This chapter provides a background of Aki Kaurismäki's cinema. Despite ridiculing cinema as commerce, Kaurismäki's films have adopted the very same elements of commercial cinema, with their B-movie look, sentimental themes and expressions, and many allusions to popular music and culture—which resonate with a notion of personal taste in authorship. Ariel (1988), Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989), Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses (1994), and Kaurismäki's music-video shorts are pastiches including plenty of Hollywood cliché. Moreover, Kaurismäki's cinema provokes people to rethink the fundamental categories and binary oppositions that often structure popular and scholarly discussions of film authorship. In this way, his work is highly relevant to revisionist approaches to European cinema, the art film and auteur cinema, world cinema, and authorship.
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