YOU, THE LIVING
A series of short sketches, each filmed in one take, dealing with the human condition in all its joy and sorrow, self confidence and anxiety, greatness and weakness.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
On a park bench, a self-pitying woman tells her man and her dog to both piss off. In one apartment, a man is practicing the tuba, while in another, a man is practicing the marching drum. A young female teacher sobs in front of her primary school class. But these are just for starters, in this blackly adventurous series of takes on humanity, in sketches that range from naturalistic to surrealistic. Nice touch, for example, to see the audience ... sorry, observers, behind the window at an execution by electric chair with tubs of popcorn on which they munch. . .
One of the most striking aspects of this unique film is the exceptional naturalism of most performances - even in the most unnatural scenarios. A psychiatrist confesses to camera how unhappy he is, with all these mean people coming to him. Another man talks about his retirement fund while a large naked woman on top of him groans with pleasure as she rides him. Some of the sketches don't really work or don't blend with their cousins, but the snapshot approach means they are short. Without a solid narrative, the film nevertheless has something to say.
It's a tragicomic walk in the park of human nature, where the trees grow at right angles and the flowers remain closed in sunlight.
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YOU, THE LIVING (M)
CAST: Jessica Lundberg, Elisabeth Helander, Bjorn Englund, Leif Larsson, Ollie Olson, Brigitta Persson
PRODUCER: Pernilla Sandström
DIRECTOR: Roy Andersson
SCRIPT: Roy Andersson
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gustav Danielsson
EDITOR: Anna Märta Waern
MUSIC: Robert Hefter
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Potential Films
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Melbourne: August 7, 2008; Sydney: August 14, 2008