Thursday, May 24, 2007

You, the Living Must See 'You, the Living'

Due to a series of scheduling dominoes, I had a choice this morning: see "Ocean's Thirteen" or surreal Swedish director Roy Andersson's "Du Levande" ("You, the Living"). This was not a difficult choice, as Andersson's last film, "Songs from the Second Floor" premiered at Cannes in 2000 and I didn't get to see for three or four years later, and Steven Soderbergh's new film comes out in a week. After seeing "Du Levande," I only wish that I could re-erect some of those dominoes and see the it one more time.

Well worth the seven-year wait, this late addition to the Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard sidebar is a certifiable, holy-shit-that-was-amazing masterpiece. Describing a Roy Andersson film to someone who has never seen one is like telling a blind person what green looks like. The deep-focus, often static photography, hilarious gags, haunting emotions and unexcitable tableaux add up to such an unexpected sum that the film's wonders charm and hypnotize you. "Du Levande" is at once a musical, a romance, a tragedy, a comedy, a dreamscape, a series of unrelated vignettes and a cohesive unit. Andersson has created dreams within a dream world and finished it off with one of the best closing shots in cinema history.

1 comment:

Janean said...

I cannot wait to see this but I am probably going to have to wait.... years. Oh, the unfairness of not being at Cannes with you! Next year I really must find a way to go.