About Endlessness is an art film from Sweden that reflects on the human condition. In little existential slices, writer and director Roy Andersson shows us both the beauty and misery of everyday life.
The movie is a collection of vignettes, and the elegant staging of many scenes reminds me of the paintings of Edward Hopper. Andersson shoots all his scenes with a stationary camera as the characters move throughout the frame, but then, sometimes, the characters barely move. He even employs digital effects to a favorable degree.
Some of the vignettes are heavy and sad, like when we witness a father, full of grief, in the aftermath of stabbing his daughter to death to protect the family honor. Another one, with a trio of young ladies stopping to dance to the music coming from a roadside cafe, is joyous.
There are a few recurring characters here. One man has a dream that he is being crucified in the streets. When we see him again in another vignette, we learn that he is a priest who has lost his faith.
Endlessness is far
from stuffy and dull. It runs a scant 78-minutes, is occasionally—and purposely—absurd,
and is always meditative.
About Endlessness is currently playing at The Broad Theater and is also available to rent on various streaming sites.