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Fallen Leaves

In his later films, Aki Kaurismäki is not a director of melancholy and loss, but of hope and return. In his films people get a second chance, sometimes even a second life.

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“Oh I so wish you remembered.“ The French title of Aki Kaurismäki‘s film FALLEN LEAVES is LES FEUILLES MORTES, like Jacques Prévert and Joseph Kosma chanson, which became famous in the version of Yves Montand and Juliette Greco before it became a world hit as “Autumn Leaves“ in the hundreds of versions by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, and others. Les Feuilles Mortes is a love song about remembering a song about love: “ C’est un chanson qui nous resemble/Toi, tu m'aimais et je t'aimais“ (It‘s a song that is like us, you loved me, I loved you“). Serge Gainsbourgh would later go even further with “La Chanson de Prévert”, in which the song by Prévert and Kosma reminded him of his lost love: “ Et chaque fois les feuilles morte, me rapelle a ton souvenir. Jour aprés jour, nos amour morte, ne finniez pas de mourir“ (“The fallen leaves always remind me of you. Day after day our dead love doesn‘t stop dying“). Lovein Gainsbourgh and Préverts chansons are a memory of a song about love that is always already lost.

In his later films, Aki Kaurismäki is not a director of melancholy and loss, but of hope and return. In his films, people get a second chance, sometimes even a second life (THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST). FALLEN LEAVES is a film about the return of love, music, and cinema. It‘s about worker Ansa (Alma Pöysti) and worker Hollapa (Jussie Vatanen). She is fired from her job at the supermarket because she put expired food in her handbag, he is fired because he drank on the job. She begans working in a factory, he keeps drinking and keeps losing worse and worse jobs. She warns him: her father and a brother drank themselves to death, and she won‘t be part of that again. He stops drinking. The leaves are falling, they lovingly walk along an autumn street.

There are two worlds in FALLEN LEAVES. One consists of shabby, difficult labor in a harsh environment, alcoholism, the Ukraine war on the radio, fear of aging and loneliness. The other world is filled with gentle humor, cinema, and music. There are posters of films Kaurismäki loves on every wall. One time the couple goes to the cinema and watches Jim Jarmusch‘s zombie film THE DEAD DON‘T DIE. Two cinemagoers comment: “the film reminds me of Bresson‘s DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST,“ says one, “it reminded me of Godard‘s BAND OF OUTSIDERS,“ says the other. In a karaoke bar, a man in a ZZ Top shirt sings a rock song. Hollapa‘s colleague Hannes sings a melancholy Finnish tango, someone sings Schubert‘s “Ständchen.“ This is Kaurismäki‘s utopia: a world in which you talk about zombies while referencing Bresson and Godard and Schubert‘s “Leise flehen meine Lieder“ is a hit at the bars. Kaurismäki is fighting a losing battle for a world in which poetic realism has become reality.

Tom Dorow (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Original title: Kuolleet Lehdet
Finnland 2023, 81 min
Genre: Tragicomedy
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Author: Aki Kaurismäki
DOP: Timo Salminen
Montage: Samu Heikkilä
Distributor: Pandora Film Medien GmbH
Cast: Alma Pöysti, Jussi Vatanen
Release: 14.09.2023

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Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
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Fallen Leaves

(Kuolleet Lehdet) | Finnland 2023 | Tragicomedy | R: Aki Kaurismäki

In his later films, Aki Kaurismäki is not a director of melancholy and loss, but of hope and return. In his films people get a second chance, sometimes even a second life.

Screenings

Sputnik Kino am Südstern

Tuesday 05.12.

TicketsReservation: https://www.sputnik-kino.com/program/movies OmeU18:30

Neukölln

Rollberg

TODAY

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/rollberg OmeU19:15

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