Bohemian Life (La Vie de Boheme)

Director: Aki Kaurismaki
Screenwriters: Aki Kaurismaki, Henri Murger

Institute History

  • 1993 Sundance Film Festival


Aki Kaurismaki, both as codirector (with his brother, Mika) and on his own, has been responsible for some of the most cutting-edge satire and dark comedy on the screen in recent years, including Hamlet Goes Business, Shadows in Paradise and The Match Factory Girl. Again here he offers a marvelously witty examination of life outside bourgeois society. This adaptation, or better yet updating, of the classic nineteenth-century novel by Henri Murger focuses on three men: Rodolfo, a painter and refugee from Albania; Marcel, a French poet; and Schaunard, an Irish composer. Brilliant, yet broke, they seek success while trying to avoid disaster. Along the way they are joined in their travals by Mimi and Musette. Love and ultimately the joy and pain of their interrelationships are at the heart of this uniquely conceived comedic melodrama.

One of the true stylists working in cinema today, Kaurismaki in his manic directors notes, suggests that the whole project is a diabolical plan to make a bad film which will disgust the masses, but nevertheless lead them to rediscover a great classic reclaimed from Puccini's opera. Perhaps. but in any case, Kaurismaki's blend of tragedy and comic romanticism shapes a fitting resurrection for an Immortal love story.

Saturday Jan 23 6:00 pm
Prospector Square Theatre

Sunday Jan 31 2:30 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III


— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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