17 June 2006 | poikkeus
Imagine a Finnish director making a film that's as much a tribute to French film as a parody of its worst excesses, and you have a fair idea of what La Vie de Boheme is about. Aki Kaurismaki uses his thoroughly deadpan comic approach to render the lives of a group of pathetic artists in France, none of whom are even close to being artists (except in their own minds). In fact, it's easy for the uninitiated to take the film very seriously, given Kaurismaki's dry comic touch.
I caught this at the SF International Film Festival, where a fair part of the audience (including myself) was caught up in laughter - while admiring the painterly black and white photography and perfectly pitched performances. Those uncomfortable with a Jim jarmusch style of post- modernism might even feel lost from time to time. But all of Kaurismaki's film's are comedies, some more outrageous than others, and this one is about as perfect in conception as you might hope.