Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence 2014

En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron

Directed by Roy Andersson

The deeply eccentric Roy Andersson’s meticulously mounted comic sketches move from historic fantasy to hilariously deadpan humour as he muses on humanity’s inescapable absurdity. Golden Lion, Best Film, Venice Film Festival 2014.

Sweden In Swedish with English subtitles
100 minutes DCP
content may disturb

Director, Screenplay

Producer

Pernilla Sandström

Photography

István Borbás
,
Gergely Pálos

Editor

Alexandra Strauss

Production designers

Ulf Jonsson
,
Julia Tegström
,
Nicklas Nilsson
,
Sandra Parment
,
Isabel Sjöstrand

Costume designer

Julia Tegström

With

Holger Andersson (Jonathan)
,
Nils Westblom (Sam)
,
Charlotta Larsson (Limping Lotta)
,
Viktor Gyllenberg (King Carl XII)
,
Lotti Törnros (the Flamenco teacher)
,
Jonas Gerholm (the Lonely Colonel)
,
Ola Stensson (the captain/barber)
,
Oscar Salomonsson (the dancer)
,
Roger Olsen Likvern (caretaker)

Awards

Golden Lion (Best Film)
,
Venice Film Festival 2014

Festivals

Venice
,
Toronto 2014

Elsewhere

Frequently imitated but only ever equalled by himself, Roy Andersson, cinema’s deadpan poet of drabness, takes years to craft and string together his exquisite, absurdist scenarios about ‘what it means to be a human being’. Featuring the ‘whitest white people in cinema’ (Nick Pinkerton, Sight & Sound), and the least healthy looking, his films unfold towards their pokerfaced punchlines in elaborate studio-built dioramas that constitute miracles of banality in their own right. The sketches in Pigeon are connected by the wanderings of a pair of weary salesmen with three ‘fun’ items to offer: a set of vampire teeth, a laughing bag, and a rubber fright mask called ‘Uncle One-Tooth’. Needless to say, no one’s buying. If you’ve seen his Songs from the Second Floor or You, The Living, you’ll already know whether you have to see his latest. If you haven’t, there’s really just one way to find out.

“What a bold, beguiling and utterly unclassifiable director Andersson is. He thinks life is a comedy and feels it’s a tragedy, and is able to wrestle these conflicting impulses into a gorgeous, deadpan deadlock.” — Xan Brooks, The Guardian

Pigeon, like its predecessors, manages the uniquely Anderssonian trick of not just making you notice the absurdity of existence, but reminding you to love that absurdity as well. Life is unlikely, humans are ridiculous, and the world is cruel: isn’t it great?” — Jessica Kiang, The Playlist