1931-1940ClassicsDramaFinlandTeuvo Tulio

Teuvo Tulio – Laulu tulipunaisesta kukasta AKA Song of the Scarlet Flower (1938)


Song of the Scarlet Flower was Teuvo Tulio’s first independently produced film, and the earliest of his surviving films. The plot was about Olavi, a farmer’s son who leaves his home after a dispute with his father and leads a life of a womanizing logger.

Teuvo Tulio is the best director you’ve probably never heard of. Every time I see another his films I’m absolutely stunned by their collective brilliance and the fact that hardly anyone knows they exist. Seeing this one as a double feature with Stiller’s earlier version of the story, I was particularly struck both by what Stiller taught Tulio, and by what Tulio brings to the story that Stiller doesn’t or can’t (and I’m a HUGE Stiller stan so if I’m openly admitting I like this better than his version, you know I’m serious). As in Stiller’s version, the homme fatale drives the plot, but here the pain he inflicts on women isn’t just a frame for his redemptive arc: the women and their subjectivity become the centre of the story, aggressively so by the end of the film. Characters like his mother and his discarded former flames are given space to be real people; they speak while he is silent. This alone would make it a masterpiece, leaving aside the gorgeous photography, brilliant use of music (a Tulio signature), and the eroticism with which the film positively vibrates.

— irmavep (Letterboxd)


Subtitles:English, Finnish, Swedish (muxed)

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