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Slideshow

PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

Roy Andersson’s
ABOUT ENDLESSNESS

Monday, July 5 at 6:00

NY Times Critic's Pick

SOLD OUT

NY Times Critic's Pick

No one in the world makes films that look like those of Swedish master absurdist Roy Andersson: intricately designed, photographed, and lit. His dreamlike movies are acclaimed for their deadpan comic timing and the visual inspiration of artists like Otto Dix and Edward Hopper. Film Forum has premiered each installment of his “Living” trilogy: SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR (2000), YOU, THE LIVING (2007), and A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE (2014). His latest, ABOUT ENDLESSNESS (Best Director prize-winner at the Venice Film Festival), opens with a breathtaking shot, inspired by Marc Chagall, of two lovers hovering in the clouds. What follows is pure Andersson, a succession of precisely realized, blackly comic vignettes on the complexities of human nature: a priest loses his faith after recurring nightmares detailing his own crucifixion; a father stops to tie his daughter’s shoelaces in the rain; a man obsesses over a brush-off from an old classmate (“I can’t believe Svenker Olsson got a PhD. It’s really quite annoying”); a couple contentedly sips champagne to the sounds of Billie Holiday; a dentist walks out on a wailing patient and into a bar, downing a drink as snow majestically falls outside; and that couple floats over a war-ravaged Cologne. Addressing the vexing qualities of existence, Andersson mixes the pains of everyday life with the flashes of beauty and grace we take for granted. “Another masterpiece of the human condition, ranging from the evils of war to the redemptive power of love…What an amazing experience this film is. Andersson’s films are endlessly rewatchable. To view them is to abolish gravity.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

This screening is presented in association with Film Forum’s run of the documentary on Roy Andersson, BEING A HUMAN PERSON, opening July 2.

SWEDEN / GERMANY / NORWAY     2019     76 MINS.    IN SWEDISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES     MAGNOLIA PICTURES

Reviews

“Grade: A-minus. Brilliant. [Andersson is] a Swedish renegade whose pointillistic dioramas of the human condition are pieced together with drollness in much the same way as George Seurat’s landscapes were painted with dots.”
– David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“Quietly gorgeous… If you don’t know what kind of movie you’re in the mood for, this may be the one. It’s a tonic for listless times… dandelion puffs of off-kilter humor… His movie is like a gentle but powerful tornado that picks you up in one place and sets you down in another.”
– Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine

“Deliciously odd. A divine comedy with moments of devilish wit. Makes the humdrum seem unique and the banal otherworldly.”
– Xan Brooks, The Guardian (UK)

“Roy Andersson is in sparkling form with his latest Beckett-esque study in the human condition. Another series of bittersweet sketches that both amuse and move in equal measure. Might be his most endearing and humane [film].”
– Jamie Dunn, The Skinny

“Short, bittersweet and exquisitely imagined. Immaculate, somehow tender-hearted. The film finds pockets of joy and intimacy amid more conflicted musings. [Andersson’s] mission: to ornately reconstruct the everyday, and to send us back into the world a little wiser to its strangeness.”
– Guy Lodge, Variety

“Miraculous. Miniature comedies and tragedies…filled with deadpan humor and haunting bleakness. Desperate existential quandaries bump up against the implacably mundane… that all suggest the presiding spirit of Edward Hopper. The random cruelty of the COVID-19 pandemic (renders) Andersson’s vision of humans’ vulnerability and life’s absurdity all the more trenchant and his glints of hopefulness all the more welcome. Mingles grim diagnoses of the human condition with silent-comedy-style gags, surreal fantasies, and bone-dry black humor that is as Scandinavian as pickled herring.”
– Imogen Sara Smith, Film Comment

“Very much in the vein of the Swedish director’s earlier work: light, glancing, absurdist, sometimes pungent and sometimes brooding. The famous dreamlike lighting and mise-en-scene are always perfect in capturing human foibles. Giving the whole movie its dreamline atmosphere of great pictorial beauty is the distinctive white-suffused lighting by cinematographer Gergely Palos, who also shot A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH.”
– Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

“Satisfying and richly resonant. The Director of Photography achieves wonders with  perspective and depth of field in all these locked shots, notably in a quietly dazzling railway platform scene. As for the film’s metaphysical payoff - encapsulated in an expressly banal image of a man whose car breaks down - it may well be that the more mundane Andersson’s imagery gets, the more profound it actually is.”
– Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily

Links

BEING A HUMAN PERSON

BEING A HUMAN PERSON

Now Playing

Roy Andersson’s <br>SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR

Roy Andersson’s
SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR

Friday, July 2 at 6:00
Tuesday, July 6 at 6:00

Roy Andersson’s <br>YOU, THE LIVING

Roy Andersson’s
YOU, THE LIVING

Saturday, July 3 at 6:00
Wednesday, July 7 at 6:00

Roy Andersson’s <br>A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE

Roy Andersson’s
A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE

Sunday, July 4 at 5:45
Thursday, July 8 at 5:45

Film Forum