Eclipse Series 12: Aki Kaurismäki's Proletariat Trilogy

Discuss DVDs released in the Eclipse and Essential Art House lines and the films on them.
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portnoy
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#26 Post by portnoy » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:22 pm

Lamourderer wrote:I'm glad this has finally been announced officially, Kaurismäki rightfully being the first Finnish director in criterion canon. And now, maybe, just maybe there is a possibility of getting a Matti Kassila or Risto Jarva box set sometime in the future, after several years have passed. In my opinion, they are Finnish directors who "need" eclipse treatment more than Kaurismäki, even though, as Michael Kerpan said before, I'm glad criterion is now giving more availability for Kaurismäki's films.
how about 'The Smoldering Melodramas of Teuvo Tulio'

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#27 Post by ByMarkClark.com » Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:59 pm

After William Klein, Larisa Shepitko and now this set, hopefully people will stop accusing Eclipse of being too mainstream and predictable.

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Michael Kerpan
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#28 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:02 pm

ByMarkClark.com wrote:After William Klein, Larisa Shepitko and now this set, hopefully people will stop accusing Eclipse of being too mainstream and predictable.
Not a chance. ;~{

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tavernier
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#29 Post by tavernier » Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:17 pm

Set 13: Not Too Silent but Not Too Late Ozu.

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#30 Post by JHunter » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:37 am

tavernier wrote:Set 13: Not Too Silent but Not Too Late Ozu.
Leftover Ozu.

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domino harvey
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#31 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:49 am

Mo'zu

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sidehacker
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#32 Post by sidehacker » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:35 am

Set 13: domino harvey's Ozu jokes.

Okay, I actually liked the last one. :oops:

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Yojimbo
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#33 Post by Yojimbo » Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:35 pm

zedz wrote:A nice set. The Match Factory Girl is the best Kaurismaki film I've seen, and Ariel isn't far behind. But pink?

EDIT: Snap!
If you reckon 'The Match Factory Girl' is better than Ariel then it must be really special as Ariel probably ranks with 'Man Without A Past' as my favourite Karismaki

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MichaelB
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#34 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:42 am

I certainly rank The Match Factory Girl above Ariel. I loved the latter when I first saw it (it was my first Kaurismäki, way back in 1989, and it's a perfect intro to his work), but I was rather underwhelmed with it when I revisited it a few years ago.

By contrast, The Match Factory Girl is an extraordinary piece of work, just about the most ruthlessly focused film in his entire output, and Kati Outinen's performance is a masterclass in conveying maximum information through minimum means (the film has barely any spoken dialogue - in fact, I think there's no significant dialogue in the entire first third). First time round, it seemed almost suicidally grim and depressing, but it now comes across as a comedy so black that it stretches the definition to its limit - and I think that was the intention.

Of the three films on the new Eclipse set, I predict it'll be the one that polarises viewers most - but I think it's easily the standout. (That said, fans of Ariel and The Man Without A Past, possibly the most feelgood Kaurismäkis, might find it heavy going at first...)

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#35 Post by T99 » Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:01 am

Ariel is certainly the least interesting film of the boxset (even Kaurismaki thinks its one of his weakest efforts). Shadows in Paradise and The Match Factory Girl are, however, essential viewing.

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#36 Post by The Glue Man » Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:52 am

domino harvey wrote:Mo'zu
Superb.

I just watched these for the first time on the AE set last week (been meaning to pick them up for a while, then the Eclipse announcement was the thing that made me make the purchase, strangely enough). I liked all of them a lot, yes Ariel was probably the weakest, and maybe the least "real" of the 3... What I did find interesting, however, is the way the framing of the narrative only changes at the end of the last film - was this Kaurismaki's illustration of the literal end of the trilogy, as this was the only of the protagonists whose story had really ended?

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Yojimbo
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#37 Post by Yojimbo » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:41 pm

MichaelB wrote:I certainly rank The Match Factory Girl above Ariel. I loved the latter when I first saw it (it was my first Kaurismäki, way back in 1989, and it's a perfect intro to his work), but I was rather underwhelmed with it when I revisited it a few years ago.

By contrast, The Match Factory Girl is an extraordinary piece of work, just about the most ruthlessly focused film in his entire output, and Kati Outinen's performance is a masterclass in conveying maximum information through minimum means (the film has barely any spoken dialogue - in fact, I think there's no significant dialogue in the entire first third). First time round, it seemed almost suicidally grim and depressing, but it now comes across as a comedy so black that it stretches the definition to its limit - and I think that was the intention.

Of the three films on the new Eclipse set, I predict it'll be the one that polarises viewers most - but I think it's easily the standout. (That said, fans of Ariel and The Man Without A Past, possibly the most feelgood Kaurismäkis, might find it heavy going at first...)
I'm in the middle of a Japanese film kick right now with all of these great new directors I've been discovering; just watched my second Uchida, but I'll be interested to see whether I agree with you on the respective merits of the two Kaurismakis
I have the three Region 2 box-sets, so I'll be checking "The Match Factory Girl" out there.
Of course it could be we have different sensibilities as to what we like best about Kaurismaki but I loved 'Ariels' ending and I thought Matti Pellonpää stole the movie with his marvellously dry performance.

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MichaelB
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#38 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:18 am

Yojimbo wrote:Of course it could be we have different sensibilities as to what we like best about Kaurismaki but I loved 'Ariels' ending and I thought Matti Pellonpää stole the movie with his marvellously dry performance.
Well, you're in for a treat with Shadows in Paradise!

I think I was very lucky that Ariel was my first Kaurismäki, as it's a near-perfect encapsulation of his regular preoccupations (and I agree that the ending is glorious) - but now that I've seen all sixteen features I have to admit that it doesn't have anything like the emotional impact of, say, Shadows in Paradise, The Match Factory Girl, Drifting Clouds (not just my favourite Kaurismäki but arguably one of the best films of the last 15-20 years) or The Man Without a Past.

Frankly, I'm jealous - I'd love to see those for the first time again, and Kaurismäki is nowhere near as prolific as he was.

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MichaelB
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#39 Post by MichaelB » Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:02 am

Beaver.

Not sure why he's "surprised" that the discs are all single-layer - with the films running between 68 and 74 minutes, what exactly would the second layer be needed for?

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sidehacker
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#40 Post by sidehacker » Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:01 am

Not to mention, the camera is fairly static.

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MichaelB
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#41 Post by MichaelB » Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:18 am

sidehacker wrote:Not to mention, the camera is fairly static.
Well, when you have a hangover you don't really want to move the camera too much.

(or at least that's what he told Jonathan Ross in that marvellous documentary where Kaurismaki systematically rubbished his entire output! It's an extra on the third Artificial Eye set)

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justeleblanc
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#42 Post by justeleblanc » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:00 am

MichaelB wrote:
sidehacker wrote:Not to mention, the camera is fairly static.
Well, when you have a hangover you don't really want to move the camera too much.

(or at least that's what he told Jonathan Ross in that marvellous documentary where Kaurismaki systematically rubbished his entire output! It's an extra on the third Artificial Eye set)
Calamari Union was the film he rubbished. But I don't think he rubbished Match Factory Girl.

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MichaelB
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#43 Post by MichaelB » Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:42 pm

justeleblanc wrote:Calamari Union was the film he rubbished. But I don't think he rubbished Match Factory Girl.
Oh, he rubbished a lot more than that!

From memory:

Crime and Punishment - "I only did this because Hitchcock said that he'd never film the Dostoyevsky novel because it was too difficult, so I said 'I'll show you, old man'. And it was too difficult."

Hamlet Goes Business - "It's a comedy, but it's not a very funny comedy - it's quite an unfunny comedy."

Leningrad Cowboys Go America - "Well, they say it's doing well in Paris, but I'm sure in a couple of weeks it will fail. Because nobody can make films as bad as this without punishment."

I suspect that's far from everything.

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justeleblanc
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#44 Post by justeleblanc » Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:24 am

He appears to be one who takes great pleasure in ridiculing his works.... not that any of this means he doesn't think they are good films.

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#45 Post by cdnchris » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:27 am


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Jean-Luc Garbo
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#46 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:32 pm

For some reason, I kept thinking of Hal Hartley when looking at those screencaps.

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kaujot
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#47 Post by kaujot » Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:27 pm

I have to say, I think the ratings system should be altered for Eclipse releases, as they have we know they're not coming with extras. You highly recommend it, yet it comes with a 4.3 (or whatever it ended up being). I dunno. Too anal?

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#48 Post by cdnchris » Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:42 am

I'm still playing with the rating system but the basic idea behind it is I enter in scores for each aspect and then the system calculates the score based on a formula. I thought about ignoring supplements for Eclipse titles (and even getting rid of the scoring) but then there'd be a lack in consistency and there are certain sites that have no consistency (*cough*digitalbits*cough*) in their scoring which makes them useless. I know the 4 doesn't jive with me recommending it (and I do, it's a great set despite the lack of supplements) but at the same time I can't give it a 7.6 (which I think is what the system would round it out to if it ignored the supplements) because that would give the impression that it's just about as impressive a release (overall) as The Furies when it's not.

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#49 Post by kaujot » Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:44 am

cdnchris wrote:I'm still playing with the rating system but the basic idea behind it is I enter in scores for each aspect and then the system calculates the score based on a formula. I thought about ignoring supplements for Eclipse titles (and even getting rid of the scoring) but then there'd be a lack in consistency and there are certain sites that have no consistency (*cough*digitalbits*cough*) in their scoring which makes them useless. I know the 4 doesn't jive with me recommending it (and I do, it's a great set despite the lack of supplements) but at the same time I can't give it a 7.6 (which I think is what the system would round it out to if it ignored the supplements) because that would give the impression that it's just about as impressive a release (overall) as The Furies when it's not.
I see. I didn't realize you had the site (a script, I presume?) calculate the score for you. I just assumed you were hardcoding it with a form and doing the calculations yourself (what's wrong with me?). Understandable, then. For Eclipse, then, it might be worth getting rid of the scoring, as we (well, I assume all of us that would be on this site) know that the video is probably sub-Criterion standard, along with probably sub-audio and no extras.

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MichaelB
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#50 Post by MichaelB » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:29 am

I would have thought the fact that the Eclipse boxes contain several features should count for something. I mean, you're not exactly short-changed by the Kaurismäki box, are you?

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