It’s Not Easy Being Human: The Films of Roy Andersson
Screening Dates
  • February 19, 2022 6:30
  • February 27, 2022 8:30
35mm Print

One of the supreme absurdists of our time … Constantly surprising and often outrageously funny … For Andersson, in a world always on the brink of disaster, the only true salvation is in our imagination.”

David Thompson, Film Comment

Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson’s follow-up to the mind-bending end-of-the-millennium masterpiece Songs from the Second Floor unfolds in the same visionary, Monty Python-meets-Ingmar Bergman mode, mixing dark, deadpan, absurdist humour; apocalyptic angst; and exquisitely composed visual tableaux. Ironically exploring the grandeur of existence,” Andersson’s music-filled black comedy is set in a dismal Northern European city, where, in a series of immaculately designed set pieces, various sad-sack characters contend with the challenges and disappointments of life and love. A Dixieland jazz band and its tuba player figure prominently, while real-life Swedish metal guitarist Eric Bäckman appears as a rocker pursued by a lovelorn young woman. The film’s title comes from a line in Goethe’s Roman Elegies about Lethe, one of the rivers, in Greek mythology, flowing through Hades. This hilarious, hell-on-earth wonder was only the fourth feature completed by its notoriously perfectionist director in four decades.

Hypnotic … A very funny film—though in the darkest possible way… Andersson has a technical, compositional rigour that puts most other movie-makers and visual artists to shame.”

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Extremely funny, beautifully made …. The title of this movie is meant literally. It’s about you.”

A. O. Scott, New York Times

“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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