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Vastutuulesaal (2007) HD online

Vastutuulesaal (2007) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Documentary / Music
Original Title: Vastutuulesaal
Director: Priit Valkna
Writers: Andri Luup,Artur Talvik
Released: 2007
Duration: 55min
Video type: Movie
Headwind Hall is a documentary film about the conductor Tõnu Kaljuste and his crazy idea of building an opera house on the estate of the past inventor Schmidt in Naissaar; an island which even today has no regular ferry line, no electricity and only one permanent resident. In order to carry his idea through, Kaljuste must face situations bordering on the absurd involving potential investors, snobby bureaucrats, construction workers and the general public. He transports construction materials and other necessities to the island with his own small boat. The press and the representatives of different institutions cannot refrain from gloating - what is he trying to prove? The idea is almost as crazy as inventor Schmidt's erstwhile headwind ship that used the energy of headwind in order to move ahead with double power. However, in the summer of 2006, Nargen Opera is completed and the first performances are carried through. The amusing and dynamic film follows the activities of Tõnu ...
Credited cast:
Jaan Kross Jaan Kross - Himself
Erik Schmidt Erik Schmidt - Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peeter Jalakas Peeter Jalakas - Himself
Tõnu Kaljuste Tõnu Kaljuste - Himself
Ülle Kaljuste Ülle Kaljuste - Herself
Lennart Meri Lennart Meri - Himself (archive footage)
Arvo Pärt Arvo Pärt - Himself
Erkki-Sven Tüür Erkki-Sven Tüür - Himself
Hardi Volmer Hardi Volmer - Himself

Reviews: [1]

  • avatar

    Zeus Wooden

    The building of an opera house may not immediately strike most people as a prime subject for a very dramatic film.

    Yet, it is sometimes the most extreme circumstances that can be the setting for the most compelling stories, as it was with real life composer Richard Wagner's struggles to build his Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Germany and with eccentric film director Werner Herzog as he showed in his semi-fictional mad-dream-of-opera-in-the-Amazon-jungle film "Fitzcarraldo". Such is also the case in the new documentary film "Against the Headwind Hall" ("Vastutuulesaal" in Estonian) by director Priit Valkna and producer Artur Talvik, which tells a similar tale, in an Estonian setting, with a very Estonian resolution in the end.

    The charismatic conductor Tõnu Kaljuste resigned his position as music director and chief conductor of the world renowned Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in late 1999 and set out on a quixotic quest to build an opera/concert hall on the island of Naissaar which is situated about 8 km. northwards of the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

    Naissaar, also known as the Island of Nargen, was once the family homestead of world renowned telescope and optical lens inventor Bernhard Schmidt (1879-1935) among whose other theoretical inventions was a wind-powered sail/propeller boat which used the force of the wind to sail directly into the wind itself. The idea of this "against the headwind ship" becomes a simile for Kaljuste's dream to realize the construction of his opera/concert hall despite all the forces of bureaucracy, financing, and all practical common sense circumstances that are working against him. The present day Naissaar Island, for instance, had no electrical supply, a barely functioning harbour and only 2 permanent residents at the time this story all begins.

    How Kaljuste went about this goal and the many characters he meets along the way, including Bernhard Schmidt's nephew Eric, now living as an artist in Mallorca, Spain, eminent Estonian novelist Jaan Kross, film director/musician Hardi Volmer, theatre director Peeter Jalakas and various stone-masons, ship's captains, architects, and national and municipal politicians and bureaucrats, is shown in this exhilarating film that has many different moments of despair before the original plans come to their surprising final fruition.

    It all ends to the soundtrack accompaniment of the stream-of-consciousness pop hit "My People" ("Minu inimesed") by the young Estonian rap/dance-club performer Chalice (the single monikered stagename of singer Jarek Kasar) which gives a musical benediction to Kaljuste's efforts, while composer Arvo Pärt declares on-screen that "the Estonian people can't begin to appreciate the trouble that Tõnu has gone through". Thanks to director Priit Valkna's triumphant film "Headwind Hall", we get the chance to see it and appreciate it for ourselves.