SNACK at The Glasgow Film Festival 2020
No one makes movies quite like Swedish auteur Roy Andersson, and his penchant for enthralling absurdism is on full display here. It eschews any sort of traditional plot-driven narrative for a series of thematically-linked vignettes that play out like haunting limericks, each pertaining to the idea of its title. With a narrator guiding us through each brief segment with ‘I saw a man…’ and the like, we get glimpses into individual predicaments, annoyances and existential crises of everyone from a dentist whose patient won’t accept anaesthesia to a dream of man carrying a giant cross up a hill while being whipped. All of this is framed with Andersson’s trademark bleak but beautiful washed-out aesthetic and extra-long takes, that induce laughter – if only to break what feels like a relentless wait for some intangible impending doom. It’s similar to his last film, the peculiarly-titled A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, and it ultimately feels like a slighter, less essential experience. But nevertheless, coming it at a swift 76 minutes, there’s much deadpan strangeness to enjoy in a short period for both Andersson fans and newcomers alike.
About Endlessness is out on July 10th.