More writing from Brian Libby

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Yes, the flatness of Kaurismaki's deadpan, which in the hands of someone like Jim Jarmusch sometimes veers into posturing cool, seems incredibly tender and electric in Kaurismaki's films. It's like the cool blankness of deadpan opens up an offset space for warm things like love and even melodrama to work through in surprising and odd ways. I'm thinking particularly of this weird silent film "Juha" that is ostensibly a folk fable with caricatures of villainy and innocence, but resonates with heightened feeling specifically because of its quiet impassivity.


Irene, can you recommend any other good Kaurismaki films?


The only Kaurismaki films that I have seen are Man Without a Past, Drifting Clouds, and Juha. Drifting Clouds similarly deals with bad economic times and the down-and-out in Helsinki, and all of them feature the same circle of actors.

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