Antti "Zombie" Autiomaa does two things well: play the bass guitar and drink. After several months' sleeping on the streets of Istanbul, he returns to Helsinki where he's called into the ... See full summary »
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.
Giancarlo Rosso, a Sicilian hit man, gets a job to kill someone in Finland. His new target is Maria. Rosso arrives in Helsinki, buys weapons, and comes in hers apartment. After seeing that ... See full summary »
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 »
Definitely not to be confused with any of Sylvester Stallone's efforts, this is a wicked satire on 'Rocky IV', in which Rocky takes on the monolithic Russian fighter Igor - and loses. ... 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 »
[Bank manager is reviewing Koistinen's application for a small-business loan]
Tell me, Koistinen... Are you some kind of comedian?
Did you come to cheer us up? What are these papers? A trade school diploma... Did you think it will give you a loan of two hundred thousand - without any security, any guarantors?
I'll guarantee it myself, until the company gets going and...
Guarantees from trash like you are worthless.
But I've got an account here.
I won't even take your ...
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Aki Kaurismaki has an instinctive knack of laying down a story. He also presents the interest of being on the margins of life in a marginal country. Think of "Hamlet Goes Business". But in "Lights in the Dusk", Kaurismaki goes Kafka. He leans toward the fable, a genre hard to make into a decent movie. This one follows an honest loser to disaster. The character only manages to crawl out of the pit at the last minute by finally accepting partnership with another, more cautious loser. Visually splendid the film shows us Helsinki in all its modern, hard-edged, hostility, and together with the acting has a flawless unity of style. A.K.'s quirky humor is much less in evidence than usual though you might call a joke the fact that the loser's life in jail is roughly like his existence before he goes inside and after he comes out. Indeed the only time we see him socially at ease and smiling is in the prison yard when spring comes to Helsinki.
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