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Kauas pilvet karkaavat 1996
Description: Tram driver Lauri looses his job. Shortly later, the restaurant where his wife Ilona works as a headwaitress is closed. Too proud, to obtain cash from the social welfare system, they hardly test to search fresh jobs. But they are fully unlucky and clumsy, one disaster is followed by the next. Finally, their courage, confidence, and their unbreakable love triumph over the fate.
Released: 10 Jul 1998 Director: Aki Kaurismäki Writers: Aki Kaurismäki Actors: Kati Outinen, Kari Väänänen, Elina Salo, Sakari Kuosmanen Genres: Comedy, Drama
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Kauas pilvet karkaavat Reviews:

I never used to like Kaurismäki films, mainly because I didn't understand them and thought they were boring. I have since then changed my mind. The thing with Kaurismäki movies is that you can watch them without understanding them and still like them or you can understand them and not like them etc. every in their own way. However, they are not these artsy-films that only critics love and everyone else hates. Drifting Clouds is Finnish life that has been made a parody but it's not mocking Finnish life. There are folks like Lauri and Ilona. Lauri as played by Kari Väänänen is a very typical Finnish male in a method he behaves. He may not tell much, but you just know that he really loves Ilona. And no matter how Lauri behaves, Ilona loves Lauri as well. You don't need a million 'I love You's to receive the message through, just take a look at his body-language.In the beginning of the film, Lauri has just purchased a fresh TV (with colours) on part payment. They have a related plan for the sofa and the bookshelf - as Lauri optimistically puts it: In four years time they can afford to purchase ebooks as well. Then they both lose their jobs because of recession. Getting job is difficult, Ilona is being said that she begins to be a bit too old being a waiter,she's 38 (wonderful stage with Esko Nikkari) and Lauri has medical problems. Too proud to go and receive unemployment benefit, Lauri tells something like I don't beg, I am me... which reminds me of other Kaurismäki film, Calamari Union where one of the characters named Frank as played by Kari Väänänen tells something like I don't drive buses, I am me.. Well anyway, back to Drifting clouds.. so yes, they continue their quest for employment. The characters in the movie don't talk very much, and at first it really bothered me that they didn't sound natural at all, but I now know folks who speak less than that and it's fully natural! I loved the stage in the breakfast table when Lauri is preparing to take the dog out - he finishes his coffee, tells that he's going now, Ilona replies simply 'Good' then Lauri asks whether he could take the rubbish out as well and once again Ilona gives a very minimalistic respond telling 'Take'. It works beautifully and though it might seem funny to foreign ears, it's normal to have such conversations in Finland. The ending gives hope and is very optimistic but not in the Hollywood sense of the word! Nice songs throughout the movie which really echo the feelings of the characters (too terrible the songs have not been subtitled - they should have since in some scenes the characters speaks so little!)I think this is a wonderful film. Both Kari Väänänen and Kati Outinen are great. The movie is dedicated to Matti Pellonpää (little man in one photo) who was supposed to have starred in the film, but sadly he died before they started to movie this...well, he wasn't the first Finnish person to drink himself to death..watch it on DVD!


I particularly liked Boy Without A Past, by the same director, and this is much in the same vein. A couple having financial difficulties tries to create their way. Sounds like all of us. Only this couple delivers delightful witty dialogue in a deadpan style that cracks me up each time. Even their wars and create ups are so understated that it's a style all it's own. Don't look for the obvious here, it's hidden under a layer of Finnish humor so opaque that you have to watch very closely to see even a glimmer of laughter in anyone's eye.The movie is gloomy, depressing, bleak, but somehow it does your heart good. Even when things seem to be at their worst, you can't support but feel that the hardworking and honest couple will manage to somehow receive back on solid ground and right with the world. You wish them to. You need them to. They simply must, or your terrible tiny heart will break.It's difficult to describe this movie because nothing much seems to happen, there are only the normal setbacks of life in the weak income zone, but by the end you realize that you've seen a nice film and are satisfied with it. What supports hold you interested are the dialogue and the understated style. For example, why do all the boys wear their hair the same way? Does anyone own clothes that aren't drab? Why does all the furniture look like it's from the 1950's? All these questions and more will occur to you while watching the movie and wondering if anyone will ever crack a smile.


To truly understand and appreciate Kauas pilvet karkaavat (Drifting Clouds)you need to understand something of the Finnish mindset, and to understand something of the Finns I would suggest this film. Kaurismaki is able to encapsulate and embody the Finns and Finland in his work. I have lived 10 months of my life in Finland, and I was therefore able to identify instantly with this movie through my experiences of Finland and the Finns themselves (my dear mates there). This movie captures the sense of zone that Finland itself has, the sense of zone that the Finns make around themselves (Finns appear to me to be somewhat unseasy with urban and town living, hence everyone's desire to escape to a kesamokki, summer cottages at the earliest possible time) and the understated, no-BS nature of the Finns themselves, it is the only country I know where it is truly possible to have confortable silences when conversing with people.Silent despair, brought on by the extremes of the climate, Finland's relative isolation, the social issues that DO exist there (despite being a Scandinavian country with all the photos of a freedom and social help that that may conjure), the expectation of conformity that exists within such tiny societies, and yet the powerful innate desire of each Finn to truly assert an individual identity over within the framework of this 'organised freedom' are all apparent in this movie and are how I observed Finland. The 'national' sport of drinking until one passes out, particularly during the dark days of winter, and when coping with depression or despair. To any Finns out there, this is not meant to cause offense, my apologies if these comments do.Kaurismaki's test of long shots and one takes for a sequence of action (or non-action), and the sense of time and anticipation that they create, until you realise that the anticiption amounts to nothing, which is so in line with the Finnish sense of humour. It is everytime hard to generalise about a particular nation and create sweeping statements that are meant to be applicable to all who live within the confines of those national boundaries. But as a tiny country (in terms of population) with a closely homogenous people, these traits are quite discernable, especially with the impact that the environment and climate brings...Drifting Clouds and the Leningrad Cowboys are two sides of the same coin...I create this disclaimer, the movie is now gloomier than life there.



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