Friday, January 31, 2014

On Aki Kaurismäki in CineAction Issue #92

Hello all. In this post, I am very pleased to announce the publication of a new essay of mine in the 92nd issue of the Toronto-based film journal CineAction, which has just hit the stands. The piece focuses on one of my absolute favourite filmmakers and an artist whose work has come to mean a lot to me over the past few years: Aki Kaurismäki. I wrote the essay last summer when I was in a particularly uncertain period in my life. Unemployed, living at home in Windsor, desperate to get back to Toronto, and discouraged by meager job prospects, I found myself newly responsive to politically conscientious films and filmmakers that I could relate to in terms of my situation. Of them all, Kaurismäki stood out as a reassuring beacon of hope and truth, and I drew immense measures of comfort and insight from his tales of underdogs, part-timers, and scrappy survivors. Thus, writing the essay served as a way for me to express my thoughts and views regarding the social and economic factors that I, like so many others, was directly confronted with while also allowing me to pay tribute to one of my heroes. Even though I eventually managed to find a new job and make my way back to Toronto, I am still very much concerned about and affected by the social problems explored by Kaurismäki, whose films continue to be as meaningful, relevant, and inspiring as ever.

Many thanks to Scott Forsyth of York University for expressing interest in my piece and including it in the issue. Those interested in checking out my essay, entitled "It's All About Mercy": Aki Kaurismäki and the Art of Getting By, can find it in the current "Politics + Cinema" issue of CineAction, which will be available in stores for the next few months. Thank you for reading!

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