Robert (readwrite) wrote,

Lights in the Dusk

This afternoon I saw the Finnish writer/director Aki Kaurismäki's latest film, Lights in the Dusk, at the IFC Center. I have only seen a few other films by Kaurismäki, but I've really enjoyed them all. The Match Factory Girl is a real masterpiece, I think. The American filmmaker with whom he has obvious affinities is Jim Jarmusch. I don't want to go into the plot too much, but it is a sort of deadpan version of a classic noir plot (Criss Cross, say). The power of this film lies in the way the star is a complete loser, rejected both by the other common folk and by the swells, and yet has both hope and a stoic strength.

While I think Kaurismäki is really one of the great filmmakers of our time, I've been amazed at others' total lack of comprehension. When I saw The Match Factory Girl with a friend, I was blown away, finding it both hilarious and moving in a serious dramatic way--but she was in a kind of shock and couldn't understand how I could like it at all. At the end of today's film, I heard a woman's voice in the back: "Can you tell me what that film was about?" Maybe if it had Burt Lancaster in it, and lots of crescendos at the dramatic parts.

A very slight spoiler: There are some scenes in prison, and there are also a bunch of scenes of the more industrial parts of Helsinki. They don't seem too far apart. I don't think this resemblance is unintentional on Kaurismäki's part.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.