Pin It
.
Favorites

Film Review: "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence" 

Described by Swedish director Roy Andersson as the third part in his trilogy of films about "being a human being," the surreal "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence" is a comedy for existentialists. The film unfolds as a series of vignettes (ranging from one to 10 minutes), filmed in a single, static shot, and staged in meticulously composed tableau. Each scene centers on interactions between ordinary folk as they go about their humdrum lives; these interactions are sometimes morbid, occasionally nonsensical, and always entertaining.

The film does have a through-line of sorts, involving Jonathan (Holger Andersson) and Sam (Nils Westblom), two novelty item salesmen who pop up periodically to deliver their hilariously deadpan spiel, bicker like a married couple, and fail to collect any money from the customers who owe them. The scenes gradually blend to form a tapestry of the human condition, delivering a call for increased empathy as a weapon against the isolating nature of life; the frequently repeated line, "I'm happy to hear you're doing fine" becomes a stand-in for the superficial pleasantries we use to avoid real connection with one another. Even when depicting the sadness, loneliness, and despair in everyday life, Andersson sidesteps pessimism or cynicism to uncover the beauty, humor, and profundity in the mundane as well as the absurd.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Browse Listings

Submit an event

Michael Klaper, MD: The Keys to Healing in the 21st Century @ Brighton Town Park Lodge

5:30pm: vegan potluck; lecture at 7pm. Bring a dish to pass &...

Healthy, Unhealthy & Dangerous Relationships- A Conversation on How to Offer Support @ Downtown Presbyterian Church

Sunday Forum series....

Opera Guild Screening: Richard Strauss's "Arabella" @ Temple B'rith Kodesh

Talk: Peter Dundas....

View all of today's events »

This Week's Issue

Cover Story:
Perspectives: Jerome Underwood
The Action for a Better Community President & CEO on racism, poverty, and education read more ...

Tweets @RocCityNews

© 2019 City Newspaper.

Website powered by Foundation.