Kaurismäki, now 55, is one of my favourite directors. For 30-odd years, he has been making the bleakest comedies – films that reflect his own soul, and that of his mother country, perfectly. They are dark and joyless, starring men who look like walruses and women who look like rats. His characters work away at dull jobs in factories or down coal mines or washing dishes, and rarely talk to each other. They usually drink too much and the more decisive ones kill themselves: in Ariel, a father and son sit in a bar; then the father gets up, goes to the loo and shoots himself. The best his protagonists can hope for is escape, usually by boat.
But, amazingly, these films are funny and romantic. In fact, the bleaker Kaurismäki the man has become, the more tender his films. It’s simple, he says: „When all the hope is gone, there is no reason for pessimism.”
Restul, aici: Seven rounds with Aki Kaurismäki | Film | The Guardian.