Drifting Clouds

Ilona (Kati Outinen) is head waitress in a restaurant while her husband Lauri (Kari Väänänen) works as a driver. They earn just about enough to manage. Even though the modest couple does not even have the money for a TV, still they are happy. That is, untill the restaurant Ilona works at closes down and Lauri is left unemployed. Their financial problems continue to grow, one disaster after another follows, the couple unable to fix any of it. Don't let it all get you down though, as Drifting Clouds is an Aki Kaurismäki film. The Finnish director, as with his other films, manages to keep his viewers from descending into despondency even whilst avoiding reflecting reality through rose-tinted spactacles. Although unemployment, poverty and desperation are much in evidence, a cute atmosphere that reminds one of old Hollywood melodramas, keeps the balance. In Drifting Clouds, the first installment in the director's Finland Trilogy, the use of pastel colours is predominant, as is the case with the second installment The Man Without A Past. One could think it was shot in Technicolor... On the other hand, an unrivaled humour that springs from the minimalist style that is Kaurismäki's trademark is most apparent throughout the film. An example at the very start could be the still camera in the fight scene in the restaurant. The performance in the scene in which Lauri tells Ilona that his license was confiscated, that might cut deep in any other film, is an equally good example. The director, who never concludes his films without a happy ending, blows away the clouds in the finale and turns to an optimistic point of view, as if he were making a tribute to Frank Capra. Just as there is no need to advise viewers who have already made an acquaintance with Aki Kaurismäki's style, there is no reason why they should not admire Drifting Clouds, as one of the best of the director's films. However if you have never witnessed one of the wonders this great director has created, then do not miss this opportunity. Engin Ertan
Finland
'
1996

Director
Aki Kaurismäki

Script
Aki Kaurismaki

Cinematography
Timo Salminen

Editing
Aki Kaurismaki

Production
Sputnik Oy

Cast
Elina Salo
Kari Väänänen
Kati Outinen
Markku Peltola
Sakari Kuosmanen

Awards
Audience Award Sao Paulo
Import Award Tromso
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Cannes

Festivals
9th Festival on Wheels
BEST OF EUROPE