Calamari Union

  • Dir: Aki Kaurismäki

  • Finland, 1985, Finnish, 81mins, DCP

  • Cast: Matti Pellonpää, Puntti Valtonen, Pirkka-Pekka Petelius, Kari Väänänen

In a complete turn-around from his solemn debut, Aki heads straight for comic absurdity in his personal favourite. Featuring 17 shadeswearing weirdos, all named Frank, on a quest to reach the fabled Eldorado, this ridiculously fun work takes an outrageous journey from distorted realism in Buñuelian logic, down to film noir replete with improbable humour (the farcical mimic of De Niro’s lines from Taxi Driver) – and a generous dose of death, from the unexpected to the silliest killing. This highly stylised series of episodic non-sequiturs is reportedly shot while Aki was inebriated – in a society fraught with futility and frustration, who don’t need booze?