sexta-feira, 30 de janeiro de 2009

Feminism, Vietnam, the Swinging Sixties in Tampere International Film Festival

Female filmmakers are strongly represented in the Tampere Film Festival program.
The Terra Femina display shows 21st century films that are feministic, humoristic, light, and hurtful statements about life as a woman. In addition to retrospects of Eija-Liisa Ahtila and dancer/choreographer/film director Miranda Pennell, we are offered the new film by Agnès Varda. One of the few female new wave directors in France, Varda has made a long documentary of her life and films, called Les plages d'Agnès (2008). This is the film´s Finland premier.

Vietnam. Now. focuses on the awakening tiger of Asia as a film-producing country. We will see a wide spectrum of rarely seen Vietnamese animations, short films, and documentaries from the 1960s to date. Vietnam War is also strongly present in the newer productions. Naturally it is not the only subject; for example, there is an entire screening of animations by Ngo Manh Lan, the oldest of which is from 1965.

The MoMA screenings are a continuation to the sixties theme. They include Andy Warhol films and rare American short films from 1905 to 1986. The displays have been assembled by William Sloan of The Museum of Modern Art. All three screenings are accompanied by musician Jimi Tenor. The Canon of Short Film screening keeps up the swinging sixties and Vietnam War themes, as does the Rake Special display with Emile de Antonio's In The Year of the Pig (1968).
Whatta Helvetia? screening hails from Switzerland with three screenings of short films and a long documentary La forteresse (2007). The short films show the dark side of Swiss life but there is cheeriness afoot to boot. The winners in their country have been assembled in the screening number 1; among them is also an Oscar nominee Auf der strecke (2007) by Reto Caff. La forteresse familiarizes us with the reception centre of refugees, and with its tenants and employees.

A Piece of India screening bores into the everyday life of Indian children in two documentary screenings by Rajesh S. Jala. The first screening shows films located in Kashmir; Floating Lamp in the Shadow Valley (2006), and short films Chinar (1996) and Aazadi (1996). The second screening shows Children of the Pyre (2008), located in Manikarika cremation cemetery in Varanas. The film won the prize for best documentary in both Montreal and São Paulo, and has toured numerous festivals including Pusan, Leipzig, and Amsterdam.

This year offers a wide and ranging spectrum of animations. Bill Plympton´s newest long animation Idiots and Angels (2008) premiers in Finland at this festival. Short film Hot Dog (2008) begins the screening. There are two screenings of Brazilian independent animation, curated by Sávio Leite, director of the Múmia Festival. European animation has its stand through two retrospectives; Swedish and Czech. The first one is an extremely rare collection of animation pioneer Victor Bergdahl´s Kapten Grogg adventures from 1915 till 1922. The same screening offers his first animation The Demon Drink (1915), as well as Kapten Grogg och Kalle på negerbal which was prohibited in Finland in 1917. Traditional Czech animation is represented by the Pavel Koutský retrospective, showing for example the 1987 winner of Best Animation in the International Competition in Tampere Curriculum vitae (1986). The animation also won the Golden Bear in Berlin.

This year the traditional Finnish Film Archive screening is located in the Hällä theatre with four screenings. Two of them include short films by Veikko Itkonen and a feature film order-made for newspaper Helsingin Sanomat called Thus Was the Present Day Born (1951). The two other screenings show short films by Valentin Vaala and Eino Mäkinen.

In addition to the traditional student screenings, this year offers two screenings of absolute gems; old films by those who have in their time studied in the fifty-year-old University of Art and Design, in the school of Motion Picture and Production Design. We see early student films by Pirjo Honkasalo, Anu Kuivalainen, and Lauri Törhönen. The idea of the Runaways screening is, on the other hand, to show what Finnish students have worked on in foreign academies.
This year Tullikamari is even more of a playground of both music and film than before. On Wednesday there is the Art of Fusion screening, with a 16-mm projector performance MetalkinG from France by Gaëlle Rouard and Etienne Claire. The same screening sees Magyar Posse accompanying a Petri Hagner film Aldebaran Rising. On Friday, there is a documentary on the birth of dubstep, Bassweight, as well as music videos from London. On Saturday, there is a second project by Rouard and Claire, and afterwards Tullikamari is taken over by Tags´n´Beats, a night party of street art and hip hop culture.

Traditionalists on the other hand may enjoy the documentary Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (2008) which addresses the musician´s career through rare archive material and interviews. The new Finnish music videos of the year are naturally shown as usual.

Jukka-Pekka Laakso, Festival Directortel. +358 3 214 1143 or +358 40 703

Riina Mikkonen, Press Coordinatortel. +358 3 213 0034 or +358 40 532

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