Movies that are slightly off.
You, the Living
In the Swedish city of Lethe, people from different walks of life take part in a series of short, deadpan vignettes that rush past. Some are just seconds long, none longer than a couple of minutes. A young woman (Jessica Lundberg) remembers a fantasy honeymoon with a rock guitarist. A man awakes from a dream about bomber planes. A businessman boasts about success while being robbed by a pickpocket and so on. The absurdist collection is accompanied by Dixieland jazz and similar music.
Film #7 of Gustav's Recommendations
”Tommorow is another day.”
Well, I have a confession to make. I did something horrible (from a cinephilic point of view of course) while watching Roy Andersson’s 2000 film, Songs From the Second Floor: I was so bored, upset, angry and confused that I used fast forward button and skipped the final 15 minutes of the film. That explains how I felt about that “film”. So I was both hopeful and nervous approaching this, I had a feeling that things will be going to be as dire as Songs and at the same time I was hoping that this time around I may be able to understand what really goes on in Mr. Anderson’s mind.…
The biggest issue I had with You, the Living was that it wasn't, I repeat, it wasn't Leon.
"But they're completely different films!" I hear you cry. Bullshit. That's no excuse for this to not be that film. Every film should be Leon or else I'm going to hate it from now on. Heck, if every film isn't Leon from now on, I'm going to bomb anyone who isn't watching Leon because I'm charge of Hollywood now.
Okay. Fine. It's not Leon but either way I can't say I liked it an awful lot. I mean, I enjoyed it from time to time. It was absurd, and surreal and was meaningful, but I just don't think this style is for…
A black-comic version of THE WHITE RIBBON, depicting, with deadpan hilarity, the self-absorption and myopia that can leave a population blind to the rise of fascism, and plant the seed of it in the first place. Exquisitely composed so that its austerity nonetheless places visual gigs in multiple distance planes in nearly every shot. Not as obvious as in SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR, which occasionally cribbed right out of PLAYTIME, but Andersson seems, directorially at least, Tati's heir.
ONE OF THE FUNNIEST FILMS I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!!! I WAS ROLLING ON THE GROUND IN LAUGHTER! IT WAS HOWLARIOUS MY STOMACH HURT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Imagine if you put Tati,Kaurismaki and Bunuel in a blender the resultant concoction would be this delightful cocktail!! I applaud Andersson for his vivid imagination...it captures life in all its ups and downs! Highly original,marvelous acting and brilliant direction makes this one of the years very best!
P.S - The Guitar solo number ,the dinner table scene and the Barber Shop sequence were my personal favorites :-)
Gustav Roman told me to watch this. A LOOOONNNNGGG time ago. Now I can say I finally got to it. It was on Film4 so I taped it and watched it this morning.
You, the Living is an incredibly surreal film, packed of fifty or so vignettes, each commenting on the human condition. How we long to be loved, to fly above our weight. It doesn't offer an opinion on it, but merely a window to peer in, allowing you to assume your own stance on humanity. Is it pathetic, the fact we simply continue with our lives every day despite setbacks, never reaching our goal? Is it an undying ambition inside every one of us? Or is it just…
While Andersson’s Songs From The Second Floor focused on a society on the brink of becoming emotionless zombies, You, The Living seven years later acknowledges that we have finally gotten to that point. A series of 50 vignettes about the absurdity of life. Some ironic, some blackly comic and some just sad. Andersson seems to view the way most humans accept the dullness of life as ridiculous. He focuses on this with absurd scenes that highlight the strange rules we’ve given ourselves. Like when a man is given the death penalty for breaking some expensive china (the judges drink beer and the audience eats popcorn as he’s led to his death.) A man bemoans the fact that he’s about to…
Definitely fatigued by Andersson's schtick at this point, but the last third, and one dream sequence in particular, really makes up for the handful of sections that might lull some people to sleep. Had I seen this one before the other two parts of the trilogy, I may be singing a different tune.
I'm not sure that it really can compete with Songs From The Second Floor, and I can't yet place why. I did really love the guitar scene, but that's the only true standout.
June Scavenger Hunt | Film #19, Task #2
A film your mother loves
I had to guess about films my parents WOULD love, as I don't think there are many films they'd have watched that I still would have to watch. I thought Swedish movie, dude with a tuba on the front, this is probably similar to 'As it is in Heaven', so my mom would like it. It's absolutely nothing like 'As it is in Heaven', and I'm not entirely sure my mom would like it, but I liked it well enough.
Wow. This was worse than "Songs from the Second Floor."
Tomorrow is another day...
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Contemporary Nordic #3 of my Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons
At first I was worried that Du levande would simply be a retread of Songs from the Second Floor, and that Andersson's style would get stale real quick, and to an extent you could argue that this is the case : I agree with Adam that his compositions aren't as fascinating here as they were in that film. However, I think that's because Andersson is after something else here : where SFTSF was an almost entirely intellectual experience, one of discovery and decipherment, while Du levande works on a more emotional level.
Both films start off with a rather bleak view of the human condition…
Eine etwas andere Art von Film mit viel Fremdscham und peinlichen Situationen. Leider langweilig und uninteressant. Schade.
Surprised at how unmoved I was by this after the splendor of SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR. Either I wasn't in the right frame of mind or it simply lacks both the visual wit and wonder of SONGS.
Discussed on Filmspotting #590 at 1:13:00 mark.
I'm curious about how I would've received You, the Living if I hadn't already watched (and enjoyed) Roy Andersson's Songs from the Second Floor and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. I cannot help but compare the three films, which are similar in their structure, aesthetics, and deadpan approach to existentialism. You, the Living unfortunately draws the short end of the proverbial stick, as its vignettes rarely match the humor/pathos of its predecessor/successor.
My favorite vignette was of the disillusioned psychiatrist - "I would like to say that they are simply quite mean."
(Viewed in Stony Brook, New York)
Films where their style fills the screen so absolutely, substance is but an afterthought.
Only added some that I've seen,…
Complete list. :-(