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Fallen Leaves

July 2 | 7:00 pm


The Helene and Stephen Weicholz Global Film Series


In Finnish with English subtitles
Finland, German / not rated / Directed by Aki Kaurismäki / 2023 / Drama / 81 minutes

Award-winning filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, The Other Side of Hope) makes a masterful return with Fallen Leaves, a timeless, hopeful and satisfying love story that won the Jury Prize at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

Set in modern-day Helsinki, the film tells the story of Ansa (Alma Pöysti) and Holappa (Jussi Vatanen), two lonely souls whose chance meeting at a local karaoke bar is beset by numerous hurdles. From lost phone numbers to mistaken addresses, alcoholism and a charming stray dog, the pair’s path to happiness is as bittersweet as it is ultimately delightful.

Shot through with Kaurismäki’s typically playful, idiosyncratic style and deadpan sense of humor, this tender romantic tragicomedy is both a loving tribute to the filmmaker’s beloved contemporaries and a timely reminder of the potency of movie-going from one of cinema’s living legends.

The theme of this year’s trio of films is The Pursuit of Happiness.

“In our fractious and contentious world, we all seek different ways of finding happiness. Sometimes we find it in love, other times in the pleasures of the senses, and even in the simplicity of daily tasks. Our series will focus on three poignant and satisfying international films that explore the many paths to happiness.” —Dale Pollock

Explore the series’ films with Dale, as he discusses:

  • Why the filmmaker chooses to explore this particular path to happiness
  • How they do so by various cinematic techniques (camera, sound, design)
  • How each of these explorations pursues a particular style of storytelling
  • Why all of the characters, in the end, achieve their goal.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Born in 1957, Aki Kaurismäki grew up in “the age terrorized by television”, and has tried and managed to capture the inseparable truths of the real world and screen world, which only 35 mm film – pure light instead of digital machinations, artisan practice rather than technological overkill – makes possible. He has never worked in any other format, least of all video, and is proud to represent the continuity of cinematic tradition. Having never studied at the Finnish Film School (he was thought to be “too cynical”), Aki’s minimalist style is all his own (and that of his longtime cinematographer Timo Salminen). At the same time, his films are full of references (he says Juha included more than a hundred), acting as inconspicuous participants in a constant dialogue which reveals our environment, society and psyche as it is now and as it was during the tender years of his childhood; though littleknown to international audiences, Finnish culture is always present in local customs, “objects of love” and allusions to well-known literary works, paintings and (of course) popular music and beloved films.

LOCATION: Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, 733 Rivers St., Boone, NC 28608

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Box Office at theschaefercenter@appstate.edu or call 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046. 

ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability, contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.

TICKETS: $10


SHOWTIME:
Tuesday, July 2, 2024 | 7pm
Doors open at 6pm

ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability, contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.

ABOUT THE CURATOR

Dale M. Pollock, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, received a BA in Anthropology from Brandeis University in 1972 and a MS in Communications from San Jose State University. In 1977, he became the head film critic for Daily Variety until he was hired by the Los Angeles Times to be their chief entertainment correspondent. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in the early 1980s and wrote Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas in 1983, which has sold more than 150,000 copies and remains in print. In 1985, Pollock joined David Geffen’s company as a development executive, where he discovered the scripts for Beetlejuice, The Burbs and Universal Soldier.  He joined A&M Films as vice president in charge of production, and was named president in 1990, producing such films as The Beast, The Mighty Quinn, A Midnight Clear and Mrs. Winterbourne. Pollock ran his own film company, Peak Productions, for 10 years, producing the box office hit Set It Off. He co-founded the producing program at the American Film Institute in 1995. In 1999, he became Dean of the School of Filmmaking at the (then) North Carolina School of the Arts, stepping down in 2006 to become Professor of Cinema Studies. He was awarded Emeritus status in 2019 and served as Interim Dean for nine months in 2021. Pollock was awarded an Endowed Professorship in Film in his name at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking in 2014 and is the 2016 recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence. He also received the 2020 Arts Council of Winston Salem’s Annual Award, its highest honor. Pollock’s first work of fiction, Chopped: A Novel, was published in March 2023, and is available on Amazon and at bookstores everywhere. The audio book, narrated by Pollock, will debut in April 2024 on Audible and other services. Pollock is at work on his next historical novel, set in Winston-Salem, NC at the end of World War I.

Details

Date:
July 2
Time:
7:00 pm
Event Categories:
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