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LIGHTS IN THE DUSK

2:30  7:00

Wednesday, November 29

(2006) A noirish portrait of loneliness, LIGHTS IN THE DUSK finds a shopping mall night watchman (Janne Hyytiäinen) sucked into a crime scheme via a femme fatale (described by the director as “the most callous woman in the history of cinema since Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s ALL ABOUT EVE”). The dog is played by Paju. 35mm print courtesy of Museum of Modern Art. Approx. 93 mins.

Reviews

“A dark jewel of a movie, it radiates with warmth.” 
– Geoff Andrew, Time Out (London)

“Were it 1940-something, Aki Kaurismäki's Lights in the Dusk would endure as a kind of B-movie classic… What makes his filmmaking so distinctive is the balance Kaurismäki strikes between misery and mirth, cynicism and a glass half full. In its own way, Lights in the Dusk is a tour de force. Kaurismäki plumbs a single deadpan tone for all its emotional worth. It’s a deceptively satisfying, almost magical achievement, like being stranded in a desert yet never going thirsty.” 
– Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

“May be the purest, simplest expression of his sensibility to date… flavorful musical interludes, great affection for the city’s outcasts, and lots of bleakness chased by the faintest sliver of hope. As bad as things get for his hero, there’s an agreeable lightness of touch to the film.” 
– Scott Tobias, A/V Club

“A sense of aching distance and isolation is palpable in every frame of the film, which portrays Helsinki as a bleak, shadowy Edward Hopper cityscape. Like all of Mr. Kaurismaki’s films, it tempers its lyricism with an undertone of gallows humor.”
– Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“Like very few directors (Tati, Fassbinder, Keaton, Fellini), he has created a world all his own, and you can recognize it from almost every shot. His characters are dour, speak little, expect the worst, smoke too much, are ill-treated by life, are passive in the face of tragedy. Yes, and they are funny… How can I convince you these stories are deeply amusing? I can't. Take my word for it.”
– Roger Ebert