Over the last two decades Roy Andersson has established and sharpened his unique style. His latest work About Endlessness is another thought-provoking, surrealist film constructed as a series of vignettes.
Each shot uses a static camera, often with intriguing angles of architecture in the background that is all in focus. The placement of characters also makes it clear that the placement of the camera was meticulously chosen.
On the surface, the vignettes don’t appear to make any sense, however, further examinations offer a multitude of existential themes to explore. While existentialism is another staple of his work, About Endlessness differs from his previous film in that it is less confrontational visually. Andersson’s grim satire of the human condition however has never been sharper, made clear by thematically confronting scenes.
His sickly, pale looking antagonists often act as if drained from emotion despite the situation in front of them. Some scenes address the struggle to process emotions, others depict how some find it hard to connect emotionally with relative strangers. Often those suffering act the most pathetic and childish as no one cares. This pessimistic but humorous lens through which Andersson sketches his characters is constant.
Andersson’s ability to challenge the viewer ensures that this film will not be for everyone, not to mention the absurdist vignettes. However, running just under 80 minuter, About Endlessness is easily his most efficient film and perhaps his funniest work to date.