Man Without a Past

It’s Preston Sturges meets Ingmar Bergman in the latest flick from Aki Kaurismaki. A man is beaten in a park in Helsinki and loses his memory. He winds up living with a group of no-income transients who inhabit abandoned railway freight cars. He says lots of funny stuff in a manner so deadpan and dry that you’d swear he was reading funeral notices to blind nuns. Then, of course, he gets a jukebox and falls in love with a Salvation Army worker. The cinematography is so pretty it could make a Nobel Prize cry, and the costumes and sets are like some sort of David Lynch version of extreme poverty. I think it would be fun to see this movie while really stoned, because then it would be overtly hilarious. As it is, it may be too subtle for its own good, but if you’ve always wanted to see Sullivan’s Travels re-done as a contemporary Finnish film, then Man Without a Past is probably the only movie you should see ever.

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