The New York Times interview with Swedish film director Roy Andersson
THE SWEDISH film director Roy Andersson’s film “You, the Living” (in Swedish: “Du levande”) from 2007 is being shown at the Film Forum in Manhattan, New York, opening on Wednesday, July 29, for a two-week run. The Film Forum is located at 209 West Houston St. For tickets, call the box office at (212) 727-8110.
IN THE SUNDAY, July 26, Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times, there was an extensive interview with Mr. Andersson, who was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1943, and graduated from the Swedish Film Institute in 1969.
“YOU, THE LIVING” is centered around the lives of, among others, an overweight woman, a disgruntled psychiatrist, a heart broken groupie, a carpenter, a business consultant, and an elementary school teacher with emotional problems and her rug-selling husband. It is shot in an unconventional manner and consists of a fluent succession of sketches, very often with a tragicomic undertone. The cast is non-professional. The film won the Silver Hugo for Best Direction at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival and has been critically acclaimed.
IN THE ARTICLE Mr. Andersson says, that the vulnerability of the human being and humiliation, i.e., when people humiliate each other and when they humiliate themselves are subjects that he “deals with all the time.” His personal style is characterized by long takes, absurdist comedy, caricaturing of Swedish culture, and a grotesque “Felliniesque” influence.
“YOU, the Living” is Mr. Andersson’s only fourth feature-length film in a career that started in 1970, with the film “A Swedish Love Story,” a romantic drama about two teenagers falling in love, starring Ann-Sofie Kylin and Rolf Sohlman. The film became a big success in Sweden and abroad.
IN 1975 his film Giliap was released. It starred Thommy Berggren as a man who takes a job as a waiter at a run-down hotel. It became a financial and critical fiasco, and Roy Andersson took a 25-year break from film directing, focusing instead on his commercial work.
MR. ANDERSSON says, according to The New York Times, that “no producer in Sweden wanted to work with me (after Giliap). I was thrown out in the cold, and the only people who called me were the people from advertising.”
IN 1996 Roy Andersson finally began filming “Songs from the Second Floor,” which was completed four years later. The film won the Jury Prize (Prix du Jury) in 2000, which is the third most prestigious price at the Cannes Film Festival, which was its premiere, and became an international critical success. And in Sweden the film was awarded five Guldbagge Awards, for best film, direction, cinematography, screenplay and sound.
IN SEPTEMBER the director, according to the newspaper, will visit New York and the Museum of Modern Art for a retrospective of his work.