About Endlessness (2019)

  • Drama, Comedy
  • 1h 18m
  • France, Germany, Norway, Sweden


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Official Selection, 2019 Toronto International Film Festival

The latest from influential Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson weaves together visually arresting vignettes into a powerful exploration of humanity.

“You give Roy Andersson 76 minutes, and he’ll give you the universe.” –IndieWire

One of cinema’s most revered artists, Roy Andersson has created a peerless and influential body of work with Songs from the Second Floor; You, the Living; and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. Constructed as a series of eerie vignettes characteristic of these more recent films, Andersson’s latest, About Endlessness, is imbued with a singular, haunting atmosphere. His characters float ghostlike — afraid to engage with one another, or lost in grief, confusion, and metaphysical angst — through the detailed landscapes he and his teams construct to trompe l’oeil effect, with scenes often culminating in absurdist, awkward humour.

These vignettes document our lack of awareness. We reduce the monumental to the quotidian or elevate the quotidian to the monumental: a pastor who has lost his faith shows up to a psychiatrist demanding a session, only to be told the office is closing and the doctor has to catch a train, while a woman’s broken shoe takes on near-tragic significance. This effect is underscored in the film by a narrator who habitually states the obvious, yet manages to sound as portentous and apocalyptic as the narrator of The Pilgrim’s Progress.

The sense of helplessness is most evident in the recurring image, a clear reference to Chagall, of a couple floating over the bombed-out city of Cologne. It’s a stunning visual, one that — like many of the images here — will linger long after the film ends.

STEVE GRAVESTOCK

Official Selection, 2019 Toronto International Film Festival

Content advisories: violence, may frighten young children

Canadian Distributor

FilmsWeLike

Director

Roy Andersson

Language

Swedish