You, The living (Du Levande)(Roy Anderrson) Sweden, Germany, France.
This is a very apt title for the this film. It comes off like a a series of loosly connected vinettes. All of which are quirky, sentimental and at times, slightly unkind. The opening sequence lays the foundation for the whole movie. A women in her late fifities, rattles on about how bad her life is “No one understands me ” she says to her ultra mellow boyfriend. “I am going to commit suicide because you don’t love me” . He replies “Don’t say that”. Her voice is a gravly monotone. At first you are suprised and then you start to see the real character of this lady and you even start to chuckle along with her. In the end as she send she boy friend away, in stark contrast to every thing she just said she says, “I might be by over later”. Here even she realizes she if full of shit and will be by later to be with her boyfriend. This is an ordinary scene taken to new hights.
There are many little scene such as the opening one. This film is not afraid to push the traditional boundries of cinematic language. In A scene where a couple has just been married in there are people pushing to get a better view, from outside looking into thier window on their wedding night. Paparazzi taken to a new level. It is a normal looking room in a housing project only it appears to be moving because the window outside show the scenenry passing by. Then the train stops and the passerbyes push up to window. A huge crowd gathers and the start saying Hoor ray for Cindy and Malik. The couple wave out of he window and the building starts to move out like a train again. The couple happilly waves as the house-train pulls out of the imaginnary train station.
The movie plays with the conventions of film thereby making it not only interesting but just fun to watch. From the use of depth and off screen space, the film comes alive. You have stuff on one side of the screen that is sitting there still and at the last second it moves, bringing you into a space, onto an object you had not noticed before. A closed door to the right open and someone puts out a box. Rather mundane stuff but the film is full of crazy stuff that we take for granted. You have direct address to the camera like a scene were a psychiatrist tells of how over worked and over stressed he at work. “People are mean and they want me to make them happy” I can’t make them happy so I just give them pills instead”.
Brazil was one of the first movies that played around with the cinematic reallity. Pushing aside conventional old rules about cinema that hollywood had followed for many years. This film pushes those boundries even father. The joy here is that every one can take something different from the movie as it has so many more layers that a typical Hollywood smaltz. Put this movie up next against Definetly, Maybe and you can see there is a huge gap between the two.