One of the things we probably missed most during the lock-down was going to the movies. In our fast-paced city life, it’s nice to sit in the dark with a complete focus on a story. It’s our little escape, and Netflix or other home options couldn’t offer the same experience. We are happy that the reopening of the cinemas is right in time for the planned release of Roy Andersson’s ‘About Endlessness‘. We saw the film at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam, and we are glad it is available for everyone to see now.
A man and women sit on a bench overlooking a city. ‘Its already September’ the woman says. ‘Hm’, he replies, before they both fall back into a peaceful, dull silence.
The film is a construction of many stand-alone scenes. A narrator guides us through. She describes what she sees, but could just as much be talking about something or someone else because in a way all the characters are alike. They all beautifully gave up at that moment in life.
The distinctive filmmaker’s style, in which the scenes are filmed in a static shot, gives the viewer a chance to look around and discover what is happening. Andersson lets his viewer observe his films just as he likes to observe people – very precisely. He describes his film style as ‘more clear than reality’, and with this clear vision, he shows us all the things we try not to focus on in life. He painfully stretches these inconveniences, whether it’s existential distress or a waiter who is slowly but steadily spilling the wine. His actors play these moments with a certain disinterest that is hilariously surreal.
About Endlessness takes us from WWII to just a moment ago, and with this span of a lifetime, it describes everything that everyday life is. We are not always happy, and sometimes tragically lost, but we can find comfort and consolation in the humour of it all.
Roy Andersson is a Swedish director, known for his 2014 ‘A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence‘, for which he received a Venice Golden Lion, and has made 6 feature-length films that are all worth watching.
About Endlessness in now in theatres near you. Go to KINO or Lantaren Venster and don’t forget, only 30 seats are available every screening, so reserve your ticket!
Check out the trailer here.