Wednesday, May 5 MACHOS
(Mike Ronkainen, Finland/Germany). 86 minutes. Subtitled. Rating: “What’s going on here is that Matti is being punched rather heavily in the head.” This quietly mordant record of a season in the life of an inept Oulu rugby team plays like a study of masculinity in miniature, wherein an assortment of suburban husbands and boyfriends save all their testosterone for the pitch – where they then proceed to spray it every which way.
Director Mike Ronkainen looks behind the stereotypes of henpecked husband, self- declared iconoclast and closeted homophobe to find the moments of honesty that define these 21stcentury men – even if they’re totally crap at sports. candid access, resulting in humour (Monica’s neat freak tendencies are charming), heartbreak and tiny victories. Monica’s mother, who like David’s mom raised her child alone, emerges as a remarkable figure whose composure crumbles just once.
One of the most humane and emotionally rich films you’ll see this year. Digna Sinke’s placid geographical study offers an intriguing, moving meditation on transience.
Sinke brought her camera to the small Danish island of Tiengemeten over the span of 14 years, recording a government project to reclaim the local farms and turn the land back into a natural wilderness. The footage is amplified by readings from her journal, crisply charting the upheavals in her own life – aging parents, partner’s illness. By the end of the movie, it’s not just the landscape that’s unrecognizable.