Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Power of Love / Villi leikki (world premiere in the presence of Jonas Rothlaender, Saara Kotkaniemi, Nicola Perot, cast and crew)

Jonas Rothlaender: Villi leikki / Power of Love (DE/FI 2023) with Saara Kotkaniemi (Saara) and Nicola Perot (Robert).

Power of Love [the title in the opening credits]
Female Stories / LoveSex
Theme: Let's Talk about Sex!
Country: Germany, Finland
Director: Jonas Rothlaender
Screenplay: Jonas Rothlaender
Starring: Saara Kotkaniemi, Nicola Perot, Outi Mäenpää, Timo Torikka, Elmer Bäck, Cecilia Paul
Production: Julia M. Müller, Luisa Leopold, Dennis Schanz, Luis Singer / StickUp Filmproduktion, Oy Bufo Ab
Duration: 106 min
Rating: K16
World premiere in the presence of Jonas Rothlaender, Saara Kotkaniemi, Nicola Perot, cast and crew)
Bio Rex, Love & Anarchy: Helsinki International Film Festival (HIFF), 19 Sep 2033

Ida Kumpulainen (HIFF 2023): " Suomalaisen Saaran ja berliiniläisen Robertin suhde on päällisin puolin aivan tavanomainen. He ovat menestyvä akateeminen pariskunta, ja molempien ura vaikuttaa olevan noususuhdanteessa. Piilossa muiden katseilta rakastavaiset pelaavat kuitenkin peliä, leikiksi kutsumaansa kokeilua, joka koettelee heidän suhteensa dynamiikkaa. Sadomasokistinen eroottinen leikki tuntuu aluksi molemmin puolin kutkuttavalta, kun pariskunta nauttii toisenlaisesta tavasta kokea intiimiyttä ja rakkautta. "

" Mutta missä menevät lopulta leikin rajat? Tummat voimat alkavat vuotaa yhteiseen leikkiin, kun hiljaisuudessa kypsyvät erimielisyydet niin suhteen sisäisestä dynamiikasta kuin arjestakin kasaantuvat pariskunnan harteille – puhumattakaan ulkopuolelta tulevista paineista ja epäilyistä. Hiljalleen leikistä kuoriutuu kiihkeä valtataistelu, jossa yhteiset säännöt, toisen halut ja oikeus koskemattomuuteen sumentuvat. Lopulta kumpikin joutuu vastakkain synkimpien puoliensa kanssa. "

" Saksalaisen Jonas Rothlaenderin ohjaama Villi leikki on intiimi ja rohkea Suomen lyhyeen suveen sijoittuva parisuhdedraama, jonka näyttämönä toimii kuvankaunis Turun saaristo. " Ida Kumpulainen

Quoted by HIFF 2023: " Saara and Robert are high on their love. Just recently Robert moved from Berlin to Helsinki to give their relationship a real perspective. Their love is a constant play with gender role clichés and power relations, yet behind the unconventional façade, both have to struggle with their fears and insecurities. Looking forward to a time-out, the two set off to an extensive summer holiday on a lonely island in the Finnish archipelago. Triggered by the rough nature, the couple falls back into archaic patterns they are desperately trying to overcome. " Production notes

Ida Kumpulainen (translated by Inari Ylinen): " But what are the limits of play? Dark powers begin to blend into their common games, as silently developed disrepancies about the relationship dynamics and their everyday start piling up on the couple’s shoulders – and alongside them, outside pressures and doubts. Slowly, their game becomes an intense power play, in which common rules, the other’s wants, and the control over one’s body are blurred. In the end, they both must face their darkest side. "

" Directed by German Jonas Rothlaender, Power of Love is an intimate and brave relationship drama set in sunny Finland, in the beautiful Turku archipelago. " Ida Kumpulainen (translated by Inari Ylinen)

Language: English, German, Finnish
Subtitles: English
Distribution: B-Plan Distribution
Print source: B-Plan Distribution
Cinematography: Carmen Treichl
Editing: Anne Fabini
Music: Julius Pollux Rothlaender
Sound: Julian Cropp
Production design: Kaisa Mäkinen
Costume design: Roosa Marttiini
Make-up: Minna Pilvinen
In collaboration with Yle / Goethe Institut / German Films.

AA: Jonas Rothlaender's Power of Love is an ambitious and original account about relationships in today's world. The relationship of Saara (Saara Kotkaniemi) and Robert (Nicola Perot) transcends language barriers: Saara is Finnish and Robert is German. Together they are bilingual but also trilingual. With others, they almost exclusively communicate in English.

The bigger barriers are cultural: the young academically trained couple is about to settle in Finland, where Saara has home field advantage, and Robert is a stranger. Saara is also firmly set on a fast career track, while Robert is still struggling with Ph.D. grants.

Saara and Robert's intimate life has a focus on bondage and domination, and they have clearly agreed alarm signals. But their sex life has been established in a period of equality, and everything changes on Saara's home turf where she has such an overwhelming superiority.

Saara and Robert desire each other passionately, and they are committed to make their relationship work. They embark on a holiday in the Midsummer paradise of the fabulous Turku archipelago in the happiest country of the world. But everywhere they meet broken homes and unhappy people.

The title of the movie is Power of Love, and it certainly is about power. But where is love? Saara is disturbed by getting pregnant, because that would interfere with her career. When Robert recklessly risks making Saara pregnant, Saara retaliates by a brutal punishment, which is no longer a power game but actual torture.

The sex scenes are original, unique, daring, special and essential to the subject. Both the actors and the director were vocal in their gratitude to the intimacy coordinator Sara-Maria Heinonen. They commented that her contribution liberated them to be more uninhibited and assured.

Saara Kotkaniemi has written the excellent Finnish standard intimacy guide in camera work (2020). Her compact edition of intimacy guidelines is online in Finnish, Swedish and English.

The film was seven years in the making, its premiere delayed because of the pandemic. The story of Saara and Robert is not the story of Saara Kotkaniemi and Nicola Perot, who are a couple with a baby.

The views of the Turku archipelago have been recorded in magnificent scope.

Saara Kotkaniemi: Selvitystyö intiimikohtausten tekemisestä kameratyöskentelyssä [A Report on Mounting Intimate Scenes in Camera Work]. Helsinki: Suomen Elokuvasäätiö, 2020. 245 p.

No comments: