Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bird's Eye View

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting Existence (2014) - Roy Andersson
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The final installment of Roy Andersson's 'being human' trilogy (15 years in the making!) doesn't quite conjure up the awe factor of his previous two films. But it's more or less the same - the ugly pale Swedes doing mundane things, masterful formalist approach, the driest black humor, acerbic wit, occasional beauty and contemplation. Again, we are introduced to tableaux of sad, tired looking people of the north in their habitats. Drab colors and absurd humor remain. The main characters in this is a couple of traveling salesmen in 'entertainment' business, trying to sell lame party gadgets- extra long fake vampire teeth, laugh bag and hideous 'uncle one-tooth' masks. They have a love/hate relationship - one's mean and the other a crybaby. People don't need to wear that Brugel-like masks because without masks, they are just as hideous.

There are a couple of disturbing sequences later on as the films repetitiveness get quite sleepy- involving a lab monkey and a giant musical instrument which Andersson reminding us that we are all capable of thinking up heinous things.

It starts with variations of mundane death. In death, we are all equal. But we are all equally miserable in Roy Andersson's films. I still loved it.