You, the Living | Chicago Reader

You, the Living

“Keaton-esque” hardly begins to describe this brutally deadpan comedy by Swedish director Roy Andersson (Songs From the Second Floor), who seems to have translated the entire range of human misery into a loosely connected series of slapstick gags. His black humor is impressively layered, each layer darker than the last: when a joker at a family banquet insists on performing that old parlor trick of yanking the tablecloth out from under the dishes, he not only shatters a huge collection of crystal and china but also exposes a vintage dining table inlaid with swastikas. Andersson's building block is a static long shot so solidly composed it suggests a panel in a comic strip; the central figure is often encased in his own suffering, and sometimes additional laughs come from a background figure surveying his despair in openmouthed bewilderment. I laughed so hard I hurt—or was it the other way around? In Swedish with subtitles.

Credits

Director:

  • Roy Andersson

Cast:

  • Fred Anderson
  • Patrik Anders Edgren
  • Björn Englund
  • Robert Grundström
  • Elisabeth Helander
  • Lars Hemingstam
  • Elisabeth Jörgensen
  • Leif Larsson
  • Jessika Lundberg
  • Sandy Mansson

Writer:

  • Roy Andersson

Producer:

  • Philippe Bober

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