Legends Of The Fallen

Coming to The Whale on April 11th, Finland’s Fallen Leaves has been named as Time magazine’s Film Of The Year.

For his 20th film, Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki has joked that his award-winning outing is the fourth installment in his working-class trilogy, after Paradise, Ariel and The Match Factory Girl.

In truth, Fallen Leaves is very much its own beast.

And yet, it’s very much an Aki Kaurismäki film too, full of the wry, understated, deadpan humour that made the director an international star and festival favourite. From 1989’s wacky Leningrad Cowboys Go America to 1996’s Drifting Clouds, 2002’s The Man Without A Past and 2017’s The Other Side Of Hope, the 66-year-old director and screenwriter has always danced to his own particular drum.

Asked who his heroes are, Kaurismäki cited Ozu, Bresson and Marcel Carné. Telling though, he regards Charlie Chaplin as the best. “He kept it simple,” says Kaurismäki, himself a master of self-restraint and sparse dialogue.

At its core a film about two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, Fallen Leaves sees actors Alma Pöysti and Jussi Vatanen’s strangers meeting by chance, losing each other and finally being reunited again. Which may sound a little simplistic but, as always with Kaurismäki, the devilment is in the small detail.

As to the director’s working methods, leading lady Pöysti says, “He is very exact and clear, and knows exactly what he wants”, whilst leadig man Vatanen quipped, “We mainly talked about cultivating asparagus, and had an argument about the best ones – white or green asparagus”.

Which pretty much tells you all you need to know about the films of Aki Kaurismäki.

You can catch Fallen Leaves on Thursday, April 11th 2024 at 8pm – tickets here: https://whaletheatre.ticketsolve.com/ticketbooth/shows/873641949. Pic: Lasse Lecklin

Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usReZGPdlsA&ab_channel=RottenTomatoesIndie


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