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"The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 11:22 pm
by NormanD
It doesn't seem like six years since Aki Kaurismaki's last film, "Le Havre", but he's finally back with the second part of his proposed trilogy of films about the lives of refugees.

I won't outline the plot, maybe it's enough to say that it follows the feel of many of his previous films: displaced outsiders struggling against the odds and getting knock back after knock back often right up to the very last scene; weird characters in parallel stories; boozing, smoking and loooong faces (is Finland truly so laconic, Kari?); hilarious comedy at unexpected moments; and, above all else, people helping each other for no other reason than that they want to.

The group of friends I went with had seen none of his previous films, and one felt that the subject matter (the life of a young man who had managed to escape the hell of Aleppo) should have been treated more seriously. I couldn't have agreed less. People get through life, even if it's a day at a time, and humour can help you survive.

As in most of Kaurismaki's films, music figures prominently. Often as a background, but usually played live. The older, seedy-looking country and blues bands are all here again, their performances are almost all complete. The main character - the Syrian refugee, and cook Khaled - plays his mate's stringed instrument (a buzuq?) in one scene, a tune as hard as any blues.

I've been thinking on the film's ending for a few days now. No spoilers, but it is a heartbreaker. It reminded me of Chaplin's very last scene in his "City Lights". It turns out that Chaplin first thought of this scene, and then constructed his masterpiece to lead up to it. I do wonder if Kaurasmaki has done the same.

Re: "The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:31 am
by NormanD
NormanD wrote:The main character - the Syrian refugee, and cook Khaled

Greeted by his friend as 'Chef Khaled'. The first ever world music pun?

Re: "The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:27 pm
by Chris P
:)

Re: "The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:27 am
by Jamie Renton
NormanD wrote:The first ever world music pun?


I think that would be the Arthur Daley related one about Youssou's wife.

Re: "The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:37 am
by NormanD
Oy.

Re: "The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:54 pm
by Chris P
Jamie Renton wrote:
NormanD wrote:The first ever world music pun?


I think that would be the Arthur Daley related one about Youssou's wife.


:)

(I have been known to refer to my partner as 'er outdoors)

Re: "The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:58 pm
by Chris P
and there I wuz thinkin' the other side of 'ope wuz des poivres, whilst sittin' in a town called alice

Re: "The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:54 pm
by Kari Salonen
[quote="NormanD] (is Finland truly so laconic, Kari?)[/quote]

Yes.

Re: "The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:10 am
by Kari Salonen
I felt the need to elaborate just a little... Aki Kaurismäki is a self-confessed fan of old French films (think of Robert Bresson for instance) and he has made laconic dialogue his very own form of art. I recognise a certain dark, distinctly Finnish humour in many of his films, even though he has grown more serious and angry in recent years.

You'd find that darkish laconic bend especially in south-western parts of the country. I'm a product of that heritage.

Re: "The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:41 pm
by NormanD
Lots of French film references/tributes here and there in his films. In his previous, "Le Havre", a very small cameo is provided by Jean-Pierre Léaud, playing the role of the anonymous snitch, phoning the cops in best Collaborator fashion.

Re: "The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:29 pm
by uiwangmike
NormanD wrote: In his previous, "Le Havre", a very small cameo is provided by Jean-Pierre Léaud, playing the role of the anonymous snitch, phoning the cops in best Collaborator fashion.

Try if you can to catch J-PL in The Death of Louis XIV, most of the running time of which he plays in bed.

Re: "The Other Side of Hope"

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:53 pm
by NormanD
I had to watch this again - after many years. My own name has four syllables, but I've never sat in front of a mirror chanting it. Maybe it's not too late to.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p2ej4onSFA