Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
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