Search - Songs from the Second Floor on DVD

Songs from the Second Floor
Songs from the Second Floor
Actors: Lars Nordh, Stefan Larsson, Bengt C.W. Carlsson, Torbjörn Fahlström, Sten Andersson
Director: Roy Andersson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
NR     2004     1hr 38min

One evening somewhere in our hemisphere, a strange series of illogical events take place: a clerk is made redundant in a degrading manner; a lost immigrant is violently attacked in a busy street; a magician makes a terribl...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Lars Nordh, Stefan Larsson, Bengt C.W. Carlsson, Torbjörn Fahlström, Sten Andersson
Director: Roy Andersson
Creators: István Borbás, Roy Andersson, Johan Mardell, Lisa Alwert, Philippe Bober, Sanne Glæsel
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: New Yorker Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/23/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Swedish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Its hard to be human these days......
Felix Matathias | Manhattan, NY, USA | 08/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What is this film about ? It is about strange things happening in a strange city ? What is this absurd traffic that cars are stuck in for days, without moving even for a few feet ? Where is everybody going ? What went wront with the magicians act and almost killed the volunteer from the audience ?

In short what is Anderson trying to say ? A lot. And it is all an alegory about the human life. Trapped in convention, in relations, like being stuck in the traffic, working hard and as the hero says "try to put some food on the table, and enjoy oneself". It is also a criticism of the establishment and power. When people trust their lives in authority that is supposed to take care of them, like trusting that the magician will not cut you in half but will make the trick work, but things go wrong. Like when a mental patient is wearing the doctor's robe and nobody understands the difference.

The imagery of the film is stunning to say the least, the photography, the colors, the camera that never moves, the ever lasting deep focus that captures foreground and background and does not miss anything. Oh, this is a masterpiece. It reminded me of Tarkofski, although lighter and more approachable, and also Angelopoulos, although not so slow.

I would recomend this film to everyone. And if you are puzzled at the end about what it all means you will get a lot of answers on the special features section where you can see the entire film from the beginning with the director explaining his concept and answering questins about the technical aspects of the film and about its message.

One of the best films of the past 10 years I would say."
One of most impressive films of 2000
Toby Cornish | 07/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's disgraceful that this film took so long to reach America; and still more disgraceful that it will play in only a few major cities. I caught it in NYC, and it's a superb mixture of Luis Bunuel, Jean Marie Straub and Godard. Andersson moves his camera exactly once in the entire film (a slow tracking shot), as he chronicles a series of interconnected episodes documenting corporate greed, the commodification of religion, the hopelessness of faith in "compassionate government," and creates a film (his second in 24 years!) that is resonant, funny as hell, and deeply moving. After his first feature, Andersson turned to directing commercials for Swedish television (Ingmar Bergman calls them his favorite examples of contemporary filmmaking), and then sank all of his own money into creating Songs From The Second Floor, eventually obtaining outside financing to finish the film. Think of what Terry Gilliam or Monty Python as a whole might have accomplished if they had any real talent or insight, and you'll get some idea of the genius of this film. An absolute must see, currently available only on VHS in PAL format in the UK. Should be released on DVD in the US immediately; this is one of most important and deeply felt films of the new century."
An absolute gem
Toby Cornish | Baltimore, MD USA | 04/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first saw this film IIRC in 2001 at the Roger Ebert Overlooked Film Festival ("Ebertfest") in Champaign-Urbana. I instantly fell in love with the film -- it was clearly the best film at the festival. And then I waited for DVD release... and waited... and waited. Finally I received my copy, some 4+ years after the film was released.Upon watching it again, I felt it lost something compared to the presentation on the massive screen and enthusiastic 800+ audience at the Virginia Theatre. The visuals are intentionally drab, but incredibly rich and detailed; hence, the small screen is not kind. Also, like much absurdist art, it is difficult to recapture the emotional shock and wonderment of the first viewing. But yet the movie is still compelling on DVD. This Swedish comedy is dark, brooding, irreverent and often times disturbing. From the grey skies to the traffic-jammed streets to the predominantly obese and ashen-faced cast, this movie makes no attempt to be be pretty or cheery. However, certain scenes of despair are so full of beauty, one smiles despite oneself. I am reminded of certain scenes from the work of Terry Gilliam.The plot is rather simple: things are not going well in this fictional Scandinavian city and the citizens are getting desperate. Don't ask why or where -- it's truly unimportant. Woven into this fabric is Caesar Vallejo's poem "Beloved be the man who sits down," the verses of which form a a type of modern beatitudes extolling the merits of the mundane individual. In the movie, the poem is written by the protaganist's son, who now resides in a mental hospital. Ironically, the people in the patients in the mental hospital appear to be the only sane residents in a city gone loopy as capitalism, government and religion fail its increasingly desperate and selfish citizens.A great film to see, but really not for everyone."
A masterpiece
Haseeb | Tempe, AZ United States | 12/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Songs From the Second Floor is the best film I've seen in a long time. The movie is unconventional in that it has no plot and is filled with a number of events that don't always follow one another.

I think the primary focus of the film however is on the man whose picture appears on the box cover. In the beginning of the film he burns down his furnature store in order to collect insurance money. He also has a son who drove himself crazy writing poetry. After he burned down his business, he trys to make a living selling crucifixes.

Along our journey in this film we see a number of people who are either in great dispair, suffering or are on the verge of a mental collapse. Along our journey in life, we experience pretty much what is shown in this film. I love this film because it vividly shows what life is like but at the same time it's very dream-like. What is life but one mishap or mistake after another?

The film is also very funny. The part in particular which made me laugh was when there was a scene when a man had just been apparently fired from his job then he clings on to his bosses leg like a kid repeating the same thing over and over again."