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09 May 2012 at 1:48 am #1153
I recently bought a box set of Kaurismaki\’s early, the so-called \’proletarian\’, movies after reading this interview: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/apr/04/aki-kaurismaki-le-havre-interview?INTCMP=SRCH
Last night I watched the first of the set, \’Shadows in Paradise\’, and was immediately taken by this funny/sad story of down-in-the-days working people who\’ll only use words as a last resort. Tonight I\’m going to watch \’Ariel\’ and \’The Match Factory Girl\’. Any other Kaurismaki admirers out there?
09 May 2012 at 8:32 am #1155
Interesting! My last post has been divided up like a poem. Hmmm? There are no such things as accidents.
19 Jun 2012 at 12:21 pm #1600
Before I watched my first Kaurismaki film I had assumed he was a Japanese filmmaker–I was kind of surprised to see the screen light up with these pale and dour Finns. For those who are not familiar with Kaurismaki, he is sort of a unique combination of Jarmusch, Bresson, and Wes Anderson. From what I have seen, *Shadows in Paradise* and *The Man Without a Past* are my favorite of his films. A kind, sympathetic, funny, and romantic artist in which darkness is never ignored, but is almost always evaded. In his bare bones Kaurismaki is essentially a director of romantic-comedies.
Or something like that. In any case, I do enjoy his films very much.
20 Jun 2012 at 9:09 am #1603
Thanks for kicking life into this moribund thread. I agree with you on the Jarmusch, Bresson, Wes Anderson comparison. Kaurismaki, like Jarmusch, seems to really like his downtrodden characters. I also agree that in, say, ‘Shadows in Paradise’ there is the slightest glint of a way out. But then we have ‘The Match Factory Girl’ where the guilty pleasure derived from watching the female lead poison her awful parents and lover is always accompanied by the sense that there really won’t be a nice way out for her. Likewise the almost upbeat ending of ‘Ariel’ couldn’t stop me from feeling concerned about the escaping couple’s fate. But Kaurismaki is funny – tragically funny. The opening of Ariel is unforgetable – the way, the father, gun in hand, tells his son that ( I paraphrase) ‘I’ve had it with this shit. But this is shit too. I don’t want yo to do this’, just before he goes to the bathroom to shoot himself. Moreover, I love the fact that this statement and action seems to be a perfectly plausible response to the Finland that is evoked in this movie. The way the son stolidly takes it all in is proof enough of this. I also love the way his characters seem to be the dumbest people on earth just because they wont speak unless they have too. After a while, you realise that their obdurate refusal to waste words marks them out as profoundly intelligent. Great stuff!
20 Jun 2012 at 4:20 pm #1604
“I also love the way his characters seem to be the dumbest people on earth just because they wont speak unless they have too. After a while, you realise that their obdurate refusal to waste words marks them out as profoundly intelligent.”
That’s a great way of explaining Kaurismaki’s style! So many films (unconsciously so) reward a self centered and competitive modes of existence, whereas Kaurismaki’s films do the exact opposite: in his films compassion is rewarded, not acts of personality domination.
I really need to watch *Match Factory Girl* now. I think a bunch of his films are on Hulu Plus.
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