Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Du Levande (You. The Living)

This very complex (yet simple) Roy Andersson movie tells no specific story and shows us 57 vignettes (didn’t count them read it somewhere) of those little things that make life. The movie has some very funny moments, some sad, some irrelevant, some meaningful, some meaningless, and many other more just describing annoying or normal moments in life; but what they have in common is that all are insignificant moments, those that happen almost everyday in our lives.

But to me this movie is a clever parody of life in the 21st century that extends beyond the Nordic culture into the universal culture. I’m very sure that most of the viewers will identify with one or several of the situations shown. Then is also about loneliness and perhaps cruelty, which suggest is Andersson view and/or conclusion about the current state of humankind, and well, he’s not far from being completely right.

The movie took 3 years to make mainly due to the fact that all of what you see are indoor sets that had to be built. So you can imagine the extraordinary amount of details that you will be able to see with superb framing and composition. If you want to learn a little more about this incredible production go here.

There is also a lot of metaphors that are little bit hard to identify as when you’re thinking its meaning, there is another new vignette happening and you have to pay attention. So, in the end I decided to go with my spontaneous reaction to symbols and I bet you that when I see it again, I’ll find something different.

Wish to share some Andersson's comments about his very different movie.

The film “is about the human being, about her greatness and her miserableness, her joy and sorrow, her self-confidence and anxiety. A being with whom we want to laugh and also cry. It is a simply a tragic comedy or a comic tragedy about us.

When I make a film, I don’t rely on a classic screenplay, but rather on a theme, a philosophical concept or a particular atmosphere. For You. The Living, I created tableaux that put characters in commonplace, everyday life situations with great attention to detail. Together these scenes form a whole resembling the chaotic structure of a bustling marketplace. First and foremost, I wanted to set up the scenes in a way that left them open to development that allows for surprise and the unexpected. The scenes are linked by recurring lines of dialogue and situations."

The movie is still in the festival circuit were is or was an Official Selection, but already has won two awards, the Silver Hugo for Andersson in the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival and the Georges Delerue Prize for Benny Andersson at the 2007 Flanders International Film Festival. Andersson is nominated for the 2007 European Film Awards and the film was shown in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2007 Cannes. It is also the Sweden official submission to the Academy Awards.

Absolutely not for all audiences, you have to like serious cinema and be able to absorb a huge amount of things happening in the most disconnected way. Have to say that I like it, but I have to see it again several times to grab all that’s happening, even when is a very slow pace movie.


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