Kenneth Anger | The Finnish Film Archive | Tex Avery | Brecht, Bolero ja Budapest | Dokumentaries| The night of the Frankestein | The retropectives of Katariina Lillqvist and Marjut Rimminen| The screening for children| Cinema Meksico | Music videos
The most important works of Kenneth Anger , a cult figure of underground film, are shown in two screenings at the Tampere Film Festival. The 70-year-old Californian director is the Guest of Honour of this year's festival. During the festival there is also an exhibition of Anger's photographs and a public discussion with Anger himself.
Anger's dreamlike films show his intimate knowledge of mysticism and occultism. He combines fast tempo images and music - present-day commercials and music videos owe a great deal to his style. There is no dialogue in Anger's films but the soundtrack is filled with "inner music".
Anger shot his first films at the age of 10 with his parents' 16mm camera. His break-through was Fireworks, (1947), a bold homosexual fantasy, the imagery of which has later been used in similar works. The aim of his first colour film, Puce Moment (1949) was to depict the life of Hollywood's big divas in the 1920s, but the financial resources ran out after the first few scenes.
In the early 1950s Anger moved to Paris and, influenced by Jean Cocteau, changed his style into a more fairy-tale direction. Rabbit´s Moon (1950) combines a Commedia dell'Arte fairy tale with elements from Japanese mythology. Eaux d´Artifice (1953) was shot in Rome by the fountains of Tivoli, on infrared film, and it is a fine exemplar of rhythmic editing. After this Anger had to return to Los Angeles for a while and there he shot the film Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954)at a gala orgy organized at Samson de Brier's house. This mythical and extremely visual film stars Anaïs Nin, Marjorie Cameron, and Kenneth Anger himself. After his return to Europe, Anger worked in Sicily and Paris.
In the 1960s Anger returned to the USA and made his most famous film, Scorpio Rising , in New York in 1963. It is a ritualistic and ironic portrait of the icon of American popular culture, the man with a motorcycle a leather jacket. The soundtrack consist of 13 songs, ranging from Heat Wave to He's a Rebel. In 1965, anger made Kustom Kar Kommandos , a film about hot rod devotees, and in 1969 Invocation of My Demon Brother , a mystical film with music by Mick Jagger. However, at this time Anger was already preparing his "Big Project".
Anger started making Lucifer Rising (1970/80) in the late 1960s. He worked on the film's soundtrack with Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) in London, but due to differences of opinion the music for the final version was made by Bobby Beausoleil. He wrote the music while in prison as an accomplice in the murders by the Manson family. Lucifer Rising, a mystical film about the generation of love, was Anger's last film proper. It is a compilation of footage shot all around the world, for instance during a journey to Egypt and drug trips in Los Angeles of the 1960s. The cast of the film includes Leslie Huggins, Marianne Faithfull, Myriam Gibril, Hayden Couts, and of course Kenneth Anger himself.
The Finnish Film Archive
Finnish Film Archive 1 - The Civil Guard Days contains the oldest surviving footage of the Armed Forces and the civil guard dating back to the years 1916-1935. Among other films, there is the second oldest film in the Armed Forces archive, Suomen jääkärit (1916). The civil guard is represented by Lottien valistus- ja leiripäivät Tuusulassa, Lentopäivät Porissa and Omaisten päivä Tampereen rykmentissä. The screening will be accompanied by music.
Finnish Film Archive 2 - The Winter War features material from the years 1935-1940. It includes Uudet VMV-veneet, Meripoikien paraati and Lappeenrannassa opitaan ratsastamaan , which were all shot when the Winter War was just about to start.
Finnish Film Archive 3 - The Continuation War consists of Surveys of the Armed Forces from 1941-1944. Altogether there were 88 Surveys from the lines of battle and the home front. When the Continuation War broke out in the summer of 1941, special documentation companies were established by the Armed Forces. 49 combat photographers were active during the war. This screening features 12 Surveys, among which are Vakooja vaanii sinua, Sireenien kukkiessa, Jatkosodan syttyminen and Lottatyttö .
Finnish Film Archive 4 - Time of Peace is a collection of Armed Forces films from 1946-1961. Particularly interesting are Miinanraivaus and Lapin rajajääkärit (both shot in Lapland), Rantojemme vartijat and Ydinräjähteet ja omakohtainen suojautuminen niiden vaikutuksilta (1961), an educational film about nuclear weapons.
Tampere Film Festival presents the best Tex Avery cartoons 1937 - 1955.
Droopy, Egghead, Red and Wolf, Chilly Willy, Bugs Bunny and Duffy Duck
are seen among others in three screenings.
Brecht, Bolero and Budapest
The student films of the 50-year-old Budapest Film School are shown in two screenings. The first one includes, among other films, Concert (1961) by István Szabó, This World Belongs Us... (1963) by Ferenc Kardos, and Wind (1996) by Marcell Iványi that was awarded a special prize at last year's festival. The second screening consists of, for instance, Railroad Workers (1957) by István Gaál, Fairy Tale (1962) by György Kárpát, the animated film We Smile and Dread... (1963) by Sándor Reisenbüchler, and Once Upon a Time (1991) by Zsuzsa Böszörményi.
In Errol Morris' newest documentary Fast, Cheap and Out of Control (1997) the stories of four different men are intertwined together in an absorbing way. Their common interest is animals - whether living, automated or shaped out of bushes. Dave Hoover is a soon-to-be-retiring lion tamer in Hollywood. Gardener George Mendonca worries about the fact that his park of animal figures is going to fall into decay after his death. Photographer Ray Mendez believes that people can learn a lot from the life of the African hairless cave rat community he is studying. M.I.T. scientist Rodney Brooks has carried his childhood interest further by constructing robots, the movements of which imitate those of some insects exactly.
Kisangan Diary (1997) by Hubert Sauper was filmed in Zaire in March and April 1997. Sauper is there when the UN troops find 80,000 Rwandan Hutu refugees hiding in the rain forest. The Hutu families who have been fleeing from hunger and military persecution are in the relative safety of the refugee camps, built by the UN, until the rebels from the recently established Democratic Republic of Kongo attack them. 80,000 children, women and men die or disappear in the jungle.
Vicky Funari's Paulina (1997) combines documentary material with fictionary scenes, in her extraordinary story of an ordinary Mexican woman. Paulina has been working as a maid in rich homes in Mexico City for 40 years. Her parents exchanged the girl for a piece of Veracruz countryside in the 1950s. She was forced to be the mistress of the village leader, until she fled to Mexico City at the age of 15 and started a new life there.
In the documentary The Old Man in the Cottage (1995) by Nina Hedenius you can follow one year in the life of Ragnar, who lives in Kestina, in the forests of Dalecarlia. The film portrays the everyday life of the retired forest worker without any narration. The life of this lonely man is regulated by the changing of the seasons and the weather just like in times past. This captivating documentary has been sold to many countries all over the world.
Synthetic Pleasures the electric road movie about virtual reality by Iara Lee, was seen at the Tampere Film Festival last year. In her most recent documentary Modulations (1998) Iara Lee is looking for the roots of techno. The film makers have been in night time raves in the United States, Japan, Germany and England, filming the young dancers and the disc jockeys working behind their mixing tables.
The recently completed Kurt and Courtney (1997) by the British-born documentarist Nick Broomfield, who is now working in Los Angeles, created a sensation at the Sundance festival in Utah. Courtney Love tried to prohibit the screening of the film. The film attempts to shed some light on the death of the Nirvana vocalist Kurt Cobain. This long documentary contains interviews of his friends and relatives. It broadens out to comment on the celebrity cults and the ethics of journalism.
For the school of the British John Grierson (1898-1972) documentary films were a means of influencing and informing. Grierson's first film, the silent Drifters (1929), is a documentary on the struggle of the herring fishers against the forces of the ocean. Industrial Britain (1933), by Grierson and Robert Flaherty, portrays how the riverboats and windmills give way to the industrial era. The most renowned British documentary from the 1930's, Night Mail (1936) by Basil Wright and Harry Watt, depicts the London-Glasgow mail train.
The Dutchman Joris Ivens' (1898-1989) favourite theme was man's fight against nature and social oppression. De Brug - The Bridge (1928) is his experimental first film. Ernest Hemingway wrote and read the narration of Spanish Earth (1937), a documentary on the Spanish civil war. The poetic La Seine à recontré Paris (1958) is the only film by Ivens which has been seen in the Finnish cinemas before. The second screening includes the experimental Regen - Rain (1929) and Das Lied der Ströme - The Song of the Stream (1954), a documentary on the six big rivers on earth as Brecht saw them.
The Night of Frankensteins
The Night of Frankensteins goes on until 6 AM Sunday morning. You can see, for example, the oldest Frankenstein film in the history of cinema from the year 1910. This film, directed by J. Searle Dawley, was lost for a long time and therefore it is known as "The Lost 1910 Frankenstein Film" . The second feature film to be seen during the night is the best Frankenstein film ever, The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). The unforgettable Elsa Lanchester is the bride of the one and only Frankenstein, Boris Karloff. Son of Frankenstein (1939) and Mel Brooks' Frankenstein Junior , which is renowned as a cult film, are also among the feature films of the night.
In addition to the feature films, the screening also includes several short Frankenstein adaptations. One of them is a Finnish version of this horror classic. Dr Abortenstein (1990), a film by Jusu Kallio con Gas and Jimi Tenor, is - like its name suggests - a story about Doctor Abortenstein, who is trying to create a perfect human being. The film was seen in the 1991 National Competition in Tampere. The other short films and animated cartoons shown in the early hours of the morning include Keiichi Tanaami's experimental cartoon Frankenstein ( 1978), the Swiss film The Delight of Frank N. Stein (1982), Cao Hamburger's and Eliana Fonsecana's cartoon Frankenstein Punk (1986) from Brazil, Gil Turner's Magoo meets Frankenstein (1960), Frank Mouris' Frank's movie (1973) and the Czech Vachlav Mergli's Homunculus (1984).
The retrospective of Marjut Rimminen (b. 1944) includes nearly all of her animated films and samples from commercials. Trip to Eternity (1973), The Bridge (1981), I'm not a Feminist, but... (1986), Blind Justice: Some Protection (1987), The Stain (1991) and the winner of 1997 Grand Prix Many Happy Returns (1996) are all part of the screening. In addition we see Urpo and Turpo doing the evening chores.
from a history of battles to the passionate life of today
Cunema Mexico forms the largest thematic unit of this year's festival. Almost 40 Mexican short films and documentaries together with the finest animated cartoons will be shown over the course of six screenings. Alejandro Pelayo, the director of the film archive of Mexico, and directors Juan Francisco Urrusti and Dominique Jonard are among this year's festival guests.
Rare documentaries show the revolutionary forces conquering villages in the 1910s. There is also footage of the only meeting that ever took place between the famous revolutionary leaders Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. In the early 1930s, legendary director Sergei Eisenstein shot material for a film called ¡Que Viva Mexico!. A one-hour version assembled by Marie Seton in 1939 will be seen at the festival.
In the 1970s Mexico City became famous as a polluted capital. Several documentaries and fictional short films offer an insight into the chaotic life of the city. Two documentaries discuss the student movements in 1968.
In September 1968, three weeks before the Olympic Games, violent student demonstrations broke out in Mexico City. As a result, the military forces took control of the capital and the university. The news reported that approximately two hundred students were killed. Afterwards it was discovered that over a thousand people died or disappeared in the bloodbath. El Grito (1968) is a wild underground documentary about these events. The narration was written by Italian author Oriana Fallaci.
The documentary El abuelo Cheno y otras historias by Juan Carlos Rulfo (1995) takes you to the southern parts of the state of Jalisco, where the grandfather of the young director reminisces about the turbulent post-revolution times. The film has received numerous awards all over the world.
Novia mía by Rodrigo Plá (1995) tells the story of a young girl, living in a small village, who cannot escape the wedding party organised by the family, not even by committing suicide.
Tepú by Juan Francisco Urrusti (1995) is about an old shaman who visits Mexico City. El pueblo mexicano que camina (1996) depicts the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, unearthing the most essential facets of modern Mexican culture. The narrators are Indians, mestizos, Creoles and Chicanos - the whole spectrum of the Mexican people, who are united in their worship of the Virgin of Tonantz-Guadalupe.
The cartoons of Carlos Carrera are based on fiercely Expressionist paintings. They feature emotionally disturbed people and painful relationships. Carrera prefers animated cartoons because they are not bound by the laws of reality, allowing him to draw the right face for every emotion. His stories are grim, but you can still laugh at them, albeit in a macabre way. Carrera's latest cartoon is El Heróe (1994), a cynical tale of a suicidal person on the underground. The film received the Palme d'Or award at the Cannes film festival. His featured works also include Malayerba nunca muerde, Amada and Un muy cortometraje, all of which were completed in 1988.
Dominique Jonard has made a number of films with young people. Desde adentro (1996) is an animated cartoon collage made by street children. It is based on their everyday experiences in the huge Mexico City.
This year the festival repertoire includes an exceptional selection of music. The traditional Finnish Music Videos series will exhibit new music videos - in many cases for the first time - from the margins of the indie scene to the mainstream hits.
The Nordic Music Videos is an all-new feature. There is a world of different music between Dimmu Borgir, Hellacopters and Ace of Base. Witness the variety and quality of Nordic music first hand - relying on the MTV means missing out a lot!
Another part of the programme is a retrospective of the work of Oskar Fischinger, the first maker of music films. His incredible abstract animated cartoons from the years 1927-1947 started the trend of promoting music through a visual medium. Fischinger created these cartoons from the mental images born of classical music. Their effect is still seen in high-speed music animation.
There will also be a screening of historical music videos from 1927 to 1983. They start with Fischinger, go on through the candy pop and jazz fumes of America, and come to a halt with Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie. You will see how the music videos have developed from illustrating a piece of music or text to painting independent images of different worlds.
EuroHorrorMusicShow As icing on the cake, there is a compilation of Finland's entries to the Eurovision Song Contest. It includes every song from the time when Urho Kekkonen was the president of Finland. Valoa ikkunassa by Laila Kinnunen sets up the mood, Katson taivaan sineen by Katri-Helena brings a tear to the corner of your eye, and finally Nuku pommiin by Kojo brings you back to the cold hard world called reality. In between there are classics such as Pum Pum by Fredi and Tom Tom Tom by Marion. The EuroHorrorViisuShow will be hosted in a proper kitsch fashion with accordingly horrible dresses. And the audience is allowed to sing along. You have been warned.