The second part of a loose trilogy by Finnish cult director Aki Kaurismaki, this 1988 feature was preceded by Shadows in Paradise (1986) and followed by The Match Factory Girl (1989). Kaurismaki seems bent at times on remaking a proletarian Warners melodrama of the 30s (as in The Match Factory Girl, his postmodernist models seem to be Bresson and Fassbinder), albeit with rock tunes on the sound track. A taciturn hero (Turo Pajala) leaves Lapland for Helsinki after the mine employing him and his father shuts down; en route he’s mugged and robbed of his savings. He winds up moving in with a divorced meter maid and eventually finds himself edged into a life of crime. Wittily laconic in style and attractively sharp in its images, it’s the kind of low-budget genre movie they don’t make so well anymore, at least not in the U.S. In Finnish with subtitles. 73 min. (JR)

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