Sunday, September 8, 2019

ABOUT ENDLESSNESS: TIFF 2019 HIGHLIGHT #3


At this point if you’ve seen one (recent/semi-recent) Roy Andersson film you’ve seen them all, and About Endlessness is no exception. The latest quirky dark comedy from the Swedish veteran is made up of multiple isolated sketches tackling themes ranging from the loss of faith in religion to the overall pointlessness of life. Like any Andersson movie, each scenario is done in one single shot with the actors delivering their lines in his signature deadpan/Bressonian style. Actually, this movie, more than any other thing Roy Andersson has done, comes off like the kind of comedy Robert Bresson would have done if he had ever made a comedy or exuded any type of a sense of humor. Not only is the acting style right out of L’Argent or The Devil Probably, but the common theme of religion (The Trial Of Joan Of Arc), loss of faith (Diary Of A Country Priest), and just overall cruelty to human beings (Mouchette) makes About Endlessness an accidental homage to the cinema of Bresson.

I’ve got serious mixed feelings about this one because on one hand, I laughed out loud on multiple occasions. But at the same time this movie almost put me to sleep and I found myself checking my watch to see what time it was a couple of times. When a movie clocks in at barely 75 minutes (PERFECT runtime for a movie if you ask me), but feels like a hard three hours, there’s a bit of a problem. But there are so many aspects of this movie that prove Roy Andersson is a masterful filmmaker (or at least a master of his particular style/lane of filmmaking). His and his actor’s comedic timing is perfect and the color palette in About Endlessness is the opposite of the usual drab grays & browns that Andersson has been using recently (Songs From The Second Floor, A Pigeon Sat On A Branch..., etc).

Song From The Second Floor

You, The Living

A Pigeon Sat On A Branch...


This movie ultimately starts to feel long because after 30-45 minutes it becomes redundant. It's difficult to tell one sketch from the other after a while. Like I said earlier - if you’ve seen one (recent/semi-recent) Roy Andersson movie then you’ve seen them all. Now...if you’re a fan of his style then that’s good news. I get it. When it comes to filmmakers I love & adore I like when they stay in their lane and do the same thing over & over. So while this review may sound like a somewhat harsh criticism to some, others may look at it as a positive.

I don’t want to come down on Andersson too hard because without him I feel like there wouldn’t be a lane for folks like Yorgos Lanthimos or even Rick Alverson (mainly The Mountain).
At the end of the day, you’ll enjoy this if you’re a Roy Andersson fan. If you’re not a fan of his movies you were probably already going to avoid this. If you have the patience and are a novice to his work, I’m honestly not opposed to this being an intro to his filmography (it felt like a long 75 minutes to me but perhaps this movie will breeze by for others).

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...