matchfactorygirl.jpgOrdinarily Gothamist wouldn't recommend seeing a director's works based on the coolness of his name alone, but the fun induced when saying "Aki Kaurismäki" in a sing-song voice is directly proportional to the whimsy found in his movies. Whimsy plus memorable characters and compelling melodrama often about the Finnish under-classes, mind you.

Anthology Film Archives brings a series of films distributed by the great art house imprint Kino to their screens, and tonight a double bill of Kaurismäki works. You may have caught his 2002 film which played at the New York Film Festival, The Man Without A Past, but if not, here's your chance to get acquainted with this leading international director.

At 7 pm, The Match Factory Girl (1990) and at 9 pm, La Vie de bohème (1992). Match Factory features the Kaurismäki main stay actress Kati Outinen, whose dry delivery and implacable face fits perfectly with Kaurismäki's bleak but irreverent tone. Sure, bleak and irreverent sounds like it should be an cinematic oxymoron but that's what makes Kaurismäki's films so brilliant and worth seeking out. La Vie is Kaurismäki's version of the story which inspired both Puccini's La Bohème and Rent and also comes highly recommended.

The Kino Summer series runs until August 24 and the list of 35mm new prints is drool-inducing with Tarkovsky, Fellini and De Sica movies, just to name a few, coming up.