Aki Kaurismaki's Proletariat Trilogy: Eclipse From The Criterion Collection
The poignant, deadpan films of Aki Kaurismaki are pitched somewhere in the wintry nether lands between comedy and tragedy. And rarely in his body of work has the line separating those genres seemed thinner than in what is often identified as his "Proletariat Trilogy," Shadows In Paradise, Ariel, and The Match Factory Girl. In these three films, something like social-realist farces, Kaurismaki surveys the working-class outcasts of his native Finland with detached yet disarming amusement. Featuring commanding, off-key visual compositions and delightfully dour performances, the films in this triptych exemplify the talents of a unique and highly influential film artist.
Shadows In Paradise
Call it Hopeless in Helsinki. It's romantic comedy Kaurismaki-style when a trash collector and a cashier retreat from society and into each other's hesitant arms.
A road trip to freedom instantly becomes a lesson in hard knocks for a Lapland coal miner looking for a way out of financial despair, and finding an unexpected love affair.
The Match Factory Girl
Kaurismaki dares you to laugh - and you probably will - when a factory worker, ignored by life, exacts precise revenge on the world around her.