• Finland
  • 1986
  • 74 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • Finnish
  •  

Lonely garbageman Nikkander (Matti Pellonpää) finds himself directionless after losing his friend and co-worker to a sudden heart attack; unlikely redemption comes in the form of plain supermarket cashier Ilona (Kati Outinen, in her first of many performances for Kaurismäki), with whom he begins a tentative love affair. Boiling down what is essentially a romantic comedy to a series of spare and beautiful gestures, Kaurismäki conjures an unexpected delight that finds hope blossoming even amid gray surroundings.

Cast

NikkanderMatti Pellonpää
Ilona Rajamäki Kati Outinen
MelartinSakari Kuosmanen
Co-worker Esko Nikkri
Ilona’s girlfriendKylli Köngäs
Shop stewardPekka Laiho

Credits

Film Essays

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The cinema of Aki Kaurismäki has been tickling viewers for more than two decades without so much as cracking a smile. With their rotating casts of sourpuss Finns and their stringent, often . . . Read more »

Film Essays

Eclipse Series 12: Aki Kaurismäki’s Proletariat Trilogy

By Michael Koresky September 22, 2008

The cinema of Aki Kaurismäki has been tickling viewers for more than two decades without so much as cracking a smile. With their rotating casts of sourpuss Finns and their stringent, often . . . Read more »