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 »
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 »
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 »
A dock worker in Le Havre hears a human sound inside one of the containers in port, that container which left Gabon three weeks ago and which was supposed to arrive in London five days after its departure from Gabon, which didn't happen. The Le Havre police and French border guards find a still alive group of illegal African immigrants inside. On the sign from one of his elders, a young teen boy among the illegal immigrants manages to escape, news of which hits the local media. The first friendly face that boy, Idrissa, encounters is that of former artist now aged shoeshine Marcel Marx. Marcel decides to help Idrissa by hiding him in his house, news which slowly trickles through his community of friends - most of whom he associates with at his local bar - and neighbors, most who assist Marcel in this task. Marcel goes to great lengths to find out Idrissa's story, which leads to Marcel's further task of trying to get Idrissa to London, his original end destination. The one neighbor who... Written by
This was one of the most visually stunning films I've ever seen. You could pause very nearly every shot and use it as screensaver or make a large print of it; that's how beautiful and well thought out they are.
Aki Kaurismäki evokes a sense of times past. He embraces the 'unreality' of his film, and the genre as a whole, and plays it up with great wit and art. As mentioned by previous reviews, he combines tragedy and comedy seamlessly into an extremely enjoyable and engaging film that doesn't try to pass itself off as life and as such engages on much deeper levels than its straightforward message or story would perhaps imply.
There are so many small details and well-thought out quirks here that keep your attention that it easily accommodates for my internet fried attention span, even while the director chooses not to openly deal with the electronic world. It's a decision indicative of the thoughtful and unique approach to the film; it aids both the storyline and the viewer's experience immensely. I was grateful and relieved to be taken away into a simpler and more honest world; both in the film's outward image, and within the story's universe. Its worth emphasising; this film doesn't try to masquerade as real life and as such allows for a much purer enjoyment. You don't have to worry about checking your expectations once the end credits roll.
Being beautifully shot may not have kept my attention for an hour and half, but the storyline and Kaurismäki's wit certainly did.
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