Sunday, March 08, 2015

Tampere Film Festival 2015: National Competition

Matka minuksi / Becoming Me (D: Mina Laamo)
Since some years now at Tampere Film Festival I focus on National Competition. This year I was again happy at this decision, and I blogged on each film (save one, see the end). I could list them all here but here are some of my favourite SHORT FILMS in alphabetic order:
    Baby-Box - another masterful puppet animation by Katariina Lillqvist at her best.
    Karkuri / The Deserter by Kalle Raittila - a devastating factual animation on Syria.
    Kukka-Hauta / Flower-Grave by Malakias - a drolatic animation in juicy colour about our dependence on bees.
    Kuuntele / Listen by Hamy Ramezan and Rungano Nyoni - a taut and intense drama of "lost in translation" as an Arab woman tries to report lethal domestic violence on a Copenhagen police station.
    Naisen nimi / Just a Name by Tiina Lymi - a lovely satire with bite.
    Syntymäpäivä / Birthday by Hanneriina Moisseinen - a charcoal drawn animation about the last days of Finnish Eastern Karelia.
    Teemapuisto / Theme Park by Risto-Pekka Blom - a humoristic monologue of the huge balloon figure by the Koskikeskus Shopping Mall.
    Transit by Lauri Astala - an experimental film about the transformation of space as photographed in nocturnal New York from impossible angles.
    Valvoja / The Guardian by Pietari Bagge, Christer Hongisto, Inka Matilainen, and Elisa Ikonen - a droll animation of a senior woman who has a low tech robot assistant.
    Äiti / Mother by Otto Kylmälä - a psychologically powerful account on a mother's rehabilitation.

THE FEATURE FILMS had mostly already been seen in previous festivals or even in theatrical distribution.
    Between Rings / Estherin kehä / Woman on Hold by Salla Sorri and Jessie Chisi is the engrossing story of Zambia's national heroine Esther Phiri.
    Hulluus ja yhteiskunta / Madness and Civilization by Teemu Mäki is a disturbing audiovideo: a visually dramatized audioplay triptych on Pierre Rivière, on the Norwegian mass murderer of Utøya, and of Michel Foucault who tried to make sense of Rivière.
    Hymyjen maa / The Land of Smiles by Heikki Häkkinen is a story of a team of guys who go to Thailand to rescue their friend who is being killed by his addiction to Lao Khao liquor and other dangerous substances.
    Matka minuksi / Becoming Me by Mina Laamo is a truly original intimate documentary on three young women who are charting their identities via extremely private blogs on fashion, anorexia, and food. With ravishing cinematography as is characteristic for Avanton productions.
    Talvivaaran miehet / Men of the Talvivaara Mine by Markku Heikkinen is a strong documentary on the huge mining debacle that has been in Finnish headlines for years. This kind of a general survey puts things into perspective and dramatizes the issue electrifyingly. Essential viewing for Finns and those interested in Finland.
    Tolonen by Lasse Keso is a high profile rise-and-fall and lost-and-found documentary on the great progressive rock guitarist Jukka Tolonen, with authorized access to the even most embarrassing aspects of his life.
    Who the Devil Can See in the Dark / Kuka piru pimeässä näkee by Mari Soppela is a humoristic account of a bitter topic: the search of a missing grandfather, a German soldier stationed in Lapland during WWII.

I missed one film, the new documentary feature film Äidin toive / Mother's Wish by Joonas Berghäll, screened in the first show in the competition, as I did not realize that it would be the only chance to see it.

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