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Lights in the Dusk(Laitakaupungin valot)

Koistenin is a sad sack, a man without affect or friends. He's a night-watchman in Helsinki with ideas of starting his own business, but nothing to go with those intentions. He sometimes talks a bit with a woman who runs a snack trailer near his work. Out of the blue, a young sophisticated blonde woman attaches herself to Koistenin. He thinks of her as his girlfriend, he takes her on her rounds.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

40

Village Voice by

Lights in the Dusk derives scant excitement from its melodramatic plot, which satisfies a dismal, ineluctable formula with stultifying efficiency. Nor is it enlivened by the airless performances.
50

Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

So stylized and slow-moving (even at a spare 75 minutes) that you may have trouble adapting to its hypnotic rhythms -- but if you can, there are sumptuous visual rewards to be found, plus the faintest emotional uptick right at the end.
75

New York Daily News by Elizabeth Weitzman

Kaurismaki's characteristically minimalist humor and wry empathy make brief appearances, but be warned: His Helsinki is a cold, dark place unfit for all but the hardiest visitors.
75

TV Guide Magazine by Ken Fox

It's a handsome production, and a pleasure to watch. With a shadowy palette and a set design reminiscent of Edward Hopper's nocturnes, a soundtrack hearkening back to the sounds of vintage rock 'n' roll, and a cast of characters straight out of a James M. Cain novel.
40

The Hollywood Reporter by Kirk Honeycutt

Lights will put in more appearances at festivals before achieving a brief theatrical window for Kaurismaki devotees to gaze through. Most will do so with discouragement.
40

The New York Times by Stephen Holden

This spare, minimalist film is not realistic. It has the simplicity of a silent movie, and the blocking of the actors, especially in the scenes with Koistinen and Mirja, emphasizes the distances between them.
75

New York Post by V.A. Musetto

If you're new to Kaurismaki, the film will make you a fan. If you've seen everything else he's ever done, the comedy will confirm your commitment.

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