Hitting bottom: Aki Kaurismäki and the abject subject
Author: Elsaesser, Thomas
Source: Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, Volume 1, Number 1, 15 October 2010 , pp. 105-122(18)
Abstract:This article uses a number of recent European films to forward arguments concerning European transnational cinema as well as post-national societies. Particular focus is placed on Aki Kaurismäki’s film The Man without a Past (2002), which is seen as a serious, comic and subversive contribution to the debate about the nature of European governmentality in times when there is little room for solidarity or kinship loyalty. The Man without a Past is looked at across three possible intersecting frames of reference, tentatively referred to as social romanticism, a social parable of our time, and the ability to look at a given situation from outside without stepping outside. Together these frames allow an understanding of Kaurismäki’s analysis of contemporary society and his construction of a hero, who combines great humanity and humility and makes his otherness the very basis of a new kind of community.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of Amsterdam
Publication date: 15 October 2010
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