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Mika Vainio scores Mika Taanila film Tectonic Plate

Techno producer scores soundtrack to new lettrist film Mannerlaatta aka Tectonic Plate

Pan Sonic founder Mika Vainio has scored the soundtrack to Mika Taanila’s new feature length film. Called Mannerlaatta aka Tectonic Plate, it’s a 74 minute lettrist film made entirely without a camera, and it's about the fear of flying, security checks and crossing time zones. “After returning from a trip to Tokyo,” states the synopsis, “the nameless protagonist is inexplicably stuck at a hotel near the Helsinki airport. The attention and activities of the individual are divided into several directions at once. The use of various technical devices slivers the time management and modifies the jetlagged consciousness.”

“The film consists of three different visual elements,” explains director Taanila. “Photocopying various documents connected to air travel, such as boarding passes, airport maps, on-board safety instructions directly on clear 35mm film; Photograms executed directly on 35mm black and white reversal film by placing objects directly on the film surface in a photographer’s darkroom; and finally, the text, which was written for the film by poet Harry Salmenniemi (the original version in Finnish).” Vainio composed roughly 50 minutes of music to accompany the film’s imagery. “Mika composed and recorded the music at quite an early stage of the two and a half year project, so it dominated much of the editing rhythm of the visual narration,” Taanila adds. “For inspiration I sent Mika two of Harry’s books, the text for this film and some samples of photocopy/photogram materials.”

This is Vainio’s third film collaboration with Taanila – they previously worked together on the short A Physical Ring (2002) and last year's documentary Return Of The Atom.

Translating as Tectonic Plate, Mannerlaatta premiered on 15 February at Berlinale Forum Expanded. The film will also be screened at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki (31 March–2 April) and Tampere Biennale (14 April), with more showings to be confirmed for later in the year.

You can watch a trailer of the film below: