By Eric Neuhoff
REVIEW – Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki creates an indescribable and laconic romance in a pale Helsinki. She received the Jury Prize at Cannes.
They don’t know it yet, but they are made for each other. They are two shy people. They do not know each other. Holappa is a construction site worker. He doesn’t just suck ice. Ansa works in a supermarket. Their jobs are precarious. She loses hers because instead of throwing them away, she gave food that was past its expiration date to a homeless person. To make her situation worse, she stole a rotten sandwich. He is fired because of his alcoholism.
They meet by chance one Friday evening in front of a karaoke show. They don’t speak to each other, exchange a few leaning glances. Their first meeting consists of going to see The Dead Don’t Die, of Jim Jarmusch, the director’s nod to his alter ego in disillusioned laconicism. Upon release, a spectator compared the film to Bresson. Ansa gives Holappa his phone number. He immediately loses it by accident. She watches for the phone which does not ring. He goes to the front of the cinema to check that she is not attending a…