Where are we humans going? A film poem inspired by the Peruvian poet César Vallejo. We meet people in the city. People trying to communicate, searching compassion and get the connection of small and large things.
Bengt C.W. Carlsson
A plain, ordinary man tells us about his work as a real-estate broker, his dead father, his ordinary home and so on in a naturalistic voice, lacking any emotions, looking straight into the ... See full summary »
In a minor town the morose manager is primarily responsible for the bad atmosphere of a restaurant. But central for the plot are three persons: a male waiter who is never named (here called... See full summary »
Some film makers try to make their films as realistic as possible (the Dardenne brothers, Mike Leigh), and some try to get as far away from reality as they can by creating their own cinematographic universe (Wes Anderson, Jean-Pierre Jeunet). Roy Andersson definitely belongs to the latter category.
The world Andersson shows in his film, is grey, slow, unexciting, and old-fashioned. It reminded me of how eastern Europe must have looked during the communist era. No bright colours, no joy, no laughter, no hope, no ambitions. The interiors are drab, the people dreary. This self-created world is where the cinematographic equivalent of a series of short stories take place. Some are bizarre, most are melancholic, a few are incomprehensible, others meaningless or absurd. But they all share this common characteristic: they are taking place in Andersson's universe.
Actually, that universe is his studio, where he has built all of the sets with incredibly great attention to details, colours, clothing, lighting and lay-out. You can see fascinating images and footage of the production process on Andersson's web site. The sets are the real stars of the film. Even so much so, that maybe the stills of the film (also on the web site), with their Edward Hopper-like melancholy, are better than the film itself.
As fascinating as they are, I don't think the fragments work well as a feature film. They could have been very effective, say, as an element of a daily satirical television programme. But I think watching them all after each other, made into one 100 minute film, is not the best way to appreciate them.
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