5 items from 2011
The recent DocPoint NYC featured 47 Finnish documentaries in celebration of the Helsinki festival’s 10th anniversary. Here, Stuart Nusbaumer considers two in a weekend that bounced him between DocPoint and the Brooklyn Film Festival.
Part 2: DocPoint New York City
Reindeerspotting: Escape from Santaland
Reindeerspotting is set in northern Finland in the town of Rovaniemi, which is not important since a junky is never part of a town. The central character, 19-years-old Jani, is not particularly important since junkies are nearly all young and mostly all alike. The overwhelming importance of their drug addiction makes the junkies overwhelming the same. The drug of addiction in this documentary is Subutex, probably the least important fact since any drug of addition qualifies for the addicted soul.
Yet, Reindeerspotting has a way of quickly touching and drawing you into the story.
Jani is not that dark urban version of a junkie without »
- Stewart Nusbaumer
Updated through 6/10.
To Hellman and Back: An Evening with Monte Hellman is set for this evening at the Walter Reade Theater, and here's how the New York Times' Dave Kehr recommends you be there if you can: "The undisputed master of the existential road movie (Two-Lane Blacktop, 1971) will be present for a 6 pm sneak preview of his new feature, Road to Nowhere, to be followed by a rare screening of Mr Hellman's magnificently bleak adaptation of Charles Willeford's novel Cockfighter, starring Warren Oates as an itinerant gambler. A discussion with Mr Hellman follows the screening, as does a book party celebrating the reissue of the Willeford novel from PictureBox Books."
"Combining an almost quaint self-reflexiveness with state-of-the-art digital filmmaking, Road concerns the production of a film based on a controversial lovers' double-suicide in North Carolina," explains Nick Pinkerton in the Voice. "Director Mitchell Haven (Tygh Runyan) is determined to »
Some of Finland's finest documentary filmmakers celebrated the kickoff of the DocPoint NYC, a celebration of contemporary Finnish documentaries in New York. DocPoint, Helsinki's documentary film festival now in its tenth year, is in New York all this week with screenings at MoMA, Scandinavia House, 92Y Tribeca, and UnionDocs. A reception followed an intense screening of Joonas Neuvonen's searingly personal film "Reindeerspotting," which will screen at MoMA all week. The »
(Reindeerspotting: Escape From Santaland is the opening night film in the MoMA Presents: DocPoint series and screens daily through Monday, June 13, 2011. Go here to learn more.)
In the opening minutes of Joonas Neuvonen’s Reindeerspotting: Escape From Santaland, don’t be surprised if you’re overcome with that “here we go again” feeling, and not in a good way. For the eternal question remains, does the world really need yet another film about junky culture? Yes, we know drugs are bad. Yes, we understand by now that they numb your senses and make you behave in illegal, immoral ways. Yes, we are well aware that they turn the most charismatic of souls into evil zombies. Even when it comes to the concept of documentary junkies versus movie junkies, as with the drugs themselves, at some point, you just become numb to it all. So yes, Reindeerspotting has some »
- Michael Tully
[Our thanks to Brandon Tenold for the following review.]While living in the city of Rovaninemi in Finland's northern Lapland province, Reindeerspotting director Joonas Neuvonen lived off social welfare and spent most of his days doing drugs. During this time, he decided to document his circle of friends, focusing on his friend Jani, a 19 year old who also uses drugs, in particular the heroin detox medication subutex. Jani lives off social welfare as well, but his habit has grown to the point where he resorts to theft and petty crime to support it, even losing 2 of his fingers because of debts with drug dealers. Bored with his life in Rovanienmi and with a jail sentance for his petty crimes looming, Jani longs to »
5 items from 2011
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