About Endlessness

‘…a perfect coda to a storied career…’

It’s a bitter-sweet scenario that would fit perfectly with the world-view his many films describe; after five decades as an increasingly loved and revered film-maker, Roy Andersson first screened his final film in Venice back in September 2019, and the release was held back over a year to plan a substantial marketing and awards push. That About Endlessness was released simultaneously with a near national lockdown that closed most cinemas in the UK is a cruel irony that might afford the Swedish writer/director a wry smile; sometimes the best plans in the world prove futile in the face of the onset of global madness.

Of course, Being a Human Person, last month’s documentary about the making of About Endlessness suggested that this new film wouldn’t be much cop; that’s far from true. As usual, this is a series of vignettes, largely based on paintings; there’s no show-stopper like the surreal matching band from A Pigeon Sat on a Bench, but there’s also lots of profound and thought-provoking moments, from an endlessly matching army to an embracing couple flying through the night sky. Andersson can greate a genuine narrative in a single frame, and that gift makes for a compelling watch for arthouse audiences.

About Endlessness feels rather like a swan song, with a deliberately slight coda to puncture any grandiose notions of an author’s final statement. Allusions to religion (a modern day crucifixion in a busy city street) and history (Hitler, a firing squad) pepper the film, but there’s also shafts of wit and constant surprises; a priest indulges his secret passion for alcohol, a father struggles to tie his daughter’s shoes as they walk in a rain-storm.These moments all land, even if the overall connective tissue is for the viewer to describe.

At less than 80 minutes, About Endlessness serves as a greatest hits reprise by the director, and should be manna from heaven for fans of his unique skittish style. It’s perhaps less politically motivated that his earlier work, but it’s every bit as fascinating to observe each tableau and work out what the point is. Andersson is a true cinematic great, and About Endlessness is a perfect coda to a storied career.

About Endlessness is released in cinemas and streaming in the UK from Nov 6th 2020.

Thanks to Curzon for advanced access to this title.



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  1. Firstly, (yes there will be more) the cinematography on that trailer is amazing. Secondly I want to see it, go to USA with my camera and do that in stills. Thirdly reading books and seeing movies are symbiotic, Stuckbooge is missing out one way, and you the other.

    • Maybe me and Bookstooge will be good influences in each other. Kind of like a Pollyanna kind of thing, brightening each other’s lives. With regards to Andersson, that look is created like a living tableau, with almost all elements controlled. Amazing technique. Inspiring.

      • I’m sorry, but I resent this statement. I’ve never been a good influence on ANYBODY and to have that called into question hurts me, deeply, right on the inside.

        Watch out, Darth Fraggleus is using her secret darth mind powers on you! She’ll have you singing songs and dancing and frolicing with forest animals in no time. Don’t give in! You’re stronger than that…

        • But you ARE a good influence, like George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, you’ll never know the positive effect you have in everyone around you. A little ray of sunshine, you are.

          • You’re just determined to ruin my self-image, aren’t you? Fine. I’m a veritable Angel of Goodness and Sweetness that would make Pollyana sick and Mary Poppins cry with envy.

            And I wear a Pope Hat.

            I hope you’re happy now?

              • Hey, that was pretty deep for me. I judged it based on an actual review, not JUST the cover. Probably took me a full minute instead of just 10 seconds. I’m not sure how much more committed to this discussion I could get.

                Unless I start making fun of Fraggle. That could last days 😉

                    • Hmm.. they sound like cowboys rather than lawyers. What’s her beef with you?

                    • I don’t know. I didn’t think I insulted her on her blog.

                      Oh, I know. It is because I revealed her as Darth Fraggleus to the world and she’s sore about that. Hard to be an evil mastermind operating from the shadows if everybody knows what you’re doing.
                      *waves hand*
                      “These are not the irons you are looking for”

                    • Oh, it’s a Star Wars thing. She’s some kind of Sith. I get it. We’re the good guys, obviously. Goes without saying.

                    • Exactly. We’re the classic underdog who everyone is rooting for and the audience knows we can’t lose but the director cleverly hides HOW we’re going to win until at least 30 seconds have passed. Keeps the audience in suspense.

    • Is Stuckbooge my alternate alternate identity? I hope not, because he sounds like a slow witted fool who anybody could walk up to and call him names to his face without fear of punitive and possibly deadly, reactions.

  2. One thing I am getting from following you: my tolerance for saying “no” to movies is no where near to that of my tolerance to saying “no” to books. I obviously need to toughen up and just shrug off 99% of the movies you talk about. Or have some sort of monthly limit (say 1?). While I’m a bleeding veteran of the TBR Pile Wars, I feel like a novice when it comes to fighting off movies.

    There should be exercises or something that I could do to help me. And maybe some government grant money. LOTS of grant money…

    • So cinema is a broad subject for me, and I’ll review cartoons and art house, foreign and blockbusters, anything that interests me. You absolutely don’t have to feel the same and I’d be concerned if you did. There are grants to help; I’ll pop them under your door. But ultimately, I blog about what I like, and I don’t mind at all if the films are not urgent watches for you…

      • No, the problem is that a lot of what you DO review sounds interesting. I realize my “no’s” are vociferous enough that they drown out a lot, but since we’ve been interacting, I’ve watched more movies that I never would have even thought of checking out. I need to develop a thicker movie skin, that’s what I need.

        • I think mine might be too thick, no reasonable person would watch the kind of diet of films I do. I should read more, thinking of reading the first line of The Old Curiosity Shop…

          • First lines, from Dickens anyway, are always great. The man simply knew how to write!

            And I agree with you about your thick skin. It must be like 5km thick at this time 😉

                • She’s got your number! Psychic Grandma is always one step ahead. Why? Because she’s Psychic Grandma!

                  • And that is what worries me. I have a bad feeling she’s already made friends with the girly ghostbusters and probably smootched up to Slimer of the old guard, so the Ghostbusters are probably out. They were my only hope, Bonnie Prince Kenobi…

                    • Haha, she’s got you where she wants you, she’s incorrigible. Fraggle was on suggesting that we do some kind of body swap and I read books and you do films. That’s what she said.

                    • I just read all that slanderous statements. Honestly, I’m shocked at both of you.

                      I won’t try to imagine what you’d do for books, but if I had to review movies all the time I’d just end up saying “Nope, this is a bad movie and a waste of your time and money” for 97% of the movies. Then I’d get fired and become a homeless hobo.

                    • You could just review the first 15 seconds of each movie. Or the first line of dialogue…

                    • I’m only reviewing titles from now on. Or covers. We could start a website that breaks taboos by judging books EXCLUSIVELY by their covers.

                    • I’m down with that! Who needs deep, thoughtful analysis when you can get snappy, insta-judgement based on only a shallow visual impression?

                      I say we do the same for movie…

  3. No denying the fact that the cinematography in this trailer is off the charts. As for the film…it looks very surreal to me…not sure if this would be to my liking, but I always say that I’m open to anything as you know, so with this one I will say: maybe😊

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