Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Hard Day's Night at the Midnight Sun Film Festival Sodankylä

After our church event, the four of us - Amel, Janka, Sally and myself..wandered over to the site of the old Kitinen school grounds, where the Midnight Sun Film Festival was being held.

This year is the 25th annual event. Although the event is still quite primitive in many ways to international expectations, it is very popular and people come from all over.

I was quite surprised to see just how many out of towners were there.. and not so many locals really. We nabbed one of the incredibly limited tables in the refreshment area and sat down for a chat. Sun turned to a spot of rain and up popped a very delicate rainbow... can you see it? (Just?)

I held the seats whilst tickets were bought for the film we wanted to see.. 'A Hard Day's Night' 1964 with The Beatles in it. Billed as a karaoke film, there are a few karaoke films shown each year..but not all are in English. Last years big international karaoke billing was apparently Mamma Mia! They are really popular...especially at the time of day it is presented...when everyone has had a bit to drink! :D

A lovely picture of Sally, with the old school, in the background. This will be demolished soon..and a new housing development built there.. so it will be interesting to find out where the event will be held in future years.

It started to get a little cold by half past eight and as we didn't have plans to see any other films, we had to decide what we were going to do for the several hours inbetween - until the karaoke film started. The film was set for a 1.30am start after all! Although we really tried to talk her into it.. Janka decided she was already all-filmed out, having seen at least four or more - and said she was off home.

Although we were having some hilarious laughs and fun... Amel, Sally and I decided to all go home too...just for an hour and then meet up again at Amels house, for a drink, prior to the film and then cycle we could have a drink and not drive and fully enjoy the rest of the night.

I met Sally later at about 10.45pm, on the bridge, just before town and we stood there for a few seconds, enjoying the stillness of the river, which often can be quite turbulent (when it's not frozen as it is during the Winter).

And the beautiful view! This picture makes it look darker than it was though...

After sharing a bottle of vino and some nibbles at Amels, we headed back to the school site at about 1am and locked our bikes up outside the tents. That's quite an un-Finnish thing to do, locking bikes up, but I wasn't going to take any chances!

The film that was showing beforehand was The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...there had been talk of Clint Eastwood attending.. but of course, he didn't was reported in the newspaper that he said he would like to, but his schedule didn't allow. It certainly would be great to have someone wonderful like Clint visit - there are a lot of film directors that visit each year, but the icon of EASTWOOD would be a real feather in the cap!

As we queued I had the pleasure of hearing the cemetery scene music! Cool! I would have liked to have seen that film actually...but I have seen it umpteen times already! Amel admitted whilst in the queue, that she didn't think she knew that film... so Sally said she would loan her the DVD. Its a classic! Perhaps we should make another night of that!

Here, from is a brief reminder of that classic music....

When we got in to the tent it was actually just gone 2am.. they were running a good half hour late. I was beginning to get a bit fed up with the middle aged couple in front of me in the queue by that time... to the point of me bursting out laughing because I couldn't look at Sally and keep a straight face! They just couldn't keep their hands of each other! LOL! Nice really, a bit of lurve, but a bit much after half an hour!

The atmosphere was really good in the queue and moreso in the tent - which was pretty much filled up, quite amazing considering the time and the fact that it was the big tent and not the smaller one.

Sally and Amel

Amel and I

I think I captured everyone's excitement in this picture.
Can you see all the orbs?

The words appeared for the songs, in a box just above the screen. The film also had subtitles in Finnish and German. It was actually quite interesting to see how Finns translated (or not as the case may be) Liverpudlian phrases such as com ed! :D Sally and I (plus a handful of others) laughed out loud at lots of the uniquely british jokes and sarcasm!

I personally (as a Brit) found the film really interesting because of the volume of rather well know British actors and actresses in it..(most of these were probably lost on the other filmgoers) some that would only be more well known later on in their careers perhaps. Names like: Anna Quayle, Lionel Blair, John Junkin, Norman Rossington, Victor Spinetti, Derek Nimmo, Marianne Stone.... but there were so many background faces that were uncredited, that I recognised. I looked on my favourite site - A Hard Day's Night and read that even Phil Collins was in it as a member of the audience in one scene. I saw lots of faces, younger versions of.. but I don't think I caught his!

It also had the wonderful late, Wilfred Brambell (later well known from Steptoe and Son) - playing the role of Paul McCartney's pain in the derriere Grandad. A great role and just perfect for him!

It was quite sad in many ways.. to see from the safe easy seat of the future.. these young faces... and to know what happened to them during the journey of their life and for some their subsequent demise.

Athough the storyline to the film was quite limited, it was a great film, so good that its been digitally remastered with today's technology... with great humour and silliness especially from the wonderful late John Lennon! What made the film really special was the fact that EVERYONE sang their hearts out!

I was pleased to have gone and seen it 'again'... the last time was when my Mother was still pregnant with me.. (I was born January 1965) then, I tried really hard to enjoy the film, but of course everything was just a TAD muzzy, muffled..and 'hearing' it second hand..just didn't cut it! LOL!

Ive been wondering what film they might do next year.. there aren't really that many films that are musicals of well known songs these days.. in the 50's and 60's there were loads... Singing in the Rain, West Side Story...etc...Mamma Mia is an obvious choice and could be repeated, although it's already been done.... but the top contenders have to be Grease...Fame...Hairspray...Rocky Horror Show...The Commitments or The Blues Brothers (I love that one!)

This image is from the festival site itself.. lots to look at there..

Other funny events of the evening...(well, to US anyway!)

A man walking across the playground, wearing just a dressing gown and slippers! He had obviously just had a shower in the school somewhere...but not got properly dressed again afterwards.... whaat?

A TOTALLY naked man (not a nice view either) changing after his shower, in full view of everyone, outside of his little camper he had parked up on the school site. No one intervened, not even a festival steward. That could only happen in Finland and be thought of as acceptable.. which it isn't!

A seemingly dead tiny beetle on our table. I said he wasnt dead, he was just resting his eyes.. He'd had 'A Hard Days Night'.. what with being a Beatle and all.. (((oh dear.. groan...))) No one believed me, but I touched him, he woke up and carried on doing his stuff!

At Amels I was bothered by a mosquito, which I then clapped out of the air. It landed on its back, still alive-ish and wholly intact. We wondered if I could resurrect him too...I laid my hand over his body and he started spinning and whizzing around under my hand! You wouldnt have believed it if you hadnt of seen it! (Then I put him out of his misery)

Having to push down the cork into that bottle of wine, as it turned out Amel didn't have a corkscrew. We tried a couple of things, but got there eventually with the end of a fork! Sally and I were damned if we were going to not open that bottle! :D Amel, I know what I am buying you for Christmas now! :D Damned fine bottle Sally! Thanks! :D


OK.. So, finally thanks to the wonder of the internet.. I can share with you the film that I saw.. have you got a few minutes? LOL! I am sure that there is at least one LongTallSally I know, that would LOVE to see this film again! ENJOY!

Many thanks to the youtube user AndQuiteFrankly for these uploads!

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