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Kaurismäki Sundays

The Match Factory Girl

(Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö)

Dir: Aki Kaurismäki, 1990, Finland, 68 minutues, Cert:15

Sun 26 November 2023 // 17:00

Tickets: £5

This early work by the acclaimed director of ‘Drifting Clouds’ and ‘Le Havre’ is a bittersweet tale of revenge and its cost.

One of Aki Kaurismäki’s favourite actors Kati Outinen plays Iiris, a shy young woman stuck in a dead-end job on a match factory production line. She dreams of finding love at the local dancehall, but her attempts are constantly undermined by her selfish parents and the callous behaviour of her would-be suitors. Finding herself pregnant after a one-night stand, and abandoned by the child’s father, Iiris decides the time has come to get even. And so she begins to plot her revenge.

With its limited palette and deadpan style, this is classic Kaurismäki film which closes out the “Proletariat Trilogy” with a bang—and a whimper.

Kaurismäki: “I decided to make a film that would make Robert Bresson seem like a director of epic action pictures.”

Doors open: 16:30

Film start time: 17:00

We may show a trailer or two but we never screen a programme of adverts so the film will start a few minutes after the advertised time.

“Magnificent. Taut brilliance. This virtuosic work is heartbreaking until it turns outrageously funny.”
– Caryn James, The New York Times

“Few films are ever this unremittingly unyielding. I found myself as tightly gripped as with a good thriller.”
– Roger Ebert

“It has the sure touch, inexorable flow and after-effect of a masterpiece. A weirdo masterpiece, to be sure: funky and minimalist, caustic and heartfelt, puckishly wry and despairingly dark. (It) is shot so simply and starkly, with such apparent affectlessness that it becomes hypnotic. Kaurismäki has been the darling of urban American and international film critics for several years… The Match Factory Girl is clearly the masterwork of his 10-year career. It catches our eyes, burns its images into our mind.”
– Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times

Screening as part of a season of classic Kaurismäki films https://cubecinema.com/programme/view/kaurismaki/  playing on Sundays in November/December

The poignant, deadpan films of Aki Kaurismäki are pitched somewhere in the wintry nether lands between comedy and tragedy. And rarely in his body of work has the line separating those genres seemed thinner than in what is often identified as his "Proletariat Trilogy," Shadows in Paradise, Ariel, and The Match Factory Girl. In these three films, something like social-realist farces, Kaurismäki surveys the working-class outcasts of his native Finland with detached yet disarming amusement. Featuring commanding, off-key visual compositions and delightfully dour performances, the films in this triptych exemplify the talents of a unique and highly influential film artist.