Songs from the Second Floor unfolds through a series of tableaux to present a portrait of a city grinding to a halt. A magician’s act goes horribly wrong; flagellants march through the streets causing endless traffic jams; a man is summarily sacked from his job after years of service and through all this walks the soot-covered Karl, who has just burned down his business for an insurance claim.
The surprise hit of last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Andersson’s first feature in 25 years paints a wildly funny, darkly surreal picture of spiritual meltdown at the end of the century. Justifiably compared with sources as varied as Bunuel and Bergman. –Cambridge Film Festival
ROY ANDERSSON (born 1943) started his film career with short films „Visiting Your Son” (1967) and „Getting the Bike” (1968). You will see both of them also in Sleepwalkers. Andersson’s first feature was „A Swedish Love Story” (1970), where the young Andersson gave a deep look into the world of love. This film won in Berlinale four prizes and was very successful amongst the audience. His next film „Gilliap” (1976) was black comedy with a very serious style. After that Andersson quit with films and made only advertisements.
In 1981 Andersson created his own company and explained that he wanted to be free in his creation. After that he made many very special and successful ads, which won all together eight Golden Lions in Cannes.
In 1987 he made a short film about AIDS „Something Happened”. This film was supposed to be shown in Swedish schools, but was denied, as it was too shocking.
In his next film „World of Glory” (1991) Andersson went even futher with his serious… read more
With this movie, Roy Anderson is comparable to a conductor conducting an orchestra. All the scenes are carefully choreographed, intertwined with minute details in the background of the mise en scene, with each "instrument" coming in just at the right time. The best kind of black comedy. Despite its otherworldly oddities, it's strangely human.
There aren't many careers in the history of cinema quite like Roy Andersson's. Fresh out of film school, he had a major success with En kärlekshistoria
The first impression I had watching “Songs From the Second Floor” was of a collection of life metaphors boxed in a surrealistic shape. A slight discomfort. Later on, some scenes insisted on coming… read review