The Info List - Aki Kaurismäki

--- Advertisement ---

Aki Olavi Kaurismäki (Finnish: [ˈɑki ˈkɑurismæki] ( listen); born 4 April 1957) is a Finnish screenwriter and film director. He is described as Finland’s best-known film director.[1]


1 Career 2 Style 3 Awards and protests 4 Filmography

4.1 Feature films 4.2 Documentaries 4.3 Short films 4.4 As an actor

5 See also 6 References 7 Sources 8 External links

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. He played the main role in Mika's film The Liar (1981). Together they founded the production company Villealfa Filmproductions and later the Midnight Sun Film Festival. 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
Leningrad Cowboys
Go America (1989). In 1989 he emigrated with his wife to Portugal, saying "in all of Helsinki
there is no place left where I could place my camera".[2]

Aki Kaurismäki
Aki Kaurismäki
in 2012

Style[edit] Kaurismäki has been influenced by the French directors Jean-Pierre Melville and Robert Bresson, the Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu
Yasujirō Ozu
and some critics have also inferred the influence of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. 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,[3] since he writes, directs, produces and usually edits the films himself, and thus introduces his personal "drollery and deadpan"[4] style. The dialogue is famously laconic: the articulation is usually extremely unadorned, direct and in strict standard language, without showing much emotion or drama. Characters usually stand still and recite the dialogue like it consisted of eternal truths. His characters rarely smile, nod sadly and usually expect the worst, and often smoke constantly. The camera is usually still.[5] Events are shown in a plain manner and characters are usually left alone facing the consequences. 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
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"[6] and saying he "won't make a digital film in this life".[7] 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."[6] Awards and protests[edit] Kaurismäki's film Ariel (1988) was entered into the 16th Moscow International Film Festival where it won the Prix FIPRESCI.[8] Kaurismäki's most acclaimed film has been The Man Without a Past, which won the Grand Prix and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival[9] 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
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 2002 Kaurismäki also boycotted the 40th New York Film Festival
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.[10] Kaurismäki's 2017 film The Other Side of Hope
The Other Side of Hope
won the Silver Bear for Best Director award at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.[11] At the same festival he also announced that it would be his last film as a director.[12] Filmography[edit] Feature films[edit]

Crime and Punishment, 1983 Calamari Union, 1985 Shadows in Paradise, 1986 Hamlet Goes Business, 1987 Ariel, 1988 Likaiset kädet (Les mains sales), 1989 (production for Finnish TV) Leningrad Cowboys
Leningrad Cowboys
Go America, 1989 The Match Factory Girl, 1990 I Hired a Contract Killer, 1990 La Vie de Bohème, 1992 Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana, 1994 Leningrad Cowboys
Leningrad Cowboys
Meet Moses, 1994 Drifting Clouds, 1996 Juha, 1999 The Man Without a Past, 2002 Lights in the Dusk, 2006 Le Havre, 2011[13] The Other Side of Hope, 2017[14]


The Saimaa Gesture, 1981 Total Balalaika Show, 1994 Juice Leskinen & Grand Slam: Bluesia Pieksämäen asemalla, 2013 (18 min)

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
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) Tavern Man, 2012 (14 minute episode in the collaborative film Centro Histórico)

As an actor[edit]

The Liar (1981) The Worthless (1982) Huhtikuu on kuukausista julmin (1983) Apinan vuosi (1983) Viimeiset rotanrahat (1985) Calamari Union
Calamari Union
(1985) Ylösnousemus (1985) Shadows in Paradise (1986) Rocky VI (1986) I Hired a Contract Killer (1990) Shit Happens (1992) Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses
Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses
(1994) Iron Horsemen (1994) Mustasilmä-Susanna ja lepakkoluolan aarre (1996) Aaltra (2004) Vandaleyne (2015)

See also[edit]

Finnish cinema


^ C.G. (11 October 2017). "Explaining the Finnish love of tango". The Economist.  ^ Ralph Eue and Linda Söffker (eds.): Aki Kaurismäki
Aki Kaurismäki
(film: 13). Bertz + Fischer Verlag 2006. Pp. 188-191 (German) ^ Andrew Nestingen (June 2013). The Cinema of Aki Kaurismäki: Contrarian Stories. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-85041-4.  ^ Peter Bradshaw (5 April 2012). "Le Havre – review". The Guardian.  ^ Ebert, Roger, The Man Without A Past, Chicago Sun-Times, 27.6.2003. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20030627/REVIEWS/306270306/1023 ^ a b " Aki Kaurismäki
Aki Kaurismäki
Crosses the Digital Rubicon". Antti Alanen: Film Diary. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.  ^ ""I am a filmmaker not a pixelmaker" - An interview with Aki Kaurismäki". Phil on Film. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2014.  ^ " 16th Moscow International Film Festival (1989)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-02-24.  ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Man Without a Past". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-25.  ^ Bohlen, Celestine (2002-10-01). "One Visa Problem Costs a Festival Two Filmmakers". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  ^ Roxborough, Scott (18 February 2017). "Berlin: Aki Kaurismaki Wins Best Director for 'The Other Side of Hope'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 February 2017.  ^ "Legendary filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki: There will be no more films". Yle Uutiset. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017.  ^ "Match Factory picks up Kaurismäki’s Le Havre" ^ "Aki Kaurismaki’s Next Film ‘The Other Side Of Hope’ Gearing Up"


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]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aki Kaurismäki.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Aki Kaurismäki

Aki Kaurismäki
Aki Kaurismäki
by Orimattila
Town Library. Aki Kaurismäki
Aki Kaurismäki
on IMDb Aki Kaurismaki on Eurochannel with A Film and Its Era: Le Havre

v t e

Films directed by Aki Kaurismäki

Feature films

Crime and Punishment (1983) Calamari Union
Calamari Union
(1985) Shadows in Paradise (1986) Hamlet Goes Business (1987) Ariel (1988) Leningrad Cowboys Go America
Leningrad Cowboys Go America
(1989) Dirty Hands (TV film; 1989) The Match Factory Girl (1990) I Hired a Contract Killer (1990) La vie de bohème (1992) Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana
Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana
(1994) Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses
Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses
(1994) Drifting Clouds (1996) Juha (1999) The Man Without a Past
The Man Without a Past
(2002) Lights in the Dusk
Lights in the Dusk
(2006) Le Havre (2011) The Other Side of Hope
The Other Side of Hope


The Saimaa Gesture (1981) Total Balalaika Show
Total Balalaika Show
(1994) Juice Leskinen & Grand Slam: The Pieksämäki Railway Station Blues (short; 2013)

Short films

Rocky VI (music video; 1986) Thru the Wire (music video; 1987) L.A. Woman (music video; 1988) Dogs Have No Hell (segment of Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet; 2002) Bico (segment of Visions of Europe; 2004) The Foundry (segment of To Each His Own Cinema; 2007)

v t e

Leningrad Cowboys



Aki Kaurismäki Mato Valtonen Sakari Kuosmanen Ben Granfelt Varre Vartiainen

Studio albums

1917–1987 (1987) We Cum from Brooklyn (1992) Happy Together (1994) Go Space (1996) Mongolian Barbeque (1997) Terzo Mondo (2000) Zombies Paradise (2006) Buena Vodka Social Club (2011) Merry Christmas (2013)

Soundtrack albums

Leningrad Cowboys
Leningrad Cowboys
Go America (1989)

Live albums

Live in Prowinzz (1992) Total Balalaika Show
Total Balalaika Show
Concert (1993) Nokia Balalaika Show (1995) Global Balalaika Show (2003)

Compilation albums

Thank You Very Many – Greatest Hits & Rarities (1999) Leningrad Cowboys
Leningrad Cowboys
Go Wild (2000) Those Were the Days – The Best Of Leningrad Cowboys (2009) Those Were the Hits (2014)


007 Villain Club by Swatch  (2008)


"Rocky VI" (1986) Leningrad Cowboys
Leningrad Cowboys
Go America (1989) Leningrad Cowboys
Leningrad Cowboys
Meet Moses (1994) Total Balalaika Show (1994) L.A. Without a Map (1998)


Sleepy Sleepers Alexandrov Ensemble

v t e

Silver Bear for Best Director


Robert Aldrich (1956) Mario Monicelli
Mario Monicelli
(1957) Tadashi Imai (1958) Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa
(1959) Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard
(1960) Bernhard Wicki (1961) Francesco Rosi
Francesco Rosi
(1962) Nikos Koundouros (1963) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1964) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1965) Carlos Saura
Carlos Saura
(1966) Živojin Pavlović (1967) Carlos Saura
Carlos Saura
(1968) Jean-Pierre Blanc
Jean-Pierre Blanc
(1972) Sergei Solovyov
Sergei Solovyov
(1975) Mario Monicelli
Mario Monicelli
(1976) Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón
Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón
(1977) Georgi Djulgerov (1978) Astrid Henning-Jensen (1979)


István Szabó
István Szabó
(1980) Mario Monicelli
Mario Monicelli
(1982) Éric Rohmer
Éric Rohmer
(1983) Costas Ferris / Ettore Scola
Ettore Scola
(1984) Robert Benton (1985) Georgiy Shengelaya (1986) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1987) Norman Jewison
Norman Jewison
(1988) Dušan Hanák (1989)


Michael Verhoeven
Michael Verhoeven
(1990) Jonathan Demme
Jonathan Demme
/ Ricky Tognazzi
Ricky Tognazzi
(1991) Jan Troell
Jan Troell
(1992) Andrew Birkin (1993) Krzysztof Kieślowski
Krzysztof Kieślowski
(1994) Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater
(1995) Yim Ho / Richard Loncraine (1996) Eric Heumann (1997) Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan
(1998) Stephen Frears
Stephen Frears


Miloš Forman
Miloš Forman
(2000) Lin Cheng-sheng (2001) Otar Iosseliani
Otar Iosseliani
(2002) Patrice Chéreau
Patrice Chéreau
(2003) Kim Ki-duk
Kim Ki-duk
(2004) Marc Rothemund
Marc Rothemund
(2005) Michael Winterbottom
Michael Winterbottom
/ Mat Whitecross (2006) Joseph Cedar (2007) Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson
(2008) Asghar Farhadi
Asghar Farhadi


Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski
(2010) Ulrich Köhler (2011) Christian Petzold (2012) David Gordon Green
David Gordon Green
(2013) Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater
(2014) Radu Jude / Malgorzata Szumowska (2015) Mia Hansen-Løve
Mia Hansen-Løve
(2016) Aki Kaurismäki
Aki Kaurismäki
(2017) Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 85338005 LCCN: n93004745 ISNI: 0000 0001 1576 6621 GND: 118972332 SELIBR: 235622 SUDOC: 052615944 BNF: cb139861177 (data) ULAN: 500286187 MusicBrainz: 9e493bcc-3896-481f-9a3c-9dc43703f9c7 NDL: 00931823 ICCU: ITICCUUBOV493