The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »
Lugubrious Finns Valto and Reino take to the road in search of coffee and vodka, without which their lives are not worth living. But their reveries are interrupted by the arrival of ... See full summary »
After fifteen years' service, Henri Boulanger is made redundant from his job. Shocked, he attempts suicide, but can't go through with it, so he hires a contract killer in a seedy bar to ... See full summary »
Iris has a dead-end job in a match-factory, lives with her dour and forbidding parents, and her social life is a disaster. But when she is made pregnant after a one-night stand by a man who... See full summary »
The movie tells the story of Taisto Kasurinen, a finnish coal miner whose father has just committed suicide and who is framed for a crime he did not commit. In jail, he starts to dream ... See full summary »
Koistenin is a sad sack, a man without affect or friends. He's a night-watchman in Helsinki with ideas of starting his own business, but nothing to go with those intentions. He sometimes talks a bit with a woman who runs a snack trailer near his work. Out of the blue, a young sophisticated blonde woman attaches herself to Koistenin. He thinks of her as his girlfriend, he takes her on her rounds. She's in league with a crook who's planning a jewel robbery, and Koistenin is their patsy. Will he ever wise up? Written by
Suomen Filmikamari, which selects the Finnish candidate for Academy Awards Best Foreign-Language Picture, had already chosen Laitakaupungin valot in September 2006, but in October 2006 Aki Kaurismäki informed them that he did not want his film considered for that competition. This also meant that there was no Finnish entry in the Academy Awards pre-selection. See more »
This film is an excellent comment on the downward spiral of an individual resulting from a very unequal society with a faulty / oblivious criminal justice system that punishes the innocent, band-aids the symptoms of social ills, but does not address root causes, and the long term social effects of imprisonment. The little guy's life is ruined while the real criminals get away with anything - just like in the real world! Hard work gets you nowhere! Neither does loyalty! It presents in a wonderfully bittersweet way the existential angst of a life at the bottom, just scraping by, against the coldness and apathy of a kind of extreme-Darwinian world where life is brutish and short. Ultimately, a tiny crack of light opens at the end, through humans simply caring for each other. But, like in the real world, you might die before anything good happens. A very stylized film, filmed almost like a comic book, impeccably detailed, spare, and melancholy but beautiful.
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