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Essential Kaurismäki: Selected by David Stratton

SFF is delighted to welcome back former director David Stratton to the 2018 Festival, to present a program of essential films directed by Aki Kaurismäki, featuring nine specially imported 35mm prints.

Purchase single tickets by clicking on the film sessions below. The package of all ten films in the retrospective is now sold out but you can still buy individual tickets for each session.

Aki Kaurismäki is a master of the deadpan. Finland’s most celebrated filmmaker is the complete auteur, producing, directing, scripting and usually editing his films.

Kaurismäki’s studies of Finland’s battlers unfold without resorting to histrionics or overt emotion. Often using the same actors, he has created a world in which ‘ordinary’ people overcome all the odds stacked against them to achieve modest successes. The dialogue in his films is laconic and laced with stoic humour. There isn’t a streak of sentiment, despite the presence of a loveable dog in almost every movie.

Apart from canines, Kaurismäki’s love for music, and especially jazz and rock, comes across clearly in his work. His invention of a fictional rock ’n’ roll band for the 1989 road movie Leningrad Cowboys Go America proved to be so popular that the Cowboys stayed together as a group after the movie.

Kaurismäki has created a body of work inhabited by some of the most modest yet endearing characters to be found anywhere in contemporary cinema.

David Stratton, Retrospective Programmer

Film critic, lecturer and author David Stratton AM is a former director of Sydney Film Festival and former host of ABC TV’s At the Movies. He is a recipient of the Raymond Longford Award and was named Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has served on the juries at Venice and Berlin and as President of the FIPRESCI (International Film Critics) jury at Cannes.


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Essential Kaurismäki: Selected by David Stratton

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