Aki Kaurismäki

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Aki Kaurismäki
Aki Kaurismäki.jpg
Aki Kaurismäki in 2012
Born Aki Olavi Kaurismäki
(1957-04-04) 4 April 1957 (age 57)
Orimattila, Finland
Occupation Film director, producer and screenwriter
Awards Cannes Grand Prix
2002 The Man Without a Past
Cannes Ecumenical Jury Special Mention
1996 Drifting Clouds
Cannes Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
2002 The Man Without a Past
FIPRESCI Award
2011 Le Havre
Jussi for Best Film
2006 Lights in the Dusk
Jussi fot Best Debut Film
1983 Crime and Punishment
Jussi for Best Script
1983 Crime and Punishment
1996 Drifting Clouds
2002 The Man Without a Past
2011 Le Havre
Jussi for Best Direction
1990 The Match Factory Girl
1992 La vie de bohème
1996 Drifting Clouds
2002 The Man Without a Past
São Paulo Audience Award for Best Feature
1996 Drifting Clouds

Aki Olavi Kaurismäki (Finnish: [ˈɑki ˈkɑurismæki] ( ); born 4 April 1957) is a Finnish screenwriter and film director.

Career[edit]

After graduating in media studies from the University of Tampere, Aki Kaurismäki started his career as a co-screenwriter and actor in films made by his older brother, Mika Kaurismäki. His debut as an independent director was Crime and Punishment (1983), an adaptation of Dostoyevsky's novel set in modern Helsinki. He gained worldwide attention with Leningrad Cowboys Go America.

Kaurismäki has been influenced by the French directors Jean-Pierre Melville and Robert Bresson, and some critics have also inferred the influence of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, although Kaurismäki has said that he somehow never got around to seeing any of Fassbinder's films until quite recently. His movies have a humorous side that can also be seen in the films of Jim Jarmusch, who has a cameo in Kaurismäki's film Leningrad Cowboys Go America. (Jarmusch used actors who have appeared frequently in Kaurismäki's films in his own film Night on Earth, part of which takes place in Helsinki.) He has been called an auteur[1] thanks to his personal "drollery and deadpan"[2] style.

Much of Kaurismäki's work is centred on Helsinki, such as the film Calamari Union, the Proletariat trilogy (Shadows in Paradise, Ariel and The Match Factory Girl) and the Finland trilogy (Drifting Clouds, The Man Without a Past and Lights in the Dusk). His vision of Helsinki is critical and singularly unromantic. Indeed, his characters often speak about how they wish to get away from Helsinki. Some end up in Mexico (Ariel), others in Estonia (Shadows in Paradise, Calamari Union, and Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatjana). The setting of most of his films is the 1980s, or at least contains elements from that decade.

Kaurismäki has been a vocal critic of digital cinematography, calling it "a devil's invention"[3] and saying he "won't make a digital film in this life".[4] In March 2014, however, he reconciled, saying that "in order to maintain my humble film oeuvre accessible to a potential audience, I have ended up in rendering it to digital in all its present and several of its as yet unknown forms."[3]

Awards and protests[edit]

Kaurismäki's film Ariel (1988) was entered into the 16th Moscow International Film Festival where it won the Prix FIPRESCI.[5]

Kaurismäki's most acclaimed film has been The Man Without a Past, which won the Grand Prix and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival[6] and was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category in 2003. However, Kaurismäki refused to attend the Oscar ceremony, asserting that he did not feel like partying in a country that was in a state of war. Kaurismäki's next film Lights in the Dusk was also chosen to be Finland's nominee for best foreign-language film, but Kaurismäki again boycotted the awards and refused the nomination, in what he claimed was a protest against U.S. President George W. Bush's foreign policy. In 2003 Kaurismäki also boycotted the 40th New York Film Festival in a show of solidarity with the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, who was not given a US visa in time for the festival.[7]

Filmography[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Documentaries[edit]

Short films[edit]

  • Rocky VI, 1986 (8 min)
  • Thru the Wire, 1987 (6 min)
  • Rich Little Bitch, 1987 (6 min)
  • L.A. Woman, 1987 (5 min)
  • Those Were The Days, 1991 (5 min)
  • These Boots, 1992 (5 min)
  • Oo aina ihminen, 1995 (5 min)
  • Välittäjä, 1996 (4 min)
  • Dogs Have No Hell, 2002 (10 minute episode in the collaborative film Ten Minutes Older - The Trumpet)
  • Bico, 2004 (5 minute episode in the collaborative film Visions of Europe)
  • The Foundry, 2006 (3 minute episode in the collaborative film To Each His Own Cinema)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andrew Nestingen (June 2013). The Cinema of Aki Kaurismäki: Contrarian Stories. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-85041-4. 
  2. ^ Peter Bradshaw (5 April 2012). "Le Havre – review". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ a b "Aki Kaurismäki Crosses the Digital Rubicon". Antti Alanen: Film Diary. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  4. ^ ""I am a filmmaker not a pixelmaker" - An interview with Aki Kaurismäki". Phil on Film. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "16th Moscow International Film Festival (1989)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  6. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Man Without a Past". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  7. ^ Bohlen, Celestine (2002-10-01). "One Visa Problem Costs a Festival Two Filmmakers". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  8. ^ "Match Factory picks up Kaurismäki’s Le Havre"

Sources[edit]

  • Roger Connah K/K: A Couple of Finns and Some Donald Ducks: Cinema and Society. VAPK Pub., Helsinki, 1991
  • Ródenas, Gabri (2008), "The Poetry of Silence" in [1], Orimattila Town Library.
  • Pilar Carrera: "El cineasta que vino del frío (Bico-Visión)" ("The moviemaker who came in from the cold"): [2]

External links[edit]