Aki Kaurismäki is an enigma, an eminent auteur who says his films are a joke. Since 1983, Kaurismäki has made classically styled films filled with cinephilic references. He has earned an international art-house audience and many prizes, influencing such directors as Jim Jarmusch, Quentin Tarantino, and Wes Anderson. Yet Kaurismäki is often depicted as the loneliest, most nostalgic of Finns (except when he promotes his films, makes political statements, or runs his many businesses). He is also depicted as a bohemian, known for outlandish actions and statements. The Cinema of Aki Kaurismäki: Contrarian Stories is the first comprehensive English-language study of this enigmatic cinema. Drawing on revisionist approaches to film authorship, the book links the filmmaker and his films to the stories and issues that animate the films and discussions about them: film aesthetics and history, nostalgia, late modernity, politics, commerce, film festivals, and national cinema.