Songs From the Second Floor - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Songs From the Second Floor Reviews

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½ August 20, 2016
Part of a trilogy that includes the slightly better You, the Living, this is a similarly dark view of life with more than a twist of humour. It's a series of sketches that are loosely connected and all pretty weird and involving some very funny characters.
½ July 13, 2016
That is a lost hour and a half of my life.... Pointless!!
June 4, 2016
Absurd and horrifically gloomy. Top viewing.
November 18, 2015
amazing surrealistic experience
½ July 18, 2015
Some significant, satiric, humorous scenes, but sounds rather distant & obscure on the whole.
June 26, 2015
After watching Andersson's second "modern" work, You, the Living (2007) about six years ago (on an airplane), I wrote in my notes "pastel absurdity" and gave it 4.5 stars. As in that film, this earlier one is a tale told by anecdote: Andersson sets up his frame as a painter would the canvas and then allows the action to unfold in long shot within it, then he sets up the next frame/scene in a different space, and so on. Extreme care and attention are paid to color (more muted than pastel here, but with the occasional splash of orange or red), lighting, and the balance of characters and objects in the space (some in deeper focus). However, in Songs from the Second Floor, there is a narrative of sorts, with recurring characters encountering an array of tragicomic situations that document (more or less) the frailty and vulnerability of we humans. One character even utters the (translated from Swedish) phrase, "It's tough being human sometimes". There are some bloody scenes here (those splashes of red) as people encounter physical peril, but a lot of the pain and suffering is emotional (as in life). However, despite all the woe, Andersson's film is darkly funny; someone made a reference to The Far Side cartoons, and perhaps that's not too far wrong. As with other "existential" films that highlight our shared human concerns, seeing people deal with all this (and then laughing?) somehow makes life feel more invigorating. I am excited to see Andersson's newest feature, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014).
½ June 2, 2015
Highly impressive, stylished, hilarious and yet, depressing. Powerfuly inventive and grey. Wonderful.
February 2, 2015
An absurdist spider web.
October 23, 2014
Nunca um filme me lembrou tanto O Fantasma da Liberdade, do Buñuel. Mas este do Roy Andersson é mais sombrio e claustrofóbico.
½ July 24, 2014
Crazy, nude, absurd.
June 26, 2014
An interesting kind of comedy film. And it is moving, too.
June 5, 2014
I can't say I exactly liked it, but I can't stop thinking about it either.
½ January 27, 2014
One of the many ironies of Roy Andersson's sublime "Songs from the Second Floor" is that though its characters only vary mildly on the age spectrum -- later-life to elderly to gaunt-looking to literal walking dead -- they each have the same stern-white expression on their face of someone who's just seen death. It's another that the narrative is essentially founded on a seemingly fruitless traffic jam, whose grim setting writer-director Andersson oft returns to, either directly or occurring concurrently in the background of a different scene, as the movie's basic mission statement of accidental existentialism and absurdity.

It's an allegorical comedy about capitalism and an inexplicable apocalypse, told via a series of unrelated vignettes with the through-line of a furniture salesman (Lars Nordh, far-fetched and grumpy as if he were Harry Potter's more reserved, forgotten uncle), one of whose two sons is told he's recently burned down his place of business, while the other wrote poetry to such a point of insanity he was expelled to a mental asylum.

"Songs from the Second Floor" is a movie I can't imagine working in any other medium but film. A museum photo or painting exhibition maybe, but Andersson constantly juggles the addition of a new visual gag across whatever length of his singular, still frame. The players regularly quote the poetry of César Vallejo, specifically "Stumble Between Two Stars", a ballad to commonplace human misfortune. The remaining list of auteur influences, I could go on. "Songs" isn't very comfortable viewing, that's for sure. But for cinephiles like myself Andersson's surrealist masterpiece feels essential. It's almost like Don DeLillo by way of Pier Paolo Pasolini. (91/100)
December 27, 2012
This really reminded me of the beginning of Monty Python's "Meaning of Life". It's great.
December 23, 2012
Bizarro, bizarro, bizarro
December 7, 2012
Trying to understand the "black humor" part in this movie. As Confusing as the "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" and simply the best one from Roy Andersson.
½ December 5, 2012
Strangely cold & bitter & I mean it when I say strangely, Loneliness, vulnerability, social breakdown & ... Looks like a warning , Anyway has some great scenes
November 25, 2012
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November 12, 2012
Weird. Hilarious. Kind of indescribable.
Super Reviewer
October 15, 2012
A wonderful film that provokes the mind. Depressing but nonetheless effective.
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