IMDb > The Match Factory Girl (1990)
Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö
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The Match Factory Girl (1990) More at IMDbPro »Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö (original title)

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Release Date:
6 November 1992 (USA) See more »
Iris has a dead-end job in a match-factory, lives with her dour and forbidding parents, and her social life is a disaster... See more » | Add synopsis »
8 wins & 3 nominations See more »
(21 articles)
Stream This: Aki Kaurismäki’s Dark Deadpan Classic The Match Factory Girl
 (From 19 June 2015, 1:41 PM, PDT)

Camerimage unveils competition juries
 (From ScreenDaily. 8 November 2013, 5:30 AM, PST)

Fabienne Vonier dies aged 66
 (From ScreenDaily. 30 July 2013, 12:52 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A simple, unhurried, beautiful, minimalist modern fable See more (27 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kati Outinen ... Iiris
Elina Salo ... Mother
Esko Nikkari ... Stepfather
Vesa Vierikko ... Aarne
Reijo Taipale ... The singer
Silu Seppälä ... Iiris' brother

Outi Mäenpää ... Iiris' co-worker
Marja Packalén ... The doctor
Richard Reitinger ... Man in the bar
Helka Viljanen ... Office employee (as Helga Viljanen)
Kurt Siilas ... Policeman
Ismo Keinänen ... Policeman
Klaus Heydemann ... Worker
Erkki Friman ... Member of dance band
Tapani Ikonen ... Member of dance band
Jari Lappalainen ... Member of dance band
Lasse Luoto ... Member of dance band

Directed by
Aki Kaurismäki 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Aki Kaurismäki 

Produced by
Katinka Faragó .... producer (as Katinka Farago)
Aki Kaurismäki .... producer
Klas Olofsson .... producer
Cinematography by
Timo Salminen 
Film Editing by
Aki Kaurismäki 
Art Direction by
Risto Karhula 
Set Decoration by
Kari Laine 
Production Management
Klaus Heydemann .... production manager
Jaakko Talaskivi .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Pauli Pentti .... assistant director
Art Department
Heikki Ukkonen .... property master
Sound Department
Tom Forsström .... sound mixer
Juuso Hirvikangas .... assistant sound recordist
Nina Jansson .... sound synchronisation
Jouko Lumme .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Marja-Leena Helin .... still photographer
Börje Hellen .... assistant camera (as Börje Hellén)
Olavi Tuomi .... lighting technician
Pekka Uotila .... assistant camera
Olli Varja .... lighting technician
Editorial Department
Eila Karkkunen .... negative cutter (as Eila Karttunen)
Music Department
Erkki Friman .... musician
Tapani Ikonen .... musician
Jari Lappalainen .... musician
Lasse Luoto .... musician
Other crew
Haije Alanoja .... production secretary
Erkki Astala .... publicist
Marja-Leena Helin .... script supervisor
M. Laaksonen .... title designer
Pirjo Laivuori .... color definitions
Jan-Eric Nyström .... title designer (as J-E Nyström)
Jaana Puhakka .... production assistant
Sinikka Usvamaa .... accountant (as Sinikka Telaranta)
Willmar Andersson .... thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö" - Finland (original title)
See more »
68 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

[first lines]
Iiris:Half pint, please!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Room Service (1938)See more »
SatumaaSee more »


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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
A simple, unhurried, beautiful, minimalist modern fable, 5 December 2008
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

With THE MATCH FACTORY GIRL Kaurismaki might not tread new ground but instead perfects the stylistic hallmarks that marked him apart from most other directors of his generation. His work is that of a sculptor, hacking away at all the cinematic fat, shaping form by removing that which is not necessary. His movies as an extension of his sculptory approach attain an almost hypnotic quality - or perhaps boring uneventfulness for others. He's not at all trying to hit emotionally draining highs and lows but build a rhythmic lull, a soothing pace created of flows and ebbs that move with imperceptible change. As a result, his movies never hurry to get anywhere fast and when they get there not a whole lot happens. It's all about appreciating how they got there and the stylistic subtleties of that journey.

THE MATCH FACTORY GIRL finds Kaurismaki shunning dialogue even more than previous efforts, if that's even possible without making a modern silent picture. Which it pretty much is. The entirety of the dialogue doesn't amount to more than 1 minute and that too is used more as a form of punctuation to the images - he could easily have done the movie completely without dialogues if he so wanted. The story could have been summed up in a 20 minute short yet Kaurismaki stretches it to 65 minutes, a meagre duration by most people's standards, which here feels like a good 90 minutes.

Although the material is perhaps the most bleak and brooding he had done at that point in his career since his debut CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, it is spiced up by moments of his trademark glacial humour. A certain scene in bar involving a drunk, sleazy patron and rat poison had me laughing out loud, which is a minor success for a film of this kind. The most dramatic scenes are delivered with that same kind of deadpan unaffection that immediately acquires a serio-comic air for that reason.

Although it lacks the playfulness of its predecessor (ARIEL), this is still Kaurismaki in top visual form. He has a way with images and how he orchestrates them that is quite unparalleled at his level. Sure he's not a director of epic works and spectacle but he's carved a niche for himself over the years that has his name and particular sensibilities written all over it and he's been content to work within it. If you like his style, this is a safebet. If you're a newcomer I'd suggest starting with something like ARIEL.

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