Friday, September 12, 2008

Topralli (1966)

Performances from Topralli:

Irwin Goodman: 'Aurinko, tähdet ja kuu' (1966)

Irwin Goodman: 'Kalteritango' (1966)

Eero & Jussi: 'Balladi kanuunasta' (1966)

Carola: 'Mä tahdon pojan' (1966)

Katri Helena: 'Lui' (1966)

Katri Helena: 'Polkkis' (1966)

The Renegades: 'Girls, Girls, Girls' (1966)

Topralli (1966) might be one of the strangest Finnish film turkeys ever made. Filmed entirely without a script on a shoestring budget and being more often than not technically insipid, it's a loose collection of musical performances from some of the day's hottest pop artists in Finland (and as international guest stars, The Renegades from England; totally unknown in their own country but extremely popular here), tied together with clumsy slapstick comedy ("Hot mjölk", anyone?) of a geekish record company executive's (played by the film's director Yrjö Tähtelä) efforts to organise a big musical show extravaganza in order to celebrate the record company's anniversary. Or something like that. Though offering countless embarrassing moments to make a dumbfounded spectator just cringe, there's also something undeniably charming in the overall innocent stupidity and apparent do-it-yourself amateur spirit of the film in these more calculated and cynical times of the music business overkill; many of these performances also remaining as rare visual documents from the pre-music video days.

Especially hilarious is the performance of the up-and-coming starlet Katri-Helena (now an elder stateswoman in Finnish iskelmä scene) doing with the late Irwin Goodman some dance steps to 'Polkkis' in the wintry landscape, apparently emulating the nervous movements of a person with a full bladder anxiously waiting behind the door of an occupied bathroom. Or maybe being just two lunatics awaiting their institutionalisation. Polkkis was obviously meant as a rivalling dance craze to the extremely popular Letkajenkka (or "Letkiss", as it was internationally known). Only in the 60s Finland...

  • Introduction in English @ Rokumentti