Roy Andersson’s short movies focus on working class and youth daily life, capturing and portraying a small slice of his characters’ day. Unlike his next and more known works, he uses very realistic “lens” instead of the surrealistic approach and humor. Everything is so natural – set, interpretations, dialogues – that they could be taken as documentaries. These movies remind me of Chekhov’s short fiction, however, with a more interesting mise en scene – at least, given the Chekhov’s short stories I read, they would be something close to popcorn movies.
Besöka sin son (Visiting One’s Son), Hämta en cykel (To Fetch a Bike) and Lördagen den 5.10 (Saturday October 5) are like exercises in style that culminated in his first feature, "A Swedish Love Story (En kärlekshistoria).
In “To Fetch a Bike”, we see a young couple waking up, having breakfast, getting ready to a new day. Through their routine morning acts, we can know or imagine a lot about their relationship and each one’s personality and mood.
- You never say anything.
- What do you want me to say?
- I don’t know.
While he is “only” worried to fetch his bike, she expected something else. Who has ever been in similar situation, may know what she was feeling and what she really meant saying he never says anything when he was the only one talking all the time. I do.
Their “goodbye” without words is meaningful. I especially like his gesture “playing” with her hair and how she waits till he is out of sight.