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World Cinema Screening: The Cross of Love / Rakkauden Risti

What Lurid, excessive and unapologetically melodramatic, The Cross of Love exemplifies the style of filmmaking that Finnish director and former matinee idol Teuvo Tulio is most famously known for
When 20 July 2010 (Tuesday), 7:30 pm
Where National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre
93 Stamford Road Singapore 178897
Admission

Free admission but members only -- flash your membership card to go in. You may bring up to 2 guests if you hold a SFS Reel membership card. Non-members may sign up online or at the door -- we will issue membership on the spot. No tickets will be sold. Free seating. Seats may be constrained by venue.

 

The Cross of Love / Rakkauden Risti
Director: Teuvo Tulio
1946 | Finland | 99 min | 35mm | NC16
In Finnish with English subtitles

 

Lurid, excessive and unapologetically melodramatic, The Cross of Love
exemplifies the style of filmmaking that Finnish director and former
matinee idol Teuvo Tulio is most famously known for.
Through the form of a ‘cautionary tale’, The Cross of Love tells the story
of a naive lighthouse keeper’s daughter who longs for a life in the big
city. One stormy night when a suave stranger is rescued from drowning by
her father, she decides to elope with him to the city against her father’s
wishes. After arriving in the city, she soon finds herself trapped in a
downward spiral of ruin and destruction.

 

Like many Finnish films made in the 1940s, The Cross of Love falls under
the genre of “problem film” that examines the social upheaval in the
aftermath of the war. What transcends the film is the delight in which it
takes in the breaking of the moral code and the wild energy that the
director imbues in the film with scenes that alternate from the absurd to
the sublime, creating a frenzied montage of sin and redemption that
achieves an almost religious fervour.

 

Film print and stills courtesy of the National Audiovisual Archive
(Finland). Special thanks to Satu Laaksonen.

 

About the Director Teuvo Tulio (1912 ­ 2000)

 

One of the most fascinating figures of Finnish cinema and a major
influence on Aki Kaurismäki, Teuvo Tulio began his career in the 1920s as
a matinee star and Finland’s answer to Rudolph Valentino. In the 1930s, he
turned his hand to directing and became famous for creating melodramas
that blurred the line between morality and sensation.

 

Tulio’s films were known for their wildly expressive style and often
featured stories of fallen women and the duplicitous men that betrayed
them. Most of his films starred his long-time collaborator and muse Regina
Linnanheimo whose over the top dramatisation was a perfect match to his
manic vision.

 

Some of Tulio’s most memorable films include The Song of the Scarlet
Flower (1939), a story about a lascivious lumberjack set against the
backdrop of a beautiful rugged countryside; In the Fields of Dreams
(1940), a sexually frank melodrama of a shepherdess led astray; and The
Way You Wanted Me (1944), a story about a country girl forced into
prostitution.

 

Falling into obscurity in the 1970s, Tulio’s reputation as a master of
melodrama was reinstated through a series of retrospectives presented in
the United States.