Perhaps the last work of a contemporary master
- About Endlessness review by TE
This is probably not the best Roy Andersson film to begin with if you are new to his work (watch 'Scenes From the Second Floor', 'You the Living' and 'A Pigeon Sat on a Branch...' before this one) but it does summarise the key themes of his earlier films.
Once again the Samuel Beckett comparisons are well justified. The boundaries between tragedy and comedy are constantly teased and tested. Andersson is particularly good at bringing out profoundly humane qualities in both day-to-day scenarios and scenes of transcendant power.
To fully appreciate 'About Endlessness' it helps to take in the recent documentary 'Being a Human Person', where Andersson talks about his latest work with quiet passion and dry humour.
It is sad to learn that 'About Endlessness' is Andersson's final film. Each of his movies takes a very long time to make, with even the apparent outdoor scenes elaborately staged in his studio / home.
Fittingly, his films are now receiving overdue worldwide acclaim.
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
Bleak vision of the human condition from Roy Andersson
- About Endlessness review by PD
This latest offering from Roy Andersson is typically bleak, and even his trademark humour is in noticeably short supply here, although to be fair the film is not without brief snatches of joy amidst the rubble.
The film is narrated by a young woman who 'remembers' certain people from an undefined future (beyond the grave?). What follows is a series of vignettes or poetic fragments of varying degrees of absurdity and scope, with a priest's crisis of faith one of the few linking threads, although certain themes reoccur often, notably the way people become so engrossed in their own concerns that the essence of eternity is hidden from them. A man whose car breaks down on a lonely road fails to see the extraordinary sight of a flock of migrating birds wheeling overhead — much less the majestic plain that surrounds him under a canopy of sky; a dentist who has become dependent on the bottle stares glumly into his glass at the bar, unwilling to turn around and look at the sight of snow falling while ethereal voices sing “Silent Night.” “Everything is fantastic!” another man prompts him, but the dentist doesn’t even try to engage with him.
Andersson's trademark minimalist, austere style, eschewing conventional character development, plot, traditional editing, camera movement etc is once again very effective here, although few of the scenes here stick in the mind as much as some of the others in his so-called 'trilogy about being a human being' series. That said, it's still clearly an impressive piece of work.
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.