(Aki Kurasmaki 2011)
This film is unique because it approaches a popular topic at present, globalization, but does so in a way outside the realist camp with their films District 9, Sin Nombre, etc. Somehow this film blends a romanticism with Kurasmaki's established deadpan minimalist style. The film's existentialist banality is interspersed with moments of simple and joyous humanity.
The main thing that I want to comment on as to not ruin the film for you, seriously, go see this one at when it comes to the Ritz Theaters in November, is Kurasmaki's challenges to his own cinematic methodologies. His formalism, for example, in this film and in his others contains shots that are stripped of eccentricity and can be harshly lit, yet their is still a beauty in what is presented. In Le Havre it consists of cold blues that match the grayness of the port town the main character lives in. Yet, in this film, unlike some of the man's other films, Kurasmaki attempted to test his aesthetic via including short bursts of surreal and non-motivational lighting and color.
Then his deadpan existential Bresson influenced technique was also advanced. The film has precise moments of Bresson-ian 'model' acting intermixed with moments of absurd extreme emotionality. This, contrasted with his testing of his classic visual style, in a film about the human condition gives you the audience member a rewarding challenge. All together it makes for Kurasmaki at his height.
This film was really enjoyable. It tests so much of what can be done with film. We highly suggest it.