"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



Man Is Man’s Delight. But Also His Bane. Twas Ever Thus.

This isn’t a Stockholm I instantly recognise.
The tangled streets of The Gamla Stan aren’t paved
with köttbullars, lingonberries, or tubes of Kalles Kaviar.
There are no clogs, no wet snuff, no pickled herrings
and no painted wooden Dalahorses to be seen anywhere.
What we get instead are a random collection of
plain, drab, bleached-out backdrops
populated by an assortment of
plain, drab, bleached-out people
going about their plain, drab, bleached-out little lives.
Like zombies. But without the bloodlust.
A stout alcoholic woman and an Arab barber.
A disgruntled psychiatrist and a heart-broken groupie.
A kleptomaniac. A tuba player. Various business consultants.
And a shoal of grey-skinned balding Nordic men and women.
For this is the Stockholm of Roy Andersson.
A Stockholm with a distinctive visual flavour all of its own.
Just like the France of Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro
has a distinctive visual flavour all its own.
Just like the ocean and the India and the America of
Wes Anderson has a distinctive visual flavour all of its own.
Constructed from 50 single-take deadpan vignettes,
‘You, The Living’ took the veteran commercials director
three years to make, and used
an estimated 62,342 metres of film.
Benny from ABBA composed the musical score.
The incessant, recurring, futile lives of its characters
are interspersed with wistful maverick dream sequences.
Or perhaps the whole film is meant to be viewed
as nothing more than one long static waking dream?
Afterall, doesn’t "real-life" feel a lot like that sometimes?
Andersson knew Ingmar Bergman apparently.
Didn’t like him much though. They didn’t get on.
I remember reading somewhere that the Swedes drink
more cups of coffee per capita than the Italians.
But I’m not really sure if I believe that or not.

Roy Andersson's 'Du Levande'

The Scandinavian Kitchen on Great Titchfield Street, W1W



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