You, the Living

I just want to take a moment to suggest to y’all a wonderful film that was just released on DVD in the US: Roy Andersson’s You, the Living. I saw this with my dear friends James and Donna while James and I were visiting Donna in Cambridge England almost two years ago. It was playing at the local art house and we chose to see it over another great film, Happy Go Lucky. Lucky for us as Andersson’s did not receive even more than a very token limited release in the US. This film is a wonderful, hillarious, black and surreal piece set in a Swedish town outlining the existential angst of the town’s inhabitants, from a girl with a fantasy rock-star crush, a fat woman and her boyfriend, a man who is executed for breaking a china set while trying to pull off the “tablecloth trick,” and many other idiosyncratic characters and their both real life and fantastically imaginative traumas, both large and small.

The film’s style is one of the most unique I’ve ever encountered with all of the actors playing their roles in an absolutely deadpan, often almost drugged and dejected manner (something about it sort of reminds me of the style of Hal Hartley’s films wherein there are no punchlines or classic comedic acting or line readings but the comedy comes through all the more clearly for it.) I cannot recommend this film enough and, now that it is finally out on DVD, everyone should go out and rent it. It will soon be a welcome and much loved addition to my film library.

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