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Two Films Too Good Not To Mention
by Marinell Haegelin

A fertile family dairy farm is the backdrop for sexual awakenings in RAKASTAN ANNAA (I Love Annaa), (Mo&Friese, Klippo [Play/Stop]) by Joonas Rutanen, Finland | 2016, 10:52 minutes | Finnish/English subtitles. For Santari important are motorbikes, and Annaa. Pressing his advantage during an evening visit to Annaa, they compromise. A clear shower curtain offers protection, although also childlike fun. It’s an interesting take about leaving childhood while wading into adulthood. Director Rutanen explained afterward: the cast is fifteen, not thirteen; he directs combining written text and improvisation, and employs the same producer and film company/co-op. Following three shorts about teenagers and awakening sexuality, Rutanen’s working on a feature with a summer 2018 release deadline.

BODENERHEBUNGEN (Grounds Rising) (Hamburger Wettbewerb [Competition]) is an insiders’ look at “urban planning” by Doro Carl and Claudia Reiche, Germany | 2016, 19:48 minutes | German/English subtitles. The defunct train yard around Altona station was a cultural community haven. Residents, at their own expense, made repairs and paid rent, yet received short notice to vacate. Those kicked out, and politicians with copious justifications are interviewed about “Mitte Altona.” Most appalling, the Deutsche Bahn (German Railways), i.e. Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany) sold the land to private investment companies that proceeded unsupervised (sold some plots 2-3x); Hamburg was not asked (where were the politicians?). “They’ve gotten rid of the past”—only two historical buildings and the train tower survived bulldozers—“building a new future.” The city/state of Hamburg will have to cover the many infrastructural problems already arising as the first phase finishes. “Everyone knows how these things work.” Good establishing shots, camerawork, and sound; lacking are interviewees’ Lower Thirds, and VO recognition. This could easily evolve into a feature for wider audiences, since these tactics are universal.