Swedish director Roy Andersson is back with another tragicomic, vignette-based look at the absurd theater of life and death. Take a look at the first trailer for “About Endlessness,” exclusive to IndieWire, below. It’s set to make its world premiere at the 2019 Venice Film Festival on September 3.
The latest film from the director of “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence,” “You, the Living,” and “Songs From the Second Floor,” “About Endlessness” weaves together multiple, visually arresting segments to construct a larger narrative about mankind’s lack of awareness.
A TIFF synopsis for the film, which is awaiting U.S. distribution, says: “His somnambulant characters float ghostlike through the detailed landscapes he and his teams construct — afraid to engage with one another or lost in grief, confusion, and metaphysical angst — with scenes often culminating in absurdist, awkward humor. These vignettes document our lack of awareness. We reduce the monumental to the quotidian or elevate the quotidian to the monumental: a pastor who has lost his faith shows up to a psychiatrist demanding a session, only to be told the office is closing and the doctor has to catch a train, while a woman’s broken shoe takes on near-tragic significance.
“The sense of helplessness is most evident in the recurring image, a clear reference to Chagall, of a couple floating over a bombed out city once known for its vibrant culture, suggesting everything from Dresden to Damascus. It’s a stunning visual, one that — like many of the images here — will linger long after the film ends.”
The film takes on a narrator who occupies the role of Scheherazade from “Arabian Nights,” guiding us from one skit to another along the periphery of a war. One scene, following a defeated army’s march to a prisoner of war camp, sounds poised to be a wistful response to the King Karl XII sequence from “A Pigeon.” At just 73 minutes, “About Endlessness” hopefully earns Andersson a new legion of followers.
Andersson won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2014 for “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch.” Below, check out the first trailer for “About Endlessness.”