Wednesday, 9 April 2008

ROY ANDERSSON's "Du Levande" (You, the Living)

In Roy Andersson's latest work yet another thread leads back to Iceland. Inspired by The Poetic Edda, an ancient Icelandic piece of literature, the concept of the film is "man is man's fascination". The original proverb from the ballad of Hovamol("The high one's words) states "man is man's delight". Andersson adds that man is also "the bane of man, a threat and a sorrow."

Only Andersson's fourth feature film in 37 years, the film is presented in stark settings in deep-focus with faded palettes. Scenes are brief appearing at regular intervals to introduce new characters and ideas before moving onto another subject. With dark humour and considered commentary on human existence, it is a gem of a film that feels like a natural progression from Andersson's earlier work.

Here is the trailer:

Born in Gothenberg, Sweden(31 March 1943), Roy Andersson has been described as a "slapstick Bergman" for his absurdist comedy, slapstick humour, and caricatures. Strong anti-capitalist themes have become another trademark in his recent features and shorts as well as his visual style which became firmly established in Songs from the Second Floor(2000) which garnered a host of accolades including the Jury Prize at Cannes 2000 and took four years to complete.

Thanks to Rebecka at Roy's press office for the help in putting this together and in arranging an interview with Mr. Andersson in the coming months.

Du Levande (You, the Living)
Roy Andersson
Roy Andersson Wiki
Roy Andersson interview (
You, the Living review (Guardian)

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