16 December 2007 | Andy-296
Surprisingly faithful to its source material
Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki's black and white adaptation of Scene de la Vie de Boheme (originally a non fiction book by Henri de Murger dealing with the lives of the starving bohemian artists of the Paris of the first decades of the 19th century, and later a famous opera by Puccini) is surprisingly faithful to its source material, despite its modern settings. The place is still Paris, and the film closely follows both the book and the opera, with the proud but poor artists living at the day to day to survive in the city of lights. We even have the famous burning of the manuscripts to get some heat during the cold winter. The late Matti Pellonpaa, a Kaurismaki regular, stars as Rodolfo, as well as other less known, but equally fine actors (the actress playing Mimi, however, fails to create an impression). There are a couple of cameos by Nouvelle Vague faves Jean-Pierre Leaud and Samuel Fuller. Note: Later, Rent, a less accomplished modern retelling of La Vie de Boheme, this time set on New York City, was also produced, first on stage, and later on film.