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Cinema Poetry 18 - You, the Living

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Published on Jan 30, 2010

Cinema Poetry is a video blog devoted to bringing you some of the most poetic scenes and sequences in the history of cinema. I haven't yet fully convinced myself that this entry from Roy Andersson's You, the Living counts as "poetry." It in no way resembles any other films yet featured on Cinema Poetry, and the world of the film in no way resembles any real world, dream world, or cinematic world that I know of, except perhaps a more sophisticated, more deadpan, more morose, and more expressive version of Hal Hartley, Jim Jarmusch, and Wes Anderson somehow mashed together. Roy Andersson's films often feature angry, bitter, depressed characters living in deadened depressive wide static frames. And yet, the mise-en-scene is so meticulously designed that something new and wonderful could be revealed at any moment, hiding just out of sight. At any time, an unexpected interaction or an overbalanced pose, as in Jacques Tati, could produce something hilarious and deeply sad simultaneously. If political cartoons were populated by Marvin the robot, or if averagecats.com were an eschatological prophecy, it may look something like Roy Andersson's You, the Living. Today's clip is one point of strange life and grotesque and/or sentimental beauty in film that could otherwise be dismissed as blithely cynical.

Part of the fun of this video blog is trying to describe the clips I'm featuring using precise and intriguing language. I'm sure that part of the fun for you is that I always fall short of the clip itself. More so this time than usual.

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