THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST (Aki Kaurismäki, 2002)
323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.
Sunday, November 27, $13, 11:00 am
Series continues through December 18
Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki’s touching, funny, dark, satiric The Man Without a Past deservedly won the 2002 Grand Jury Prize at Cannes. In the brutal opening, an unidentified character gets severely beaten and dies, then wakes up with amnesia. M (Markku Peltola) is soon taken in by a desperately poor family who lives in a shack they call a container. He meets Irma (Kati Outinen, in a small role that won her Best Actress at Cannes), and their potential romance is both sweet and absurd. Kaurismäki wrote, produced, and directed this splendid example of the offbeat nature of his work, which is always intelligent, challenging, and rewarding. It is screening at the IFC Center in conjunction with the recent theatrical release of Le Havre as part of the ongoing Weekend Classics series, which will keep showing Kaurismäki gems through December 18.