Roy Andersson • Sweden • 2007 • A visually stunning take on the everyday foibles of human nature.
Dreams can be terrifying. But so is reality. A psychiatrist prescribes pills to his patients, unconvinced that happiness is even possible. A middle-aged woman is down in the dumps, but refuses her boyfriend’s comfort. A pickpocket robs a fancy diner before he’s received the bill. A business consultant receives a horrible haircut, then is forced to attend an important meeting. Halfway through the meeting, his client has a stroke.
Steeped in his signature bleak humor, Roy Andersson’s You, the Living offers a dissection-dish view of humanity, fixing its characters in static framings and allowing the action to unfold in a single take. The fifth film from Golden Lion-winning Swedish filmmaker (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence) premiered at Cannes, Rotterdam, BFI London, and Chicago, where it won Best Director.