By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated June 13, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Gloomy Finnish jokester auteur Aki Kaurismäki calls Lights in the Dusk, a characteristically deadpan study, the third in his ”loser trilogy.” (The Man Without a Past and Drifting Clouds came before.) Here, in a minimalist sketch best suited to already committed Aki-ites, a lonely night watchman (Janne Hyytiäinen) is used by a callous femme semi-fatale (Maria Järvenhelmi) in cahoots with a criminal businessman. Then his life is ruined. But wait — there’s great music, an excellent dog, and that indescribable Kaurismäki tension between misery and a cosmic joke. B

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