Saturday, March 07, 2015

Naisen nimi / Just a Name

Milla (Essi Hellén) and Lotta (Lotta Kaihua) fight over a rape alarm device. Photo: Elina Simonen.
FI 2015. Fiction. PC: TACK Films Oy. P: John Lundsten. D: Tiina Lymi. SC: Melli Maikkula. DP: Jan Nyman. AD: Janne Siltavuori. Cost: Tiina Kaukanen. S: Karri Niinivaara. ED: Harri Ylönen. M: Vesa Mäkinen. Musicians: Marzi Nyman, Verneri Pohjola, Tero Kling, Vesa Mäkinen. C: Iina Kuustonen (Annu), Lotta Kaihua (Lotta), Santtu Karvonen (Janne), Essi Hellén (Milla), Leo Viirret (the man in the gym). 18 min
    Contact: Maria K. Mononen,
    In Finnish with English subtitles by Maarit Tulkki.
    Tampere Film Festival (National Competition 10), Saturday, 7 March 2015

TFF: "Annu, 30, is getting married and tries to decide whether to keep her own name or take that of her fiancé’s. A seemingly small choice gains enormous proportions when Annu’s best friend considers the issue an important question of gender equality, while Annu’s fiancé belittles the matter. A gathering of close friends escalates when traditional and modern worlds collide – and yet, it is just a name that is at stake. Or is it?"

AA: Revisited Tiina Lymi's excellent short film which I loved at first sight in late January. The delicious force of its satire is confirmed when seen again.
    It starts at the gym - the debate on the woman's family name. Naisen nimi is a film full of humoristic observation. It is a well written and directed contemporary satire with an unexpected angle. Janne the fiancé has bought a new leather easy chair. The two girlfriend guests bring gingerbread with pussy patterns (a wordplay on the Finnish double meaning of gingerbread). The dinner turns into a forum for hard core feministic diatribe. "Lotta is one tough broad".
    Do Lesbians get synchronized periods? Yes. Are men's circle jerks just a myth? No. How do Lesbians see penetration? As a patriarchal, destructive act.
   Annu has had enough: who is the penetrator here? Lotta.
   "It's just a name. It's not important". "Then you can take my name. It's not even an option. And it's my father's name anyway." The film is humoristic yet serious. The issue remains unsolved. There is bite in this film.
    What is not to like? This is a performance driven film with a splendid cast. The cinematography is good, and the original music played by a quartet is enjoyable.

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