Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lonely Death

In den Tag Hinein/The Days Between (2001) - Speth
Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 11.14.59 AM Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 11.15.26 AM Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 11.15.59 AM Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 11.16.47 AM Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 11.17.11 AM Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 11.21.19 AM Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 11.50.25 AM Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 11.57.32 AM Twenty-something Lynn (Sabine Timoteo) works as a dancer at a disco and at a college cafeteria. She stays between her professional swimmer boyfriend's apartment and her brother's house. Neither place gives her any warmth. Things change when she meets Kenji, a Japanese student studying German. Their drunken night exchanges (them not completely understanding each other) give us a bit of insight to their lonely lives.

Maria Speth's The Days Between has everything I look for in a film. She obviously is heavily influenced by wayward youth cinema of WKW and Tsai, but her sensibilities are still very much European. There is nothing cute or sentimental about The Days Between. It has more in common with Eric Zonca's Dreamlife of Angels (which is featured as Lynn and Kenji go see the film). Speth's less concerned about solid storytelling which keeps her apart from Andrea Arnold or Lynne Ramsay even. Lynn's indecisiveness and going with the flow attitude rings much truer than any film about youth romance. Even though she is rebellious, she is still bound by tradition, family and most of all, herself. There is no sense of irony or glibness about the film. The ending surprised me and deeply affected me. Timoteo is lovely. Her long black hair with uneven bangs are the look to die for. I can't advocate this film enough around here. An amazing film.

Challenged Finnish Punk

The Punk Syndrome (2012) - Passi, Kärkkäinen
Pertti, Toni, Kari and Sami can really put on a great show. They are the members of very popular punk group in Finland, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikka's Name Day). As Kari sings in his guttural voice about the greatness of coffee, their shared disgust for pedicure, politicians and living in group homes, it's hard to resist but to rock out to their catchy tunes. But it's extra hard for these kick ass punk rockers to keep everything together, for they are mentally challenged. They have to, among other things, concentrate on not missing the cue to start playing, watch out for falling pants, try not to soil themselves on stage and remember  taking back their instruments after the show.

They all have very distinctive personalities, so they collide more often than not. Pertti is the composer and lyricist, guitarist and has a peculiar tendency to closely examine people's clothes (for seams). He knows how the babies are made. Emotionally volatile Kari is in love and wants to marry his long time girlfriend. Bossy Sami is deeply involved in politics and living in the same group home as Kari. They get on each other's nerves. Young Toni wants to move out of his parents' and vie for beautiful Liisa's affection in a group home. 

Punk Syndrome presents Pertti Kurikka's Name Day just as they are. Directors J-P Passi and Jukka Karrkkainen wisely decide not to jump in and explain things for us. It's a great slice of life doc about these strong personalities, as they struggle to keep it together everyday. We see their blemishes and shortcomings as well as their genuine love for the music and their all too humanness. Ironically, punk is a fitting music for these outsiders who wants to be accepted and loved. And they rock!

For tickets and more information, please check Silverdoc website.