Lugubrious Finns Valto and Reino take to the road in search of coffee and vodka, without which their lives are not worth living. But their reveries are interrupted by the arrival of garrulous Russian Klaudia and Estonian Tatiana – who are clearly interested in the two men, despite the language barrier. But what are the chances of getting a response from men who prefer staring at vodka bottles to talking?
User Reviews: Shot in 1993, TAKE CARE OF YOUR SCARF, TATJANA! is one of Aki Kaurismäki’s lesser-known films from this highly productive period in the Finnish auteur’s career. Coffee addict Valto (Mato Valtonen) and vodka-guzzler Reino (Matti Pellonpää) go for a test drive through the Finnish countryside in Valto’s newly-repaired sedan. They meet two tourists from the former USSR, Tatjana (Kati Outinen) and Klavdia (Kirsi Tykkyläinen) who are stranded along a rural road after their tour bus has broken down. The women convince Valto and Reino to drive them to the port in Helsinki so they can get the ferry home, and the film tracks their adventures together or rather the lack thereof: even as Tatjana and Klavdia try to chat and even flirt, the taciturn Finns just swill their coffee or vodka and ignore them. The film features well-known themes in Kaurismäki’s work: shy people unable to express emotion, a love for early rock ‘n’ roll with a period band performing on a stage at some point, and a minimum of dialogue.rnrnWith its running time of less than an hour, its black-and-white photography and its spare, sketch-like plot, this even feels like the quintessential minor effort or short in an arthouse director’s filmography. (Kind of like some of the