Songs From the Second Floor | Chicago Reader

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Swedish director Roy Andersson took four years to complete this opaque 2000 feature, and the perpetual traffic jam on its sound track symbolizes his vision of a world mired in chaos, cynicism, and hopelessness. Working with no script and mostly nonprofessional actors, he tells the story of a middle-aged businessman so worn down by caring for his mentally ill son that he decides to end his career by burning down his factory; punctuating this narrative is a series of elegant but relentlessly gloomy tableaux whose characters are fearful of responsibility and deadened by ennui. The lugubrious, impressionistic music is by Benny Andersson of Abba. In Swedish with subtitles. 98 min.

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