Om det oändliga (2019) movie review: Endless in the end of life


As the global epidemic continued to spread, the Cannes Film Festival was temporarily cancelled, and the Tokyo Olympics was postponed to next year. As the most serious country in Europe, whether Italy can successfully host the Venice Film Festival at the end of August is also unknown.

The Cannes Film Festival was temporarily cancelled, and the Tokyo Olympics was extended to next year

Pray for the epidemic to pass as soon as possible​

So far, looking back on the grand occasion of the Venice Film Festival last year, it was like yesterday. In addition to the "Clown" that created the history of the film festival, the highly controversial Polanski, and the much-watched "Landmark Theatre", there is this movie we are talking about today, directed by the Swedish film master Roy Anderson New work "About Endless". This is also after he won the Golden Lion Award five years ago with "Holding Bird Quiet", and once again boarded the stage of the Venice Film Festival.

For most fans, Roy Anderson ’s most well-known film is the 2014 Cold Birds; but in fact, as early as 1970, when Roy Anderson had just graduated from the Swedish Film Academy, he had With the feature film debut "Swedish Love Story", he was shocked in four places and was nominated for the Berlin Golden Bear Award.

1970 "Swedish Love Story"
But after this, Roy Anderson's film career suffered setbacks and was forced to stagnate. In 1975, "Love in Detention" failed due to double word-of-mouth at the box office, resulting in Roy Anderson not making any movies for nearly 25 years. He turned into an advertising director, and occasionally only made some short films to maintain self-expression and creation.

Although "The Destiny of Love" is to some extent regarded as a failure by the director himself, there are also many people in the Swedish local critics who believe that this film is the only masterpiece of Swedish film in the past 25 years, even more than "Fanny With Alexandria.

Roy Anderson on set
Fortunately, Roy Anderson did not leave the film completely. After the success in the advertising industry, he once again returned to the public as an art film director. In 2000, he was nominated for the Cannes Film Festival that year with the first song "Songs from the Second Floor" of the "Trilogy of Life" and won the Jury Prize.

Although Roy Anderson's filming speed is as slow as that of Wang Jiawei, he still made the second "You Are Alive" of the "Trilogy of Life" seven years later, and was shortlisted for the 60th Cannes Film Festival A unit of attention.

After another seven years, he finally climbed to the top of the Venice International Film Festival and won the Golden Lion Award. At this point, the "Life Trilogy" ended successfully.

According to the law of "make one every seven years", I thought Roy Anderson's next movie would not be seen until 2021. It is rare that this time we only waited five years to reach our wish. At the Venice Film Festival last year, Roy Anderson won the award for best director with "About Endless". Perhaps this is also a testimony to his half-century hard film career.
Best Director of the 76th Venice Film Festival: Roy Anderson "About Endless"
Throughout Roy Anderson's film creation, in addition to the warm and romantic tone of the virgin feature film. He started on the black route from the second film "Love in Detention", and the style of each feature film has a very high degree of recognition.
A cold, minimalist picture, low-contrast dim tones, bloated and pale-faced little people, the tone of speech is as slow as a snail. The unified composition from beginning to end, even if the empathy is easy to change, will not make people have too rich visual perception.

However, the composition of each frame in his movie showed a precisely designed texture, and each character's position in the space seemed just right. Aesthetically similar to the paintings of American contemporary artist Edward Hope (of course Hope is much brighter in color), with sharp lines, large areas of gray blocks, unnatural lighting, rendering in the picture The coldness and desolation of the urban scene.
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Roy Anderson ’s many compositions in the film are all reminiscent of the American futurist painter Kirico ’s “Melancholy and Mystery on the Street”. Although Roy Anderson is used to building indoor scenes and few street scenes, but he is very familiar with the use of the depth of the corridor, and similar spaces can be seen in "Han Zhique" and "Song from the Second Floor" structure.

Chirico's painting "Melancholy and Mystery on a Street"​

Even in the piece "Songs from the Second Floor", a street depth of field view with the same composition also appears. At the end of the gradually extending street, Roy Anderson showed the desolate psychology of the urban street people with a focus perspective.

2000 "Singing from the second floor"​

The spatial construction of Roy Anderson's films has never been a single spatial narrative, but within the same composition there are often two levels of spatial narratives, either up or down, near or far. There is not necessarily a close logical connection between the narratives, and even the narrative that supplements the space is more interesting than the main narrative of the close-up.

2014 "Han Zhique Quiet"​

Similarly, in the new work "About Endlessness", Roy Anderson still follows the same style. On the surface, "About Endless" is similar in structure to "Han Zhique Jing". It is also a ukiyo-e painting of a series of small characters, showing the scene of their daily busyness for "life". Among these lost souls, language is useless, and only the loneliness of each urban person is constructed in the state of "aphasia".

The beginning of the film is a pair of men and women soaring in the air and overlooking the beings. This scene inevitably reminds of Chagall's painting "Lovers in the Air". A similar application has appeared in "The Last Night on Earth" directed by Bi Gan .

Chagall's painting "Lovers in the Air"

In "About the Endless", the destroyed city under the dark gray sky obviously does not have any romantic atmosphere. This overlook from God's perspective is more reminiscent of Wendes' "Under Berlin Sky", like an angel looking at the ordinary humble individual under the wall and gravel.

Similar to "Han Zhique Jing", "About Endless" also uses the voiceover narration, but it is not the kind of ridiculous comment in "Han Zhique Jing". Compared with the gentleness of female voice, "About Endless" brings more care for life. Each story is like warm skin touched by hand in the dark.

This time, there is no sharp capitalist critique in "Songs from the Second Floor", nor the straightforward anatomy of human nature in "Han Zhique", the film is actually closer to the irony and warmth of "You Are Alive" coexist.

In the gentle narrative and gaze, the film shows the richness that the director has never given before: the old couple who silently stared at the city on the top of the mountain, the victim who was murdered in the room, the army marching alone in the snow and fog .
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Maybe we are as pitiful as the little people in the movie! This is the art world of Roy Anderson, concise and refined, but it can constantly evoke the urge to reflect.
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