Roy Andersson’s ‘A Pigeon Sat …’ is strange and mesmerizing


You’ve never seen a film quite like “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” — unless, that is, you’ve seen any of director Roy Andersson’s other films. The third part of a trilogy that began with 2000’s “Songs from the Second Floor” and continued with 2007’s “You, the Living” is a surreal, often funny, occasionally moving treat. Recently released in the U.S., this critical darling was the deserved winner of the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice Film festival.

Squeaky Wheel recently screened “Pigeon” in Buffalo, and this rare opportunity to see Andersson’s film was not to be missed. It is an almost indescribable experience, really, a collection of brief vignettes that are strange memorable. (One of my favorites involves the fate of the beer and sandwich prepared for a man who has just died.)

I applaud Magnolia Pictures for releasing “Pigeon,” which is destined to be a cult classic. Too “strange” for most audiences, the ambitious viewer will be mesmerized. And ready to watch again.

Photo: Viktor Gyllenberg in A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures