Film still from A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Film still from A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

NZIFF - A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

  • Sat 19 Sep 2015
  • 7:15—8:55PM
  • Len Lye Centre Cinema
  • General $15.50
  • Concession: Seniors, students, New Plymouth Film Society and community services card holders $12.50 (valid ID required)
  • Child (under 14) $10
  • Bookings essential
  • Wheelchair spaces available. Free entry for a companion to assist an audience member who has a disability. Companion seat is automatically allocated when a wheelchair space is booked

The deeply eccentric Roy Andersson’s meticulously mounted comic sketches move from historic fantasy to hilariously deadpan humour as he muses on humanity’s inescapable absurdity. Golden Lion, Best Film, Venice Film Festival 2014.

“Unspooling in 37 comic vignettes, these are Monty Python sketches as written by an existentialist philosopher.” — Cath Clarke, Time Out

Frequently imitated but only ever equalled by himself, Roy Andersson, cinema’s deadpan poet of drabness, takes years to craft and string together his exquisite, absurdist scenarios about ‘what it means to be a human being’.

Featuring the ‘whitest white people in cinema’ (Nick Pinkerton, Sight & Sound), and the least healthy looking, his films unfold towards their pokerfaced punchlines in elaborate studio-built dioramas that constitute miracles of banality in their own right. The sketches in Pigeon are connected by the wanderings of a pair of weary salesmen with three ‘fun’ items to offer: a set of vampire teeth, a laughing bag, and a rubber fright mask called ‘Uncle One-Tooth’. Needless to say, no one’s buying. If you’ve seen his Songs from the Second Floor or You, The Living, you’ll already know whether you have to see his latest. If you haven’t, there’s really just one way to find out.

“What a bold, beguiling and utterly unclassifiable director Andersson is. He thinks life is a comedy and feels it’s a tragedy, and is able to wrestle these conflicting impulses into a gorgeous, deadpan deadlock.” — Xan Brooks, The Guardian

Pigeon, like its predecessors, manages the uniquely Anderssonian trick of not just making you notice the absurdity of existence, but reminding you to love that absurdity as well. Life is unlikely, humans are ridiculous, and the world is cruel: isn’t it great?” — Jessica Kiang, The Playlist

En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron, Sweden 2014

Director/Screenplay: Roy Andersson

Producer: Pernilla Sandström

Photography: István Borbás, Gergely Pálos

Editor: Alexandra Strauss

Production designers: Ulf Jonsson, Julia Tegström, Nicklas Nilsson, Sandra Parment, Isabel Sjöstrand

Costume designer: Julia Tegström


With: Holger Andersson (Jonathan), Nils Westblom (Sam), Charlotta Larsson (Limping Lotta), Viktor Gyllenberg (King Carl XII), Lotti Törnros (the Flamenco teacher), Jonas Gerholm (the Lonely Colonel), Ola Stensson (the captain/barber), Oscar Salomonsson (the dancer), Roger Olsen Likvern (caretaker)

Festivals: Venice, Toronto 2014

Golden Lion (Best Film), Venice Film Festival 2014


In Swedish with English subtitles

100 mins

M content may disturb


Event Info

New Zealand International Film Festival