M arrives in Helsinki only to be viciously attacked by thugs and pronounced dead by medics. He revives but with no memory of his past or his identity. He rebuilds his life from scratch, but the past inevitably catches up with him.
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 »
Tram driver Lauri loses his job. Shortly later, the restaurant where his wife Ilona works as a head waitress is closed. Too proud to receive money from the social welfare system, they strive to find new jobs. But they are completely unlucky and clumsy, one disaster is followed by the next.Written by
Frank Wallner <email@example.com>
To truly understand and appreciate Kauas pilvet karkaavat (Drifting Clouds)you need to understand something of the Finnish mindset, and to understand something of the Finns I would recommend this film. Kaurismaki is able to encapsulate and embody the Finns and Finland in his work. I have lived 10 months of my life in Finland, and I was therefore able to identify immediately with this film through my experiences of Finland and the Finns themselves (my dear friends there). This film captures the sense of space that Finland itself has, the sense of space that the Finns create around themselves (Finns appear to me to be somewhat unseasy with urban and city living, hence everyone's desire to escape to a kesamokki, summer cottages at the earliest possible time) and the understated, no-BS nature of the Finns themselves, it is the only country I know where it is truly possible to have confortable silences when conversing with people.
Silent despair, brought on by the extremes of the climate, Finland's relative isolation, the social problems that DO exist there (despite being a Scandinavian country with all the images of a freedom and social support that that may conjure), the expectation of conformity that exists within such small societies, and yet the strong innate desire of every Finn to truly assert an individual identity over within the framework of this 'organised freedom' are all apparent in this film and are how I observed Finland. The 'national' sport of drinking until one passes out, particularly during the dark days of winter, and when coping with depression or despair. To any Finns out there, this is not meant to cause offense, my apologies if these comments do.
Kaurismaki's use of long shots and one takes for a sequence of action (or non-action), and the sense of time and anticipation that they create, until you realise that the anticiption amounts to nothing, which is so in line with the Finnish sense of humour. It is always difficult to generalise about a particular nation and make sweeping statements that are meant to be applicable to all who live within the confines of those national boundaries. But as a small country (in terms of population) with a closely homogenous people, these traits are quite discernable, especially with the impact that the environment and climate brings...Drifting Clouds and the Leningrad Cowboys are two sides of the same coin...
I make this disclaimer, the film is actually gloomier than life there.
36 of 39 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this