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Cleaning Up!

A three-man art school band called Cleaning Women, whose members dress like femmes and make beautiful syncopated music on instruments made from clothes-drying racks, go on a month-long tour from Helsinki to Russia, Poland, Latvia, Estonia and back in "Cleaning Up!"

A three-man art school band called Cleaning Women, whose members dress like femmes and make beautiful syncopated music on instruments made from clothes-drying racks, go on a month-long tour from Helsinki to Russia, Poland, Latvia, Estonia and back in “Cleaning Up!” Formless but thoroughly enjoyable documentary poses no immediate challenge to “A Hard Day’s Night,” but its insouciance is infectious. Shot with only one camera and an external microphone, bargain-basement pic has enjoyed a theatrical run in Finland and should continue its merry way on the fest trail.

The young and irreverent trio, whose makeshift instruments sound a lot like jew’s harp, metronome and vibes, is dedicated to “cleaning the universe” and putting on interviewers. The guys are amused when Russian MTV mistakenly assumes they’re way more popular than they actually are in their native Finland. Their musical compositions are hypnotic and highly pleasing. Originated on DV, pic sounds and looks nice on its 35mm transfer. More concert footage and less travel material would be better, but the band’s animated music videos are adorable.

Cleaning Up!

Finland

  • Production: A Zen Media presentation of a Zen Media/Zen & Trading production. (International sales: Zen Media, Helsinki.) Produced by Henrik Niinimaki. Directed by Rostislav Aalto.
  • Crew: Camera (color, widescreen, DV-to-35mm), Aalto; editors, Aalto, Kimmo Kohtamaki; music, Cleaning Women. Reviewed at Avignon Film Festival (competing), France, June 7, 2003. Running time: 80 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Cleaning Women.