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A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014)

En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 24 October 2014 (Norway)
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Sam and Jonathan, a pair of hapless novelty salesman, embark on a tour of the human condition in reality and fantasy that unfold in a series of absurdist episodes.

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4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Holger Andersson ...
...
Sam (as Nisse Vestblom)
Charlotta Larsson ...
Lotta
Viktor Gyllenberg ...
Lotti Törnros ...
Flamenco Teacher
Jonas Gerholm ...
Lonesome Lieutnant
Ola Stensson ...
Captain / Barber
Oscar Salomonsson ...
Dancer
Roger Olsen Likvern ...
Caretaker
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wilhelm Rising ...
Man at the busstop
Mats Ryden ...
Man at the busstop
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Storyline

Sam and Jonathan, a pair of hapless novelty salesman, embark on a tour of the human condition in reality and fantasy that unfold in a series of absurdist episodes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief sexuality and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

24 October 2014 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$25,313 (USA) (5 June 2015)

Gross:

$222,284 (USA) (9 October 2015)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title was inspired by the painting The Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. See more »

Connections

Follows Songs from the Second Floor (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Alleluia Behold the Bridegroom
Traditional
Performed by St. Petersburg Chamber Choir
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User Reviews

 
The sweetness from bitters
11 May 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.

It would be inappropriate to talk about this film's genre.  This is not a comedy,  not a drama and not even a dramedy. It's just a pigeon's reflection on existence. As I came out of the cinema I didn't even know if I liked it or not. But let me tell you something: it's not about that! I woke up the next day with an array of images and tunes in my head.  The meaning of the film seeps through the layers of perception and leaves you with an undefined aftertaste.

The camera captures little nothings that upset the characters. The humour emerges from the contrast between the pettiness of their situation and the tragic effect it has on them. A flamenco teacher as her student's unrequited lover, two sales men that never sell anything etc. are just a few examples. On the other side, when real tragedy such as death occurs, people behave like it's just another banal event. The only thread that connects the film is the story of the two salesmen. This duo represents what nowadays we call losers. Their dullness counterpoint the incredible scenarios they end up in. Their universe is anachronistic and at times delightfully surreal. In this mad world it seems like people have strong feelings only at war time. Be it romantic passion, patriotic pathos or grief.

But what about the pigeon? What is she/ he thinking? I believe that the pigeon is a poet. The pigeon sees the things that are outside history. He sees beauty in kids making bubbles and lovers sharing a cigarette. These scenes pop up on the screen like epiphanies and are infused with visual poetry.

There must be a meaning in all this apparent nonsense. There seem to be an answer to Jonathan's malaise(one of the two salesmen). His vision of human sacrifice for the pleasure of others makes him question his existence. He is a tragic hero being shut down by the guy who keeps on telling him that he needs to work in the morning.

I didn't like the film at first. But it gets to you like a good Negroni. It's bitterness flourishes notes of unexpected sweetness.


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