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“Fallen Leaves” by Aki Kaurismäki A burlesque and melancholy masterpiece

26 May 2023 News   795  

After a six-year absence and seventeen years of sobriety (feigned or real?), the great Finnish master of zany comedy, Aki Kaurismäki, is back in the footsteps of his famous “losers’ trilogy” (“Drifting Clouds” – 1996 , “The Man Without a Past” – 2002 , “Lights in the Dusk” – 2006). Presented in the Official Competition, his latest opus “Fallen Leaves” won the Jury Prize and dazzled the Croisette with its offbeat, minimalist aesthetic.

By Atmane Tazaghart and Nicolas Chene

In this poignant and melancholy fresco, Kaurismäki depicts – with his usual talent and deadpan humour – the shattered destiny of two outsiders desperately trying to sketch out a love story in which the burlesque vies with the tragic.


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In 2017, after his masterful “The Other Side of Hope” (Silver Bear at the Berlinale) – supposed to be the second part of a trilogy about migrants – he suddenly announced his retirement from the cinema, due to health problems linked to his notorious penchant for vodka.

Five years later, much to the delight of lovers of the 7th art, this hypothetical retirement was interrupted, in 2022, not to complete the “migrant trilogy”, as might have been expected, but to complete an older trilogy, that of the proletariat: “Fallen Leaves” was thus intended to be the continuation of “Shadows in Paradise” (1986) and “The Match Factory Girl” (1990).