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20 January 2019: The Way You Wanted Me


The Way You Wanted Me
Teuvo Tulio, 1944, 102 min
Finnish with English subtitles

""We are the happiest people in the world," young lovers declare in this harshest of lyrical melodramas, shot in 1943 as war raged in Finland. But those are early days for characters who will become so divided (as the nation was), so separated from the land and sea that sustain them, they are prostitutes, literally and figuratively, women and men alike, who "hate ourselves and the life we lead." The fabulous Marie-Louise Fock plays Maija, an island girl who, after the fall, pridefully takes herself to the city where a series of affairs and a pregnancy leave her looking like a low-rent Dietrich, a dockside whore. Tulio lavishes his expressionist lighting and camerawork on the grim life of the city, loading objects with meaning in a Sirkian way. But he reserves his most intimate gaze for Maija's suffering. Doth the feminist filmmaker protest a little too much? War be damned, is he in fact the happiest man in the world?" – BAMPFA

Part of Antti Alanen and Ehsan Khoshbakht's Masterpieces of Finnish Cinema season