A pigeon perched on a branch philosophized about the existence (Roy Andersson. With Holger Andersson, Nils Westblom, Charlotta Larsson … 1 h 40.)
Golden Lion at the last Venice Film Festival, “A pigeon perched on a branch philosophized about the existence” unofficial further merit the price “for the year.” Who is this philosopher pigeon? Maybe Roy Andersson himself. In forty-five years of career, the Swedish filmmaker has directed five feature films. With humor and distance, it offers us here to observe the bustle of the world from his tree, cooing in his company facing the absurdity of the show.
The film consists of 37 wacky vignettes, like so many scenes of life … or death: a man suffered a heart attack while trying to open a bottle of wine restive, another collapses abruptly in the cafeteria of a ferry (the cashier generously gives half the other passengers beer already paid). Enter the dance two representatives joke, a curious duo Laurel and Hardy to determined to “helping people to laugh” . Their task is further complicated they themselves wear mournful tunes burdened zombies.
Jonathan and Sam will nevertheless be our guides in this unusual journey that leads us in seedy hotels, in a bar, an apartment, a bankrupt shop, dance classes … to meeting softies lovers who smooch on an icy beach, biologists electrocuting a chimpanzee while phoning or King Charles XII and his infantry that arise in a pub and ask the toilet!
One feels about this film as before a tarot deck, returning the cards one by one to listen to a fortune teller tell us a story. Each sequence is filmed in fixed plan. Roy Andersson brings meticulous care to his compositions, so that the screen seems set on an easel. “A pigeon …” ends in light gray shades a trilogy begun with “Songs from the Second Floor” (2000) and “We the Living” (2007). Three films built on exactly the same model.
In principle, this perfectionist approach has its own limitations: a fixed plane never offers the viewer a single point of view on the world. To avoid being contaminated by this desperate comedy, we must be convinced that there is a reverse angle to this misery. Remember above all that a pigeon can philosophize about life sometimes changing branch and even naively, marvel at the beginning of spring.