The Film Comment Podcast: Roy Andersson’s About Endlessness

May 4, 2021

“The people are all pale as mushrooms, blending in with the ashen cityscapes, sterile white rooms, and drab, half-empty restaurants. Stuck in meticulously composed dioramas, they enact miniature comedies and tragedies—sometimes it is hard to say which—filled with deadpan humor and haunting bleakness. We could only be in a Roy Andersson movie.”

Imogen Sara Smith wrote these words about Andersson’s latest, About Endlessness, which graced the cover of Film Comment’s May-June 2020 issue. The global pandemic was just starting to take hold back then, and the Swedish filmmaker’s work seemed to offer an uncannily apt vision of life in 2020. With About Endlessness finally opening in theaters, FC editors Devika Girish and Clinton Krute welcomed Imogen and another long-time FC contributor, Jonathan Romney, for a conversation about the film and its place in Andersson’s utterly distinctive filmography.

Listen to the full conversation below. And don’t forget! Sign up today for the Film Comment Letter, launching on May 6, to receive a free digital download of a Film Comment back issue of your choice.

Links & Things:

Imogen Sara Smith’s essay on About Endlessness
Jonathan Romney’s review of A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Andersson’s sketches for About Endlessness
Andersson’s advertising work
Stream About Endlessness, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, and You, the Living

 

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