7.0/10
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A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014)

En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron (original title)
Sam and Jonathan, a pair of hapless novelty salesmen, embark on a tour of the human condition in reality and fantasy that unfold in a series of absurdist episodes.

Director:

Roy Andersson

Writer:

Roy Andersson
5 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nils Westblom ... Sam
Holger Andersson Holger Andersson ... Jonathan
Per Bergqvist Per Bergqvist
Charlotta Larsson Charlotta Larsson ... Limping Lotta
Solveig Andersson
Viktor Gyllenberg ... King Karl XII
Sture Olsson Sture Olsson
Lotti Törnros Lotti Törnros ... Flamenco Teacher
Jonas Gerholm Jonas Gerholm ... Lonesome Lieutnant
Ingvar Olsson Ingvar Olsson
Ola Stensson Ola Stensson ... Captain / Barber
Oscar Salomonsson Oscar Salomonsson ... Dancer
Roger Olsen Likvern Roger Olsen Likvern ... Caretaker
Linda Birgersson Linda Birgersson
Arne Hellqvist Arne Hellqvist
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Storyline

Sam and Jonathan, a pair of hapless novelty salesmen, embark on a tour of the human condition in reality and fantasy that unfold in a series of absurdist episodes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief sexuality and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two scenes including the Swedish march took 2 months to complete. See more »

Connections

Follows Songs from the Second Floor (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Shimmy Doll
Performed by Ashley Beaumont
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User Reviews

 
In a world so sad, is it allowed to have a laugh?
24 January 2015 | by mr_spacemanSee all my reviews

This Scandinavian movie which takes place in an unnamed Swedish town is about bringing joy and laughter to people when there isn't really anything to laugh about. Jonathan (Holger Andersson) and Sam (Nils Westblom) are two joke article salesman, who have only three products: vampire teeth, a canned laughter sack and a frightening rubber mask which they try to sell to resellers. However, the duo is not successful in what they do and so are their – not so funny – products and their uncreative and repetitive sales talk. As they stumble into financial trouble their friendship and business project is about to collapse.

This loose and rather sad story is patched with more absurd incidences. A longer scene takes place in a bar when the young Swedish King Charles XII (1682 - 1718) rides in, as he guides the army to the battle against Russia. Charles asks the handsome barman to come with him to the war. Later, when the army comes home and the war is lost, Charles again visits the bar because he has to go to the toilet. These scenes are not meant to be taken literally but rather embraced as pure images decorated with strange and morbid humor. The world which director Roy Andersson paints for the viewer is drab. There are no colorful things: walls are ocher, bars are gray, the furniture is simple wooden dark brown, and even the faces of the protagonists are white. Nevertheless, the dry jokes, the black humor and the absurdity make the movie fascinating and funny, though a guilty pleasure. Is it really OK to have a laugh or – even worse! – to sell jokes in a world that is so odd, so gray, so dark and sad?

There are two scenes that may have caused uproar but I think not many people made it that far since these scene appear rather late in the film. I won't give it away; you have to find out for yourself. The things that drive common movie goers away are the incredible slow pace of the movie (think of REPULSION (1965)) and the lack of a cohesive storyline. Art seekers on the other side will find an interesting and subtle movie with strange humor that is rarely found.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Sweden | Germany | Norway | France | Denmark

Language:

Swedish | English

Release Date:

24 October 2014 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,313, 7 June 2015

Gross USA:

$222,989

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,472,431
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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