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Aki Kaurismdki's Proletariat Trilogy [3 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD]

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Le Dolci Signore
In this romantic comedy, Nikander (Matti Pellonpaa) is a lonely garbage-truck driver who meets the homely check-out clerk Ilona (Kati Outinen). Their painful shyness makes for slow romantic progress, until Ilona loses her job, and the two rendezvous in a cozy country motel. Nikander proposes after returning items stolen by Ilona in retaliation for her being fired. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

Tulitikkutehtaan Tytto
The Match Factory Girl is a Finnish/ Swedish coproduction. Kati Outinen plays the title character, trapped in a deadly dull job and an even deadlier duller home life. Against her family's wishes, she purchases a bright red dress and heads out for a night on the town. She spends the evening with a handsome wealthy man, who shows how significant this sexual pairing is by leaving her alone the next morning with a large sum of money. Not wishing to tell her parents of her misadventure, Outinen splits the money with her brother, then waits in vain for her "lover" to return. When she finds she is pregnant, she writes a syrupy note to her erstwhile swain, who coldly sends her a money order and instructs her to get an abortion. Even her family turns on her when her condition becomes obvious. With her remaining savings, Outinen purchases a generous supply of rat poison--not for herself, but for all the people who did her dirt throughout the film. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki may not have become a household name in arthouse circles until the U.S. release of Match Factory Girl in 1992, but by then he had already established an international reputation with Ariel, which was named the Best Foreign Language Film of 1991 by the National Society of Film Critics. A series of unfortunate events befall the film's hero, Taisto (Turo Pajala). First, he loses his job when the mine closes down. A suicidal friend gives him a car, and Taisto takes all his money and heads to the city to find work. He's quickly robbed by a couple of thugs, and shows up in town with no money and no job. Soon, he meets Irmeli (Susanna Haavisto), a resourceful divorcée who works a wide variety of jobs to support her young son and pay off their mortgage. "Will you disappear in the morning?" Irmeli dryly asks on their first night together. "No," Taisto responds emotionlessly, "We'll be together forever." Unable to find work, Taisto tries to sell his car. But then he runs into one of the men who robbed him, who pulls a knife on him. Taisto manages to disarm the man, and is subduing him when the police arrive. Taisto is convicted of assault and attempted robbery. He winds up in a cell with Mikkonen (Matti Pellonpää), who is in prison for manslaughter. He claims he's innocent, but tells Taisto that by the time he gets out of jail, he "won't be able to go three hours without killing someone." When Irmeli comes for a visit, Taisto impulsively proposes, and before long, she's helping him and Mikkonen plot their escape. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Matti Pellonpää - Nikander
  • Kati Outinen
    Kati Outinen - Ilona
  • Image coming soon
    Esko Nikkari - Co-worker
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.