Mies vailla menneisyyttä (The Man Without a Past), 2002
Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
Finnish with English subtitles, 97 min.
The second part of Aki Kaurismäki’s “Finland” trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or anything from his past life, he cannot get a job or an apartment, so he starts living on the outskirts of the city and slowly starts putting his life back on track. (imdb)
Kaurismäki is an acquired taste. His characters tend to plant their feet and deliver their dialogue as if eternal truths are being spoken, and the camera tends to plant itself and regard them without a lot of fancy work. His characters don’t smile much, they nod sadly a lot, they smoke and think and expect the worst. And yet there is a joy in them, a deep humor that’s all the richer because it springs from human nature and the absurdity of existence, instead of depending on one-liners and gags. If there is something funny about a container having a landlord with a savage watchdog, we have to figure that out for ourselves, because the movie is not going to nudge us in the ribs and laugh for us. (Roger Ebert)
Screening: June 10th, 6 P.M., Zrinyi 14, room 412.