After a somewhat lacklustre start, Roy Andersson finds his groove in the final straight….
I’m a massive fan of Roy Andersson’s filmography. You The Living and A Pigeon are both wonderful, and Songs From the Second Floor has a firm place in my top 100 of all time.
Sadly, then, the first 50 minutes feels like Andersson without the humour. Instead, we are presented with observational sketches showing tableaux of people in some form of pain or confusion – often with regards to lost religious faith (this is a very Protestant movie). The sets are incredible though, and it’s enjoyable enough to let your eyes wander around the frame. Yet without the deadpan humour, what’s the point?
In any case, the final 26 minutes brings the sly wit back in again, subtle but pointed. Too little too late you might think, but suddenly everything was forgiven. When he hits the mark, nobody does this Beckett-meets-the-Pythons stuff like Andersson… hell, nobody even tries, the man is unique. So I’ll take those 26 minutes and chalk them up as a win.
About Endlessness is on the festival circuit, such as it is, this year – and will probably get a release in 2021, through Artificial Eye/Curzon in the UK.