Cinema Features

Colours of the world


villages, hopeless teenagers, old dancing wizards, corrupted school
principals…a tough reality. From eight different countries of Sub-Saharan
Africa, 22 contemporary short films and documentaries will arrive in Tampere
for the annual film festival. The majority originate from Zimbabwe and Uganda
where a growing film industry is organizing an impressive amount of new
international festivals.

As one
might expect, this “black cinema” is still rudimentary in structure and in
style. It’s a developing cinema. Nevertheless, it tells strong and intense
stories that will help European audiences understand the African reality. The
variety of themes is outstanding too. Tawanda Gunda’s Peretera Maneta (Spell my
, Zimbabwe, 2005) is a tough tale about child abuse, while Caroline
Kamya’s Rockmilley (2006) portrays
Uganda’s only Elvis Presley impersonator.

During the
festival, the warm colours of Africa will fade into the white and grays of the
North. Those colours will be the background for the traditional clothes of the
Sami people. There will be a retrospective of the films made by the Sami, with
special focus on the works of Paul-Anders Simma. Those screenings will be
celebrated with concerts, including a performance of Amoc, the first rapper in
Sami language.

Not only
exotic cultures will be represented, since well-known directorial names like
Aki Kaurismäki and Krzystof Kieslowski will also have some screen time too.
Kieslowski’s documentaries from the ‘60s and the documentary work of fellow
Polish filmmaker Kazimierz Karabasz will also be shown in Tampere. Kaurismäki’s
fans will also be able to enjoy the early works and short movies of the Finnish




Avant-garde from France

Last year’s
winner of the Grand Prix of the Tampere Film Festival, the young French
filmmaker, Jean-Gabriel Périot will return to Tampere for a retrospective of
his work. Périot represents an avant-garde form of documentaries and short
films. He creates hypnotic series of images of roads and paths (Dies Irae) or
digs in the archives to document shameful historical moments with sharp editing
and a full load of political commentary.

How would
you describe your filming technique?

I use
different kinds of techniques. For example, for a movie like Even If She Had Been a Criminal…, I
used classical techniques of editing created by Russian avant-garde, especially
by Dziga Vertov. For movies like Dies
, it's very specific because it's something like animation that creates
movements by accumulation of images. However, I didn't create the images, I
used archives. The rendering of a movie like this is made by the very fast
editing of the pictures, but like there is always the same element in the
picture, such as a road, something happened between the animation of the road
and the flow of the entire pictures.

Does it
take very long to find the appropriate materials (film and photos) in the

Yes, very
long, because I use a lot of archives – something like 10,000 pictures for Dies Irae, for example. However, I know
where find them and which picture or movie I could use regarding author's
rights and copyright laws.

What are
your motivations to create those political films?

I don't
find our world particularly peaceful and I'm afraid whether soon it will be
worthwhile. As we are too few to start the revolution, making movies is my way
to do something!


Cinema Interviews

Tales of love, sex and solitude

by old projectors and film star photos at the Motion Picture museum in
Helsinki, Aku Louhimies speaks calmly, even when discussing his latest movie Man Exposed (Rissuuttu Mies, 2006) that has been recently banned by the Court of
Appeal of Helsinki. He does not seem to give much importance to his awards, as
he is already working on his next film, which he describes as a “dark love
story during the Finnish Civil War”. This new movie sounds like a different and
challenging project for a director specializing in modern and urban stories. He
enjoys shooting the city and analyzing complicated human relations that are resolved
in an inevitable solitude.


How do you find stories worthy to be made into
a film?

I read a
great deal and I find a lot of different kinds of ideas and stories, but I also
have to think about the investors, about what kind of a movie they are looking

How involved do you like to get in the writing
of the screenplay?

In general,
I hope the screenwriter will be in the process from the beginning until the
film is on the screen, since it’s a really important cooperation. I assume that
here in Europe we need to start to work together already from the beginning.
Usually in Finland it does not happen that there is a very good script already
finished and on my desk, so I think it is always a close cooperation.

{mosimage}There appears to be some recurrent topics in
your movies, such as the portrayal of the city in Kuutamolla (Lovers and Leavers) and Valkoinen Kaupunki (Frozen

In the
films I have made so far, the city has played a big part, but my next film is
not going to be set in a city; it depends upon the story. For example, for me Kuutamolla was a realistic way
of looking at Helsinki. I also think that Valkoinen Kaunpunki is a realistic way of examining a different part of the same city.
However, the people who select the films for the Berlin International Film
Festival said that Kuutamolla
didn’t look like Finland and there was not enough Finnishness. So, you never

What were they expecting of Finland?

I’d guess
probably something sad, or maybe an Aki Kaurismäki type of film.

Sex is also a recurrent topic in your film. Is
there any message involved?

I don’t
think if there is only one clear message, but it’s a subject in which I have
been interested and I wish that we could show things differently, like in
mainstream Hollywood films when characters meet, kiss and then it fades into
next morning. In Riisuttu Mies (Man Exposed), there
is a scene in which the guys are coming out of sauna and start wrestling. There
is full frontal male nudity, but you cannot have that in the US. It would be
like an X-rated film, which I think is really funny. I want to express it in a
more natural way…I hope it is not that big a deal.

In both Restless
and Man Exposed one of the main
characters is a priest. Why is this?

When you
think about human relationships, the one with a priest is one of the most interesting.
We expect them to be better in a way, especially in a Protestant church with
women priests as well; this profession can get very interesting.

You also like focusing on the family.

When you
are a film director it’s not very easy to be a good husband and father at the
same time, but I try to combine both. Those are also subjects in which I’m
interested. Kids are interesting.

Is working with them so painful like some other
directors say?

No, I
really like working with kids. I also like working with animals. I have only
good experiences.

The character of the mother leaves home
in both Kuutamolla and in Valkoinen Kaupunki. Do you want to stress the
importance of the mother in the family?

In Kuutamolla, this situation was already in the book. It is a stereotype that
it’s the man’s departure that only destroys the family; the woman can leave
too. Valkoinen Kaupunki is told from the
point of view of the man for the audience to identify with his drama. It has to
do with the fact that when something goes wrong in the marriage, everybody
tends to point his finger – it is not always like that.

I noticed that another connection between those
movies is Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver
and loners.

that’s right. I like that film a lot. I like how it portrays loneliness and it
is a meaningful film for me. When I read Katja Kallio’s book, which had
references from lots of films, this part specially came to my mind. It also has
to do with the fact that film was distributed by Columbia, so we could have the
rights to show parts of Taxi Driver
in our movie. In Valkoinen Kaunpunki it’s a
bit different; it’s like a homage referring to loneliness. I can easily find
that loneliness has been one of the themes through all of my films – Iiris in Kuutamolla is also quite lonely,
in a way.

Do you think that is an influence of Finnish

I think
that’s one of the things. It’s definitely cultural. This is a very different
country than, say, Spain. It’s different how people walk around the city and
how they interact with one another.

However, it has been said that your
movies don’t really reflect Finland and that they are not realistic.

For me,
they have been quite realistic. They are not showing the whole picture of
Finland. They show just one small part, but I think they are realistic. I
understand, though, that the {quotes}Helsinki of Valkoinen Kaupunki or Paha Maa is not the
city shown at the tourist information office.{/quotes}

Most people remember Levottomat (Restless) because of its sex scenes. Are you concerned that the
audience will remember one part of the story?

It is far
more interesting if movies have different layers and you can watch them several
times, going deeper into it with each viewing. It has to be the same way with
advertising. When Restless has gone
to international festivals people did not pay attention to sex or who the
actors were. They can access the story easier and find the theme of loneliness
than people in Finland, who know the actors and have seen the promotion. It
happens with other films in the same way, they have done well internationally,
but they didn’t find many viewers in Finland.

Does this fact annoy you?

No, not
really, because you cannot always please everybody and a filmmaker cannot keep
in mind the audience response all the time.

Do you think much about the audience when doing
the films?

Yes, in a
way, but also, in a way, not at all. When I’m preparing a scene, I’m thinking
about how they should be acting and how we can shoot this, and then I don’t
think about the audience.


A difficult

Can you explain more about the troubles you had
with producer Markus Selin with the editing of Paha Maa?

It was a
matter of who has the final cut in European cinema. Traditionally in Finland,
the director has the right over the final cut. Films are not a bad business.
There is not a big risk for production companies, although they try to make it
look like that. Costs are paid with governmental institutions and the presale
of television rights. The problem was solved and the end result was fine, although
the problem received some publicity. I’m sure producer is happy now, because,
although it was not a mainstream film, it attracted a lot of viewers and it has
been distributed in the Scandinavian countries, in the Benelux and in the UK.
It has done well.


And now you have a problem with Riisuttu Mies.

It is quite
different because I’m not legally part of that argument at all. My contracts
are fine. The screenwriter Veli-Pekka Hänninen is an old friend of the producer
and their contracts have some strange things that don’t really fit in the
normal way of filmmaking. I have never seen them but it kind of says that the
screenwriter could have a final cut of the film. That might be if you are in
the United States and you are Stephen King or Michael Crichton. Maybe those
guys could have the final cut. If I had known that there was this kind of
arrangement, I would have not worked on Riisuttu Mies. I do commercials sometimes and I know how it works. You work as a
hired gun, but I would not do a feature film in Finland as a hired gun.
Everything is fine from my point of view besides the end result of the court.

You seem to be taking it very calmly.

I cannot
believe it is going to be the end result. It is ridiculous. If there has been
something wrong with the contract, I think it is good if the producer pays
something to the screenwriter; I don’t have anything against that, but since
the film was already made it is very dumb not to allow all the work of
cinematographers, editors, composers and actors, for example, to be seen. There
were several film festivals around the world that have been interested in the
film and now they don’t have the possibility of showing it. It was supposed to
be shown in Gothenburg. {quotes}Banning Riisuttu Mies is a very dumb decision.{/quotes} I don’t think it is going to be this
way in the end. 

What is it like working with actors?

I cannot
really say in general. I want them to give something I can believe and
something that I can feel emotionally or intellectually. Some people like
rehearsing, others hate it, but is it rehearsing when you go for a cup of
coffee? Why not? To me, it’s very important to get to know the people with
which I am working.

There’s no better example of this than
with your own wife Laura Malmivaara, who appears in several of your movies. Is
it stressful to mix work and family?

It helps in
the way that you will work with somebody you already know, so you can get to a
great level of confidence. Maybe sometimes it’s little bit more stressful, but
mainly it is a benefit.


Five movies

Let’s talk about your movies. Your first
one was Levottomat.

It took me
many years. It took around five years to get the financing for the film. It is
really hard to breakthrough in a small country like Finland where only about
ten feature films are made every year. It was an important story for me at that
time. It was hard to get the first one done.

{mosimage}Next came a bittersweet love story, Kuutamolla.

I read
Katja Kallio’s book and I thought that this would make a good movie, and then
the producer also thought it was a good idea. We met with Katja Kallio and we
thought that we could work together. I approached her and she approached me at
the same time in a way. It was a really nice cooperation.

Paha Maa was a hit and critically

I already
had that script ready for almost 14 years before I was able to do it. I think
it was more experimental when it comes to the structure. It also felt important
to do.

Man Exposed brings back the figure of a priest.

There was
no script in the beginning and we developed as we worked. I wanted to do
something that would be lighter than Frozen
and it is closer to Lovers and
. The main character, played by Samuli Edelmann, is a priest whose
wife is also a priest and the story follows their marriage and not having kids.

The last is Valkoinen Kaupunki, a very tough story.

In a way it
is also really experimental. It is made with small cameras. It was also
personally important for me to be done.

Valkoinen Kaupunki and Paha Maa have very
similar titles in English, but not in Finnish. Why is that?

I think
‘Frozen Land’ is a good translation. It expresses the same ideas as in Finnish.
It is even better than in Finnish. However ‘Frozen City’ is a mistake because
it should have been ‘White City’. Perhaps production companies thought it would
work better to present it like a sequel to Paha Maa, which it is not. I think the audience is going to get confused and
think it is the same movie.


Photos by J.M. Rodríguez 

At the cinema Cinema

A forbidden affair

follows the complicated love-story between
Mikko, a middle-aged professor of literature (Kari Heiskanen) and his star pupil, the quiet, epileptic Sari (Krista Kosonen). Sari’s condition has
caused her to retreat from normal life, while Mikko’s fascination with 19th century
poetry is slowly alienating him from his family and colleagues; that is, until
the kindred spirits meet and begin their forbidden affair. The relationship
naturally causes a lot of friction, but Mikko and Sari manage to stick together
until the world accepts them, at least to some extent.

Visually, Saarela’s film is top-notch: Helsinki, for once, actually
looks like it’s a part of Europe and the
cinematography is captivating, especially when complemented by Tuomas Kantelinen’s beautiful score. Overall
the acting is decent, although Kosonen at times has trouble with the demanding
role, and it shows – luckily Heiskanen is usually there to pick her up. Worse,
the last third of the film gets confusing as a lot of plot lines are
artificially smoothed over (or ignored entirely), making the film seem like it
was wrapped up haphazardly and in a hurry.

{mosimage}It’s not that Suden Vuosi is a bad film, far from it – it’s just that its story
and style once again have difficulties keeping in synch with each other,
resulting in a film that builds up a lot of steam but ultimately falls flat
since the low-key story does not seem to demand such grand, over-the-top
imagery – like a faculty christmas party that looks like a rave (those classic
literature people sure know how to par-tay)
or a dramatically-lighted, erm, poetry lecturer doing push-ups – it’s just completely
out-of-place and silly, Aleksi Mäkelä
style. Somebody please get Saarela an honest-to-god action/thriller film to
direct – I want to see him do the Finnish Last
Boy Scout
, so just give the man a script.

At the cinema Cinema

Perfume: the repeated story of a failed adaptation

21 years later,
the cinema version based on the best-seller is finally released, under the
direction of Tom Tykwer, who started
to get success after his superb piece “Run Lola Run” in 1998.

The story is well
known by many: we follow the biography of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw), a fishmonger’s bastard
with a superb talent: he has the best and most developed sense of smell in the
world, intoxicated by the sweet fragrance of young women that will turn him
into not only the best perfumer of all times, but also a serial killer.

Framed by 18th
century in France,
the atmosphere and photography of the film is totally captivating. The
spectator gets immersed in the din of Paris,
the sumptuous villas, the corners of the smaller towns… All the social strata accurately
represented in front of the eyes – or should we say the nose? – of Jean

{mosimage}Ben Whishaw´s
acting skills are not bad, but the treatment of the character seems ridiculous
in some scenes. I remember, many years ago when reading voraciously the pages
of Süskind´s book, to feel pity for the main character, to support him until
the last and climatic episode of his life, and to develop a clear sympathy for
his weaknesses, although this would mean the killing of young women. But the
sad and famished Jean Baptiste does not have the same effect in the film.
Sometimes it just look like a parody of a little animal,  a being just a little bit more humanized than
“Gollum/Smeagol” from Lord of the Rings, and even Tolkien´s character was able to create a closer relationship with
the spectator. The film results in being too long and I could not avoid some
yawning before the end of it.

A couple of
glorious contributions save most of the credit: one from Dustin Hoffman, superb in his role of Giuseppe Baldini, the old
master perfumer. The other, the long red hair of Rachel Hurd-Wood that brightens like fire in every second that this
English beauty appears on screen. A delightful vision all over the movie.

With great power
comes great responsibility. Grenouille did not control the power of his nose,
and Tykwer, the director, has neither succeeded in the great responsibility
over his shoulders to transmit the same energy than the book exhales. Twenty-one
years has been too long awaiting time for this result.

Cinema Interviews

Kristina Schulgin’s candidates

{mosimage}The series of Mexican films came about
through one such happy coincidence. The organizers of Mexican DOCSDF contacted
DocPoint to ask for help in setting up their first documentary film festival.
“I knew there had been a strong tradition of filmmaking in Mexico, and I
had seen recent documentaries that were excellent,” says Schulgin. She returned
from Mexico City
with her bags full of films, as it were. 

As the festival “considers every film the
festival winner”, Schulgin is hesitant about naming personal favourites.
However, she can’t help praising the carte blanche selection by Ilkka
, who was awarded with the Apollo prize for his work for Finnish
documentary film. Schulgin also can’t help but highlight Mexican Juan Carlos
’s In the Pit, about a massive highway construction site in the
heart of Mexico City,
intended to drive people underground and lift cars high into the air.
Schulgin’s Danish favourite is the IDFA-festival winner Monastery by Pernille
Rose Grønkjær
, a funny yet deep film about an eccentric gentleman farmer
who wants to build a Russian Orthodox monastery.

“What is special about this year’s
selection,” Schulgin says, “is that we are screening so many funny
documentaries. We have brutal films, but surprisingly many feel-good

Cinema Features

A turning (Doc) Point for documentaries lovers

Of this year’s two featured countries, the
Danish series focuses on the rise of Danish cinema with the likes of this
year’s esteemed IDFA winners and films from the two generations of Leths, Jørgen, the celebrated film-making
father and Asger, his son – both of
who are also attending the festival this year – while the Viva México! series showcases the past and present of Mexican documentary
film with astounding new titles and rare treats.

Other series include a selection of
brand-new Finnish documentaries (see below), the Winners & Bestsellers series
for, well, bestsellers and winners, an all-encompassing retrospective to the
wonderfully colorful filmography of Oscar-winning (Fog of War) American documentarist, Errol Morris and a whole lot more – go to to get the complete
listings. Fiction is going down – get the facts!


The FREE! Three for
DocPoint 2007:

Jukka Kärkkäinen:
Tupakkahuone/Smoking Room (2006), 57

Of all the fine Finnish documentaries on
show, FREE! picks out Kärkkäinen’s hauntingly beautiful film
portraying Finns of different ages and in different situations as they reflect
their life in the quiet solitude of a smoking room at work, in a hospital and
on a train. Ascending a simple portrait documentary, Kärkkäinen takes his film
beyond its simple surface, turning the smoking room into a confessional where
the bittersweet collage of life, like the smoke from a cigarette, slowly twists
and turns on itself before dissipating into nothingness. Tupakkahuone is one of the most stunning Finnish documentaries in
years, being simultaneously timeless as well as sharply freeze-framing a moment
in time. All Finnish documentaries are shown with English subtitles.





Errol Morris: Vernon, Florida
(1982), 55 minutes.

{mosimage}Even though the entire Errol Morris retrospective
could be categorized as ‘must-see-cinema’, for sheer absurdity, the pick of the
litter has to be his second film, Vernon, Florida. Focusing
on the eccentric denizens of the titular town, Morris lets the citizens do
their own talking – and the things they talk about truly make Twin Peaks seem not that
far-fetched after all. Among other things, God, the meaning of the word
‘therefore’ and the finer points of turkey hunting are all discussed, making Vernon
the oddest slice of the American Pie on show at this year’s DocPoint. And with Jesus Camp on the menu, that’s not bad
at all.



Juan Carlos Rulfo: In the Pit/En el Hoyo (2006), 85 minutes.

{mosimage}Rulfo’s film follows the lives of a number of construction workers
building a gigantic elevated expressway in Mexíco City, a veritable microcosm revolving
around hard physical labor. The construction site is a place where lives are
lost, deals are made and life discussed in abundance, as Rulfo holds his focus tightly
on the working lives of a few men, almost shutting out the massiveness of the construction
site and the hubbub of the surrounding mega-city. In addition to its wonderful
ambient soundtrack, In the Pit features
breathtaking cinematography, as Rulfo takes his camera on top of the girders
and to the bottom of the pits where his characters work creating an intimate connection
to the nature of work, which is then generously complemented at the end of the
film with a magnificent tracking shot that captures the impossible magnitude of
the project and hammers the film into its context like nothing you’ve ever seen.

DocPoint: 24th-28th
of January in selected theatres around the city, single tickets for €6,
screening cards for 33€/50€.



At the cinema Cinema

Borat: the Comedy of Superiority

{quotes}Part Jackass, part Andy Kaufman, Sacha Baron Cohen is clearly a man who thrives on controversy, but to label him as a low-brow shock comedian is to miss the point.{/quotes} Yes, Borat is outrageous, tasteless and at times unbearably embarrassing to watch, but at the same time, intelligent and above all, pant-pissing, ‘tears-streaming-down your-cheeks’-class funny shit. Nothing is sacred, when Kazakhstan’s "number two reporter" is sent on a cultural fact-finding mission to the most superior nation of them all, the U.S and A.

On the surface level, Cohen’s comedy is based on blatant anti-semitism, misogyny and so on, but the punch line is delivered seemingly spontaneously by the unaware victims of Borat and the unashamed gut-laughter caused by the blatant breaking of convention. And that takes us back to superiority, something that Borat teaches the viewer quite a lot about.

{mosimage}Because of Borat’s bumbling social and physical clumsiness, people get a kick out of dismissing the Kazakhstani reporter as being mostly harmless and therefore must pay the price for their superiority, as Cohen mercilessly exploits all possible cracks their facades. The absurdity of the situations, and the way in which Cohen satirizes the patronizing attitudes which people have against a foreigner and his complete disregard of convention, makes for a type of comedy where the viewer can either writhe uncomfortably out of sympathy or laugh out loud while secretly enjoying a “I’m glad it’s not me” feeling of superiority for the poor victims of Borat’s bizarre deeds. The joke in Borat gets turned around so many times that the full title of the film turns from surface-funny bad English-joke to a very accurate description of the film: After all, the viewer does learn a lot about the American culture, and the nation of Kazakhstan has never in its history enjoyed such international fame – for, even though the Kazakhstani government got very upset, there is no such thing as bad publicity, as Matti Nykänen or Paris Hilton can confirm.

Cinema Features

Fox Days: The Size Does Not Matter

All of the films shown had English subtitles, so Fox Days makes a perfect occasion for the non-Finnish speaker to get a better idea of what is going on in the Finnish short film scene.

{mosimage} Short length does not necessarily mean low quality; rather, just the opposite. The authors try to show fresh and condensed ideas, and universal feelings like love, betrayal, or loneliness, and hot topics like couple relations or social integration were very present during all the days that the festival took place. There was also time for good sense of humour and Finnish irony in films like Järvi or Heitelläänhän Kääpiötäkin.

List of winners

Best Professional Documentary: Paanajärven Anni – Lasse Naukkarinen
Best Student Documentary: Nimeni On Alma – Johanna Vanhal
Best Professional Fiction Film: Luonto ja Terveys – Panu Heikkilä
Best Student Fiction Film: Painajaiset – Jan Forsström
Best Animation Film: Polle – Sara Wahl
Best Film not exceeding three minutes length: Äijät – Working group from the children and youth cultural centre Vernissa in Vantaa

Cinema Features

Someday a Real Snow Will Come

{mosimage}The movie is based on the 12-episode TV series Fragments (Irtiottoja) shown in Finland during the autumn of 2003 in which the taxi driver Veli-Matti was one of the main characters. At the same time as the series were filmed, the same crew did the shooting of Frozen City. “It was planned this way from the very beginning and both were done at the same time”, explains Louhimies, before the premiere of the film. “In addition to the series, we wanted to create something for the international viewers and the festivals”.

As a matter of fact, Frozen City has premiered in many festivals across the world during 2006. Recently, Aku Louhimies received the Robert Wise Award for Best Director at Flanders International Festival in Ghent, Belgium. “I’m really happy and surprised about the reception of the film”. It does not matter that the film is much attached to Helsinki, because “the theme and the story are universal”.

Veli-Matti’s drama drags him into the most painful situations of the human life. In the words of the actor Janne Virtanen, “a man who loves his children is willing to go all the way to get to keep them. To me Vellu is a positive, empathic and well mannered man. I wanted him to believe to the end that things are going to get better. This way I was able to react to every bad episode with astonishment and disbelief. That helped me make Vellu a bit slower and, if you will, not so bright (but not stupid either).”

Equally complex is the character of Veli-Matti’s ex-wife, Hanna, played by Susanna Anteroinen. The actress admits that “acting was sometimes hard because Hanna was so tired of everything, particularly her husband. She was depressed and she thought that getting divorced was only way to continue her life.“

Helsinki plays an important role as the scenario for the drama. The city is presented in a pessimistic way. “It is seen as a dirty city where unhappy people are living”, explains Susanna Anteroinen. “{quotes}The taxi driver Vellu hopes that the snow will come and cover everything that is sad and bad.{/quotes} He doesn’t belong to the city and he should live somewhere else with his family. Living in the city is not good for everyone”. Janne Virtanen agrees with this perspective of Helsinki, but he thinks “it is not probably the real Helsinki. Aku wanted to show international viewers his own version of the city. It is not that hopeless to live here”.

The film had a very low budget. These limitations allowed a wide creative freedom for the director. “It would have been difficult, otherwise”, Louhimies explains. “Finland is a very small country and it is not always possible to shoot these kinds of stories”. Even non-professional actors participated in the film, such as policemen and guards who appeared in the film performing their real duties.