Roy Andersson is one of the great unsung masters of modern cinema. He is not prolific, this is fifth feature film since 1970, but his style is unique and unmistakeable: a series of interlocking, deadpan tragi-comic vignettes that suggest he may be the missing link between Jacques Tati and Monty Python. Here the lugubrious efforts of two novelty item salesmen somehow conjures the ghosts of King Charles XII of Sweden, a WWII beerhall, and a diabolical colonial contraption. Once seen, never forgotten.
"Blackly comic absurdist banality interspersed with surrealist shards – alternately hilarious, heartbreaking and horrifying. The spirits of Samuel Beckett and Spike Milligan waltz through this beige-green purgatory, a series of arresting static-camera vignettes, pasty of face, deadpan of composition." Mark Kermode, The Observer
"Shot in long takes, the camera fixed like a picture frame, there are images here that lodge in the part of the brain where dreams are forged… For a film posing the metaphysical biggies, there is tenderness and laughs. Its bonkers approach to storytelling and life may drive some nuts. The rest of us will soar with the birds." Cath Clarke, Time Out