Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Drifting Clouds

Dir: Aki Kaurismatik
Starring: Kati Outinen, Kaarl Vaananen, Shelley Fisher

There's an old joke that goes, "Finnish yer dinner."

Pretty bad, eh.... So su(o)mi!

Drifting Clouds is the first Aki K. film to be reviewed on Narry B.'s web blog. Aki K. is a legendary Finnish director, perhaps best known for his arthouse flick, "50 First Dates."

Drifting Clouds moves as slowly as, well, a cloud, although it's not as lonely. The story is based on the changing fortunes of a couple whose lives are turned upside down by unemployment. It's an interesting psychological analysis of how people react to misfortune... pride, determination, alcoholism, gambling, etc. Although the film is rather bleak, it is in fact a comedy of sorts, and one hopes that the overall message of industriousness will uplift.

But forget the story - the direction takes precedence here. Narry B doesn't like to sound like a poopy Guardian film critic, but the shadows in this film are stunning. I've seen better lighting in other films, but I've never seen better shadows.

On top of this, the soundtrack is expertly selected, from the opening shot of Shelly Fisher at the piano, to the ending theme of Rauli Somerjoki's Pilvet Karkaa.

Rating: Top Work

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