2 Movies Like Drifting Clouds (1996)

Staff & contributors

Chasing the feel of watching Drifting Clouds ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

An early gem from Finnish maestro Aki Kaurismäki, Drifting Clouds is a deceptively simple story. The aftermath of job losses for wife Ilona (Kati Outinen) and husband Lauri (Kari Väänänen) holds a series of misfortunes, all of them tests to their marital bond. But this is only the beginning: as with Kaurismäki's endearing use of flat irony and detached performances by regular actors of his, things can only get worse before they get better. Humanism has always shined through the director's films, and this first part of a "Finland" trilogy makes no exception to the rule: the fact that labor and closeness are the two main themes (and are equally important for one's survival) already elevates the absurdist comedy to something way more caring, engaged, and ultimately, tender.

It’s immediately apparent that there are more carefully made documentaries out there than Remembering Gene Wilder. The film is riddled with pixelated photos for one, and the overall tone is fawning for another. But Wilder is too great of a man to be affected by mediocre filmmaking, and so Remembering Gene Wilder still makes for an entertaining and insightful watch despite its small faults. The film is less about his life and more about his work—a chronological account of his career with nuggets of wisdom for performers, comedians, and writers tucked neatly in between. It still dives into his personal life, to be sure, but as Wilder will readily admit, his creative decisions spell out all you need to know about him.

Genre: Documentary

Actor: Alan Alda, Alan Zweibel, Ben Mankiewicz, Burton Gilliam, Carol Kane, Eric McCormack, Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner, Harry Connick Jr., Mel Brooks, Michael Gruskoff, Mike Medavoy, Peter Ostrum, Rain Pryor, Richard Pryor, Zero Mostel

Director: Ron Frank

Rating: NR

There’s a certain magic in childhood that makes you see the world with bright eyes– every small task is an exciting quest, not weighed down by budgeting, lack of control, and worry. Riddle of Fire captures that magic on 16 mm film, transforming buying a blueberry pie into a whimsical, chaotic adventure involving covens, witches, and huntsmen in modern day forms, echoing a fairytale with vintage 20th century trappings. It’s certainly nostalgic, but it’s created through stylistic choices instead of constant references on older media franchises. While it does lose some momentum in certain moments, Riddle of Fire is such a charming feature debut.

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

Actor: Charles Halford, Charlie Stover, Danielle Hoetmer, Lio Tipton, Lonzo Liggins, Phoebe Ferro, Skyler Peters

Director: Weston Razooli

Rating: PG-13