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 ...
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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 anything from his past life, he cannot get a job or an apartment, so he starts living on the outskirts of the city and slowly starts putting his life back on track.Written by
Jussi Tarvainen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Do The Shake
Performed by The Renegades
Music & Lyrics by Brown / Gibson / Johnson / Mallett
Published by Warner / Chappell Music Finland
(P) 1964 Scandia / Warner Music Finland
Licensed courtesy of Warner Music Finland See more »
MAN WITHOUT A PAST, THE (Aki Kaurismäki - Finland/France/Germany 2002).
This second installment in Aki Kaurismaki's projected "Finland Trilogy" is a heart-warming fable about a man (Markku Peltola) who loses everything, including his identity. After M, as he is referred to for the rest of the film, dozes off on a park bench, he is awoken by a trio of thugs who brutally beat him up, steal his money and toss his wallet and identity papers into the trash bin. In the hospital, he is pronounced dead by the doctors, but by some miracle he springs back to life but with no memory whatsoever of his past or his identity. Now a penniless amnesiac, he has to build his life from scratch. Without knowing a single person (and without a single person knowing him), he must try to survive, but he soon acquires a melancholy dog named Hannibal and falls in love with Irma, a lonely salvation army soup kitchen volunteer. Of course, his past does catch up with him, but it only works to point out what's really important in his future life.
Kaurismäki usually champions the outcasts of society and here it's no different. He once said: "I make films for the unemployed, but since they don't have money to buy cinema tickets I generally have no audience." Of course, Kaurismäki has a huge audience by now, but no matter how simple and accessible the story in the film might look, he still manages to blend romance, quirky comedy and social commentary, seemingly effortless into the film's narrative.
Most of the humor doesn't come from any written gags or jokes but springs from the absurdity of the situations, all in Kaurismäki's typical deadpan-comedy style, complete with nods top '50s B-movies, rock'n'roll ("rhytm music", as it's called by M), fairytale romance and an incomparable soundtrack, featuring British beat combo, The Renegades. I just love the music in this film! Time and place hover between Helsinki in the '30s and the present. Despite the idiosyncratic set-up and the strange unreal dialog, it's incredible how very real all these characters feel. Deep sentiment but every inch of it sincere. I can't get enough of this film, no matter how often I've seen it.
Camera Obscura --- 9/10
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