Girl Picture is a Finnish film about the friendship between three young women as they experience the emotional ups and downs of life as they transition from teenagers to women. Director Alli Haapasalo felt the English title perfectly described the finite time of girls who are trying to figure out their own life’s picture and who are developing an identity as women through their friendship. The film follows the girls as they chat and hang out over a few nights together during the dark winter in Finland.
Sex, sexual identity and finding pleasure is also a theme in Girl Picture. It was important to Alli to depict the young women discussing and exploring their sexuality in mature ways rather than with shame or drama. So much of coming of age is not just about finding who you are, but what you want and need. In the sex scenes, Alli worked with an intimacy coordinator, chose not to show nudity and to portray the characters asking for consent in natural, casual ways.
Cinematographer Jarmo Kiuru had worked together with Alli on three previous projects. For Girl Picture, they wanted to find a way to bring the energy and movement of being a teenager, and also wanted a natural, documentary feel, so the film was shot entirely handheld. Jarmo also decided to shoot the movie in the 4:3 aspect ratio. He felt that 4:3 not only frames the face better, giving the film a more intimate feeling, but he also wanted to show how the world is limited by parents and other rules when you’re a teenager.
Girl Picture won the Outfest Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Performance in an International Narrative Feature and also won the World Cinema Audience Award at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
Girl Picture is in limited theatrical release and will be available to stream in the fall.
Find Alli Haapasalo: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1641519/
Find Jarmo Kiuru: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DoPJarmoKiuru
Instagram & Twitter: @jarmokiuru
Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com/ep179/
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The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com