Close Up

30 January 2019: The Worthless


The Worthless
Mika Kaurismäki, 1982, 110 min
Finnish with English subtitles

This story of three down and out characters in search of some kind of freedom, all the while being pursued by a bunch of gangsters, this is the first feature directed by the eldest of the Kaurismäki brothers. Full of Finnish deadpan humour, and at the same time a tender, humane depiction of marginalised wanderers, it features Matti Pellonpää in the leading role, as well as Aki Kaurismäki, who co-scripted the film, playing the cool and troubled Ville Alfa (an homage to Godard's Alphaville). A playful mishmash of different genres, The Worthless (and its imaginary Finland) is a joy from beginning to end.

Part of Antti Alanen and Ehsan Khoshbakht's Masterpieces of Finnish Cinema season