It’s Not Easy Being Human: The Films of Roy Andersson
Screening Dates
  • February 20, 2022 7:00
  • February 24, 2022 7:00

Sweden 1975
Roy Andersson
137 min. DCP

After the runaway success of A Swedish Love Story, his lyrical debut, Roy Andersson confounded expectations and went out on a stylistic limb with Giliap, his bizarre second feature. The film is set at a once-elegant Swedish hotel, where a drifter nicknamed Giliap (Thommy Berggren) takes a job as a waiter, falls for an attractive waitress, and gets mixed up in an absurd robbery scheme concocted by a hotel scullery worker who fashions himself The Count.” Aesthetically daring and deadpan funny in the now-recognizable Andersson manner, this low-key, genre-jumping curiosity took a critical drubbing and was a box-office disaster. Its torturous production history—Giliap went wildly over budget, and was much delayed by the perfectionist director’s post-production tinkering—alienated Andersson from the Swedish film industry (it would be 25 years before his next feature). The meticulous control of composition, colour, and sound remains a marvel to behold.

Visually, a film in the masterpiece class … Giliap [proves] Roy Andersson a creative film talent of extraordinary qualities.” Variety

A real oddity. It starts as if it’s a desert-dry deadpan comedy about hotel life, begins to take on allegorical/​religious dimensions, and ends as a … thriller-cum-romance.” Geoff Andrew, Time Out

preceded by

World of Glory
(Härlig är jorden)
Sweden 1991
Roy Andersson
14 min. DCP

Named one of the top ten shorts of all time by France’s Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, Andersson’s haunting and hilarious film is an absurdist tale of average, everyday life turning horrific (and apocalyptic). Its opening scene, evoking holocausts past and future, is one of the most chilling three-minute shots in the history of movies” (Michael Atkinson, Village Voice).


“It’s Not Easy Being Human: The Films of Roy Andersson” was made possible as part of Nordic Bridges 2022 in collaboration with Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, and TIFF

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Feature Image: Giliap
Image 1: World of Glory; 2–3: Giliap