Screened as part of NZIFF 2001
Songs from the Second floor has brought international attention to its director for the second time in a most unusual career. Winner of the Grand Prix at Berlin for A Swedish Love Story in 1970 at the age of 26, Andersson made one other feature, Gillap, in 1975 and was so stung (creatively and financially) by its failure that he abandoned feature filmmaking for twenty years.
Instead he made some of the world's oddest television commercials and completed two astoundingly creepy short films.
Nicolas Schmerkin’s short documentary provides a lucid introduction to his work and ideas, and to the obsessive, four year labour that went into Songs from the Second Floor.
Andersson’s AIDS information film was commissioned at considerable expense by the Swedish Social Affairs Department, but it was not at all what they had in mind. Convinced that AIDS was the result of genetic manipulation, Andersson conjures up a nightmare vision of mad science.
A work of warped brilliance and ineffable creepiness, Andersson’s tableaux of suited bureaucrats supervising genocide capture his vision of humanity at its blackest. This film astonished audiences and won awards at many short film festivals and can readily be seen as a preliminary study for Songs from the Second Floor.