Roy Andersson’s World of Glory

Swedish filmmaker, Roy Andersson is one of the most renowned Swedish commercial director. His adverts generally take place in pretty mundane environments and feature ordinary people, what makes them so good is that he works on them meticulously injecting them with humour and a bit of distance.  He favours fixed images with no cuts, over panning camera angles and over the top editing, this very minimalist technique has become his trademark. Through producing his commercials he has been able to set up his own production company with a studio and equipment, so he can make movies again (after his 25 year break).

I attended a screening of his 1990’s devastatingly powerful short film, Härlig är Jorden (World of Glory).

The film’s long desaturated images, capturing the cast’s Zombie like performances created a distance between the viewer and the lead character. It was an almost uncomfortable insight to an emotionless, troubled man who lives in a bizarre alternative universe. The opening image of the film shows women and children being loaded into a truck to be gassed because the beginning is so horrific it captures to audience’s attention and allows Andersson to slow down the pace and allow the viewer to look for clues as to why this has happened. Many people may not like Andersson’s artistic film style, some other people at the screening said it was too boring because of it’s slowness but I thought it was beautifully shot and deserves to be viewed with an open mind. However, I am still baffled by the film and left unsure of the message of the film. Instinctively I would say it’s second world war related or just a dig at us all for standing by as we see terrible, inhumane things happen.  I’d love to hear anyone else’s thoughts too…

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