Sunday, March 31, 2019

Mir vkhodyashchemu / Peace To Him Who Enters

Мир входящему / Peace to Him Who Enters. Lidiya Shaporenko (Barbara, the German woman who gives birth on Victory Day) and Viktor Avdyushko (Ivan Yamschikov, the soldier who has stopped speaking after his family has been slaughered in the war). Behind them a signpost to Kwickau.

Мир входящему / Peace to Him Who Enters. Viktor Avdyushko (Ivan Yamschikov), Aleksandr Demyanenko (Ltn. Shura Ivlev), Lidiya Shaporenko (Barbara).

Мир входящему / Mir vhodjashtshemu / Ei kenenkään ihminen / Ingens människa / Paix à celui qui entre / Pace a chi entra.
    SU 1961. PC: Mosfilm. P: Ilya / Ilja Gurman. D: Aleksandr Alov, Vladimir Naumov. SC: Leonid Zorin, Vladimir Naumov, Aleksandr Alov. Cin: Anatoli Kuznetsov – 35 mm – b&w. PD: Jevgeni Chernjajev. Cost: T. Kasparova. Makeup: Jekatarina Jevsejeva. M: Nikolai Karetnikov. S: Vladimir Sharun. ED: Nadezhda Anikejeva.
    C: Viktor Avdyushko / Avdjushko (Ivan Yamschikov / Jamshtshikov), Aleksandr Demyanenko / Demjanenko (Lieutenant Shura Ivlev), Stanislav Khitrov / Hitrov (Pavel Rukavitsyn / Rukavitsin),  Lydia / Lidiya / Lidija Shaporenko (Barbara, German woman expecting a baby), Vera Bokadoro (French woman), Nikolai Grinko (American chauffeur driving a Studebaker), Nikolai Timofeev / Timofejev (battalion commander), Izolda Izvitskaya / Izviskaja (Klava, female military traffic regulator), Andrei Fajt / Fayt (old Serb), Stepan Krylov (Colonel Chernyaev), Vladimir Marenkov (foreman), Nikolai Hryaschikov (wounded man in Kwickau), Erwin Knausmüller (German officer), Viktor Koltsov (General), Mikhail Logvinov (Hitler Jugend storm trooper), Vasili Makarov (Lieutenant), Vladimir Marenkov (Sergeant Major), Galina Samokhina (interpreter at the commandant's office), Aleksandr Kuznetsov (Slava).
    Helsinki premiere: 23.2.1962 Allotria, Capitol, released by Kosmos-Filmi with Finnish / Swedish subtitles – telecast 19.9.1964 YLE TV1 – VET 59515 – K16 – 2451 m / 89 min
    Vintage 35 mm print.
    Screened at Kino Regina, Helsinki (History of the Russian Cinema), 31 March 2019.

I have been wanting to see Peace to Him Who Enters for a long time for instance because I remember Herman G. Weinberg having liked it. It is one of the most sympathetic Thaw films, a war film with an anti-war message, a Soviet film without chauvinism. The international cast of characters is portrayed with respect. Besides Russians we meet a French woman, a Serb, an American chauffeur – and Barbara, the German woman who gives birth on Victory Day.

Three Red Army soldiers get a mission to escort Barbara from the ruins of Berlin to give birth in Kwickau. The father of the baby is a Nazi, but the baby belongs to the future and not to the past. In the final twist it marks a pile of discarded arms with its piss.

The chauffeur Pavel is a happy-go-lucky fellow who has seen it all and is quick to get acquainted with women. There is an affinity with the protagonist of Vasili Shukshin's debut film There Lives a Lad. Pavel is a survivor but he gets killed in a Nazi ambush on the way to Kwickau.

Travelling in the car is also Ivan, a soldier whose family has been slaughtered in the war and who has stopped speaking suffering from a post traumatic stress disorder.

In charge of the mission is the young officer Shura whose first mission this is. Senior officers, aware of the fact that the war is about to end, want him sent to safety from the dangerous ruins of Berlin. The movie is Shura's Bildungsroman. He needs to make quick decisions in seemingly hopeless circumstances, he gets into his first combat, and he gets drunk with an American chauffeur. Most importantly, he escorts his charges to safety although he loses Pavel on the way.

For Barbara the journey is a terrible ordeal of ruins, bad roads, night, rain, and ambushes. But she survives and gives birth.

The movie contains a holocaust episode, rare in a Soviet film. The travellers encounter a group of concentration camp survivors, including ones with a yellow star. In a scene straining credibility the survivors help move the car over a river where a bridge has been destroyed.

The film has been flamboyantly shot by Anatoli Kuznetsov. The expressionistic vision is full of compositions in depth, exciting camera movements, ambitious night sequences, breathtaking crane shots and bold camera angles including extreme low angles and startling high angles. The cinematography has an affinity with the virtuosity of Viktor Urusevsky in The Cranes Are Flying and I Am Cuba. Time and again there are startling juxtapositions, credible in terms of the surrealism of ruined landscapes. Which reminds us that surrealism was born in a war. For instance René Magritte was a WWI veteran.

Some of the most moving scenes seem to be authentic newsreel footage of starving civilians running for food.

The story is too good to be true. It all happens like in a movie. Maybe the best way to approach Peace To Him Who Enters is as a fairy-tale. The only glory in this war is that it ends.

A watchable vintage print (with some duped looking passages) that has seen a lot of service bringing the duration down to 84 minutes, yet there are no obvious plot holes.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Barry Lyndon

Barry Lyndon: the opening shot. Death of Redmond Barry's father, the duellist to the left. Please do click on the images to enlarge them.

Barry Lyndon. First love, first love triangle. Ryan O'Neal (Redmond Barry), Gay Hamilton (Nora Brady), Leonard Rossiter (Captain Quin).

Barry Lyndon. Ryan O'Neal.

Barry Lyndon. The wedding. Murray Melvin (Reverend Samuel Runt), Patrick Magee (Chevalier du Balibari), Ryan O'Neal (Barry Lyndon), Marisa Berenson (Lady Lyndon), Marie Kean (Belle, Barry's mother), and Dominic Savage (young Lord Bullingdon, Lady Lyndon's son from the previous marriage).

Barry Lyndon. Barry (Ryan O'Neal) depressed and alcoholized after the death of his son Bryan.

Barry Lyndon / Barry Lyndon.
    GB / US © 1975 Warner Bros. PC: Hawk Films / Peregrine Productions. EX: Jan Harlan. P: Stanley Kubrick. Assoc. P: Bernard Williams.
    D: Stanley Kubrick. SC: Stanley Kubrick – based on the novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon (1844), reissued as The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq. by William Makepeace Thackeray – there is no Finnish translation. DP: John Alcott – 35 mm – 1,66:1 – Metrocolor / Eastmancolor – Arriflex 35 BL, Cooke Speed Panchro, Zeiss and Angenieux Lenses – Mitchell BNC, Canon K35, Zeiss and Angenieux Lenses – Arriflex 35-IIC, Cooke Speed Panchro Lenses. PD: Ken Adam. AD: Roy Walker. Cost: Milena Canonero, Ulla-Britt Söderlund. SFX: Gerry Johnston. ED: Tony Lawson. Casting: James Liggat.
    M: conductor and music adaptor: Leonard Rosenman.
Georg Friedrich Händel: Sarabande aus der Cembalosuite Nr. 4 in d-Moll / from the Suite for Harpsichord No. 4 in d minor, HWV 437, (comp. 1703–1706, publ. 1733), solo composition arranged for the orchestra as "Sarabande–Main Title" "Sarabande–Duel" "Sarabande–End Title", perf. National Philharmonic Orchestra.
Seán Ó Riada: "Women of Ireland", perf. Peadar Ó Doirnín, The Chieftains, harp: Derek Bell.
Sean Ó Riada: "Tin Whistles", perf. tin whistles: Paddy Moloney & Seán Potts.
"Piper's Maggot Jig", trad., perf. The Chieftains.
"The Sea-Maiden", trad., perf. The Chieftains.
"The British Grenadiers", trad., perf. Fifes & Drums"Lillibullero", trad., perf. Fifes & Drums, perf. Leslie Pearson.
"Der Hohenfriedberger" / "Hohenfriedberger Marsch" (1745), attributed to Friedrich der Grosse, perf. Fifes & Drums.
W. A. Mozart: March from Idomeneo KV 366, (1781), perf. National Philharmonic Orchestra.
Franz Schubert: "Deutscher Tanz Nr. 1 in C-Dur" aus 5 Deutsche Tänze mit 7 Trios und einer Coda, für Streichquartett, D 90 (1813), perf. National Philharmonic Orchestra.
Giovanni Paisiello: film adaptation of the cavatina from Il barbiere di Siviglia (1782), perf. National Philharmonic Orchestra.
Antonio Vivaldi: Sonata n. 5 in mi minore
RV 40 (della serie Sonate per violoncello e basso continuo) (not dated, Vivaldi died 1741), perf. Lucerne Festival Strings, cello Pierre Fournier, cond. Rudolf Baumgartner (Deutsche Grammophon).
J. S. Bach: Konzert c-Moll für zwei Cembali BWV 1060, Adagio 12/8 Es-Dur (late 1730s), perf. Münchener Bach-Orchester, harpsichords: Hedwig Bilgram, Karl Richter.
Franz Schubert: film adaptation of Klaviertrio Es-Dur op. 100, 2. Satz (1827), perf. Moray Welsh / Anthony Goldstone / Ralph Holmes.
    C as edited in Wikipedia: Michael Hordern (voice) as Narrator
    Ryan O’Neal as Redmond Barry (later Redmond Barry Lyndon)
    Marisa Berenson as Lady Honoria Lyndon
    Patrick Magee as the Chevalier du Balibari
    Hardy Krüger as Captain Potzdorf
    Gay Hamilton as Nora Brady
    Godfrey Quigley as Captain Grogan
    Steven Berkoff as Lord Ludd
    Wolf Kahler as Prince of Tübingen
    Marie Kean as Belle, Barry's mother
    Murray Melvin as Reverend Samuel Runt
    Frank Middlemass as Sir Charles Reginald Lyndon
    Leon Vitali as Lord Bullingdon
        Dominic Savage as young Bullingdon
    Leonard Rossiter as Captain John Quin
    André Morell as Lord Gustavus Adolphus Wendover
    Anthony Sharp as Lord Hallam
    Philip Stone as Graham
    David Morley as Bryan Patrick Lyndon
    Diana Körner as Lieschen (German Girl)
    Arthur O'Sullivan as Captain Feeney, the highwayman
    Billy Boyle as Seamus Feeney
    Roger Booth as King George III
Loc: England, Eire, Germany.
Filming dates: Dec 1973 – July 1974.
London release date: 11 Dec 1975.
Helsinki premiere: 24 Sep 1976, released by Warner-Columbia Films – VHS release 1980 by Scanvideo – DVD release 2001 by Sandrew Metronome Distribution – VET 84918 – K16 – 187 min – 185 min – Finnish premiere length 5075 m / 184 min
    35 mm print from Park Circus.
Screened at Kino Regina, Helsinki (Stanley Kubrick), 30 March 2019.

Barry Lyndon was the first Stanley Kubrick film which I reviewed – in September 1977 in Aviisi, the students' paper at the University of Tampere. Now at last I saw Barry Lyndon on a big screen again. Meanwhile I had revisited the epic on the home screen only.

My first impression had been that Kubrick had a problem of focus, but so it was often (always?) with Kubrick. And it always turned out that the focus problem was with the spectator whose expectations were frustrated because Kubrick kept changing his approach from film to film. Kubrick was like an explorer who always discovered new land. His films kept getting better when you revisited them. It's best to watch them with an open mind.

Barry Lyndon was not Kubrick's first historical epic, but in contrast to Paths of Glory and Spartacus the protagonist is not an identification figure. And in contrast to Tom Jones this work is not a piece of feelgood entertainment.

The protagonist is difficult to relate to. He is a shallow and opportunistic anti-hero, but he can also be generous, he risks his life to save his superior officer, his love to Lady Lyndon is genuine, as is his love to their son Bryan. Barry Lyndon is a complex figure but not in an engrossing way like Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind. There is a connection between these characters. The greatest love in both men's lives is their child. Both lose the child in a riding accident. Lady and Barry Lyndon's agony for the death of their child is their last great mutual emotional experience.

Barry Lyndon is a picaresque story set in the Rococo period "before the Revolution". During the Seven Years' War King George III reigned in England, Frederick the Great was the king of Prussia and Louis XV was the absolute monarch in France. Sweden (including Finland), having lost its might in the Great Northern War, entered the Age of Liberty, participated ignominiously in the Seven Years' War and proceeded after a coup d'état into the Gustavian era. In America the Revolutionary War started.

In the cool but loving objectivity of this movie there is an affinity with Luchino Visconti's Senso and Il gattopardo. Although these films have been designed with a devotion to detail in landscapes, buildings, lived spaces, costumes, equipment and hairdos, the attention is not decorative. The period detail is informed by a sense of a philosophy of history.

Barry Lyndon's compilation soundtrack is one of the most engaging in the history of the cinema, and also in this aspect Kubrick was equal to Visconti. I believe that this score launched a revival for Händel's Sarabande (the main theme), Schubert's Piano Trio (the Lyndon marriage theme) and Séan Ó Riada's "Women of Ireland" (Nora's theme).

My initial frustration with Barry Lyndon had to do with the protagonist and the performance. Barry Lyndon is a hollow man, a man without qualities. Ryan O'Neal is convincing as an adventurer, soldier, gambler, lover, and boxer (being a trained boxer in reality). The film is a satire of class society and also a satire of Barry Lyndon as an outsider and upstart in high society. He copies the manners and mores of noblemen but he never really belongs. Also, he is an Irishman in England.

A special quality of the film is that it is not bitter or cynical. The story is a tragedy for all concerned, yet there is an epic sense of humour and a sunny disposition which is not cheap or flippant. While it does not make sense to relate to the protagonist, it is immensely rewarding to relate to the storyteller Stanley Kubrick.

Barry Lyndon belongs with Spartacus with the Stanley Kubrick films featuring homosexuality. I find Kubrick's approach neutral. His account of homosexuality is matter-of-fact, and it has not dated. Barry Lyndon also belongs to the Kubrick films which feature boxing like Day of the Fight, and there is an undercurrent of male passion sublimated as violence. There is also a beefcake aspect in these films. Ryan O'Neal's physical beauty is classical and harmonious like in Myron's sculptures, not exaggerated as in modern bodybuilding.

The cinematography of Barry Lyndon is one of the most breathtaking in the history of the cinema. I usually ignore Academy Awards, but the one won by the cinematographer John Alcott was richly deserved. In our previous Stanley Kubrick retrospectives it was possible to access the exceptionally brilliant Stanley Kubrick Estate Collection print. Now that that collection has been disposed last year, on display was a duped print which failed to convey the full glory of the cinematography but was clean and complete at 182 minutes.


Friday, March 15, 2019

Film and Psyche 12: The Look (a symposium)

City Lights. Charles Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill. "Yes, I can see now". The flower girl has never seen the tramp before, but she recognizes the touch of his hand.

Film and Psyche Symposium 12: The Look
15.–16.3.2019 at Kino Regina (Central Library Oodi, Töölönlahdenkatu 4, Helsinki)
Organized by: Suomen Psykoanalyyttinen Yhdistys, Helsingin Psykoterapiaseura and Kansallinen audiovisuaalinen instituutti (KAVI)

Un chien andalou. Luis Buñuel and Simone Mareuil. Music: "Liebestod" by Wagner "Tango Argentino" and "Recuerdos" by the Vicente Alvarez & Carlos Otero et son orchestre.

FRIDAY 15.3.2019
8.50  Introduction
9.00  Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dalí: Andalusialainen koira (Un chien andalou, 1928), 22 min
9.25  Mikael Enckell: "Reportages from the repository of repressed temptations" read by Antti Alanen / mod. Harri Stenberg
10.00  Lecture: Timo Kaitaro

10.30  Charles Chaplin: Kaupungin valot (City Lights, US 1931), 87 min
12.00  Lunch break
13.30  Lecture: Stig Hägglund / mod. Vesa Manninen

Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography. The director Bonnie Sherr Klein, the performer Lindalee Tracey, the photographer Suze Randall.

14.30  Bonnie Sherr Klein: Tuote: nainen (Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography, CA 1981), 69 min
15.40  Coffee break
16.10  Lecture: Hannu Säävälä / mod. Ilpo Lahti – ends 17.10
17.30  Evening rendez-vous at Restaurant Vaakuna, Kaarre Hall (Kaivokatu 3)
    AA: Produced for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) by its experienced producer and director Bonnie Sherr Klein, Not a Love Story, is her most famous film and one of the best-know NFB productions. It started from inquisitive questions by the director's ten-year old daughter Naomi Klein who appears in the beginning. The result was a personal survey into an industry that was huge already at the time.
    A major character is Lindalee Tracey (1957-2006), introduced as stripper "Fonda Peters", offering explicit performances at sex clubs. During the movie she becomes a partner in investigative journalism to the director. Her life changed during the making of the movie.
    A memorable recital is given by Margaret Atwood of her poem "A Women's Issue" (1987). Also featured is Kate Millett, author of Sexual Politics (1970), leader of the women's movement. Plus Susan Griffin, author of Woman and Nature (1978) and Pornography and Silence: Culture's Revenge Against Nature (1981).
    Also featured is Suze Randall, fashion model, photographer for Page 3 of The Sun, Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler, pioneering female porn film director, mother of Holly Randall.
    I saw this movie for the first time. It now appears as a document of a more innocent time. An avalanche was going on. Since 20 years it has become an ever-growing deluge.
    In the discussion I made the remark that the birth rate has been falling in our country for several years. Also according to serious research people are having less sex. Might there be a connection?

Vertigo. The opening credit sequence by Saul Bass. computer graphics of the Lissajous curves by John Whitney, Sr.

SATURDAY 16.3.2019
9.00  Alfred Hitchcock: Vertigo (1958), 128 min
11.10  Coffee break
11.40  Lecture: Susanna Välimäki, musicologist / mod. Antti Alanen
12.10  Lecture: Anneli Larmo, psychoanalyst
12.40  Lecture: Juhani Pallasmaa, architect
13.15  Lunch break
    AA: Having seen last week Arthur Franck's The Hypnotist (2018) I was struck by the fact that Vertigo starts with something like an act of hypnotism: the spiral movement of the opening credit sequence to the music of Bernard Herrmann's hypnotic vertigo theme (the ascending steps and the dizzying downfall). We are being hypnotized into a dream mode to receive a strange tale which makes no sense in rational terms.
    After watching Vertigo we heard three different approaches to the mystery film. Vertigo was elected as Number One in Sight & Sound's most recent Top Ten poll, yet 80% of the participants did not mention it, and many film connoisseurs do not rate it highly. Even many of those who love it find it hard to explain why. Including me until recently.
    To fuel the general discussion I listed six more approaches. Before Vertigo Éric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol had just published the first serious study of Alfred Hitchcock in which they presented (1) a GEOMETRICAL approach, Hitchcock as a great inventor of forms particularly fascinated by the straight line and the circle - in Vertigo Hitchcock answered them by focusing on the spiral, the union of the line and the circle. Rohmer and Chabrol also paid attention to (2) a RELIGIOUS approach, Hitchcock's Catholic faith. Hitchcock himself was reticent about his faith, but Rohmer, Chabrol, and Truffaut seem to have been on the right track, and the approach is also relevant in Vertigo.
    In Finland, two monographs on Vertigo have been published. Peter von Bagh in 1968 published his master's thesis on the film, studying among other things (3) the EDGAR ALLAN POE affinity. In his short stories such as "The Fall of the House of Usher" (with a female protagonist called Madeline), "Ligeia", "Morella" and "The Oval Portrait" Poe's themes included a morbid obsession with a dead beloved and an artist solely devoted to the image while the living model dies. Heikki Nyman has published a separate volume, Vertigo: Loving the Image, of his magnum opus The Hitchcock Touch (1992), with a (4) PHILOSOPHICAL approach. Nyman, like Gilles Deleuze and Stanley Cavell, studies a film director as a thinker. He examines Hitchcock's films as studies in perception. Hitchcock's films are always about the look - also in the philosophically relevant sense of seeing.
    Robin Wood published two major assessments of Vertigo. In 1989 in Hitchcock's Films Revisited he presented (5) a FEMINIST reading of Vertigo: a tale of patriarchy and violent oppression of women relevant to the ideas of Kate Millett in Sexual Politics. But in 1965, in his original chapter on Vertigo, his focus had been (6) on DEATH DRIVE. The sensation of vertigo is the simultaneous powerful feeling of the life force and the death drive as Scottie Ferguson is hanging from the rooftop gutter. The concurrent awareness of Eros and Thanatos.
    What then is Madeleine? She is death incarnate, like the grim reaper in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal or the ghost woman in Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu monogatari. The psychoanalyst Anneli Larmo commented also that she is the third woman, represented by the third casket, as analyzed by Sigmund Freud in "Das Motiv der Kästchenwahl" (1913): the Goddess of Death, relevant to the three Moirai, Parcae, or Norns. The Law of Nature is mythically present since birth, since the life-giving mother to the silent and tender womb of Mother Earth. Robin Wood pointed out that in Scottie's nightmare the person falling to death is not Madeleine but Scottie himself.

Matka minuksi / Becoming Me. Elli.

14.45  Mina Laamo: Matka minuksi / Becoming Me (2014) 75 min
16.00  Lecture: Mina Laamo 40 min / mod. Anna Lilja

16.40  Alan Schneider: Film by Samuel Beckett (1965, starring Buster Keaton) 20 min
17.00  Lecture: Christel Airas / mod. Kristiina Kuula – ends at 17.45

The planning team: the psychoanalysts Johanna Eväsoja, Kristiina Kuula, Ilpo Lahti, Anna Lilja, Vesa Manninen and Harri Stenberg plus Antti Alanen (KAVI).


Margaret Atwood: A Women's Issue (a poem, 1987)

Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography. Margaret Atwood reads her poem "A Women's Issue".

The woman in the spiked device
that locks around the waist and between
the legs, with holes in it like a tea strainer
is Exhibit A.

The woman in black with a net window
to see through and a four-inch
wooden peg jammed up
between her legs so she can’t be raped
is Exhibit B.

Exhibit C is the young girl
dragged into the bush by the midwives
and made to sing while they scrape the flesh
from between her legs, then tie her thighs
till she scabs over and is called healed.
Now she can be married.
For each childbirth they’ll cut her
open, then sew her up.
Men like tight women.
The ones that die are carefully buried.

The next exhibit lies flat on her back
while eighty men a night
move through her, ten an hour.
She looks at the ceiling, listens
to the door open and close.
A bell keeps ringing.
Nobody knows how she got here.

You’ll notice that what they have in common
is between the legs. Is this
why wars are fought?
Enemy territory, no man’s
land, to be entered furtively,
fenced, owned but never surely,
scene of these desperate forays
at midnight, captures
and sticky murders, doctors’ rubber gloves
greasy with blood, flesh made inert, the surge
of your own uneasy power.

This is no museum.
Who invented the word love?

Margaret Atwood's reading of her poem is included in Bonnie Sherr Klein's film Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography (1981).

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Convict 13 (2005 Lobster Films restoration with a Robert Israel score)

Photo: Wikipedia. Please do click to enlarge it.

Vanki numero 13 / Hirtehinen / Straffånge 13.
    US 1920. PC: Joseph M. Schenck Productions / Buster Keaton Productions. Original distributor: Metro Pictures Corporation. P: Joseph M. Schenck. D+SC: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton. Cin: Elgin Lessley. Technical director: Fred Gabourie. ED: Buster Keaton.
    C: Buster Keaton (golfer turned prisoner turned guard), Sybil Seely (socialite, warden's daughter), Joe Roberts (the crazed prisoner), Edward F. Cline (hangman), Joe Keaton (prisoner), Louise Keaton.
    Release date: 27 October, 1920.
    Finnish premiere: 1923, distributed by Adams Filmi – film control 12148 – S – 477 m.
    Lobster Films restoration (2005) with a Robert Israel score at 22 min.
    Screened at Kino Regina, Helsinki (Buster Keaton), 10 March 2019.

Buster Keaton's second released independent short, again starring the spirited Sybil Seely who also appears in One Week, The Scarecrow, and The Boat.

Buster and Sybil are sharing a game of golf, "the game that brings out the beast in men". Sybil is superior. Buster bungles everything. He has to retrieve his ball from inside a fish and from a runaway dog who has an impressive collection of golf balls.

A fugitive from prison stumbles upon Buster who has been knocked unconscious by his own golf ball. The fugitive instantly switches clothes with Buster who blithely continues his game in a striped prisoner's suit.

In a wild chase sequence, a platoon of prison wardens act mechanically in unison like the Keystone Kops. There are affinities with Charles Chaplin's The Adventurer in this sequence. Later Keaton developed aspects of this concept in Cops. The approach has a touch of surrealism.

Like later in Cops, Keaton mistakenly lands behind bars. His prisoner number 13 spells imminent death by hanging. In the prison gym Sybil discovers a bungee cord and replaces the hanging rope with it. The hanging, eagerly anticipated by fellow prisoners, turns into a clownish circus number. The audience is disappointed and resentful. Gallows humours indeed.

The prisoner's sentence involves hard labour. Breaking stones with a sledgehammer Buster accidentally knocks a warden unconscious and switches clothes with him. Simultaneously there is a riot. The prisoners knock all the wardens, until Buster is the last man standing wearing a warden's uniform and facing the giant riot leader. The scene has affinities with Eric Campbell scenes in Chaplin's films such as Easy Street.

Alone against all, Buster ties a punchbag to the bungee cord and knocks out all prisoners. When the riot leader has pierced the punchbag with his bayonet Buster replaces it with an iron ball. The prison riot sequence with gunfire, mass beatings and deaths is the most violent I remember having seen in the Buster Keaton oeuvre.

The prison story is a dream sequence in which Sybil is the prison warden's daughter. Buster wakes up in her arms.

Another amazing and alarming Buster Keaton short with affinities with the world of Franz Kafka. In his early shorts Keaton wore long pointed shoes like Little Tich had done 20 years earlier and like Leningrad Cowboys would do in the 1980s. The ill fitting shoes hamper Keaton's game of golf and are also a Chaplinesque detail.

The visual world is exceptionally stark and reduced for a Keaton film, especially in contrast with his bucolic and historical stories. The prison milieu, the scaffold and the striped clothes are conveyed in startlingly graphic images. One can compare them with the 1930s prison movies of Warner Bros.

An integral and consistent restoration from challenging sources. A wonderful Robert Israel score.


Saturday, March 09, 2019

Tampere Film Festival: National Competition 10

Venetsia / Venice

Tampere Film Festival (TFF): National Competition 10
L96 | 9.3. SAT/LA 13:30 | PLEVNA 2
Language/kieli: Eng, Fin | Duration/kesto: 97 min

Valtakunnat  / Realms
Patrik Söderlund | Finland 2018 | Experimental, Fiction | 21 min
    TFF: "A short film about geological epochs, kingdoms of life and mass extinctions, Realms voyages through deep time from the primeval ocean to the post-human future."
    "Lyhytelokuva geologisista maailmankausista, biologisista pääryhmistä ja joukkosukupuutoista. Realms matkaa halki ajan alkumerestä ihmiskunnan jälkeiseen tulevaisuuteen." (TFF)
    AA: Sound and vision: sublime about our time on Earth, the existence before and after humanity. Another film based on the aesthetics of the ruin. Here the ruin is not a special instance but the imminent condition of existence. Grandeur of the scope frame. Powerful soundscape.

Taksvärkkipäivä / Career Day

Mika Tervonen | Finland 2018 | Fiction | 9 min
    TFF: "A hitman brings his daughter to work for a career day. Going through a conflict makes them see each other in a different light."
    "Palkkamurhaaja ottaa tyttärensä mukaan töihin suorittamaan taksvärkkiä. Konfliktitilanne saa heidät näkemään toisensa uudessa valossa." (TFF)
    AA: Black comedy about a hitman whose daughter follows him on an Operation Day's Work. Sharp and well made.


Elina Oikari | Finland 2018 | Experimental, Fiction | 9 min
    TFF: "Govadas explores the contradiction and harmony between humans and nature through Sámi poetry. The cyclical perception of time among the only indigenous people living in the European Union is presented in the work as unfolding forms and layers based on the archive material from the 1940’s and the super 8 mm film footage from 2010’s. Govadas creates a kinetic meditation on time, memory, landscape and the ruptures between them."
    "Govadas pohtii luonnon ja ihmisen välistä harmoniaa ja siihen liittyviä ristiriitoja. Euroopan Unionin ainoan alkuperäiskansan syklinen aikakäsitys esitetään uudelleen syntyvinä muotoina ja kerrostumina. Nils Aslak Valkeapään runot yhdistyvät arkistomateriaaliin 1940-luvulta ja 2010-luvulla kuvattuun super 8 mm -filmiin. Govadas muodostaa kineettisen meditaation ajasta, muistista, maisemasta ja niiden välisistä murtumista." (TFF)
    AA: Based on the poems by Nils Aslak Valkeapää, a subjective found footage film based in the Sami people's experience of time and space.

Jenni Tuli | Finland 2018 | Fiction | 15 min
    TFF: "A young girl Veera, 16 years old, has disappeared. Ara has been Veera´s closest friend. Ara has taken a grip on her life and is not anymore in drug-fuelled-vertigo. She has left her old life behind and Veera belongs to that old life. Ara still cares about Veera, but she is unable to help her. Ara´s new life is still too fragile and she is hanging by a thread. But what happened to Veera?"
    "Nuori, 16-vuotias Veera on kadonnut. Ara on ollut Veeran paras ystävä. Ara on kuitenkin ottanut elämänsä takaisin haltuunsa ja jättänyt huumehourut taakseen. Vanha elämä on saanut väistyä uuden tieltä ja Veera sen mukana. Ara välittää edelleen Veerasta, muttei pysty auttamaan tätä. Aran uusi elämä on vielä liian hauras ja sen ylläpitäminen vaatii paljon. Mutta mitä Veeralle on tapahtunut?" (TFF)
    AA: Based on a true story, Venice is a youth workshop production made with young women in the situation of "when you don't have a home to go to". Strong, authentic, full of life, full of despair. In the presence of the people who made it.

Neljäs seinä / Fourth Wall

Laura Rantanen | Finland 2018 | Experimental, Documentary | 3 min
    TFF: "Three young members of the honour guard stare at the wall and get carried away."
    "Kolme nuorta kunniavartion jäsentä tuijottaa seinää ja innostuu liikaa." (TFF)
    AA: A straight record of the guards of honour at the Finnish Presidential Palace in Helsinki.

Iholle / Close to Me

Joonas Rutanen | Finland 2019 | Fiction | 19 min
    TFF: "Aila is a lonely young woman living in eastern suburbs of Helsinki. Aila has lost her cat. She ends up looking for the cat to a park behind a block of flats. There she meets Simo, a gangling young man of few words. Simo tells Aila that he has seen the cat and they continue the search together. It’s obvious that Simo doesn’t know how to be around women, but Aila and Simo are both lonely and looking for love. Eventually the day turns into a night and even before their relationship has properly started, Aila discovers unexpected and possessive side of Simo."
    "Aila on omalla tavallaan yksinäinen, betonielementtitalon nainen. Ailan kissa on kadonnut. Aila päätyy etsimään kissaa kerrostalolähiön puistoon, jossa kohtaa vähäsanaisen Simon. Simo kertoo nähneensä kissan ja lyöttäytyy Ailan matkaan. Simokin on omalla tavallaan yksinäinen, hontelomainen poika, joka ei tiedä mistä naisille puhua. Ailalla ja Simolla on kuitenkin yhteinen piirre, huutava tarve rakkaudelle. Kissan etsintä vaihtuu rakkaudenkaipuiseksi yöksi, jonka kuluessa Simosta paljastuu arvaamaton ja omistushaluinen puoli, jo ennen kuin yhteinen suhde on aivan ehtinyt alkaa." (TFF)
    AA: The story of two young outsiders in winter. Aila has lost her cat. Simo has found it dead, tells her nothing, but helps her anyway, until a jealous and violent side emerges. Yet they continue meeting each other.

Untitled (Burned Rubber on Asphalt)

Tinja Ruusuvuori | Finland 2019 | Documentary | 21 min
    TFF: "In a remote Norwegian village the weaving roads have become the subject of controversy. Assuming the role of detective, the documentary investigates the bewildering phenomena of car skid marks and their mysterious appearance. Winding, looping, curving, the hypnotising patterns reveal unexpected frictions in the village. Some brand the skid marks as an irresponsible and dangerous act, while others view the mesmerizing marks as a form of art."
    "Syrjäisessä norjalaisessa kylässä mutkittelevat tiet ovat aiheuttaneet kiistaa. Dokumentti tarkastelee salapoliisin lailla outoja sutimisjälkiä, hypnoottisella tavalla polveilevia, kiertyviä ja kaartuvia viivoja, jotka paljastavat kyläläisten välillä kytevän yllättävän eripuran ja saavat kylän asukkaat pohtimaan käsitystään kauneudesta." (TFF)
    AA: The mystery of spinning tracks and burnout tracks in faraway village in Norway. The art of making observations. Epic views, magnificent soundscapes.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Tampere Film Festival: National Competition 9

Helsinki Mansplaining Massacre.

Tampere Film Festival (TFF): National Competition 9
8.3. FRI/PE 18:30 | PLEVNA 2
Language/kieli: Eng, Fin | Duration/kesto: 91min

Ilja Rautsi | Finland 2018 | Fiction | 15 min
    TFF: "An intensely hysterical horror comedy about one woman’s desperate struggle to survive a horde of men with frail egos, who just want to explain everything to her. But the biggest horror may be closer to her than she thinks."
    "Intensiivisen hysteerisessä kauhukomediassa Essi yrittää selviytyä hauraiden egojen ajamasta mieslaumasta, joka haluaa selittää hänelle kaiken. Mutta todellinen kauhu saattaa vaania lähempänä kuin Essi luuleekaan."
    AA: Ilja Rautsi's horror film taps into a genuine oneiric current. In dream mode he lambasts conventional gender roles. The nightmare touch is assured and startling.

Keuliminen / Ride of Passage.

Katri Myllyniemi, Vilja Autiokyrö | Finland 2019 | Documentary | 7 min
    TFF: "In secret, on the outskirts of the city, hundreds of teenage boys gather and show off on their mopeds and motocross bikes. The summer night is filled with the noise and smoke of straining motors, all against a dark, silent backdrop of looming pines. All you need to belong is a two-wheeler of your own. The riders are just a step away from adulthood. They are living their last moments of freedom, the future already in sight. These secret moped meeting gatherings are popular and widespread throughout Finland, organised and spread through social media."
    "Sadat teini-ikäiset pojat mopoineen ja motocross-pyörineen kokoontuvat salaiseen paikkaan kaupungin laidalle. Kesäyön täyttää pyöristä lähtevä melu. Rataa kiertävien, savuttavien ajopelien takana kuuset seisovat ylväinä. Jos käytössäsi on kaksipyöräinen kulkuvälinen, muuta ei tarvita. Pojat ovat aivan aikuisuuden kynnyksellä ja elävät viimeisiä vapauden hetkiään, mutta tulevaisuus siintää jo heidän edessään."
    AA: A factual record of the outlandish rituals of round-the-clock motocross rides. Totally insane, and totally absorbing.

Eläinsilta U-3033 / Animal Bridge U-3033

Milja Viita | Finland 2018 | Experimental, Documentary | 13 min
    TFF: "Animal Bridge U-3033 is about the parallel realities of humans and wild animals. It’s filmed during a year on a bridge above motor highway. These bridges are architecturally engrossing structures, addressed only to the nature, allowing animals to cross the highway."
    "Eläinsilta U-3033 on kertomus ihmisten ja villieläinten rinnakkaistodellisuuksista. Elokuva on kuvattu moottoritien ylittävällä sillalla. Nämä rakennelmat on tarkoitettu eläinten käyttöön, jotta ne voivat kulkea teiden yli."
    AA: Shot with infrared surveillance cameras, a huge amount of footage was edited into a nocturnal vision of the parallel reality of animals crossing a custom-built bridge over the highway. A phantom world is full of life next to us while we are asleep.

Syötäväksi syntynyt / Born to Be Eaten.

Kati Laukkanen | Finland 2018 | Documentary | 11 min
    TFF: "A symphonic portrait of the five week life of a broiler chicken."
    "Tällainen on tehotuotetun broilerin viiden viikon elämä."
    AA: We know the story, and everytime it is shocking to hear. Hundreds of thousands of chicken exist only in as industrial material to be processed as food. Every scene is an argument for vegetarianism.


Anssi Kasitonni | Finland 2018 | Experimental, Fiction | 9 min
    TFF: "Sakke is a Finnish snowboarder who is going to make a movie with his buddy. Sakke is also the world´s first radio controlled snowboarder."
    "Sakke on suomalainen lumilautailija, joka aikoo tehdä kaverinsa kanssa elokuvan. Sakke on myös maailman ensimmäinen radio-ohjattava lumilautailija."
    AA: A music video based on a radio controlled puppet. While Sakke may seem an animation, it is not: it is a live puppet movie! ♪ Anssi Kasitonni: "Luurankojengi". ♪ Anssi Kasitonni: "Laskettelubiisi".

Tuhkaksi / Ashes to Ashes

Tuuli Teelahti | Finland 2018 | Documentary | 6 min
    TFF: "When a body is cremated, all that remains, is some nails from the coffin. And that’s that."
    "Kun ruumis tuhkataan, jäljelle jää lähinnä nauloja arkusta. Että semmosta."
    AA: Not facts of life but facts of death: lessons in cremating.

En arg mors bekännelser / Confessions of an Angry Mother

Catarina Diehl | Finland 2018 | Animation | 6 min
    TFF: "She’s afraid of three things: losing her temper, hurting her own kids and turning into her own abusive and violent mother."
    "Hän pelkää kolmea asiaa: hermojensa menetystä, omien lastensa satuttamista ja muuttumista samanlaiseksi kuin hänen oma kaltoinkohteleva ja väkivaltainen äitinsä oli."
    AA: First person confessions in Swedish, a stream of consciousness of a mother on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Conveyed in a mixed animation style, with freeze frames.

Arttu Nieminen | Finland 2019 | Experimental, Fiction | 4 min
    TFF: "Neurocinematic dive into surreal prophecy, where awareness of mankind reaches to the heavens."
    "Neuroelokuva sukeltaa mentaaliseen tykkylumikudokseen, näkyyn missä ihmiskunnan tietoisuus kurottaa korkeuksiin."
    AA: Experimental music video: "Come Let Us" with lyrics from the Bible: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” The image is horizontally doubled: above we see the mirror image. Tykkylumi (heavy snow) is a central image.

Kaksi ruumista rannalla / Two Bodies on a Beach. Laura Birn.

Anna Paavilainen | Finland 2019 | Fiction | 20 min
    TFF: "A WOMAN wakes up on a beach tied in a plastic press wearing only underwear and high heels. “Not again”, she sighs and decides to track down the enemy and strike back. She gets a companion from AN OLDER WOMAN, who has been pushed to the borders of society.  During their journey through classical cinematic landscapes these nameless women from different generations struggle to connect and understand each other’s perspectives while their passion for men and male attention gets in away."
    "Nainen herää rannalta muoviin käärittynä puolialastomana korkokengissä. “Ei taas”, hän huokaa, ja päättää löytää syyllisen. Nainen saa houkuteltua mukaansa kostoretkelleen maailmanlaidalle sysätyn vanhemman naisen. Kulkiessaan läpi klassisten elokuvallisten maisemien nämä nimettömät naiset joutuvat kohtaamaan omat himonsa, sukupolvien ristiriidat ja idealisminsa haurauden."
    AA: A hallucinatory odyssey of two women lost in the world of chauvinistic entertainment clichés. Impressively shot in scope. ♪ Sirpaleprinsessa.


The show started and ended with parodies of conventional macho film fantasies, linked by the contribution of Anna Paavilainen, star of Helsinki Mansplaining Massacre and director of Two Bodies on a Beach.

This is the time for such spoofs, but as vehicles for women's cinema they are trapped by negation to macho genre clichés.

The male look and the female look: for us human beings the common ground is bigger than the territory that is different and individual differences are bigger than gender differences, not forgetting that there are more genders than two. Having said this I think that there are strengths that are more typical for women than men: intuition, sensitivity, emotional intelligence, a taste for beauty, language, discussion, communication, tenderness, and caring. I don't forget that Socrates in Symposium confessed having learned everything from Diotima, including the greatest lesson: the wisdom of love. And the insight that the road to wisdom is via dialogue.

Men have a talent in death, women have a talent in life. In these parodies women are lost in Death Valley, and genuinely feminine strengths are absent.

Tampere Film Festival: National Competition 8

Toisinajattelija / The Dissident. Pentti Linkola.

Tampere Film Festival (TFF): National Competition 8
8.3. FRI/PE 13:30 | PLEVNA 2

Minä  olen ihminen sinun Jumalasi / I'm a Man, Your God.

Risto-Pekka Blom | Finland 2019 | Experimental, Fiction | 5 min
    TFF: "There was no room for other animals in the ark. The only one left is the king of creation, the worst of all animals, human."
    "Arkkiin ei mahtunut muita eläimiä. Jäljellä on vain luomakunnan kuningas, eläimistä huonoin, ihminen." (TFF)
    AA: Cosmic visions of air, water, nature. ♪ Arvo Pärt: Da pacem: Salve Regina. Cosmic irony.

Hiljaa kuin murhaajat / Silent as Murderers.

Lauri-Matti Parppei | Finland 2019 | Fiction | 17 min
    TFF: "Two friends are spending their last summer together, working as gardeners. They share a secret: in the night, they sneak into other people’s homes while the residents are sleeping."
    "Kaksi kaverusta työskentelee puutarhureina ja viettää viimeistä kesäänsä yhdessä. Heillä on salaisuus: öisin he hiipivät ihmisten koteihin, sillä aikaa kun talojen asukkaat nukkuvat." (TFF)
    AA: A weirdly elegant tale of summer gardeners who visit the houses of their employers as cat burglars at night. Stylishly shot in scope.

1,5 metriä tilaa / 1,5 Meters Space. Sinikka and her young neighbour, the film director Vilja Autiokyrö

Vilja Autiokyrö | Finland 2018 | Documentary | 17 min
    TFF: "Sinikka has by chance made acquaintance with her downstairs neighbour Vilja and asked her for help. Things have taken over Sinikka’s home and there is only a small human-sized pathway left in the apartment. As a window renovation is approaching, Sinikka needs to clear 1,5 meters empty space. A short documentary of friendship and its meaning in giving and receiving help."
    "Sinikka on sattumalta tutustunut alakerran naapuriinsa Viljaan, ja nyt hän pyytää tältä apua. Sinikan koti on tavaroiden valtaama, ja asunnon läpi kulkee vain kapea polku. Pian olisi tiedossa ikkunaremontti, joten Sinikan on raivattava puolitoista metriä tyhjää tilaa ikkunan eteen. Lyhyt dokumentti ystävyydestä ja sen merkityksestä avun antamisessa ja vastaanottamisessa." (TFF)
    AA: Home cleaning as extreme sport: Sinikka is almost vanishing into things that are accumulating in her apartment. Her young neighbour, the film director Vilja Autiokyrö, manages to clear the 1,5 meters that are needed for the window repairs.

Maalitaulu / Target. Smartphones as weapons in social media.

Antti Heikki Pesonen | Finland 2019 | Fiction | 8 min
    TFF: "One man accuses another of inappropriate behavior and threatens to shame him on social media."
    "Mies syyttää toista asiattomasta käytöksestä ja uhkaa nolata hänet sosiaalisessa mediassa." (TFF)
    AA: Smartphone as a weapon with which you can destroy another person in an instant. Due to a misunderstanding a man is branded as a pedophile. A mislabelled smartphone photo is ready to be sent online.

Georg Grotenfelt | Finland 2018 | Documentary | 26 min
    TFF: "Pentti Linkola is a well known philosopher, ornithologist and writer. All his life he has been concerned with the future of mankind and nature. He predicted the ecocatastrophe already in the 1960ies. This film shows his daily life living on his own in the middle of the forest."
    "Pentti Linkola on tunnettu filosofi, lintutieteilijä ja kirjailija. Läpi elämänsä hän on ollut huolissaan ihmiskunnan ja luonnon tulevaisuudesta. Linkola ennusti meneillään olevan ekologisen katastrofin jo 1960-luvulla. Tämä elokuva on kuvaus hänen arjestaan yksin metsän keskellä." (TFF)
    AA: Much has been written about Pentti Linkola, Finland's most prominent eco-warner since the 1960s. This portrait documentary does not focus on him as a doomsday prophet but as a nature lover. Shot during three autumns by Georg Grotenfelt, a friend of Linkola's since the 1970s. A beautiful account of the infinite wonders of nature as experienced by Linkola. ♪ Beethoven: späte Streichquartette. Vivaldi: Le quattro stagioni.
    Beethoven: Opus 133: Große Fuge in B-Dur (1826)
    Beethoven: Opus 130: Streichquartett Nr. 13 in B-Dur (1825)
    Beethoven: Opus 59 Nr. 2: Streichquartett Nr. 8 in e-Moll (1806)

Kaikki tätini lemmikit / All My Aunt's Pets

Iiti Yli-Rinne | Finland 2018 | Documentary, Animation | 4 min
    TFF: "Aunt’s life does not go as planned. Best of intentions do not always suffice. Animation documentary of my aunt’s baffling pet history."
    "Tädin elämä ei suju suunnitelmien mukaan, eivätkä parhaatkaan aikeet aina riitä. Animaatiodokumentti tätini kummallisesta lemmikkihistoriasta." (TFF)
    AA: Stop motion cut-out animation of aunt's wacko pet history including birds, cats, dogs, fish, and turtles.

Siivooja / Cleaning Woman. Elina Knihtilä as the deranged cleaning woman.

Teemu Nikki | Finland 2018 | Fiction | 17 min
    TFF: "When author Katariina Ohtola decides on a change, the services of a publisher, a reporter and a cleaning woman are called for."
    "Kun kirjailija Katariina Ohtola päättää aikaansaada muutoksen, tarvitaan avuksi kustantajan, toimittajan ja siivoojan palveluita." (TFF)
    AA: A horror story in Stephen King territory. A deranged cleaning woman thinks that an award-winning writer has stolen her life and decides to retaliate by stealing hers.

Olliver Hawk / The Hypnotist

Tampere Film Festival (TFF), National Competition 7
8.3. FRI/PE 11:00 | PLEVNA 5
Language/kieli: Eng, Fin
D: Arthur Franck | Finland 2018 | Documentary | 72 min

TFF: "In 1980, Finland’s most famous hypnotist Olavi Hakasalo, a.k.a Olliver Hawk, was put on trial accused of fraud. His mission in life had been to spread the gospel of the power of suggestion, and he was willing to risk everything to become a player of political influence on the big stage. But in the corridors of power, with a nation’s destiny at stake, an eccentric showman sitting on too many secrets is considered a liability."

"Vuonna 1980 Suomen kuuluisin hypnotisoija Olavi Hakasalo eli Olliver Hawk joutui oikeuden eteen petoksesta syytettynä. Hänen elämäntehtävänään oli ollut levittää suggestion voiman sanomaa, ja hän oli valmis panemaan peliin kaikkensa noustakseen politiikan huippunimien joukkoon. Mutta kun panoksena on kansakunnan kohtalo, on omaperäinen viihdyttäjä, joka tietää liikaa, lähinnä uhkatekijä." (TFF)

AA: Classified as a documentary, The Hypnotist is a portrait of a genuinely fascinating character, Olavi Hakasalo (1930–1988).

I like this film very much, but it would have been even better if it would have been more strictly focused on the documentary and the factual.

Now key scenes and voices are enactments which certainly makes the movie more smooth and entertaining but documentary credentials are fundamentally weakened.

Olavi Hakasalo was undoubtedly an exceptionally talented hypnotist. He was also a colourful showman whose exploits were covered in magazines such as Hymy, Jallu and Ratto with little regard to credibility and a high commitment in sex and sensation.

Arthur Franck has created an engaging film which veers quite a bit in Hymy – Jallu – Ratto territory.

My associations run into famous instances of hypnosis in the cinema, including Le Mystère de Roches de Kador, Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Dr. Mabuse der Spieler, and The Manchurian Candidate. But also clairvoyants like in Schicksal aus zweiter Hand and Hanussen. And magicians including Orson Welles in F for Fake. A pioneer of hypnotism, Franz Anton Mesmer, who coined the term "animal magnetism", figures prominently in a fascinating recent Austrian film by Barbara Albert called Licht / Mademoiselle Paradis.

Hypnosis in politics is a major theme in The Hypnotist. There is a bizarre story of Urho Kekkonen (1900–1986, President of Finland over 25 years, the longest reigning head of state in a democratic country) and his famous populist adversary Veikko Vennamo (1913–1997). Allegedly Kekkonen consulted Olavi Hakasalo to undermine Vennamo, and Vennamo caught wind of this. The case is not very solidly stated in the movie.

Certainly hypnotic aspects have been evident in politics, alarmingly so in the case of Adolf Hitler, and today in the presence of Donald Trump. A force of persuasion that defies reason and argumentation.

The Hypnotist is a fascinating film. During the film we get a step-by-step course of hypnosis. Hawk was a good teacher with a sense of humour and self-reflection. He made mistakes, acknowledged them, learned from them and never gave up. He died on stage in his last show.

In the concluding Q &A Arthur Franck stated that film is also hypnosis.


Thursday, March 07, 2019

Avaruusromua 28 vuotta / Space Junk 28 Years

Avaruusromua 28 vuotta.
4. Toimi Tytti featuring Jimi Tenor: "Ykskyt yks Gawolski".
Abandoned service station, Helsingintie, Mäntsälä.

Avaruusromua 28 vuotta: Betonisen aikakauden muistomerkit: Outoja ääniä ja hylättyjä paikkoja /
Spake Junk 28 Years: Monuments of the Concrete Era: Strange Sounds and Empty Places from Finland
Tampere Film Festival: National Competition 6
T32 | 7.3. THU/TO 21:00 | PLEVNA 5
Language/kieli: Eng, Fin
D: VJ Indigo | Finland 2018 | Documentary | 60 min

TFF: "The monuments of the age of concrete, abandoned places and objects engage in dialogue with previously unheard Finnish electronic music."

"Betoniaikakauden monumentit sekä hylätyt paikat ja rakennukset käyvät keskustelua aiemmin julkaisemattoman suomalaisen konemusiikin kanssa."

Concept: Jukka Mikkola. D+Cin+visual design: VJ Indigo. ED: Anne Halttune. PC: Yle Kulttuuri.

1. Tuomo Väänänen: "Necessidades".
Abandoned car, Airport, Helsinki.

2. Kuupuu: "Zooah".
Abandoned car, Luukki, Espoo.

3. Rasmus Hedlund: "Yläilmoissa elävä".
Sunken ship, Verkkosaari, Helsinki.

4. Toimi Tytti featuring Jimi Tenor: "Ykskyt yks Gawolski".
Abandoned service station, Helsingintie, Mäntsälä.

5. Olga Palomäki: "7 pm - 7 am (edit 2)".
Abandoned car, Tattarisuo, Helsinki.

6. Latmos: "Sculptur av nordiskt sinne".
Abandoned car, Ämmässuo, Espoo.

7. Tsembla: "Rain Cycle".
Concrete pillars under Helsinki Lahti motorway, Tattarisuo, Helsinki.

8. Timo Kaukolampi: "Kolmas tila (edit)".
Abandoned manor, Kruunuvuori, Helsinki.

9. Hannu Ikola: "Three Last Digits (edit)".
Watertower to be demolished, Lauttasaari, Helsinki.

10. Minea: "Kanto".
Abandoned apartment building, Jakomäki, Helsinki.

AA: Avaruusromua is an acclaimed radio program specializing in experimental and electronic music, edited by Jukka Mikkola since 1990. The music ranges from ambient to electronic, contemporary, experimental, underground, and avantgarde.

I would not call Avaruusromua the movie a documentary. It is an experimental film, a visual response to ten pieces of experimental music.

It is a contemporary interpretation of the quintessential Romantic theme of the ruin. The ruins here include buildings, cars, ships, service stations, and an abandoned landmark, the Lauttasaari watertower. Achievements of culture taken over or falling back to the state of nature.

In the framing narration Jukka Mikkola philosophizes about the nature of time and the time of the nature.

Extérieur nuit: everything takes place at night. The framing footage is in extreme low angle, showing tree tops at night.

The ruins themselves are also recorded in darkness, illuminated by stroboscopic lights. Sometimes the flickering lights obey the rhythm of the music track.

An experience of transcendental meditation. A ghost story of abandoned constructions.

Tee se itse -elämä: Combat Rockin tarina / DIY Life: The Story of Combat Rock Industry

Tee se itse -elämä: Combat Rockin tarina. The end is near for Combat Rock Shop in 2016. Jani Koskinen kept it going against all odds. But the end is also a beginning.

Tampere Film Festival (TFF): National Competition 5
7.3. THU/TO 18:30 | PLEVNA 2
Language/kieli: Eng, Fin
D: Janne Tanskanen, Ville Asikainen | Finland 2018 | Documentary | 78 min

Punk acts featured: Manifesto Jukebox, Haloo Helsinki, Lama, The Heartburns, Valse Triste, Euthanasea, Aurinkokerho, Endstand, Phoenix Foundation, Atom Notes, Wasted, I Walk The Line, The Soundkeeper, Presley Bastards, Lighthouse Project, Unkind, Abduktio, Kuudes Silmä, Kakka-Hätä 77.

Interviewees: Jani Koskinen, Janne Tamminen, Ville Rönkkö, Toni Salminen, Miikka Järvinen, Ville Angervuori, Anne Pirkola, Jere Lehmus, Teemu Bergman, Leo Harrison.

Graphic design: Ville Angervuori. Animation: Janne Tanskanen.

The title Combat Rock is a hommage to the Clash album of 1982.

TFF: "A documentary movie about passion, do-it-yourself spirit, anxiety of small town teenagers and life changes brought on by adulthood. The story is told through a Finnish punk rock record label, Combat Rock Industry, which became one of the most significant ones operating in the 00’s."

"Dokumenttielokuva intohimosta, omaehtoisesta tekemisestä, pikkukaupungin ahdistavuudesta, punk-ideologiasta ja aikuisuuden tuomista elämänmuutoksista. Tarina kerrotaan 2000-luvun merkittävimmän suomalaisen punk-levy-yhtiön Combat Rock Industryn kautta." (TFF)

AA: A priceless documentary of a Finnish 2000s neo-punk phenomenon. Combat Rock Industry was a record label representing a powerful array of new punk bands. Many records were published, and the bands toured extensively all around Finland and Europe. The film is rich with interviews and tour performances. It is a remarkable oral history project about a team spirit. Young people were launched at an early stage to international careers, to see the world. A consistent visual design was created by Ville Angervuori both for the record label and the movie at hand.

Fifteen years ago, in 2004, the record label and the record shop hit the brick wall as sales crashed all over the world due to internet access. Jani Koskinen struggled with Combat Rock Shop until 2016 when he gave up but instantly found a young successor.

I like the energy, the spirit, and the jovial and affectionate approach of this refreshing rockumentary.