Shadows in Paradise(Varjoja paratiisissa)

  • Dir: Aki Kaurismäki

  • Finland, 1986, Finnish, 74mins, DCP

  • Cast: Matti Pellonpää, Kati Outinen, Sakari Kuosmanen

Distinct minimalist aesthetics, motifs, and character sketches that define Aki’s blueprint of austere yet humanistic black comedy came into sharp focus in this first part of his ‘Proletariat Trilogy’. Striking a tone of droll and poignancy inimpeccable balance, this blend of grim romance and societal critique revolves around a garbage collector and a supermarket cashier, whose relationship goes through dashed dreams and collective disappointments. The walrus-whiskered Matti Pellonpää and the stone-faced Kati Outinen emerge as Aki’s perfect pair of Finnish solitary souls, befuddled by reality yet striving to find a glimmer of life’s meaning.