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also known as Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö

The Match Factory Girl1990

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  • 3.9
  • passes the bechdel test
Aki Kaurismäki took his penchant for despairing character studies to unspeakably grim depths in the shockingly entertaining THE MATCH FACTORY GIRL. Kati Outinen is memorably impenetrable as Iris, whose grinding days as a cog in a factory wheel, and nights as a neglected daughter living with her parents, ultimately send her over the edge. Yet despite her transgressions, Kaurismäki makes Iris a compelling, even sympathetic figure. Bleak yet suffused with comic irony, THE MATCH FACTORY GIRL closes out the "Proletariat Trilogy" with a bang, and a whimper.

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1 member likes this review

At the start of the film there is news reel of the events taking place in the world when The Match Factory Girl was made: images of the tank defying hero at Tiananmen Square and Pope John Paul II. And I wondered if Aki Kaurismäki knew the impact those images would have in the film's context for the audience of the future. Iris bought the dress, damn it! We never know where those drug store novels transported our anti heroine. And she never comes across as a dim wit, yet there had to have been residual afterthoughts, and some awareness of the trail of self incriminating evidence against her. Satisfaction wins. And the viewer is left to imagine how much pain Iris' world carried for her before her defiance.

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Member Reviews (10)

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top reviewer

At the start of the film there is news reel of the events taking place in the world when The Match Factory Girl was made: images of the tank defying hero at Tiananmen Square and Pope John Paul II. And I wondered if Aki Kaurismäki knew the impact those images would have in the film's context for the audience of the future. Iris bought the dress, damn it! We never know where those drug store novels transported our anti heroine. And she never comes across as a dim wit, yet there had to have been residual afterthoughts, and some awareness of the trail of self incriminating evidence against her. Satisfaction wins. And the viewer is left to imagine how much pain Iris' world carried for her before her defiance.

1 member likes this review
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filmmaker

one of the best films of all time. love Love LOVE this flick.

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top reviewer

Kaurismaki's very best.

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top reviewer

Wonderful film. The factory where Iris works takes large trees and whittles them down to tines matches with machines that grind and cut them down to size. Iris is similarly cut down to size by her work, her parents, and her attempts at romance. Matches and Iris can be dangerous things.

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top reviewer

Wonderful movie. Very sad, beautifully done and acted.

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top reviewer

beautiful film_Kati is wonderful_cinematography is great

I watched this quite a while ago, and this morning again. Some lives sure are bleak. Wow. Beautiful girl, marvelously depressing story.

A not obvious gem of a movie. Curious, comedic dark without much dialogue. The main character Iris, emerges as a perfect anti hero.

Very enjoyable dark humour. Reminded me of "Stranger than Paradise" in the sense of its minimalism.

Loved it. Wonderful cinematography!