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Songs from the Second Floor(Sånger från andra våningen)

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Sweden, Norway, Denmark · 2000
1h 38m
Director Roy Andersson
Starring Lars Nordh, Stefan Larsson, Bengt C.W. Carlsson, Torbjörn Fahlström
Genre Drama, Comedy

Peruvian poet César Vallejo inspired this black-comedy about our need for love, our confusion, our greatness and smallness and, most of all, our vulnerability. It is a story of big lies, abandonment, and our eternal longing for companionship and confirmation throughout the pointlessness that is modern life.

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Village Voice by J. Hoberman

Despite some deadpan, Jacques Tati-like orchestration and occasional sight gags, there's no real pleasure in the game -- Songs From the Second Floor is more absurd than funny.


TV Guide Magazine by Ken Fox

Andersson creates a world that's at once surreal and disturbingly familiar; absurd, yet tremendously sad. The haunting score is by ABBA's Benny Andersson.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Liam Lacey

The film is like an Ingmar Bergman movie as realized by Monty Python: It's seriously gloomy about the loss of spirituality in the world, but at the same time rudely, sometimes hilariously, absurd.


Chicago Tribune by Mark Caro

A brilliant, absurd collection of vignettes that, in their own idiosyncratic way, sum up the strange horror of life in the new millennium.


The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

Though the laughs in Songs From The Second Floor tend to stick in the throat, they're also cathartic and oddly comforting, because the world outside the movie theater is bound to look cheerier than the one on the screen.


Boston Globe by Ty Burr

The film is depressive, slow, darkly funny, unyielding in its formal rigor, and unsettlingly beautiful. It's obviously not for everyone, but only because not everyone can meet its stare.


New York Post by V.A. Musetto

A devastating indictment of unbridled greed and materalism, made all the more relevant by the Enron and WorldCom scandals.

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