reede, veebruar 23, 2007

For the Pronks Crowd

Stop the presses! Some nationalistic-feeling Estonians tried to lay a wreath in rememberance at the foot of the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn, and someone pushed someone, and, even though no arrests were made, it still made the International Herald Tribune the same day it happened.

Postimees also promised that there would be footage of the scuffle on TV tonight, because real violence is preferable to the fake violence they usually show on television.

The big question is, of course, who will this benefit in the election? The answer is no one. Supporters of Ansip will say, "See, I told you we should moce the monument" and supporters of Savisaar will say, "See, we should let sleeping dogs lie."

I am begining to see these 'gangs of bandits' - the Estonian National Movement and Night Watch, as rival gangs, like the Bloods and the Crips. Which means that this isn't a state issue -- it's a law enforcement issue. It looks like the law did ok and nobody got hurt. If they want to keep things that way, they'll enforce a ban on demonstrations at the controversial grave site.

Fortunately, for those of us that know that time existed before 1940 -- which I guess excludes the Russian foreign ministry in some cases -- ETV will be treating us to two historical films centered around Estonia, and neither of them is Viimne Reliikvia.

The first, Malev, is one I have only seen clips of before. Malev (see above photo) is a comedic -- if you find Eesti humor funny -- take on the Northern crusades, and the subjugation of the Estonians by the Teutonic knights in the 12th and 13th centuries. I am looking very much forward to seeing it for the very first time.

The second film, Nimed Marmortahvlil, is the real gem. It should be shown every Feb. 24, the way they show The Sound of Music at Thanksgiving every year in the US. It concerns the removal of Russian and German troops from the Baltic province of Estonia by poorly trained Estonian school boys with meager weaponry, and the resulting foundation of the Republic of Estonia. Peter Franzen is also there to play the "older brother" Finland that helps hapless Estonia achieve its victory. It's a good film, and I'll be watching it, A. Le Coq in hand.

15 kommentaari:

space_maze ütles ...

Nimed mamortahvlil starting at 01.45 - I hope you're sufficiently night-active :-D

Is it me, or is this some really strange programming from ETV?

Giustino ütles ...

Is it me, or is this some really strange programming from ETV?

Nimed should be the first film after the address.

Scott ütles ...

"Nimed Marmortahvlil," the Estonian equivalent of the "Sound of Music?" You must be drinking a WHOLE LOT of Al Le Coq.
I thought it was laughably cartoonish in some spots, and suffered from pacing, dialog, and sheer believability problems all the way through. "Names in Marble" couldn't decide if it was a serious movie or not, and it failed on both accounts.
Yea, there are some good moments that would get an Estonia patriot's blood going, and Hele Kore is ... well, I heart Hele Kore, and was disappointed to find out she's living with someone. ;-(
But, no. I own the DVD, but never have the urge to watch it.

Malev, IMO, is the better of the two movies. Made by Tartu University students, it has a Monty Python sensibility to it, with an Estonian twist.
I actually didn't think much of it when I first saw it, but over the next couple of days I found myself reliving some of the scenes in my mind. The war council and the battlefield scenes have some LOL moments, particularly the former, if you understand what mainland Estonians feel about people from Saareamaa.

My take; if there is going to be an Estonian Sound of Music, I think there's only a couple of contestants:
* Ilmar Raag's "August 1991", from ETV, which although it suffers from a low budget and some cheesiness here and there, is pretty darn good. It's been out on DVD for about a year.
* I think the eventual winner will be Jim and Maureen Tusty's "The Singing Revolution" documentary, which opened the Black Nights festival in Dec. and just finished its run in Estonia before its release in the West.
THAT film is how you do a love letter to a country.

notsu ütles ...

And don't forget "Naksitrallid" at 17.00. Estonian animation classic.

Giustino ütles ...

"Nimed Marmortahvlil," the Estonian equivalent of the "Sound of Music?" You must be drinking a WHOLE LOT of Al Le Coq.

You must be a really big fan of the Sound of Music. But, now that you mention it, I did just finish another A. Le Coq.

The comparison was due to the "repeatability" factor: ie. said film occurs reliably at the same time each year. I enjoyed the movie though. I am not sure how to judge it. I mean I watched Aki Kaurismäki's "Man without a past" and I walked away thinking it was dull and lifeless, until it was explained to me that it was like that on purpose.

I'm no film critic. One of my favorite movies is Fellini's Citta della Donne - hardly revered as a classic. And I liked Jedi more than Empire. Perhaps my judgement is not to be trusted.

Ray D. Noper ütles ...

And I liked Jedi more than Empire.

I just have to say it:
"Blasphemy !"

Although, it's quite reversed...
But also: "Empire had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader's his father. Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that's what life is, a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets."

tinakala ütles ...

"Imeb marmorvahvlit" was way more fun movie. By Pornokunn.
And the fight at Ljosha`s (between old (and subsequently overly emotional) pensioners taking a nostalgic trip and some young Stonian idiots) was just plain ugly.

Giustino ütles ...

"Empire had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader's his father. Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that's what life is, a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets."

No, Jedi had:

1. Ewoks, who had their own interesting culture, and sang the best song in the trilogy (perhaps only rivaled by the cafe scene in the original Star Wars) at the end.

2. Leia, in a golden bikini.

3. Jabba the Hutt's lair.

4. Finally getting a glimpse of Vader's head.

5. The fact that it's the only one I saw in the theater when it first came out.

I'm attached to Jedi. That's just how it is.

space_maze ütles ...

No matter how great Empire was, it didn't have Leia in a bikini. Thus, Jedi wins by default.

kerho ukkonen ütles ...

Don't feel too bad of not liking Aki Kaurismaki's "Man without a past", Giustino, for to me it represents exactly the same intensety in exitement than watching proverbial paint drying on the wall. Action in an average grave yard would look like a riot in comparison. Artsy fartsy!

notsu ütles ...

Am I a freak? For me, "Man without a past" was fun, fun, fun. Throughout all the film I was either laughing or trying not to cry in more sentimental parts.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Have you seen "Sigade Revolutsioon" yet?

Scott ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Scott ütles ...

Have you seen "Sigade Revolutsioon" yet?

Good film. Better than Nimed Mamortahvilil.

But the bar is SO LOW ... ;-)

Anonüümne ütles ...

Well, in Finland you see *every single* independence day 6.12 the "Unknown Soldier" - and the old b&w version too.