7.7/10
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23 user 20 critic

Drifting Clouds (1996)

Kauas pilvet karkaavat (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 10 July 1998 (USA)
The recession hits a couple in Helsinki.

Director:

Aki Kaurismäki

Writer:

Aki Kaurismäki
Reviews
10 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kati Outinen ... Ilona Koponen
Kari Väänänen ... Lauri Koponen
Elina Salo ... Rouva Sjöholm (Mrs. Sjöholm)
Sakari Kuosmanen ... Melartin
Markku Peltola ... Lajunen
Matti Onnismaa Matti Onnismaa ... Forsström
Matti Pellonpää ... Lapsi valokuvassa (Child in the Photograph)
Pietari Pietari ... Pietari
Shelley Fisher ... Pianisti (Pianist)
Markus Allan Markus Allan ... Orkesteri (Band)
Pauli Granfelt Pauli Granfelt ... Orkesteri (Band)
Kari Lindqvist Kari Lindqvist ... Orkesteri (Band)
Pentti Mutikainen Pentti Mutikainen ... Orkesteri (Band)
Tommi Parkkonen Tommi Parkkonen ... Orkesteri (Band)
Taisto Wesslin Taisto Wesslin ... Orkesteri (Band)
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Storyline

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 <wallnerf@informatik.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Finland

Language:

Finnish

Release Date:

10 July 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drifting Clouds See more »

Filming Locations:

Punavuori, Helsinki, Finland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FIM 5,562,154 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sputnik See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although most of the films directed by Aki Kaurismäki take place in Helsinki, which is a bilingual city, this is the first of his movies where someone speaks Swedish. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Sjöholm: When I was young I drunk many men under the table.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Matka suomalaiseen elokuvaan: Naurua pimeässä (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Kohtalon tuulet
Composed and arranged by Taisto Wesslin
Lyrics by Pauli Ylitalo
Performed by Markus Allan and His Orchestra
Recorded and Mixed by Markku Kyyhkynen
See more »

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User Reviews

Pictures from Finland...
17 April 2004 | by Leffa-GuruSee all my reviews

I never used to like Kaurismäki films, mainly because I didn't understand them and thought they were boring. I have since then changed my mind. The thing with Kaurismäki films is that you can watch them without understanding them and still like them or you can understand them and not like them etc. each in their own way. However, they are not these artsy-films that only critics love and everyone else hates. Drifting Clouds is Finnish life that has been made a parody but it's not mocking Finnish life. There are people like Lauri and Ilona. Lauri as played by Kari Väänänen is a very typical Finnish male in a way he behaves. He may not say much, but you just know that he really loves Ilona. And no matter how Lauri behaves, Ilona loves Lauri as well. You don't need a million 'I love You's to get the message through, just take a look at his body-language.

In the beginning of the film, Lauri has just bought a new TV (with colours) on part payment. They have a similar plan for the sofa and the bookshelf - as Lauri optimistically puts it: In four years time they can afford to buy books as well. Then they both lose their jobs because of recession. Getting job is difficult, Ilona is being told that she starts to be a bit too old being a waiter,she's 38 (wonderful scene with Esko Nikkari) and Lauri has medical problems. Too proud to go and get unemployment benefit, Lauri says something like I don't beg, I am me... which reminds me of another Kaurismäki film, Calamari Union where one of the characters called Frank as played by Kari Väänänen says something like I don't drive buses, I am me.. Well anyway, back to Drifting clouds.. so yes, they continue their quest for employment. The characters in the film don't talk very much, and at first it really bothered me that they didn't sound natural at all, but I actually know people who speak less than that and it's completely natural! I loved the scene in the breakfast table when Lauri is preparing to take the dog out - he finishes his coffee, says that he's going now, Ilona replies simply 'Good' then Lauri asks whether he should take the rubbish out as well and once again Ilona gives a very minimalistic reply saying 'Take'. It works beautifully and though it might seem funny to foreign ears, it's normal to have such conversations in Finland. The ending gives hope and is very optimistic but not in the Hollywood sense of the word! Great songs throughout the film which really echo the feelings of the characters (too bad the songs have not been subtitled - they could have since in some scenes the characters speaks so little!)

I think this is a fantastic film. Both Kari Väänänen and Kati Outinen are great. The film is dedicated to Matti Pellonpää (little boy in one photo) who was supposed to have starred in the film, but sadly he died before they started to film this...well, he wasn't the first Finnish person to drink himself to death..

watch it on DVD!


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