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Slideshow

PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

Roy Andersson’s
SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR

Tuesday, July 6 at 6:00

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(2000) After a 24-year hiatus from directing feature films, Roy Andersson returned with SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR, winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. Composed of a series of immaculately staged tableaux, Roy Andersson’s film is a stylized black comedy-turned-nightmare. A mysterious urban landscape is home to: a hapless office worker, unceremoniously fired after not missing a day of work in 14 years; a soot-covered furniture store owner who makes a clumsy stab at arson; an endless row of luggage-dragging travelers lined up at the airport; a traffic jam extended to infinity; a magician whose saw trick goes frightfully wrong. Critics have compared SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR’s wildly original humor to Beckett, Kafka, and Buster Keaton, and its contemporary take on surrealism to the canvasses of Salvador Dali and Otto Dix. The first installment in Andersson’s “Living Trilogy,” the film had its US premiere at Film Forum in 2002. DCP. Approx. 98 min. In Swedish with English subtitles.

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

Reviews

“Combines the visual jokes of Jacques Tati, the absurdist humor of Monty Python and the sick wit of Charles Addams… Cuts against the grain of nearly every movie convention imaginable.”
– Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter

“Two years ago the beguilingly entertaining absurdist comedy SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR played the Cannes Film Festival, and scenes from the picture still float in my head… The writer-director Roy Andersson uses the wide screen to compose chillingly beautiful shots and locks the camera in place as the often humorous action unfolds… it's a combination of Bergman and Feydeau. Or for those of us with pop sensibilities, Jacques Tati as rendered by 'The Far Side' cartoonist, Gary Larson.”
– Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

“One rarefied objet d’art that actually entertains. It’s a laconic yukfest, in fact, where each static, surreal sequence invariably ends with a mute, imploding punch line…the long buildup heightens a cinematic ka-boom that should have Kafka, Beckett, and Dali convulsing in their graves til Judgement Day.”
– Dennis Harvey, San Francisco Bay Guardian

“One of the most highly crafted (films) in recent memory… Confirms Andersson as a formidable talent working with a total control and freedom equaled only by the late Stanley Kubrick.”
– Derek Elley, Variety

Links

BEING A HUMAN PERSON

BEING A HUMAN PERSON

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