Venice winner Andersson - bored by stories, inspired by 'Godot'

Sat Sep 6, 2014 6:27pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Michael Roddy

VENICE (Reuters) - Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson got his start in feature films with "A Swedish Love Story" (1970), so his film "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence" that won the top Venice Film Festival award on Saturday suggests he has come a long way.

"You know, I started my career with realism in storytelling but after 15 years I was so tired of this storytelling and realism that I found what I call abstraction," the 71-year-old director told Reuters in an interview before the awards.

"I call it fragments from existence, from life. It's fragments about us living beings."

Andersson, whose winning film is part of a trilogy that he says may eventually have a fourth part, is nothing if not unconventional.

When he got tired of making films with normal plots, to support himself, and raise funds for more experimental work, he took up making Swedish television commercials that display a quirky, sometimes macabre sense of humor.

One of them, showing people in business suits bailing out of an airliner, while the rest of the passengers watch in surprise, turns out to be an advertisement for a bank.

His more recent films have won a cult following in Europe for their quirky, often dark sense of humor - which pretty much reflects the outlook of their creator.

"I mean, none of us will have a happy end in our life," he said.   Continued...

Swedish director Roy Andersson holds the Golden Lion prize for his movie "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence" during the award ceremony at the 71st Venice Film Festival September 6, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile