Deaf Crocodile Films, in collaboration with the Risto Jarva Association, announced today that it’s releasing a new 4K restoration of Finnish director Risto Jarva’s 1969 Pop Art / Sci-Fi thriller TIME OF ROSES (RUUSUJEN AIKA). Set in a dystopian world of gleaming white towers, Sony video monitors, and inflatable furniture where the beautiful inhabitants all dress as Edie Sedgwick-like pixie sprites or medieval page boys out of LOGAN’S RUN, the film follows a historian of late 20th Century culture (played by Arto Tuominen) researching the mysterious death of a free-spirited erotic model from that time. In a VERTIGO-like twist, he hires the model’s exact double, an earthy, uninhibited engineer named Kisse (actress Ritva Vepsä, playing both parts) to recreate the model’s death for a TV program. Jarva was one of Finland’s most acclaimed fiction filmmakers and documentarians before he was tragically killed in an auto accident returning from the premiere of his latest film in 1977. TIME OF ROSES will be released this spring.
“For me, Time of Roses is the child of 1968 par excellence. No other film in Finland is so linked to the events of the crazy year, even though it is a science fiction film set forty-four years later,” observes author and filmmaker Ville Suhonen of the Risto Jarva Association. “What fascinates me especially about Time of Roses is how the archives of a dead person can be used to create a complete picture of an era. And when coupled with a plausible futurological vision, the overall result is a rich kaleidoscope, a rarity in world cinema.”
“It has been an exquisite experience to work with such passionate arthouse enthusiasts and experts as Dennis Bartok and Craig Rogers on this project,” adds Mikko Lyytikäinen of the Risto Jarva Association. “What started as a Time of Roses restoration project became an expanding journey of discovery replete with surprises. Ville, Risto Jarva Association, and I offer heartfelt thanks to Deaf Crocodile Films and its two co-founders for this chance to cooperate in the resurrection of this spectacular representative of a rare genre in Finnish cinema.”
“Risto Jarva was such a brilliant and unconventional filmmaker who worked in a number of different genres, from Mod-influenced science-fiction to documentaries to surreal and satirical TV commercials, to arthouse features, and more,” says Deaf Crocodile Films’ Co-Founder and Head of Distribution Dennis Bartok. “Time of Roses is one of his most fascinating and entertaining films, and it reminds me in a terrific way of other hybrid sci-fi films from the late 1960s such as Godard’s Alphaville, Alain Resnais’ Je T’aime, Je T’aime, and Jean-Louis Roy’s The Unknown Man of Shandigor. We’re thrilled to be working with Ville and Mikko at the Risto Jarva Association to re-introduce Jarva’s stunning work in North America.”
Says Craig Rogers, Deaf Crocodile’s Co-Founder and Head of Post-Production and Restoration: “The stunning black and white cinematography with its gorgeous film grain immediately reminded me of our first release The Unknown Man of Shandigor. The film itself creates a futuristic faux utopia where no amount of technological advances can change the fact that we'll always be flawed human beings. We're very happy that, with the help of the Risto Jarva Association, we'll be bringing this great film to a much deserved wider audience.”
TIME OF ROSES (RUUSUJEN AIKA), 1969, Finland, 106 min. Finnish director Risto Jarva’s fascinating, futuristic, sci-fi mystery is set in a dystopian, Pop Art-designed world of gleaming white towers, Sony video monitors, and inflatable furniture where the beautiful inhabitants all dress as Edie Sedgwick-like pixie sprites or medieval page boys out of LOGAN’S RUN. A historian of late 20th Century culture - “before class boundaries were abolished” – named Raimo (Arto Tuominen) is researching the death of a free-spirited erotic model from that period named Saara (Ritva Vepsä) who died under mysterious circumstances. Raimo finds Saara’s identical double — an earthy, uninhibited engineer named Kisse (also played by Vepsä) — and tries to convince her to re-enact Saara’s life and death for TV. Long unavailable, Jarva’s fabulously quirky vision of Future World, with its fragmented and abstract political conversations and semi-orgies (all waving hands and sitar music!) would have delighted both Andy Warhol and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. For this new release, TIME OF ROSES has been scanned from the original 35mm camera negative for this restoration by Deaf Crocodile, in collaboration with the Risto Jarva Association and KAVI – Finnish National Audiovisual Institute. In Finnish with English subtitles.