The Match Factory Girl | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Match Factory Girl

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This is the best film by Aki Kaurismaki that I've seen. The conclusion of his "proletarian trilogy" that began with Shadows in Paradise and Ariel, this work centers on a meek, morose assembly-line worker (Kati Outinen) who is brutalized by her mother and stepfather and usually ignored by everyone else. After she's picked up and impregnated by a well-to-do architect who coolly exploits her, she plots and executes a rather extravagant revenge. Basically a postmodernist reshuffling of Robert Bresson and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, this doesn't hold a candle to the best work of either. But on its own terms, it has an unmistakable minimalist elegance (1990). (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, July 6, 7:45, 443-3737)

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