• Gareth Crook

You, the Living (2007)

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Trilogy completed. The director, Roy Andersson is a genius! and if you like Swedish Art House Cinema (which I now do), this is a must see. Each shot, each scene is meticulous. As with the other films, the frame is mostly held static, only moving three times, once barely and each time with devastating effect, devastatingly good that is. These films are a visual master class, the palate in this one seems much cleaner than the other films and the lighting more even, but I think what I really love is... It's Swedish. It could theoretically be any foreign language, but it probably helps that it has that Scandinavian preciseness. The point is it's not English, you're detached to a degree and even reading the subs adds an element to each scene. The frame is built up with such detail, that your eye wants to scan every element, "what's here, how do I interpret this". Slowly revealing things you'd not first seen or characters moving in or out of shot. There's a love of the camera, from the set, from the actors. It's a window that lets you in to a different world. Interestingly this film breaks with the others, using a few characters to talk directly to the camera, it's disconcerting, but again draws you further in. There's a lo-fi stillness to it that never seems to be at odds with the grand nature it conveys. A scene in a kitchen that moves like a train, there's mystery lurking everywhere, especially as it builds to the end with characters looking to the skies to set up the final shot. This is a film that wants to be discussed, questioned, adored. It's heavy on symbolism, generous with humour and incredibly inventive.

10/10


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