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Aki Kaurismaki's Proletariat Trilogy: Eclipse Series 12 (Shadows in Paradise / Ariel / The Match Factory Girl) (The Criterion Collection)

Kati Outinen , Elina Salo , Aki Kaurismäki    Unrated   DVD

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The poignant, deadpan films of Aki Kaurismäki are pitched somewhere in the wintry nether lands between comedy and tragedy. And rarely in his body of work has the line separating those genres seemed thinner than in what is often identified as his “Proletariat Trilogy,” Shadows in Paradise, Ariel, and The Match Factory Girl. In these three films, something like social-realist farces, Kaurismäki surveys the working-class outcasts of his native Finland with detached yet disarming amusement. Featuring commanding, off-key visual compositions and delightfully dour performances, the films in this triptych exemplify the talents of a unique and highly influential film artist.

THREE-DISC BOX SET INCLUDES: Shadows in Paradise (1986) Ariel (1988) The Match Factory Girl (1990)


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well It's About Time!!! July 20 2008
By Peter Mattsson - Published on Amazon.com
I must say I've been crossing my fingers, lighting candles and doing voodoo mojo ceremonies in the hope that when these titles are finally released Stateside that they would be in Criterion Collection editions. And here they come! Aki Kaurismäki's three best films in one box! Oh, joy! Even though I spent an obscene amount of US dollars to obtain these and the rest of his oeuvre as standard (Region 2) Finnish imports, I will get this as well. Nothing beats a lovingly curated and assembled Criterion box set!
But is it too much to hope for the rest?
I'll light some candles and do a jig (or better yet, a tango) and see what happens...
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Taciturn Tales Jan. 7 2009
By L. J. Gray - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
DVD quality for all three is fine, and again very reasonably priced. Widescreen, 16 x9, rich colour.

No culture is more taciturn than that of the Finns.

These films appeal to fans of Mamet scripts that are slowed down, and to fans of Jim Jarmush films.
Jarmush much admires Kaurismaki, and the last episode of his movie "Night on Earth" is a tribute to the director.

If you liked "The Man With No Name" you will like all three of these movies, although for me they are much better, as they are earlier and more simplistic films where "less is more" is well demonstrated.
You probably will dislike these films if you disliked the Oscar nominated "The Man With No Name".

In all of his movies, the story and actors move slow, yet beautifully, in their workers' "low" blue collar world.
Excellent use of color keeps the environment from being visually depressing, and subtle and consistent humor gives hope and uplifts these romances...
yes..all three are romances.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Droll, Deadpan, Delightful Sept. 28 2008
By Randy Buck - Published on Amazon.com
Here's yet another prize package from Criterion's Eclipse line -- these wonderful films by Aki Kaurismäki deserve the widest possible audience, and this set will undoubtedly garner the Finnish director a brand new gaggle of fans. Although his influence can be seen in the work of many American independent filmmakers, nobody does it quite like Kaurismäki -- his style's classical, laconic, and, somehow, often deeply moving. (When the po-faced heroine of SHADOWS IN PARADISE finally breaks into a smile at the film's end, the effect is dazzling.) The humor here (and there's plenty of laugh-out-loud moments) is never forced or artifical but rooted in character, wonderfully eccentric, and always compassionate. Kaurismäki knows his terrain, literally and figuratively, extremely well, and he honors these working-class lives by his treatment of them. Mention must be made of the wonderful soundtracks, too -- rock, tango and blues never sounded better than in these Finnish versions. If you've ever cracked a smile at Jim Jarmusch, grab this box. An absolute delight.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Set Feb. 3 2011
By Dan Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Kaurismaki was a big influence on Jim Jarmusch, and one can see why. The Proletariat Trilogy is one of the best things I've seen in years: Shadows in Paradise is the perfect love story, Ariel is a continuation of this, and the Match Factory Girl is a splendid story where everyone gets their just due(sort of), maybe in the realm of Carrie. Match Factory was a great note to end the series on.

Aki Kaurismäki's Proletariat Trilogy (Shadows in Paradise / Ariel / The Match Factory Girl)For me, the Trilogy is perfect filmmaking--sad, humorous, ironic, dead pan, sometimes with a happy ending. I don't want to go into any detail, one can read the description for that. The Trilogy is emotion-driven, which is the type of film that I gravitate towards, serious but w/an underlying sense of humour. If you like Jarmusch, John Lurie, Wayne Wang, maybe even Hal Hartley... you will LOVE this. There are "on and off" box-sets, and this one is on on on. 5 stars, no kidding.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic Kaurismäki but poor transfers Feb. 27 2012
By John Chandler - Published on Amazon.com
I have two of these films in the Finnish releases which I was surprised to find have much better picture quality. The stories are classic Kaurismäki and show Finland in the bad old days of the seventies with astonishing clarity. Erinomainen! No Finn will use two words if one will do and Kaurismäki is the master of this characteristic. Beautiful and touching insights into a time and culture far removed from most of the rest of us. Only the Russians might identify with some of this but of course they have been linked for many centuries. Great film making but a pity the discs are not a bit better.

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