A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
2014, Dir. Roy Andersson
With Holger Andersson, Nils Westblom, and Viktor Gyllenberg
101 min, Digital Projection
The final film in Andersson's "human trilogy," A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence takes its title from a reference to the 1565 painting The Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The painting depicts a rural wintertime scene in which some birds perched on a branch look out over the activities in a small village. Andersson was inspired to consider what these pigeons must think of humankind.
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence intertwines two darkly absurdist tales. The first follows a pair of bumbling traveling novelty toy salesmen. In the second, Charles XII, one of Sweden's most militant kings, reappears in modern times to carry on his series of disastrous defeats in cafés and other modern settings.
Winner of the top prize at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence examines the painful and poetic nature of life in today's world through the detached gaze of an outsiderin this case, through the eyes of a pigeon.
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