La Vie de Bohème

Friday, December 9 - Sunday, December 11, 2011

“Aki Kaurismäki’s film is a beautiful comedy about down-and-out artists. The source material is Henri Murger’s ‘Scènes de la vie de Bohème,’ which was published in the mid-nineteenth century. The movie’s action takes place in modern-day Paris, but everything on the screen has a timeless, almost archaic feel. Kaurismäki has created a kind of twilight world, half reverent, half ironic, which allows the ideals and the ardor of the nineteenth-century artist to persist, improbably, in these less idealistic, less ardent times. The three heroes—a painter (Matti Pellonpää), a writer (Andre Wilms), and a musician (Kari Väänänen)—all look to be on the wrong side of forty, and they have the peculiar dignity of aging innocents who have long since stopped worrying about looking silly. Kaurismäki (who also wrote the screenplay) finds the loveliest, most delicate humor in this brotherhood of outcasts. Also with Evelyne Didi, Christine Murillo, Jean-Pierre Léaud, and a silky black dog named Laika, who represents his species nobly. The elegant black-and-white cinematography is by Timo Salminen.  -Terrence Rafferty, The New Yorker
  • Country France/Finland
  • Language In French with English subtitles
  • Rating NR
  • Year 1992
  • Running Time 100 minutes
  • Director Aki Kaurismäki

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