“Aki Kaurismäki’s almost feelgood romance is a droll delight” (The Guardian) — on January 12, join us for a special screening of Fallen Leaves (Kuolleet lehdet, Finland, 2023), Aki Kaurismäki’s triumphant new film about love, chance and fate! Returning this fall and winter, the Nordic & Baltic Oscar Contenders series features films chosen for Oscar nominations at the 96th Annual Academy Awards, including Fallen Leaves, a contender for Best International Feature Film. This screening will be followed by an unmissable Q&A with lead actors Alma Pöysti and Jussi Vatanen!
Award-winning filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, The Other Side of Hope) makes a masterful return with Fallen Leaves, a timeless, hopeful and satisfying love story that won the Jury Prize at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Set in present-day Helsinki, the film tells the story of Ansa (Alma Pöysti) and Holappa (Jussi Vatanen), two lonely souls whose chance meeting at a local karaoke bar is beset by numerous hurdles. From lost phone numbers to mistaken addresses, alcoholism and a charming stray dog, the pair’s path to happiness is as bittersweet as it is ultimately delightful.
Shot through with Kaurismäki’s typically playful, idiosyncratic style and deadpan sense of humor, this tender romantic tragicomedy is both a loving tribute to the filmmaker’s beloved contemporaries and a timely reminder of the potency of movie-going from one of cinema’s living legends.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Born in 1957, Aki Kaurismäki grew up in “the age terrorized by television” and has tried and managed to capture the inseparable truths of the real world and screen world. He has never worked in any other format and is proud to represent the continuity of cinematic tradition. Having never studied at the Finnish Film School, Kaurismäki’s minimalist style is all his own. At the same time, his films are full of references, acting as inconspicuous participants in a constant dialogue which reveals our environment, society and psyche as it is now and as it was during the tender years of his childhood. Though little-known to international audiences, Finnish culture—local customs, “objects of love” and allusions to well-known Finnish films, books, and artworks—features prominently in the director’s work.