Aki Kaurismäki

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Aki Kaurismäki (2017)

Aki Olavi Kaurismäki  [ ˈɑki ˈkɑu̯rismæki ] (born April 4, 1957 in Orimattila ) is a multi-award-winning Finnish film director . Please click to listen!Play

life and work

Aki Kaurismäki studied literature and communication at the University of Tampere . In addition to various temporary jobs, for example as a postman or in catering, he was the editor of a university film magazine. He also wrote film reviews for Filmihullu magazine from 1979 to 1984 . The first script followed in 1980 for the medium-length film The Liar (Valehtelija) , directed by his brother Mika .

Kaurismäki's films often address the fate of social outsiders in urban centers such as Helsinki. They are not only known for their economical dialogues, but also for their bizarre laconic humor. Kaurismäki regularly works with a solid base of friendly actors and musicians who have also shaped his films stylistically: Matti Pellonpää , Kati Outinen , Kari Väänänen and Sakke Järvenpää . As a reminiscence of Alfred Hitchcock , he occasionally made cameo appearances in his films , which Hitchcock also used to do.

In Germany, his films were shown for the first time in 1986 at the Grenzland-Filmtage film festival in Selb . Aki Kaurismäki personally screened the films Der Lügner, Calamari Union and Crime and Punishment . During the festival he wrote the script for his film Schatten im Paradies , which he presented again in person in 1988 at the Grenzland Film Festival in Selb. This film brought him his international breakthrough. A large part of the film music came from the band Nardis from Erlangen, which Kaurismäki had met in 1986 at the Grenzland-Filmtage. The Finnish director became known to the broader German audience through his participation in the Berlinale in 1988 . Kaurismäki caused a sensation in autumn 2006 when he refused to accept his film Lights of the Suburbs as an official Finnish entry for an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Foreign Language Film , even though the drama was unanimously selected by the Finnish Chamber of Film. Kaurismäki explained his rejection with his represented for years critical stance against the Iraq war the United States .

Together with his brother Mika Kaurismäki he founded the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Lapland Sodankylä and the rental company Villealfa. The name goes back to the character Ville Alfa, the protagonist in the film The Liar . It is also an anagram of Alphaville , a film by Jean-Luc Godard .

In 1989, Kaurismäki emigrated to Portugal with his wife because "there is no longer any place in Helsinki where he can post his camera".

Rainer Gansera , who spoke to the “chief melancholy of European auteur cinema” in Hof for epd Film magazine in 2006, was personally impressed by his appearance and described atmospherically:

“Well-chilled white wine, cigarettes, one after the other, soft voice, almost whispering, as if - like a hypnotist - he wanted to concentrate his counterpart entirely on the conjuring voice. No expressive gestures whatsoever. [His films] are lurching atmospheric journeys: through highs and lows, through abysses (only gradually one notices that it is above all the abysses of self-doubt) and enlightenments, primed by sharp-edged, dry humor. "

- Rainer Gansera : epd Film 12/2006, p. 25

Kaurismäki claims to have seen Bresson , Ozu and Godard as personal models , but the training at the film schools in his country did not give him much positive. At the end of 2006, Pandora released 14 feature films and five short films (with digitally restored images) in four boxes as the “Aki Kaurismäki DVD Collection”.

In 2011, after five years, Kaurismäki completed a feature film with Le Havre , which once again earned him an invitation to the competition at the Cannes Film Festival . The film, shot in France, is about a shoe shiner from the port city of the same name who takes care of an illegal refugee child from Africa. Le Havre won the FIPRESCI Prize in Cannes .

For the feature film The Other Side of Hope , Kaurismäki received an invitation to compete at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in 2017 . The film is set in Helsinki and tells of an encounter between an elderly Finnish sales representative (played by Sakari Kuosmanen ) and a young Syrian refugee ( Sherwan Haji ). The film was released in Finnish cinemas on February 3, 2017.




  • 1980: The Liar (Valehtelija) - also screenwriter (film by his brother Mika)
  • 1982: The Worthless (Arvottomat) - also screenwriter and assistant director (film by his brother Mika)
  • 2004: Aaltra
  • 2012: Estrada de Palha
  • 2015: Vandaleyne (cameo)


year Festival Prize Movie
1984 Jussi - Best Debut Film, Best Screenplay (shared with Pauli Pentti ) Crime and Punishment
1989 Moscow International Film Festival - FIPRESCI Prize , Golden St. George
1990 International Film Festival Berlin - Interfilm Award / Otto Dibelius Film Award in the International Forum of Young Films ;
OCIC Award , honorable mention in the "International Forum of Young Films"
The girl from the match factory
1991 Jussi - best director The girl from the match factory
1992 International Film Festival Berlin - FIPRESCI Prize in the "International Forum of Young Films" The life of the bohemian
1993 Jussi - best director The life of the bohemian
1996 Cannes International Film Festival - Ecumenical Jury Prize Special Mention,
Nomination for the Palme d'Or
Clouds pass by
1996 International Film Festival São Paulo - Audience Award, Best Film Clouds pass by
1997 Tromsø International Film Festival - Import Award Clouds pass by
1997 Jussi - best director, best script Clouds pass by
1999 Norwegian International Film Festival - nomination for Amanda ,
Best Nordic Feature Film (Nordisk Amanda)
1999 International Film Festival Berlin - Prize of the CICAE ,
honorable mention in the "International Forum of Young Films"
1999 Valladolid International Film Festival - Nomination for the Golden Ear Juha
2000 Jussi - nomination for the best director Juha
2002 European Film Awards - nominations for the Audience Award and in the categories of Best Director, Best Film, Best Screenwriter The man without a past
2002 San Sebastián International Film Festival - FIPRESCI Film of the Year The man without a past
2002 Hamburg Film Festival - Douglas Sirk Prize Contribution to film culture
2002 Cannes International Film Festival - Grand Jury Prize, Ecumenical Jury Prize;
Nomination for the Golden Palm
The man without a past
2002 Flanders International Film Festival - Golden Trace The man without a past
2002 Nordic Film Days Lübeck - Audience Award of the Lübecker Nachrichten The man without a past
2002 Nordic Council - Nordic Council Film Award The man without a past
2002 Oscar nomination for best foreign language film The man without a past
2003 Bodil - Nomination for Best Non-American Film The man without a past
2003 César - nomination for the best EU film The man without a past
2003 Bangkok International Film Festival - Golden Kinnaree Award , Best Screenplay,
Nomination for the Golden Kinnaree Award , Best Film
The man without a past
2003 Palm Springs International Film Festival - FIPRESCI Award The man without a past
2003 Jussi - best director, best script The man without a past
2003 Robert Festival - Best Non-American Film The man without a past
2003 Sindacato Nazionale Giornalisti Cinematografici Italiani - Nomination for the Nastro d'Argento , Best Foreign Film Director The man without a past
2004 Camerimage - Special Prize, Best Duo Director / Cameraman (shared with Timo Salminen )
2004 Chlotrudis Award - nomination for the best original screenplay The man without a past
2004 Argentine Film Critics Association Award - nomination for the Silver Condor , Best Foreign Film The man without a past
2005 Art Prize Berlin - Film and Media Art
2006 Cannes International Film Festival - Nomination for the Golden Palm Suburban lights
2006 Locarno International Film Festival - Leopard of Honor Life's work
2007 Jussi - best film, best director Suburban lights
2011 FIPRESCI award Le Havre
2011 Munich Film Festival - Arri Prize Le Havre
2011 Chicago International Film Festival - Golden Hugo Le Havre
2011 Louis Delluc Prize Le Havre
2012 Jussi - best film, best director, best screenplay Le Havre
2012 Murnau Film Prize from the Streitbörger law firm Life's work
2017 Silver Bear / Best Director The other side of hope
2017 German Film Peace Prize - main international prize The other side of hope


  • Aki Kaurismäki Collection . Pandora Film, 2014, 10 DVDs with a total of 21 films from 1983–2011.


  • Peter von Bagh : Kaurismäki on Kaurismäki . Alexander, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-89581-342-9 . (Conversations and essays with around 200 illustrations)
  • Beate Rusch (Ed.): Shadows in Paradise. From the "Leningrad Cowboys" to "Clouds are passing by" - Aki Kaurismäki's films. Berlin, Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf Verlag 1997, ISBN 3-89602-119-2 (photographs by Marja-Leena Hukkanen, with accompanying texts by Aki Kaurismäki)
  • Jochen Werner: Aki Kaurismäki , Mainz, Bender 2005, 352 pp., 500 b / w illustrations, ISBN 3-936497-08-7 (analysis of all Kaurismäki films and a long interview with Kaurismäki)
  • Ulrike Hanstein: Unknown woman, beaten hero: the melodramatic film aesthetics in Lars von Trier and Aki Kaurismäki. Berlin, Alexander 2011, ISBN 3-89581-255-2
  • Ralph Eue and Linda Söffker (eds.): Aki Kaurismäki (film: 13). With contributions by Lars-Olav Beier , Harun Farocki , Ulrich Gregor , Anke Leweke and Jan Schulz-Ojala. Berlin, Bertz + Fischer Verlag 2006, 224 pages, 207 b / w photos / image sequences, ISBN 3-929470-89-6
  • Reinhold Zwick : Clouds move up and past. Structures of the comic in the Bible and Aki Kaurismäki, in: St.Orth / J.Valentin / R.Zwick (eds.), Divine Comedies. Religious dimensions of the comic in the cinema (Film und Theologie, Vol. 2), Cologne 2001, pp. 69–95
  • Reinhold Zwick: Blessed are the poor in the living containers. Aki Kaurismäki and his tragic comedy “The man without a past”, in: Voices of the Time 128 (2003), pp. 546-560
  • Reinhold T. Schöffel: Grenzland Filmtage. Program. Grenzlandfilmtage eV, Wunsiedel 1986, pp. 15-18

Web links

Commons : Aki Kaurismäki  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ralph Eue: Biographical sketch. In: Ralph Eue and Linda Söffker, pp. 188–191
  2. ^ Grenzland Filmtage. Program. Grenzlandfilmtage eV, Wunsiedel 1986, pp. 15-18
  3. epd Film 12/2006, p. 25
  4. Eue, p. 189
  5. epd Film 3/2007, p. 50
  6. Hopewell, John: 'Le Havre' win top Fipresci crits' award ( Memento from May 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) at variety.com, May 21, 2011 (accessed on May 22, 2011)
  7. Aunimo, Rane: Aki Kaurismäuusi elokuva Toivon tuolla puolen kertoo kauppamatkustajasta ja syyrialaispakolaisesta at demokraatti.fi, April 20, 2016 (accessed March 25, 2017).
  8. Taavitsainen, Iikka: Aki Kaurismäden elokuva Toivon tuolla puolen elokuvateattereihin helmikuussa at savonsanomat.fi (accessed April 27, 2017).
  9. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097753/
  10. ^ Review by Dietmar Kammerer , taz from October 12, 2006, accessed September 16, 2012