Close Up

8 October 2017: Ariel


Aki Kaurismäki
1988 | 74 min | Colour | DCP

Aki Kaurismäki creates a snide and irreverent chronicle of a man's search for love and happiness in Ariel. Using the austere landscape of the Finnish Laplands, black humor, understated expression, and character inertia, Kaurismäki presents an incisive and acutely droll portrait of small town ennui and the dark comedy of life's anecdotal incongruities: Taisto and Irmeli's whirlwind courtship unfolds with a resigned acceptability of mutual "non-hatred" instead of overwhelming passion; Taisto's chronically unemployed status contrasts with Irmeli's work in multiple jobs (meter maid, hotel housekeeper, meat packer, and bank night guard); Taisto's attempt to retrieve his stolen money from the criminal ironically sends him to prison. As the film concludes to the lyrical tune of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" incongruously sung in Finnish, what emerges is a sharp, incisive, and playfully sinister depiction of modern-day existentialist angst, and the innate comedy of human existence.” Acquarello

Part two of the Proletariat Trilogy, screening as part of our Aki Kaurismäki season