Fallen Leaves is the newest film from Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki and it's just a joy to watch. This is a film with a very sweet heart. Its central story follows two very likeable low-key characters who you wish the best for. Sweet stories like this are missing from a lot of contemporary cinema and it is awesome that low-key movies such as this get featured heavily at the Loft.
This is my first time attending the Loft's film fest and it was a great experience. I love global cinema and this year's festival features great stuff from renowned international directors such as Aki, Hirokazu Koreeda, and Wim Wenders. I am very excited to attend the screenings of Monster and Perfect Days in the coming days.
To take it back to Fallen Leaves though, there were many things to like about the presentation and artistic vision that this movie presents. Its presentation exudes a calmness which was somewhat hypnotic to witness and the odd deadpan comedic tone throughout reminded me of Jim Jarmusch (whose film The Dead Don't Die is specifically referenced). In fact, there is a lot of reverence shown to the history of cinema with a lot of posters for classic films being shown. Another thing that stuck out to me was the great usage of color throughout. The film does not make it a point to demonstrate overt colorization but every shot is beautiful and the lighting mixed with the reds or blues (depending on the shot) leads to the maxim of every frame a painting applying to this movie.
The performances of the leads also stands out. Every role is played very well and the characters are believable, sweet, and really fun to watch. There is some dramatic elements but the film mostly keeps a light tone and is just nice which is not a compliment I'm often able to give to many films. Watching this movie is like hanging out with an old friend who makes you comfortable and content.
Overall, I had a tremendous experience at this Loft film fest. The audience in my screening was respectful and the overall vibe of the festival was pretty awesome. There are food truck and interviews with directors and a general love and respect for cinema. You should go if you can.