“It’s been quite overwhelming to see that Aki has a family all around the world”: Jussi Vatanen and Alma Pöysti on Fallen Leaves
Fallen Leaves is the fourth installment in a set of films from Finnish director Kaurismäki ruminating on working-class life, following Shadows in Paradise, Ariel and The Match Factory. A tragicomic romance, it follows the chance meeting in Helsinki between Ansa (Alma Pöysti), a supermarket worker, and Holappa (Jussi Vatanen), an alcoholic construction worker, who are drawn to each other but face all manner of hurdles to nurture their nascent attraction, from lost phone numbers to forgotten names. Taut with dry humour yet brimming with empathy for his flawed characters, it captures a sense of hope and humanity amidst the most bleak of circumstances.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of speaking with the movie’s stars Vatanen and Pöysti during London Film Festival. They shared insights on their lonely, complex characters, and their transformative encounter. They also reflected on what it was like working with the film’s director, Aki Kaurismäki, his unique style, and the experience of shooting on 35mm film. We also discussed the film’s timeless setting, deadpan humour, and the underlying theme of hope amidst adversity, as well as its warm reception worldwide.
Fallen Leaves is in UK cinemas on 1st December 2023. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for Fallen Leaves here: