A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence is the third in a trilogy of films by Roy Andersson which look at the modern human condition. Along with Songs From The Second Floor and You, The Living, it focuses one of the many aspects of living. Andersson takes the viewpoint of the titular observer, curiously trying to fathom out what on earth humans are actually doing.
As with his previous films, A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence is a collection of sketches around a central theme. The one story running through it is that of Jonathan (Holger Andersson) and Sam (Nils Westblom) who are in the entertainment business. They struggle to sell their outdated novelty items, whilst Jonathan has an existential crisis which isn’t helped by Sam’s constant criticism.
Winner of the Golden Lion in Venice, A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence is an intriguing film, which mixes surrealism with the everyday. Whilst it will baffle and infuriate some, Andersson makes a lot of interesting points in a very roundabout way. It’s great to see these kind of films not only being made but also getting theatrical releases. It’s a mix of historical and modern which will keep you puzzled and enthralled ’til the very end.
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence is out in cinemas on Friday.