Complete list. :-(
The Man Without a Past
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.
After last night’s viewing of Calamari Union, which I had high hopes for but ultimately left me disappointed, I really needed a sure fire Aki to put my mood right. Tonight was Thursday, which is the night that we have our neighbours over for a movie. Now, Aki is often an iffy sell, but I really wanted to rewatch one of his cannon that I loved, and also wanted to see what a completely fresh set of eyes would see.
Compared to Calamari, which didn’t win my heart, and the not too far removed temporally Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana, which I adored, Man Without a Past is a much more mature, refined Kaurismaki. Gone is overt absurdist and…
Movie #3 in the 30 Countries Challenge: Finland
Aki Kaurismaki is the Finnish film industry, and his films are so unlike anything else being produced. He is definitely one of my favourite contemporary film makers, and The Man Without a Past ranks as one of the best films I have seen from him.
The film explores a proletariat identity crisis in Helsinki, where the titular memory-less main character is thrown into poverty at the very bottom of the social ladder. He struggles with corrupt landowners, violent gangs, and a social and financial system that is set against him. The film's location in the slums of Helsinki is filled with incredibly filthy and rough terrain, yet the main character makes the…
As a fan of the deliciously deadpan, humanist and air-tight Proletariat trilogy, I was happy to see that Kaurismaki's most acclaimed film was of a similar vein. I didn't particularly like the recent Le Havre, The Man Without a Past is more to my liking. As usual, Kaurismaki's stylistic trinity of muses (Cigarettes, Rock and Outinen) rule the day.
The Man Without a Past is a good encapsulation of Kaurismaki's career. The film says something important about the always-at-hand possibility of a new day, starting anew and living unburdened by the past. Being without a past is not easy mind you, as the film echoes a Christ like story. It reminds of the realist difficulty an angel or alien being…
What's my age again?
Rewatched for our Contemporary Nordic Cinema Marathon, and it makes for an interesting companion piece - and counterpoint - to our first film, Songs From the Second Floor. A few other thoughts here.
"What do I owe you?"
"If you see me face down in the gutter, turn me on to my back"
Well crafted, with deadpan humor and a great soundtrack.
Never give up, even if you've lost your memory. Life goes forward, not backwards. You'd be in trouble if it did.
"What do I owe you?"
"If you see me facedown in the gutter, roll me onto my back."
Pay close attention. If you don't, the drier-than-dry humor might fly right over your head. The Man Without a Past sounds like it would be a Hitchcock thriller, but its characters behave more like they're in a Bresson film -- that is, if Bresson had a sense of humor. They are impassive but always doing and saying hilarious things. Kaurismäki builds a world where resourceful outcasts dwell on the outside of an impenetrable metropolis and they are all the better off for it. They have character, they are characters, rather than cogs in a big, forgettable machine some call "real life."
Finnish director, Aki Kaurismaki strikes me as a Chaplinesque filmmaker with the sensibilities of someone like Wim Wenders. His deadpan comic humanism is effortless, and this tale of an amnesiac's search for self identity bubbles with depth.
Finns and their weird humor...
A great way to delve into Finnish cinema. After all I've heard about Kaurismaki, I had high expectations and found them all met. The deadpan dark comedy is brilliant, and it really feels like a brother to Andersson's Songs From The Second Floor.
"M: I went to the moon yesterday.
Irma: I see. How was it?
Irma: Meet anyone?
M: Not really; it was a Sunday."
As amusing as the deadpan/existentialist humor is at times, I found my interest waning in inverse proportion with the film's runtime. This one-note black comedy has a few memorable characters (Anttila, especially) but the general blandness of the performances, the aesthetic, and the meandering plot makes The Man Without a Past as forgetful as its protagonist.
(Viewed in Stony Brook, New York)
A little too deadpan for its own good, so much so that it wears out its welcome about half way through. The acting is solid, and it has some very nice details and sequences, but by the end I just didn't care anymore.
Watched this as I'm listening along to Filmspotting's Nordic Cinema marathon.
And it was much better than I expected, mostly because it wasn't depressing. After watching Songs from the Second Floor last week, I was worried, that, like Eastern European cinema, everything from the Norselands is depressing. Not so. The Man Without A Past is dark at times, sure, but positively cheery. Especially in its totally uplifting - though beautifully understated - ending.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!