Fallen Leaves – first-look review

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Another gorgeous tragicomic farce from Finnish maestro Aki Kaurismäki, a heartfelt cinephile ode to nan anticipation of emotion among nan moving classes.

When you spot guys pinch droopy jaws, immaculate greased side-partings, somewhat ill-fitting leather jackets, and a flask of unidentified hooch successful nan bosom pocket, there’s only 1 spot you could be: nan awesome world of Aki Kaurismäki. The Finnish fable returns, his deadpan instincts enhanced much than undimmed, pinch a(nother) sweeping, Hollywood-inspired romance group among nan disenchanted and nan destitute, wherever nan anticipation of emotion becomes nan only respite from an arduous time sweeping metallic filings from nan mill floor.

Ansa (Alma Pöyst) is simply a diligent supermarket worker who is fired for daring to return location items of spoiled nutrient – Kaurismäki’s first of galore micro-critiques of a morally corrupt employer people who dainty workers for illustration ungraded connected their heel. Holappa (Jussi Vatanen) is an affable alcoholic who holds down a occupation successful a scrap yard, and is fto spell not for nan galore bottles of liquor he has hidden astir nan workspace, but erstwhile he’s injured arsenic nan consequence of faulty tools.

At an highly eclectic karaoke nighttime successful nan section bar, these sad-eyed mislaid souls shape a sudden, ineffable enslaved and a winding, often chaotic travel towards salvation begins. Ansa is profoundly lonely, yet uncomplaining erstwhile it comes to nan chronic toil of her life. Holappa conscionable can’t extremity drinking, and knows he has to look up to various demons if he’s to triumph complete this pure-hearted damsel.

While that whitethorn each publication for illustration it’s a small earnest and generic, nan tonal and stylistic reality couldn’t beryllium further from nan truth, arsenic successful this lawsuit (as pinch each nan director’s activity to date) nan communicative is each successful nan telling. The Kaurismäki/Timo Salminen director-cinematographer business continues to output gorgeous, dusky, Edward Hopper-esque fruits, pinch shots bathed successful arching shadows, and figures often caught staring longingly disconnected into nan mediate distance.

Fallen Leaves, pinch its title that tips its chapeau towards nan awesome Japanese melodramas of nan 1950s by Ozu, Mizoguchi and Naruse, is peppered pinch classical movie references, immoderate arsenic jokes and others arsenic sincere touchstones. There are galore nonstop references to Robert Bresson, 1 of which mightiness guidelines arsenic nan director’s funniest and astir catty gags astir cinephile civilization ever. Walls are strewn pinch classic-era movie posters, arsenic if to punctual Ansa and Holappa really adjacent they are to these masterworks of escapist romanticist fantasy.

All nan while, nan power incessantly blares retired reports connected nan conflict successful Ukraine, possibly acting arsenic an other catalyst for these characters to forge a quality relationship earlier each is excessively late. It’s a awesome movie pinch not an ounce of fat connected nan bone, and Kaurismäki still managed to thread nan needle betwixt a style of ironic detachment and emotions that are big, bold and instantly affecting. Fallen Leaves besides makes nan lawsuit for Kaurismäki arsenic nan all-time maestro of poetic last shots, and this 1 sees him denote 1 of his cardinal sources of inspiration. But you’ll person to watch to find retired who.

Published 23 May 2023

Tags: Aki Kaurismäki Finnish Cinema Robert Bresson Yasujirō Ozu

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