04 August 2009

You, The Living

Written & Directed by: Roy Andersson
Full credits from IMDb

Roy Andersson is a mean old man: unlike most comedy directors, he’s not laughing with his characters. He’s laughing at them. The pathos is ironic in You, the Living (Du Levande), a gut-busting yet underbearing expose of selfishness and self-pity; nearly every scene plays as a satire of the dour Scandinavian misery that was Ingmar Bergman’s specialty: a schoolteacher bursts into tears in front of her young students, and it provokes giggles; her salesman husband’s similar breakdown in front of a few elderly customers does the same. Stop whining! The light classical (and, sometimes, Dixieland) that dominates the soundtrack establishes a breezy tone, and Andersson’s camera — planted at a remove and rarely moved — establishes a distance that alchemizes tragedy into comedy.

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