Posted in Based on a true story, Danish Film, Finland Film, Swedish film

BORG / MCENROE (2017)

borg mcenroe

A film by Janus Metz

Cast: Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård

The story in 1980 rivalry between Borg and McEnroe. McEnroe the rebellious bad boy of tennis and Borg the god of tennis.

Here is the thing I am a big fan of Tennis so I decided to see this film right away. My mom was working in this sport company they gave her box seat (Front row seat) to see all the matches at Roland Garros back in the 70’s. I saw Borg, Connors, Stanislas, Ivan Lendl, Rob laver etc…is a matter a fact Connors was on the court and running to hit the ball kept running was right in the front of me looked at me and said “man this guy is killing me” Connors was the cool dude who was joking around once in a while. So When it came around 1980 I was in the US and I saw that match Borg / McEnroe.

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The Real McEnroe and Borg 

For borg the pressure is on he has everything to lose he has 4 Wimbledon championships under his belt as for McEnroe he had nothing to lose, he was the underdog. I remember seeing him on the court getting pissed of pulling his hair out and the press had a field day. The film show the 3 days before the march, the preparation, the games, how the player prepares themselves mentally and so forth. Then there are the occasional flash back when they were teenagers. McEnroe the party boy and Borg was like a robot focused, nothing gets to him. Amazing! Shia leboeuf delivers an outstaying McEnroe and was trained by professional tennis players so they do not look like he is the actor playing tennis But McEnroe playing tennis. As for Sverrir Gudnason who even looks like Borg has incarnated Borg extremely well. By the way the young Björn Borg is played by Björn’s real son Leo Borg. Director Janus Metz lets the action flows as the drama goes back and forth like a tennis ball. The film was watchable you could feel the tension rising, I remember watching the match and was on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately we all know what happen the next year and I think that is why Borg retire at 26 years old as he said I have done it all in tennis.  Better retire on top I guess.

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borg mcenroe

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Posted in Finland Film

TOM OF FINDLAND (2017)

Tom Of Finland (2017)

A film by Dome Karukoski

Cast: Jakob Oftebro, Werner Daehn, Lauri Tilkanen

This film brings to life the life and work of one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture.

The film starts with Touko’s life after world war II where you come to find out that this soldier and some others in his squad are gay. When Touko comes back from the war he lives with his sister.Touko’s only way of sexual satisfaction is in the woods late at night, with the risk of imprisonment to the fact homosexuality is illegal back then. However Touko’s way of manifesting is frustration to the world of being gay was his drawing and what a talented artist he became. He begins a love affair with Veli (Lauri Tilkanen), the new renter  whom his sister also has an interest in which is going to laugh his career over seas.

Tom Of Finland

Here is a gay guy in Finland where he is drawing because he is mad against the world the way gay men are treated. In Finland gay were even married to woman so they could not be found out and having gay parties in their own home even the police would find out but Touko never ever got caught. The film has a bit of everything the gay clubs, the era of the 70’s in L.A and so on, were carefully plan and filmed. Even the costumes and the decor were outstanding. Of course there is humour into it like the police crashing a gay pool party because they are in pursuit of a robber. Tom of Finland is a vibrant and touching celebration of Laaksonen’s life, his influence and his art.

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Posted in Finland Film

TOIVON TUOLLA PUOLEN (2017)

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A film by Aki Kaurismäki

Cast: Ville Virtanen, Kati Outinen, Tommi Korpela

English title:

 

Helsinki. Two destinies that will cross each other. Wikhström, in the fifties, decides to change his life by leaving his alcoholic wife and his work as a sales representative to open a restaurant. Khaled is a young Syrian refugee, stranded in the capital by accident. He sees his asylum application rejected but decides to stay despite everything. One night, Wikhström finds him in the courtyard of his restaurant. Touched by the young man, he decides to take him under his wing.

Here is a narrative of crossing paths, an apology for a rare optimism. Finnish director and writer Aki Kaurismäki, not happy with the way refugees are seen and portrayed in today’s society, created a story almost like an apology and an attempt to manipulate your emotions. How is it possible to change one’s behavior or the way people think, however, is subject to never-ending discussions.

Khaled (Syrian actor Sherwan Haji) goes to Finland on a cargo ship. The circumstances surrounding his arrival are not yet fully unknown that is what I like here. After taking a shower he goes to the police station and seek Asylum. What I like is that they take his fingerprint on a digital machine that will stream to the laptop as the police officer does the report he types it on a type writer too funny.  Some how after escaping the war he part ways with his sister with all of the chaos that is going on he gets arrested and thrown in jail. While he waits for the bureaucracy to kick in he is trying to find a way to find his sister only to end up later by the garbage can of a restaurant where the owner can’t help himself to help him.

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Although set in this day and age, the story looks, like and feels like in is stuck in the 60’s 70’s maybe a stroke of genius from the director. With it bold design and colour the viewer is going to feel like they are in an other dimension welcome to the twilight zone. This dramatic comedy has a life of its own with nonsensical lines are delivered with the straightest of faces in to navigated in such a way that it keep the dignity of the characters. Like I said pure genius here and yes an other successful film here. A series of local artists perform songs that merge blues and tango with local sounds an interesting concepts here that makes this film unique. I am telling you now do not miss this film directed with this unique director, I’ll say it again it is pure genius.

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Posted in Based on a true story, Finland Film

OLLI MÄKI (2016)

olli-maki

A film by Juho Kuosmanen

Cast: Oona Airola, Jarkko Lahti, Eero Milonoff

English tile: The happiest day of my life. 

The winner of this year’s Un Certain Regard prize, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is Juho Kuosmanen’s chronicle of a boxer from Finland in 1962 based on his life. A unique and beautiful boxing movie shot on 16mm in black and white.

it is not about raging on the ring but about love. Olli Mäki (Jarkko Lahti) is a humble baker, who loves to fight and  is going to fight an American world champion Davey Moore for the championship in the feather weight category . It is good for Finland to see the fight at home. Olli is a  hard-ass and ambitious trainer Elis  pushes him to reach his fighting weight, and ferries him around to photo shoots, sponsor dinners the works. Olli has a chance to be Finland’s golden boy, of hitting the really big time. will he make it he has to lose 4 kilo in a few weeks.

You see Olli is a communist baker who has some problem staying focus. First he has to concentrate his effort on loosing 4 kilo to make it in the feather weight. His coach wants him to focus bit Olli meets this girl that he is falling in love with a girl named Raija (Oona Airola). The film is charming and also funny , it also reminds us how important it is to forge our own path to happiness, regardless of outside expectations.

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Posted in Finland Film

THE MAN WITHOUT THE PAST (2002)

the man without a past

Creator: Aki Kaurismäki.

Cast: Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Annikki Tähti . 

A man gets out of a train with a suitcase with all his belonging in it . He gets off the train to go to the park sits down on the bench and fell asleep. A bunch of hoodlum gets a 4×4 and hits him with it on the head , he falls and they continue to beat him while one of them gets to look in the suitcase to get his radio and his wallet. He is left for dead. He is in the hospital and dies there so you think. After the doctor pronounce him dead, He leaves and our hero suddenly wakes up and no he is not dead yet any way. He walks out go the hospital and makes it by the river si far so good. He his laying there while a homeless man gets his boots. 2 kids passes by one of them says ” is he dead” our hero opens his eyes and the kid says “no”. they get help and a family takes care of him. They lives with a community of people who lives in a shipping containers.  The landlord rent him one. Keep in mind this is a comedy as well as a drama “If you don’t pay up,” the landlord says, “I’ll set my savage dog to bite your nose off.” “It only gets in the way,” the man says.”You wouldn’t be able to smoke in the shower,” the landlord points out.  This film is full of dry humor as I call it. This film won an oscar for best foreign film as well as caesar at the cannes film festival for best foreign film also. The man gets to know his neighbors. the family who took care of him, The landlord, a man who leaves in the garage dump a woman who works at the salvation army. I am not going to tell any more for fear that you did see the film. But you will see the journey that this man takes to trying to romancer his name. It is a terrific film from Finland and I would strongly recommend it.

man without a past

the man without a past

Posted in Based on a true story, Finland Film

PRÉSUMÉ COUPABLE (2011)

A film by Vincent Garenq.
Cast: Philippe Torreton, Wladimir Yordanoff, Noémie Lvovsky.
French screenwriter and director Vincent Garenq’s second feature film is based on the memoirs of Alain Marécaux and the screenplay was written by Vincent Garenq, Alain Marécaux. It tells the story about Alain Marécaux, a middle-aged bailiff who lives in France with his wife and their three children. One day Alain and his family gets an unexpected visit by the police who tells them that they have been accused of child molestation. Alain and his wife is taken to custody and their children is sent away to foster homes. During the interrogations of Alain, he is confronted with a young judge who sees the case as a pathway to his own success and deliberately ignores the fact that there are no evidence to support the allegations against Alain and his wife.
This realistic portrayed study of character about a man who becomes a victim of false accusations and a corrupt justice system, depicts essential parts of a scandalous real-life criminal case which took place in France 2001 where seventeen people where wrongly accused of paedophilia and incest let’s not forget rape. This was an injustice done to his wife and children and the judge and other panel of judges got a slap on the wrist. I guess the justice system is not better in France. Alain Marécaux said it well you can be found guilty without proof in France And good luck trying to get out of it. The thing is that the woman lied about the accusation But the 17 people including marécaux was sentence to jail light sentence on the top of it but the woman who lied is the one who raped (with her husband and her daughter and son) raped countless children got 20 years for the husband and light sentences for the other; you’ve got to be kidding me. If you will love this movie and feel for the guy and his family. But I can recommend you an other movie where the system failed check out this one Life of Davis Gale