A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Director: Roy Andersson
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 2.0

A series of absurdist/deadpan vignettes about "the human condition" (rather broad, huh?) that mainly centers on a duo of salespeople who work in the "entertainment business" but really just try to hawk gag gifts (including a plastic mask, a "bag" that makes laughing sounds and toy vampire teeth). Andersson's style (long-takes with the camera in a fixed position) works best when he's at least trying to be funny (the 1943 segment, the dying woman grasping to her handbag, the digs at warmonger George XII) but I don't feel the pieces 'fit together' into a unified whole, leaving only a series of impressions instead of a cohesive effort. Two of the most chilling images come at the end - with the monkey wired up to a shock machine (while a woman talks on the phone) and a group of slaves roasted in a gigantic drum (adorned with what appear to be trumpets) - but, again, their 'purpose' in the project is debatable.