Thursday, July 01, 2004

what if dali made a chick flick?

The Man Without a Past (which incidentally would also be my first Finnish film) may not qualify without argument, but it at least drove me to ask the question. The film begins with a man accosted by street thugs who beat him up and divest him of his valuables (and anything that may provide a clue to his identity). What follows is an austere, staid exercise in minimalism as the man proceeds to make a life for himself, falling in love with a Salvation Army worker in the process. The event log is Forrest Gump-ian at times, but with a very very dark deadpan streak. All the humour is quiet. The most upbeat thing, as it were, would be the soundtrack (featuring cuts from Blind Lemon Jefferson and the Renegades). Still, despite the generally unexciting nature of the goings-on, I seemed to have a positive view of the film as it moved from almost sinking into a depressing exploration of the lives of people living in containers to our hero furnishing his container, getting a jukebox, breaking the ice with a gruff landlord, finding interesting jobs, and even proving to be a conundrum for an administrative system that doesn't seem quite equipped to deal with people in his situation. And if there's something else that seems to pervade this wry comedy, it's a strange tired faith in the healing power of rock n' roll.

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