The large bell in a bar intermittently rings for last orders and the inevitable rush to queue forms at the counter – do we want what we need only when it's too late? Or is the irony of the opening scene's wailing Cassandra a more resonant reflection of our perceptions on individual existence? There's an endless fascination about where writer-director Roy Andersson wants to take us in his fourth feature, "You, The Living". With fifty or so semi-related vignettes strung together by a penchant for tragicomic hyper-reality, its wistful interpretations and symbolic instances of life that bind us all in this great big cosmic Sisyphean struggle. The sheer simplicity of these vignettes act to dramatise the tenuity and immense preciousness of being apart of the symbiotic relationships we have with one another. Andersson might whittle down the complexity of the human condition through harsh and fast cynicism more than he should, but he also reminds us of the inherent, reassuring glory of waking up each morning to a new tomorrow when we're all aware of our own distinct forms of arrested development.
A series of scenes that focus specially on a single idea, emotion or act us. In the absence of interfering qualities this film is able to take one factoring influence and amplify it to absurd and hilarious proportions. Each scene gives us an uninterrupted view at some of the more unglamorous characteristics that in the end determine who we are, both as individuals and as a thread in the patchwork of the collective human unconscious.
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