schedule

SUBJECTS

Amnesia -- Drama, Assault and battery -- Drama, Man-woman relationships -- Finland -- Drama, Memory disorders -- Drama

The Man Without a Past

(Mies vailla menneisyyttä)

featuring

Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Annikki Tähti, Juhani Niemelä,

Aki Kaurismäki has an unsentimental soft spot for the working class, albeit well hidden behind artfully sardonic realism. More than the memorably long-faced antiheroes of The Match Factory Girl and Drifting Clouds, the hero of this film—call him M—has reason to be deadpan: drifting into a strange city, he is set upon by thugs who leave him for dead and render him amnesiac. M is found and nursed by a family living in an abandoned shipping container, and eventually such an abode becomes available to him, complete with landlord and devoted dog. Dinner at the Salvation Army, where the dour Kati Outinen is Garbo with a soup ladle, completes the picture. Kaurismäki and the great cinematographer Timo Salminen have painted the picture in rich, expressionist swaths of color playing off natural light (poverty lives outdoors). Whereas in previous AK films a honeymoon in Estonia was about as good as it gets, The Man Without a Past looks further into the heart of poverty to find a wealth of genuine (and genuinely funny) humanity, a kindness in strangers, and strange poetry. To be stripped of a past is to lose all connection to capitalism, and that is a kind of starting over—Eden in a handbasket.

Judy Bloch
FILM DETAILS 
Cinematographer
  • Timo Salminen
Language
  • Finnish
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 97 mins
Source
  • Sony Pictures Classics
CINEFILES

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

View Mies vailla menneisyyttä (The man without a past) documents  

The man without a past (distributor materials), New Yorker Films, 2003

The man without a past (distributor materials), Sputnik Oy, Peter von Bagh, 2002

The man without a past (review), Variety, David Rooney, 2002

The man without a past (program note), Vancouver International Film Festival, 2002

Mies vailla menneisyyttä (program note), Toronto International Film Festival, Piers Handling, 2002

A tale of two memories (article), Sight and Sound, Simon Louvish, 2002

Mies vailla menneisyyttä (program note), Cannes Film Festival, 2002

The man without a past (distributor materials), New Yorker Films

The man without a past (press release), Larsen Associates

Displaying 9 of 9 publicly available documents.


View all Mies vailla menneisyyttä (The man without a past) documentation on CineFiles.