Movie Monday #94 – Summer Challenge, vol. 1


Challenge #94: Three new ones, three old ones and one whatever. First, a new one, as in a film I’ve never seen before. Risto Jarva and Jaakko Pakkasvirta directed their first feature film Yö vai päivä – Rakkauden ja leikin ylistys (Day or Night – Praise of Love and Play) in 1962. It’s an ironic portrayal of the traditional way of life in Finland. The film begins when famous anthropologist Mr. Sedano (Eino Krohn) arrives to Finland with his two assistants, Numidia Vaillant and Mr. Lang (Ismo Kallio). They soon head to a little village called Puumala in Eastern Finland. There they meet local people and study their traditions such as midsummer celebrations and taking a sauna. They also have romantic liaisons with local inhabitants, for example Mr. Sedano is quite attracted to a young schoolmistress Neiti Mattila (Elina Salo).

Yö vai päivä was one of the first experiments in New Wave in Finnish cinema. It has the feel of a documentary and ambiguity as any typical New Wave film. What I find interesting about this film is the portrayal of the times. What was life like in a rural community in Finland in 1962, what were the people like. And summer, glorious Finnish summer! Altogether, not that impressive but pleasant and quaint.



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