Swedish director Roy Andersson is back with another tragicomic, vignette-based look at the absurd theater of life and death. “About Endlessness” first world-premiered at the Venice Film Festival back in the fall of 2019, where it won Andersson the Silver Lion for Best Director. Now, it is set for a release in theaters and on demand on April 30 from Magnolia Pictures.
The latest film from the revered and much-decorated 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. This one is a reflection on human life in all its beauty and cruelty, its splendor and banality.
We wander, dreamlike, guided by a female voice, who occupies the role of Scheherazade from “Arabian Nights,” guiding us from one skit to another along the periphery of a war. Inconsequential moments take on the same significance as historical events: a couple floats over a war-torn Cologne; on the way to a birthday party, a father stops to tie his daughter’s shoelaces in the pouring rain; teenage girls dance outside a cafe; a defeated army marches to a prisoner-of-war camp.
From IndieWire’s rave review out of the Venice Film Festival:
If even the title of Andersson’s latest feature sounds like a wry gag, it’s also meant to be taken at face value. The least funny and most tender movie that Andersson has made since building his own studio with the profits he’d saved from decades of enormously successful commercial work, “About Endlessness” adopts the same qualities of life itself: it’s both short and infinite. It’s over in a heartbeat, and yet it feels like it could go on forever. Like a stone-faced Scheherazade, Andersson stops as soon as it’s clear that he can outlast us. Better 76 minutes than 1,001 nights.
“About Endlessness” is a lens that clarifies the amorphous period in between, when the full scope of existence is somehow beautiful and terrible all at once.
Check out the film’s latest trailer, available exclusively on IndieWire, below.