Reviews of Songs from the Second Floor (2000) and related work
Songs from the Second Floor (2000)
A dedicated man scorns his wife to get to work. In the next scene, as clinically pallid and static as the one before, he is fired. In the distance, the pitiful soar of scourged bourgeoisie begins to grow louder than the honking of thousands of immobile cars whose drivers are attempting to flee the city.
Black social satire. Tepidly human tragicomedy in a poetic dystopia of the depersonalization wrought by capitalism and bureaucracy. I like Roy’s methodology throughout his trilogy of the human condition: Disconnected, sometimes obviously trivial ideas implemented with extreme care, including a scene or two in every film that must have been mind-blowingly difficult to shoot. It’s all held together by style and themes.
‣ You, the Living (2007)
‣ A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014)
Seen in 2015.
Seen at Draken, GIFF 2015.
My favourite scenes are the “1943” musical at Halta Lotta’s pub and the enthralling first scene with Charles XII. The obvious CGI of the Boliden “organ” scene is disappointing, even if the reference adds a lot to the critique, in the manner of a political cartoon. I like the opening and the “experiment” with the monkey, hinting at the influence of environmental history on the negative trends exemplified throughout the trilogy.