ISF: Something Happened (1987) Dir: Roy Andersson Not Yet Released Date Seen: September 1, 2009 Rating: 3.5/5
ISF: Visiting One's Son (1967) Dir: Roy Andersson Not Yet Released Date Seen: September 1, 2009 Rating: 3.5/5
ISF: To Fetch a Bike (1968) Dir: Roy Andersson Not Yet Released Date Seen: September 1, 2009 Rating: 2.5/5
ISF: World of Glory (1991) Dir: Roy Andrsson Not Yet Released Date Seen: September 1, 2009 Rating: 3.75/5
It might not surprise or awe anyone to know that acclaimed Swedish absurdist Roy Andersson's student films don't hold a candle to his later, more polished and more surreal works but whoop, there it is. To Fetch a Bike (1968) is a meandering slice-of-life that's a far too cool to be memorable and Visiting One's Son (1967) is only intriguing for what will come later in his career. The latter feels like the germ of what Andersson would later expand on once he became comfortable with abstract imagery through his commercial work. You can tell that the comically unfocused harangue a father gives his mustachioed twenty-something son is sincere but it's also a little funny (emphasis on "a little;" Andersson's more concerned with the delicacy of the scene than in taking it far enough to really make something of it).
Then again, that makes me wonder what I was expecting from these shorts. I can't decide why the two more recognizably "Anderssonian" shorts I watched, Something Happened (1987) and World of Glory (1991), are works that stand up on their own but somehow I feel they do. Though Something Happened's howlingly blind humanist approach to the discourse and studies on AIDS is a bit much,* its vignettes combined are so much more than just a collective of singular mosaic tiles. There's something to be said about the self-sufficient episodes that respectively make up Visiting One's Son and To Fetch a Bike but knowing what Andersson will do later just by juxtaposing several such vignettes soured my viewing experience.
*While it's pretty evocative and effectively blunt, the Nazi ice pool scene and the connection it implies is ill-conceived, to say the least
Note: Couldn't find pics for either of the student films. Any help in that area would be much appreciated.