Tiilikainen (lost and found clerk), Kusti Laitinen (insurance agent), Eija Londén (one of the three melody girls). Helsinki premiere: 10.9.1939 Astor, Star, distributed by Adams Filmi Oy  – classification number A–1244 – K16 – 77 min
    Surviving footage: 43 min (of which the first 12 min without sound).
    KAVA digital reconstruction (with stills and script excerpts) 58 min (KAVA 2K DCP 2012).
    A special DCP with footage of image and sound / image only / and sound only produced by the Vol Group (Vol 2K DCP 2014) for the Vol performance. Cinema Orion, Helsinki (Kadonnut sävel), 2 March 2014. The duration of the Vol reconstruction performance: 82 min

Vol Group reconstruction credits:
The Vol Group is a cross-artistic collective consisting of artists of different fields and looking for new ways for working together. Members include Hannah Gullichsen, Juhani Haukka, Samuli Lehto, Jan Liesaho, Miira Luhtavaara, Marjut Maristo, Maija Muinonen, Sanna Rämö, Elli Salo, and Marja Vehkanen. Besides the Vol Group also the lighting designer Valtteri Mastola and the musician Tapio Viitasaari participated. Introduced by Lauri Piispa, a key organizer and enabler.

With funding from Koneen Säätiö.

Acknowledgements: Erik Blombergin perikunta, Lauri Tykkyläinen, KAVI:n henkilökunta, Riikka Metsäpeura, Henri Holopainen, Ulla Raitio, Saara Ryymin, Jorma Kaulanen, Cristal Alakoski, Suomalaisen Elokuvan Festivaali, Taideyliopiston Teatterikorkeakoulu, Aalto-yliopiston Elokuvataiteen laitos, Ylioppilasteatteri, Helsingin Kaupunginteatteri, Kansallisteatteri.

Information from Suomen kansallisfilmografia (also on the Elonet website):
In Filmihullu 8/1980 Erik Blomberg reminisced that it was he who proposed Kadonnut sävel for the distributor Abel Adams, who rejected it. Then Hans Kutter and Nils-Gustaf Hahl proposed it for Maire Gullichsen. She provided the collateral to the bank. Principal photography was launched in late 1938 but it was interrupted to make first two comedies, Kaksi Vihtoria, and Herrat ovat herkkäuskoisia, to bring some capital to the Eloseppo coffers. The principal photography of Kadonnut sävel was brought to a finish in early summer 1939. The distribution company, Adams-Filmi, rejected the title and changed it to Herra Lahtinen lähtee lipetiin. In early September there were seven Finnish premieres in five weeks, and Herra Lahtinen was fatally sidestepped.

The negatives were destroyed when a the loft vault of Cinema Metropol was evacuated in spring 1944 before the Helsinki bombings in WWII. Lauri Tykkyläinen was aware of rumours of a print circulating after the war. In 1975, during the inventory of the Herttoniemi nitrate vault, Tykkyläinen found scattered remains of the film in rusty cans whose labels had come unstuck. Those cans were remains from the Metropol Cinema loft vault. From Tapio Tapiovaara Tykkyläinen had received in 1972 Nyrki Tapiovaara's personal script. The technical quality of the surviving footage was amazingly good, but half of the film was missing.

AA: A spirited and novel project of reconstructing a fascinating film, of which only a half survives.

The Vol group accomplished this by acts played live, by reading the script (complete with the remarks of location indications, cuts, field sizes and camera movements), by playing the piano and the mouth harmonica, by lip-synching the dialogue for the film footage where the soundtrack is missing, by lighting effects, and even smoke effects.

This film belongs to the Film Society Projektio story in many ways. It was backed by Erik Blomberg, Hans Kutter, Nils-Gustaf Hahl, and Maire Gullichsen. Nyrki Tapiovaara was inspired by films screened in Projektio including even Un chien andalou in the nightmare sequence (and there is also a Daliesque floppy clock). Most importantly, Tapiovaara was inspired by the music films by René Clair and Brechtian socially conscious cabaret films such as Das Lied vom Leben.

Tapiovaara had also seen and reviewed Kjeld Abell's play which had its Helsinki premiere in 1937. Kjeld Abell (1901-1961) was a prominent cultural figure in Denmark, a member of the Danish Academy, theatre designer, a great writer, and an anti-Nazi activist.

It's about middle class urban alienation, desperation and impotence. There are also intimations of a coming war. Even the expression "concentration camp" appears albeit in a fairly nonchalant manner.

It's a fairy-tale, it's experimental, it's satirical, it's silly, it's inspired. The Vol Group tuned into the Nyrki Tapiovaara wavelength. I have been seeing the fragmentary footage several times since it was found. Never has it made such sense as now.

The cinema was sold out, and the mood was enthusiastic.

As Lauri Tykkyläinen remarks, the surviving footage has a surprisingly good technical quality, and that was also the case in this most unabridged possible digital presentation, complete with tails and leaders.
Soundtrack listing

1 . "- - mä saan sen paikan - -"
Es. Fritz-Hugo Backman, laulu (playback, orkesterin säestys), 0' 20".

2. Yleisradion väliaikamusiikki
Säv. trad.
Kantele (off, radio), 1' 00".

3. "Kirkkovirsi"
Sekakuoro (off, radio), 0' 40".

4. Balettimusiikki 1
Orkesteri (off), 0' 15".

5. Balettimusiikki 2
George de Godzinsky, piano (off), 0' 30".

6. Kupletti ("Mä löysin onnen ihanimman - -")
1) Es. Fritz-Hugo Backman ja Märtha Jaatinen, laulu (100 %, orkesterin säestys), 0' 40".
2) Es. Märtha Jaatinen, lausunta ja laulu sekä neljä "rouva Lahtista", laulu (100 %, orkesterin säestys), 1' 00".
3) Es. Martha Jaatinen sekä "teatteriyleisö", laulu (100 %, orkesterin säestys), 0' 50".

7. Marssi
Es. sotilassoittokunta (playback), 0' 35".

8. Oolannin sota
Säv. ja san. trad.
Es. "poliisien kuoro" (off, radio ja 100 %), 0' 50".

9. "Nimi Lahtinen teille ompi tuttu - -"
Es. Henake Schubak, laulu (playback), 0' 55".

10. "Kadonnut sävel"
1) Es. Hannele Keinänen, laulu (100 %), 0' 05"
2) Es. Märtha Jaatinen ja Hannele Keinänen, laulu (100 %), 0' 10".
3) Orkesteri (off), 0' 20".

Teostolla ei ole merkintöjä elokuvan musiikista. Tiedot perustuvat vajaaseen kopioon.

Musiikista on vaikeata erottaa George de Godzinskyn osuutta näytelmän alkuperäisten laulujen säveltäjän, Sven Møller Christensenin osuudesta. Balettimusiikki 2:n (nro 5) aikana neljä ballerinaa tanssii. Levysoittimen neula on juuttunut kiertämään äänilevyn samaa uraa, 0' 25".

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