Quick-Thoughts: Roy Andersson’s About Endlessness (2019)

That “energy” quote is gonna get us all big-headed now, huh? 

I’m planning on watching Roy Andersson’s filmography backwards (got this one for free so f**k it, why not?) and with the runner up being his recent 2019 canon About Endlessness, I now can confidently say I have a pretty good feeling about this fella. So far, I’m head over heels with this one still frame = one whole scene formula he has going for himself, as if we’re gazing at a vignette of museum paintings advancing into motion. Moreover though, we also get this prevalent one-line-per-scene narrated poem thread that’s weaved into the entire thing, with each one of these lines being reinterpreted by each of Andersson’s straightforward visual guidances. It’s flabbergasting too how such a primarily grey, murky palette can somehow pop colors out like nothing I’ve ever seen before; if this is how all of Andersson’s other films are styled, I may just have one of my new favorite compositors of the century on trial as well.

About Endlessness is, however, just barely teetering on the ever so orthodox boomer-basics of what life’s absurdities, sadnesses, mids, and happinesses are composed of, but not to a fault that made it too contemptible for me, since the simplicity of it is sort of the charm in viewing. Within these examinations, background characters appear to be looking at focal point subjects as past or futures of their own experiences in a sort of grace on the similarities we often share. There are a handful of moments that we feel are the end to our lives, but not the end to us, never knowing how it continues as we all become a piece of something even in death in a universe that is inherently much bigger than just life. Faith may perish near one’s death, but it does not mean this is the end, as much as the thought exists only in our individual heads, never often cared about in the billions of faces of others unless it’s theirs. Humanity breathes in spiteful yet beautiful repetitions, but never reflected by even a moment of metaphysical judgement no matter the tragedy — nature does not think like a person therefore it cannot define it. Sure, this concept is a bit “been there done that” and the film occasionally relies on expository dialogue to communicate it, but man does Andersson make it *keyword* “look” unusually seraphic.

Case and point, art this easy-going in execution definitely shouldn’t be overlooked, cause collected tone can sometimes cut deep! So far, Roy Andersson‘s chops are quite refreshing to my eyes!

Verdict: B

2020 Ranked

“About Endlessness” is now available to rent on Amazon Prime.

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