In the Swedish city of Lethe, people from different walks of life take part in a series of short, deadpan vignettes that rush past. Some are just seconds long, none longer than a couple of minutes. A young woman (Jessica Lundberg) remembers a fantasy honeymoon with a rock guitarist. A man awakes from a dream about bomber planes. A businessman boasts about success while being robbed by a pickpocket and so on. The absurdist collection is accompanied by Dixieland jazz and similar music.
|Original Title||:||Du levande|
|Release Date||:||September 21, 2007|
|Genres||:||Music, Comedy, Drama|
|Production Company||:||Det Danske Filminstitut, Canal+, Arte France Cinéma, Eurimages Council of Europe|
|Production Countries||:||Japan, Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway|
|Casts||:||Håkan Angser, Eric Bäckman, Patrik Anders Edgren, Björn Englund, Lennart Eriksson, Pär Fredriksson, Elisabeth Helander, Gunnar Ivarsson, Leif Larsson, Jessika Lundberg, Jessica Nilsson, Jörgen Nohall, Waldemar Nowak, Olle Olson, Kemal Sener, Jan Wikbladh, Göran Holm|
|Plot Keywords||:||hairdresser, bar, sweden, jazz, new love, balcony, pickpocket, airplane, musical, beer, man-woman relation, music, relation, partnership, alienation, little boy, independent film, storm, psychiatrist, music band, blue sky, school life|
There is no plot. There are no central characters. There are no moving cameras or close-ups. In fact, this film does not follow any of the conventional storytelling techniques used by mainstream film. However, Roy Andersson's Du Levande is a remarkable piece of cinematic storytelling. It is a touching look at the human psyche.
Comprised of a series of vignettes, Roy Andersson gives us an intimate insight into what makes us all human. In perfectly framed static shots, added with the perfectly in tune, yet quirky, music, Roy introduces us to a host of characters as they undertake their daily existence. Some bordering on tragic, others hilarious, we are taken on a Nordic journey like no other.
It is a journey into the little things that make us human. Instead of over-the-top storytelling or visual techniques, everything is stripped down to the bare minimum so that our sole focus is on the characters themselves. It focuses on the insignificant points of our lives that make us who we are; our dreams, our desperation. It's through this simple observation of others that we can accept who we are as individuals.
The washed out colours and deathly-pale makeup of the characters only seems to emphasize their individual stories and remind us that unlike them, we are all alive. There is no happy ending or light at the end of the tunnel in this film, yet you walk out of the cinema with a sense of life. Much more accessible than his earlier film, Songs from the Second Floor, Du Levande, is a truly inspiring piece of cinema.