|A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE (director/writer: Roy Andersson; cinematographers: Istvan Borbas/Gergely Palos; editor: Alexandra Strauss; music: Hani Jazzar/Gorm Sundberg ; cast: Holger Andersson (Jonathan), Nils Westblom (Sam), Charlotta Larsson (Limping Lotta), Viktor Gyllenberg (King Carl XII), Lotti Tornros (Flamenco Teacher), Jonas Gerholm (Lonely Colonel), Ola Stensson (Captain/Barber), Oscar Salomonsson (Dancer), Roger Olsen Likvern (Caretaker); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Pernilla Sandstrom; Studio 24-PAL DVD, Magnolia Pictures; 2014-Sweden-in Swedish with English subtitles)|
loved by critics, this unique comedy has not
found an audience."
by Dennis Schwartz
series of surreal, understated and absurd vignettes
about what it takes to be human in today's world, that
is cynically helmed by Swedish director Roy Andersson
("You, The Living"/"Songs From The Second
Floor"/"Tomorrow's Another Day") as the last leg of
his humanity trilogy. It's more distressing than
amusing, though Andersson's droll humor comes through
as an acquired taste not for everyone. Maybe I was
disappointed because I expected more, even though the
subjects covered such as unrequited love, aging, loss,
financial debt, life disappointments and loneliness
are painful and not readily made for comedy.
loved by critics, this unique comedy has not found an
story-line follows for a good part two struggling
sad-sack traveling novelty salesmen, Sam (Nils
Westblom) and Jonathan (Holger
Andersson), thinking they are in the
entertainment business, trying to hawk such items as
vampire teeth and collect past debts from stores in
Gothenburg. At midnight, they loudly converse in their
hotel room while trying to deal with their failed
opens with three death scenes. The first has a husband
dropping dead on the floor while trying to open a wine
bottle. The second has a bedridden dying mom refusing
to let go of her bag of jewelry, thinking she could
use it in heaven. The third one has a cafeteria
customer dropping dead at the counter after paying for
his meal, and no other patron takes his free meal
except for his beer.
many vignettes, two other ones caught my attention
positively. Outside a dance studio an
overweight female flamenco teacher (Lotti
Tornros) too loosely puts her hands on
her handsome male pupil (Oscar
Salomonsson) while teaching a dance
class. The other one has King Charles XII (Viktor
Gyllenberg) and his infantry drop in
unannounced on horseback to a bar and the soldiers
on orders kick out the female patrons and whip a
Russian patron while the king drinks mineral water.
The lesson delivered is that things could always be worse, so we never should get too down no matter what. But to believe that pigeons reflect on life while perched on tree branches is a little too much to go along with. Nevertheless this Python-like pic has its enjoyable moments while looking only at the dark side of life.
REVIEWED ON 8/14/2015 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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