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The Liar (1981)

Valehtelija (original title)
Talkative, hyperactive young drifter Ville Alfa goes around Helsinki, basically trying to borrow money from friends and strangers by means of an incessant delivery of quirky and snappy quasi-intellectual lines and fabricated excuses.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pirkko Hämäläinen ...
Tuula
Juuso Hirvikangas ...
Juuso
Lars Lindberg ...
Harri
Esa Sirkkunen ...
Olli
Jukka Järvelä ...
Man at Bar Counter
Marja Heiskanen ...
Kiosk Vendor
...
Friend of Chandler
Mikko Mattila ...
Friend of Hemingway
Taina Nyström ...
Girl in Pavement Café
Eija Vilpas ...
Woman at Bar Counter
Toni Sulzbeck ...
Bum
Juhani Tommola ...
Doorman
Reino Markkanen
Paula Kaurismäki
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Storyline

Talkative, hyperactive young drifter Ville Alfa goes around Helsinki, basically trying to borrow money from friends and strangers by means of an incessant delivery of quirky and snappy quasi-intellectual lines and fabricated excuses.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

28 February 1981 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Der Lügner  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Band of Outsiders (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Have You Ever Loved a Woman
Written by Billy Myles
Performed by John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nordic recognition to French cinema
31 January 2009 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

I remember reading from a movie preview that after Valehtelija was premiered at the Tampere film festival in 1981, "everyone there knew, that it was something significant, and that it was the start for something big". Well it sure was. It was the beginning of a new era in Finnish film making. Kaurismäki brothers (especially Aki) have achieved a status of national icons in Finnish film making over the past years, and not for in vain.

Valehtelija is still more than just a milestone in Finnish history. it's a brilliant picture. It's funny, skillfully filmed, and the dialogue is Aki at his best. The story is about a pathological liar, who's circle of friends contains of sad young men who think they're some kind intelligentsia. The liar "Ville Alfa" played by Aki Kaurismäki is in deep self-deception and thinks very high of himself as a misunderstood artist. Along the way most of his friends discover the reality behind his mysterious and exciting emotional shell, and time to time Ville is having some tough times believing in it even himself.

Aki is known to be a fan of French cinema, and it can be seen on Valehtelija also. It's not just the style of movie-making, but the whole movie is clearly a loose rewrite of Jean Eustache's La maman et la putain (The mother and the whore), it has the same theme, the dialogue is done in a very similar way, and the main character is conspicuously similar with Ville Alfa. Although Valehtelija is a lot better. La maman et la putain lasts 220 minutes and Valehtelija lasts only 53 minutes, and it still has managed to get a lot more from the same subject.

Aki later made another picture in 1992 - La Vie de bohème (Bohemian life) which is also based on the same self deception and pathological lying- theme, but it's even better than Valehtelija. It also comes clear that it's no secret that Aki was inspired by Jean Eustache, since Jean-Pierre Léaud, whom was the main part actor in La maman et la putain, is in the cast of La Vie de bohème.

If you have seen any of these tree films mentioned above, or if they even have caught your interest, I strongly suggest you to watch them all, or at least Valehtelija and La Vie de bohème. They are a great combination of poetic French- and melancholic Finnish storytelling.


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