“Modern Neorealism in Color”: Aki Kaurismäki’s Drifting Clouds – May 8 at NEIU – Imported 35mm Print!

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, May 8 @ 7:30 PM / NEIU
DRIFTING CLOUDS
Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1996
In Finnish with English subtitles
Each night after Ilona (Kati Outinen) finishes her shift as maître d’ at Dubrovnik, the finest Cold War-era eatery in a relentlessly neoliberal world, she waits on the sidewalk for the tram. Its driver is her husband Lauri (Kari Väänänen), and their wee-hours rendezvous is among the cinema’s humblest odes to the joys of marriage and public transportation. Alas, both Ilona and Lauri are laid off within the first reel of Drifting Clouds, and their earnest efforts to regain dignity and cash flow form the backbone of this scrappy and unassuming comedy from singular Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki. (Alas, their pooch Pietari can’t chip in, though we would hire him in a second.) A gentle critique of modern consumer society that registers equal exasperation for well-honed tropes of labor exploitation and blockbuster moviemaking, Drifting Clouds plays like a deadpan reimagining of a pre-Code unemployment romance. “It has always been my secret ambition to make films that the viewer walks out from feeling a little happier than when entering the cinema,” said Kaurismäki “With this subject it was imperative … I had to find optimism without losing grip on reality, make modern neorealism in color.” (KW)
97 min • Sputnik Oy • 35mm from Finnish Film Foundation, permission Janus Films
Film Stock: Eastman LPP (1996 Acetate, Made in France)
Short: “Rocky VI” (Aki Kaurismäki, 1986) – 9 min – 35mm from the Finnish Film Foundation

Check out the rest of the new season here!

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