Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
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…
I probably had seen this once before, but had forgotten most of it...
The Kaurismäki Stock Company are gathered once again. It's understandable that this is generally considered to be the director's best. It wouldn't be a true Kaurismäki if there wasn't personal tragedy below, here there are in fact several, but the black humor and general mood of it all lifts it up to become maybe his warmest story to date.
Markku Peltola is the man without a past. This happens when he is exposed to blind violence in a park and loses his memory. From there he ends up living in a container down by the harbor. The people down there are colorful and with warm hearts, that…
"I wonder if this was a wise thing to do?"
"God knows, but let them dance."
I especially liked the Matti Pellonpää portrait.
Four films in to the filmography of Aki Kaurismaki and wilful absurdity aside the one thing that strikes me the most is that his films all look the same and have a wonderful timeless quality to them; that is to say that they all seem to exist out of time with the feel of existing within the paintings of Edward Hopper. It's not just the rock n roll soundtracks, the leather jackets or the smoking, there's also the shadow of faded glamour that cloaks every frame and its washed out palette. I'm assured that this is the product of decades of working with the same cinematographer, Timo Salminen, so do I appreciate Kaurismaki as the leader of these projects or…
People in the cinematographic world of Aki Kaurismäki exist in a strange and yet common place. They belong to the working class, are often unemployed, drive oldimer cars, live in shabby apartments or worse, listen to finnish tango in dubious bars and to blues or rock and roll on museum piece radios or juke boxes, get beaten up frequently, drink heavily, eat cheap frying pan meals, act stoically even in most desperate situations, generally don't have luck on their side but never give up and find fortune or at least something worthwhile in the end. Neither only realistic, absurdist nor fabulous, the narrative alway goes somewhere in between and develops a strange, consistent, calm quality not unlikely to Ozu and…
Kaurismaki is certainly a director who doesn’t like to leave his comfort zone. It’s a good thing he’s so in tune with what makes his movies work. Like the rest of his films, he focuses on themes such as working class life in the city, and awkward, introverted romances. But instead of feeling tired and overdone, Kaurismaki seems to learn from each movie he makes, like each movie he makes is just practice for his next one. The film maintains a consistent tone of melancholy humor, with every scene managing to evoke a chuckle and a moment of sympathy from me. As always, his movies never feel bloated due to their shot runtime. It’s an exceptional skill for a filmmaker not to overindulge when they have such a singular vision. Overall, a very enjoyable, though familiar film.
Achieves an effortless complex simplicity, uplifting but melancholy, I can't make up my mind
This is an oddly sweet movie that unfolds a bit like a fable. It doesn’t aim to be realistic but instead it aims at the heart and emotions through its peculiar characters and its subtle and classy deadpan dark humor. This all adds up to a unique film that combines dry humor with a bit of mystery and romance.
The storyline pretty much can be summed up this way: an unhappy man with a troubled marriage gets mugged and struck in the head, then he dies in a hospital, a few seconds later he comes back to life, flees and realizes he’s now suffering from severe amnesia without even being able to remember his own name, and later by several…
In the world of Zooey Deschanels and Portlandias and Wes Andersons, the word "quirky" had been saturated and lost a bit of its meaning. Apparently, it's now a word that is tied to the "hipster" subculture where everyone seeks originality, yet their lifestyle end up converging into a common archetype.
Fortunately, Kaurismäki made a bulk of his movies before that era. The Man Without a Past embodied the weird-but-likable essence. When I think of Finns, I imagine knife-wielding alcoholic recluses, which to be fair, isn't completely wrong according to this movie. Beyond that though, there's a subtle charm that radiates among the characters of this film. Particularly the protagonist, who lost his memory, but found himself, love, comradery, and so much more.
Good songs, everything else hate worthy
30 Countries, 30 Days.
Stop #11: Finland
«—I went to the moon yesterday.
—I see. How was it?
—Not really; it was a Sunday.»
—M and Irma
What a disappointment. Aki Kaurismäki is known for his surrealists —reminiscent of Kafka— depictions of the Finnish proletariat. He's also known as a brilliant director, with a keen style and a unique dry humor.
Well, I failed to see all of that. At first, it was very good. But then it was just plain. The film is too distracted and slow-paced. While I laughed at some jokes, I wouldn't consider this particularly funny. The concept is good, but a bad execution always ruins the experience.
Letterboxd's 30 Film May Challenge 2014 - Finland
So I took a break from my Game of Thrones catch-up session to continue with the May challenge and found myself watching the Finnish entry on my list. I'd heard a fair bit about Aki Kaurismäki and his deadpan humour so I was quite interested to see what his films are like. And I'm glad to say that they're incredibly unique, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like this.
The plot concerns a man who we know as 'M' who at the start we see beaten and robbed. After a strange set of occurrences, M must build a new life with no knowledge of who he was before due to…
"My head's damaged somehow. I don't even remember who I am"
I have to say that I'm more than a little disappointed with this film. Having first met Kaurismäki's work a couple months ago with the impressive La Vie de Bohème, I thought I'd represent Finland with one of the most acclaimed films of the countries most celebrated directors. While the usual charm and wit of a Aki Kaurismäki production is present in this film, I felt the story was weak and too easily distracted, and the performance varied from good to just awful.
The main thing that's working in favour of this films plot is the fact that the premise alone is…
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- The Captive
- Clouds of Sils Maria
- Goodbye to Language
- The Homesman
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the festival began in 1946.…
- In the Mood for Love
- Mulholland Drive
- Yi Yi: A One and a Two
- Spirited Away
- Werckmeister Harmonies
The Coen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Steven Spielberg, Apichatpong…