A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014)

30 Oct


Roy Andersson brings us the third part in his trilogy about being human; if A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is even close to the human condition then God help us all. 

Touted as a black comedy on humanness, the film is really just overwrought, self conscious drivel, that projects isolation and awkwardness on us all. Carefully shot with liberal use of wide angle in sparse locations, the audience is hit on the head with the sense that even when we are surrounded by people, we are dreadfully alone.

Intentionally disjointed, the film is more a series of increasingly bizarre vignettes, with little connecting them but for the occasional appearance of a pair of travelling salesmen who deal in absurdities like their most popular “uncle one tooth” mask. There is very little I can tell you about the plotting of the film beyond this because the scenes are so short and nontangential that to explain any more would quite literally give the entire film away.

Critics and viewers alike have lauded the film, calling it the comedy of the year. Make no mistake, it is neither funny, nor enjoyable. Instead you have a film laced with enough twee tat that hipsters will enjoy being able to lie to their friends and say they saw something in it, which they most definitely did not. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence presents humans as ungainly, self conscious, and awkward to a fault; a caricature of our insecurities, which it never tempers with the our beauteous traits of compassion and selflessness.

If you value your time give this one a miss, don’t believe the hype.




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