Risto Jarva (Finland)


Tietokoneet Palvelevat / Computers At Our Service
Directed by Risto Jarva
Finland, 1968, 14 min, 35 mm

During 1966-72, the illustrious Finnish production company Filminor was commissioned by a national bank to make a series of educational films, for which they hired some of the top names in the field. The films were to adress issues such as urbanization, equal rights for sexes, environmental problems, and the depopulation of the countryside.

The futuristic aesthetics of Computers At Our Service are distinctly atypical for a Finnish movie. It offers an illustrative account of the history of computers, the prospects for the future, and the risks within, such as they presented themselves in 1968. An unusually convincing voice-over track accentuates the ever-so-topical promulgation against the dangers of monotonous office work and computer totalitarianism. The power of the period piece is further enhanced by beautiful cinematography and Erkki Kurenniemi’s electronic soundtrack. The film reaches its apex of surrealism in the interior scenes, in which a team of alienated ”micro-serfs” toil away in a synthetic plastic set as a ponderous symbol of the soul of a computer.

A year later director Risto Jarva took his futuristic themes even further in the ambitious psychological sci-fi movie Ruusujen aika. MT

Computers At Our Service will be screened at the Kiasma Theatre on Thursday Nov 8, at 5 pm and 8 pm, followed by the printer symphony by [The User]

Thursday 8.11.2001 - Kiasma Theatre
17:00 - Screening of Computers At Our Service
20:00 - Screening of Computers At Our Service