Aki Kaurismäki

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Aki Kaurismäki
Aki Kaurismäki at Berlinale 2017.jpg
Aki Kaurismäki at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival
Born Aki Olavi Kaurismäki
(1957-04-04) 4 April 1957 (age 60)
Orimattila, Finland
Occupation Film director, producer, editor and screenwriter
Awards Silver Bear
2016 The Other Side of Hope
Cannes Grand Prix
2002 The Man Without a Past
Cannes Ecumenical Jury Special Mention
1996 Drifting Clouds
Cannes Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
2002 The Man Without a Past
FIPRESCI Award
2011 Le Havre
Jussi for Best Film
2006 Lights in the Dusk
Jussi for Best Debut Film
1983 Crime and Punishment
Jussi for Best Script
1983 Crime and Punishment
1996 Drifting Clouds
2002 The Man Without a Past
2011 Le Havre
Jussi for Best Direction
1990 The Match Factory Girl
1992 La vie de bohème
1996 Drifting Clouds
2002 The Man Without a Past
São Paulo Audience Award for Best Feature
1996 Drifting Clouds

Aki Olavi Kaurismäki (Finnish: [ˈɑki ˈkɑurismæki]; born 4 April 1957) is a Finnish screenwriter and film director.

Career

After graduating in media studies from the University of Tampere, Aki Kaurismäki started his career as a co-screenwriter and actor in films made by his older brother, Mika Kaurismäki. Together they founded the production company Villealfa Filmproductions and later the Midnight Sun Film Festival. His debut as an independent director was Crime and Punishment (1983), an adaptation of Dostoyevsky's novel set in modern Helsinki. He gained worldwide attention with Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989). In 1989 he emigrated with his wife to Portugal, saying "in all of Helsinki there is no place left where I could place my camera".[1]

Aki Kaurismäki in 2012

Style

Kaurismäki has been influenced by the French directors Jean-Pierre Melville and Robert Bresson, and some critics have also inferred the influence of Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

His movies have a humorous side that can also be seen in the films of Jim Jarmusch, who has a cameo in Kaurismäki's film Leningrad Cowboys Go America. (Jarmusch used actors who have appeared frequently in Kaurismäki's films in his own film Night on Earth, part of which takes place in Helsinki.) He has been called an auteur,[2] since he writes, directs, produces and usually edits the films himself, and thus introduces his personal "drollery and deadpan"[3] style. The dialogue is famously laconic: the articulation is usually extremely unadorned, direct and in strict standard language, without showing much emotion or drama. Characters usually stand still and recite the dialogue like it consisted of eternal truths. His characters rarely smile, nod sadly and usually expect the worst, and often smoke constantly. The camera is usually still.[4] Events are shown in a plain manner and characters are usually left alone facing the consequences.

Much of Kaurismäki's work is centred on Helsinki, such as the film Calamari Union, the Proletariat trilogy (Shadows in Paradise, Ariel and The Match Factory Girl) and the Finland trilogy (Drifting Clouds, The Man Without a Past and Lights in the Dusk). His vision of Helsinki is critical and singularly unromantic. Indeed, his characters often speak about how they wish to get away from Helsinki. Some end up in Mexico (Ariel), others in Estonia (Shadows in Paradise, Calamari Union, and Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatjana). The setting of most of his films is the 1980s, or at least contains elements from that decade.

Kaurismäki has been a vocal critic of digital cinematography, calling it "a devil's invention"[5] and saying he "won't make a digital film in this life".[6] In March 2014, however, he reconciled, saying that "in order to maintain my humble film oeuvre accessible to a potential audience, I have ended up in rendering it to digital in all its present and several of its as yet unknown forms."[5]

Awards and protests

Kaurismäki's film Ariel (1988) was entered into the 16th Moscow International Film Festival where it won the Prix FIPRESCI.[7]

Kaurismäki's most acclaimed film has been The Man Without a Past, which won the Grand Prix and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival[8] and was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category in 2003. However, Kaurismäki refused to attend the Oscar ceremony, asserting that he did not feel like partying in a country that was in a state of war. Kaurismäki's next film Lights in the Dusk was also chosen to be Finland's nominee for best foreign-language film, but Kaurismäki again boycotted the awards and refused the nomination, in what he claimed was a protest against U.S. President George W. Bush's foreign policy. In 2002 Kaurismäki also boycotted the 40th New York Film Festival in a show of solidarity with the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, who was not given a US visa in time for the festival.[9]

Kaurismäki's 2017 film The Other Side of Hope won the Silver Bear for Best Director award at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.[10] At the same festival he also announced that it would be his last film as a director.[11]

Filmography

Feature films

Documentaries

Short films

  • Rocky VI, 1986 (8 min)
  • Thru the Wire, 1987 (6 min)
  • Rich Little Bitch, 1987 (6 min)
  • L.A. Woman, 1987 (5 min)
  • Those Were The Days, 1991 (5 min)
  • These Boots, 1992 (5 min)
  • Oo aina ihminen, 1995 (5 min)
  • Välittäjä, 1996 (4 min)
  • Dogs Have No Hell, 2002 (10 minute episode in the collaborative film Ten Minutes Older - The Trumpet)
  • Bico, 2004 (5 minute episode in the collaborative film Visions of Europe)
  • The Foundry, 2006 (3 minute episode in the collaborative film To Each His Own Cinema)
  • Tavern Man, 2012 (14 minute episode in the collaborative film Centro Histórico)

See also

References

  1. ^ Ralph Eue and Linda Söffker (eds.): Aki Kaurismäki (film: 13). Bertz + Fischer Verlag 2006. Pp. 188-191 (German)
  2. ^ Andrew Nestingen (June 2013). The Cinema of Aki Kaurismäki: Contrarian Stories. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-85041-4. 
  3. ^ Peter Bradshaw (5 April 2012). "Le Havre – review". The Guardian. 
  4. ^ Ebert, Roger, The Man Without A Past, Chicago Sun-Times, 27.6.2003. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20030627/REVIEWS/306270306/1023
  5. ^ a b "Aki Kaurismäki Crosses the Digital Rubicon". Antti Alanen: Film Diary. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  6. ^ ""I am a filmmaker not a pixelmaker" - An interview with Aki Kaurismäki". Phil on Film. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "16th Moscow International Film Festival (1989)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  8. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Man Without a Past". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  9. ^ Bohlen, Celestine (2002-10-01). "One Visa Problem Costs a Festival Two Filmmakers". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  10. ^ Roxborough, Scott (18 February 2017). "Berlin: Aki Kaurismaki Wins Best Director for 'The Other Side of Hope'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  11. ^ "Legendary filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki: There will be no more films". Yle Uutiset. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  12. ^ "Match Factory picks up Kaurismäki’s Le Havre"
  13. ^ "Aki Kaurismaki’s Next Film ‘The Other Side Of Hope’ Gearing Up"

Sources

  • Roger Connah K/K: A Couple of Finns and Some Donald Ducks: Cinema and Society. VAPK Pub., Helsinki, 1991
  • Ródenas, Gabri (2008), "The Poetry of Silence" in [1], Orimattila Town Library.
  • Pilar Carrera: "El cineasta que vino del frío (Bico-Visión)" ("The moviemaker who came in from the cold"): [2]

External links

  • Aki Kaurismäki by Orimattila Town Library.
  • Aki Kaurismäki on IMDb
  • Aki Kaurismaki on Eurochannel with A Film and Its Era: Le Havre
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