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10 October 2017: The Match Factory Girl


The Match Factory Girl
Aki Kaurismäki
1990 | 70 min | Colour | DCP

“A poker-faced black comedy about a young woman’s exploitation and revenge, pared to 70 minutes of perfection. With searing economy, Aki Kaurismäki lays bare the deadened existence of his wallflower heroine, who finds a temporary escape from her tedious, assembly-line job and her loutish parents in the arms of an affluent but dubious Prince Charming. The mortified heroine may remind you of a Bresson martyr, but when she’s dumped by her man, she’s anything but passive in her revenge. In one of his bleakest and most heartbreaking works, Kaurismaki mixes deadpan wit with depth charges of feeling.” – Film Society of Lincoln Centre

The Match Factory Girl is an astonishingly stylish work. It proves that simplicity is best, both morally and stylistically. The narrative style is severely ascetic. Every unnecessary element has been scrapped, as well as all unnecessary dialogue. Kaurismäki’s narrational ellipses are so crystallised that, besides not showing the normal intermediate stages in the development of the story, he can refrain from showing us the end results.” – Mikko Piela

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