Thursday, September 07, 2006

Lights in the Dusk

I have enjoyed previous films from Aki Kaurismäki. He has a stony faced humor that enlivens all his films.

Lights in The Dusk is some kind of of homage to Russian films and landscapes. I talked to someone who had both seen this film and been to Helsinki. Lights in the Dusk makes helsinki look like some sort siberian hellhole filled with a miasama of despair. All the vehicles have the same ugly soviet boxiness. Even the limo of the crime boss is merely a high end Lada. Our "hero" lives in a cement block basement apartment shabby and utilatarian. A bunch a drunks/russians wander by discussing the prole friendliness of different writers. A grim world.

It is grimmer for our hero Koistinen a night watchman/security guard. His boss doesn't remember his name after 3 years. His workmates pointed avoid his company. He applies for a business loan,and is laughed out of the bank. His sad sack life improves when a beautiful woman introduces herself to him in a coffee shop, €2 for a coffee is a little expensive. They go out and soon she wants to visit him on his security rounds. Hmmm. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

The story is ultimately about the misplaced loyalty we feel for those wrong us. everyone in the film is loyal to the wrong person for the wrong reason. For Koistinen there finally is some sort of hope/despair after all the pain that fate has ladled on him.

What I learned from this film: Finns will eventually smile if they are jailed.

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