Fallen Leaves

by Aki Kaurismäki

Fallen Leaves


FALLEN LEAVES tells the story of two lonely people who meet each other by chance in the Helsinki night and try to find the first, only, and ultimate love of their lives. Their path towards this honourable goal is clouded by the man's alcoholism, lost phone numbers, not knowing each other's names or addresses, and life's general tendency to place obstacles in the way of those seeking their happiness.

This gentle tragicomedy, previously thought to be lost, is the fourth part of Aki Kaurismäki's working-class trilogy (Shadows in Paradise, Ariel, and The Match Factory Girl).


Aki Kaurismäki, born in 1957, grew up into "the age terrorized by the television", and has tried and managed to stick totally to the inseparable realities of the real world and the "deep screen" that only the 35 mm film - light against the electronic machinations, the beauty of artisan tradition against technological overkill - makes possible. He never used any other material, least of all video, and he is simply very proud for having joined in the continuity and tradition of "real cinema". His minimalist style is all his own (and that of the great cinematographer of all his films, Timo Salminen); he never entered the Finnish Film School (as he was suspected to be "too cynical"). At the same time his films are full of quotations (he mentioned Juha would have more than hundred) but always invisible, a part of a constant dialogue where particles of film culture reveal realities of human environment, society and psyche as it is now, and as it was during the tender years of Aki's childhood; only vaguely known to foreign spectators, there is always an overwhelming presence of Finnish typicalities, "objects of love" and references to well-known sources of Finnish literary evergreens, painting or of course popular music (or our beloved films).


The „Literary Classics"
»Crime And Punishment«, Feature, OV Finnish, 1983
»Hamlet Goes Business«, Feature, OV Finnish, 1987
»I Hired A Contract Killer«, Feature, OV English, 1990
»La Vie De Boheme«, Feature, OV French, 1992
»Juha«, Feature, Silent, 1998

The „Charming Cheapies", the Road Movies
»Calamari Union«, Feature, OV Finnish, 1985
»Take care of your scarf - Tatjana«, Feature, OV Finnish, 1994

The „World's Worst Rock'n'Roll Band", the Leningrad Cowboy Films and other Shorts / Music Videos
»Rocky VI«, Short / Music Video, 1986
»Thru The Wire«, Short / Music Video, 1987
»L.A. Women«, Short / Music Video, 1987
»Melrose. Rich Little Bitch,« Short / Music Video, 1987
»Leningrad Cowboys Go America«, Feature, OV English / Finnish, 1989
»Those were the Days«, Short / Music Video, 1991
»These Boots«, Short / Music Video, 1991
»Total Balalaika Show«, Music Documentary, 1993
»Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses«, Feature, OV English, 1994

The „Working Class" Trilogy
»Shadows In Paradise«, Feature, OV Finnish, 1986
»Ariel«, Feature, OV Finnish, 1988
»The Match Factory Girl«, Feature, OV Finnish, 1990

The „Loser" Trilogy
»Drifting Clouds«, Feature, OV Finnish, 1996
»The Man without a Past«, Feature, OV Finnish, 2002
»Lights In The Dusk«, Feature, OV Finnish, 2006


Alma Pöysti as Ansa
Jussi Vatanen as Holappa
Janne Hyytiäinen as Huotari
Nuppu Koivu as Liisa


Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Writer: Aki Kaurismäki
Assistant director: Eevi Kareinen
Cinematography: Timo Salminen
Lighting: Olli Varja
Set designer: Ville Grönroos
Costume designer: Tiina Kaukanen
Sound designer: Pietu Korhonen
Editor: Samu Heikkilä
Producers: Aki Kaurismäki, Misha Jaari, Mark Lwoff, Reinhard Brundig

Technical Data

Original title: KUOLLEET LEHDET
International title: FALLEN LEAVES
Duration: 81 min
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Format: DCP and 35 mm
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Year: 2023
Original language: Finnish
Countries of production: Finland, Germany
Production Companies: Sputnik Oy, Bufo
Co-production Companies: Pandora Film

With the support of: Finnish Film Foundation,
Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, ZDF / ARTE, ARTE G.E.I.E, Filmförderungsanstalt,
Film-und Medienstiftung NRW

Go back