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: Highlights of Finnish Cinema  ( 8670 )
dave jenkins
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« #15 : October 17, 2013, 06:56:05 AM »

No, but it sounds interesting. I'm guessing that the Finnish actors speaking French is supposed to be funny?



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« #16 : October 18, 2013, 03:06:36 AM »

No, but it sounds interesting. I'm guessing that the Finnish actors speaking French is supposed to be funny?
Inevitably it would be to anybody who actually can speak French. Kaurismäki can't, so who knows.


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« #17 : January 02, 2014, 01:10:42 PM »

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film4/blu-ray_reviews_60/la_vie_de_boheme_blu-ray.htm

I'm looking forward to this very much.



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« #18 : June 17, 2018, 10:14:39 AM »

Kahdeksan surmanluotia (1972) "Eight Deadly Shots"

Dir. Mikko Niskanen
Pasi (played by Niskanen himself) is a minor landowner (or yeoman if that's a correct term) with a family of four children and wife. They live in a small house with no running water. Pasi is constantly trying to get a job but every job he can get is periodic, so he and his buddy Reiska distill moonshine to make a couple of extra pennies. The police try to make them stop, naturally. Pasi has an appetite for alcohol and he usually ends up drinking a lot, which makes him violent and he gets a bad reputation which makes his problems even bigger. Everything seems to be going straight to hell and so one evening when he's drunk and aggressive to his family and the police comes to put him in order, he snaps and shoots four police men (with eight bullets). (And no, that's not a spoiler because the ending is revealed in the very beginning.)
   Based on true events that occurred in 1969 and shot over a long period of time in 1970-1971. This realist masterpiece has two layers which are seamlessly tied together. One is documentation a world that was soon to disappear. Actually the film tells about the death of that world and the agony it caused. Finland transformed from a rural society to an industrial society in a relatively short period of time. In the end it meant that the time of minor landowners was gone and the time of intensive farming had come. At the extreme, government paid for farmers for not farming their lands. In the movie Pasi knows there's no future in farming but he can't move to city – mostly because of financial realities but obviously also because he finds that world frightening. Niskanen does great job in portraying the lifestyle of the countryside, with love but not turning his head away from the reality. He documents common characters and social rituals that I find totally believable.
   The second and equally impressive dimension is the character of Pasi and his slow sliding into the desperation which eventually leads to the final tragedy. Niskanen’s performance is the key factor. His personal experiences in that environment are visible in everything he does. He is Pasi. You don't even think about the possibility that he hasn't lived in that shack for the last fifteen years farming his land, taking care of his few cows and reining his horse in waist-high snow. Equally convincing is his transformation into the beaten man whose last desperate act is to shoot at the police. And it is literally a transformation; you can see his physical appearance change over the course of the film.
   Style wise, the film is realistic, documentarian and minimalistic. Many of the actors are amateurs, which is some times visible in a bad way but often causes priceless moments. Although I've been talking about a film, Kahdeksan surmanluotia is technically speaking a four-part mini series all in all running 316 minutes. A 145 min cut was released theatrically but it is unavailable on DVD. Kahdeksan surmanluotia is a very important film in Finnish culture, a classic that has inspired both filmmakers and songwriters. I'd say that as a classic it is surpassed only by Tuntematon sotilas in the minds of Finnish people.   


Selected scenes from the film: http://yle.fi/elavaarkisto/?s=s&g=4&ag=90&t=&a=4432 I hope they work outside of Finland...
Scorsese's World Cinema Project has restored it and that restoration is playing 2019's Midnight Sun Festival. Can the Blu-ray be far behind?



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« #19 : June 18, 2018, 07:41:14 AM »

I got it wrong: the restoration is only about to begin. Here's the announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG-LR7P0k9U



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« #20 : September 28, 2022, 04:28:02 PM »

Restoration playing the NYFF: https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2022/films/eight-deadly-shots/



"McFilms are commodities and, as such, must be QA'd according to industry standards."
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