About Endlessness | Chicago Reader
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About Endlessness

Reportedly the director’s final film, this compendious tour de force from Swedish master Roy Andersson (the “Living Trilogy”) is a fittingly befuddling denouement to his wholly idiosyncratic oeuvre. It’s composed of 32 distinct vignettes, which consider both the absurdly trivial (as when a group of young girls randomly start dancing to music in front of a cafe) and the intensely profound (like the recurring segments about a priest who’s lost his faith), with little apparent reason to the individual sequences or their relationship with one another. Each is its own cinematic diorama—a meticulously constructed, living tableau that evinces Andersson’s unconventional aesthetic of muted colors, costumes, and settings that arouse a simultaneously particular and generic time and place, and a fixed camera that observes what’s happening from a measured distance and often via a continuous take. Andersson’s use of music throughout adds an emotional tenor where irony might otherwise overwhelm the potential for a sheer emotional impact. As with the director’s previous films, the theme is being itself, in all its magnificent, distressing, and banal glory. This supposedly final effort, however, is especially ambiguous; one feels that it could go on and on, and that it in fact does, even when it’s over.

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