Monday, April 13, 2015


[Left right: Matti Pellonpää as Mikkonen, Turo Pajala as Taisto Kasurinen, Susanna Haavisto as Irmeli Pihlaja.]

Ariel is a 1988 film from Finland, directed by Aki Kaurismäki. It’s the second film of his Proletariat Trilogy. Like The Man Without a Past (2002), it is dark and funny. Elaine thought of Umberto Eco’s characterization of Casablanca : Ariel, too, is “the movies,” with many deadpan moments of noir homage and parody. And yes, the protagonist Taisto looks as if he stepped out of Pulp Fiction (made six years later).

One of the many delights of this film is its wonderfully eclectic, eccentric soundtrack. What a treat to hear Casey Bill Weldon’s “WPA Blues” accompanying a scene of looking for work.

To understand why the sequence above is funny, you’ll have to watch the film.

[Weldon is identified as “Bill Casey” in the credits. Oops.]

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