Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ironies

Watching Eldar Ryazanov's Ironiya sud'by (Irony Of Fate, 1975) over the Christmas holiday, I was struck by the degree to which this particular type of dead-pan humour also animates much later productions from this part of the world - in particular the films of Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, whose Mies vailla menneisyyttä (The Man Without A Past, 2002) clearly owes a debt to Ryazanov's classic. Quite apart from the fact that the plots bear some resemblance to each other, there's also the same emotional ambivalence - the same uncertainty whether to laugh or to cry.
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