Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Songs From the Second Floor

(Sweden, 2000)

Written and directed by Roy Andersson. Hardly a film I’d recommend to everybody, and yet I find that many of the images of it have lingered. Call it a Beckett play staged in Edward Hopper paintings. If anything, it reminds me of Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog), the famous surrealist short by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali. Any “plot” here is an illusion, though some of the same characters recur. But they get nowhere; they’re not supposed to. The production design is meticulous and wonderful. I really hate to try to interpret symbolism in films, I’m only interested in whether it does something to me personally. This one did. I’d recommend it strongly to anyone who likes the adventurous in films.