|The Man Without a Past|
|Mies Vailla Menneisyyttä|
Kaurismaki films this story exactly like a 1930s monster movie soaked in 1950s colour. Every scene is carefully staged, simply designed and starkly lit. The cast is nearly wordless (mostly just sharp jabs of dialog), expressing everything beautifully with their faces, creating characters we quickly identify with and care about. Even the more nasty people have layers--some we see immediately, others that come out later. They're all remarkable people, and the script makes them into authentic, compelling people. And even though they are dirt poor, they have real dignity--generosity, true friendship. Meanwhile, the story pulls us forward very steadily, full of unexpected and often very funny twists and turns, as well as off-beat little scenes that add texture and rhythms (the music is absolutely fantastic!). This is a very simple story, but it builds beautifully to an endearing and witty romance. Like one of those achingly beautiful old horror flicks ... with a happy twist and no horror at all.
dir-scr Aki Kaurismaki|
with Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Annikki Tahti, Juhani Niemela, Kaija Pakarinen, Sakari Kuosmanen, Esko Nikkari, Outi Maenpaa, Pertti Sveholm, Aino Seppo, Matti Wuori, Risto Korhonen
release UK 24.Jan.03; US 4.Apr.03
Who am I? Our hero (Peltola) has an encounter with a security guard (Kuosmanen) who's not as mean as he looks.
Grand Prix and Best Actress Outinen: Cannes 2002
|"***1/2 Bizarre, dark Finnish comedy about an amnesiac welder who ends up working for the Salvos and falling in love. One of the more interesting films currently on offer. The stilted acting/direction is deliberate!" --Gawain McLachlan, Filmnet, Melbourne 14.Mar.03|