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You the Living


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Product Details

  • Actors: Elisabeth Helander, Jörgen Nohall, Jan Wikbladh, Björn Englund, Birgitta Persson
  • Directors: Roy Andersson
  • Writers: Roy Andersson
  • Producers: Håkon Øverås, Pernilla Sandström, Philippe Bober, Tom Winther
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Swedish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B002VWNIFE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,796 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "You the Living" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

You, The Living is about the human being, about her greatness and her miserableness, her joy and sorrow, her self-confidence and anxiety. A being at whom we want to laugh and also cry for. It is simply a tragic comedy or a comic tragedy about us. - Roy Andersson (Director)

Customer Reviews

When people are happy, they often sing, just for themselves.
Galina
The story could be impossibly complicated with many layers, but in the end he cared about what the viewer felt and his reaction to his films.
Daniel G. Lebryk
This film is made up of 55 shots, most of which represent a discrete narrative element.
William Shriver

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By William Shriver on January 14, 2010
Format: DVD
This film is made up of 55 shots, most of which represent a discrete narrative element. Connections do occur, the most evident of which is the dream recounted by the man in the first scene, which connects to the final five shots of the film.

But there are stories, here, too--if the axiom that "character is story" holds true. There is Mia, who considers the withholding of alcohol a form a sadism, and who complains that nobody understands her; she recurs in four vignettes. Similarly, the film checks in occasionally with Anna, a groupie of a musician for "The Black Devils"; she extrapolates a single instance of kindness from the musician into an agony of unrequited love. There are other characters, in agonies of their own.

A psychiatrist addresses the camera: "People demand...to be happy, at the same time they are egocentric, selfish and ungenerous. They are quite simply mean, most of them." Vignette after vignette, that is what we see, the meanness of people. That is what unifies these diverse pieces of film. Whatever kindness we see is superficial.

But there is one other thing: there is the occasional sing-along. That is ordinary life, the film says. A stream of human meanness interrupted from time-to-time by a bit of music. All of this moves with dark humor toward a man-made apocalypse.

In Ancient Greece, Lethe was one of the rivers of Hades, the river of forgetfulness. YOU, THE LIVING opens with a quote from Goethe: "Be pleased then, you living one, in your delightfully warmed bed, before Lethe's ice-cold wave will lick your escaping foot." It puts us on notice that the dreariness we are about to witness is all there is: "be pleased".
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By H. Carey on October 5, 2008
Format: DVD
The absurd look at everyday life in this beautifully crafted film is so heartwarming and gleeful we are eagerly awaiting a US DVD release! I hope it becomes available. I would love to own his movie in order to show it to all of my friends and family. It is just stunning and delightful.
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Format: DVD
why do they look up? is it fear of destruction, or hope of salvation? or just another distraction? do we have to choose? what difference does it make to us, the living?

a woman sits on a park bench, railing at her boyfriend to leave her alone, to take the dog with him, existence is too painful, there's no point of it all. when he mentions the roast that his mother may be cooking, she says she may stop by later, and breaks into a sad but upbeat song about the motorcycle she wishes she could afford.

a young woman narrates a dream in a bar. in her dream, she marries the local rockstar; as he plays and she opens wedding presents, their apartment building pulls into the local trainstation, where they are greeted warmly and congratulated by a crowd. the crowd bursts into a cheerful song, and the young groom accompanies them with his crooning electric guitar as the building moves on down the line to unknown destinations.

music, rather than a continuous storyline, is what holds together this delightfully dark and downbeat hilarious existential comedy. a series of moments, minor tragedies, the boring or mundane or obnoxious components of everyday life, the nightmares and dreams, all loosely connected by location and the occasional recurrence of overlapping elements. but there is a rhythm. tension builds and subsides. one story plays against another. a sound in one scene provides the clue to the next. when someone tells a story, all turn to look, all move in unison. a kind of dance. a symphony of human misery that happens also to be quite funny.

for those stuck on the lack of a story, think of this like an album, whose continuity is in rhythms and harmonies and atmosphere rather than a conventional narrative arc. check it out if you like inventive cinema; this looks great, a muted tone beauty, is thoughtful and inventive throughout, and unpredictably funny. nearly as good as it gets.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth on February 6, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Did you ever rent a film from Netflix and be so enchanted that you went right out and bought a copy? Well, that's what happened to me with this film. It's funny, it's touching, it's beautifully made and it holds-up to repeated watchings. It's the kind of film that I drag out to show to my friends -- and every single one of them has since purchased their OWN copy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Snow Leopard on June 15, 2010
Format: DVD
Before beginning, I'd like to make it clear that the director (Roy Andersson) intends this as the second part of a trilogy, with the equally eye-popping Songs from the Second Floor, as the first installment. Second, I don't consider this film to be a comedy, not even a black comedy. I mention this because, if you are expecting a comedy, don't. If this is funny at all, it's a peculiar kind (see below). The "Monty Python" bit from the cover is totally misleading, even if one considers the absurdist side of Python. This is a much colder thing than Python would ever undertake.

And now for something completely different ...

Is this a disc that needs to be owned, or will renting it be sufficient? The quality of the picture is not the best viewed close up, losing some of the crispness of the director's details, while the soundtrack makes no special demands on the Dolby 5.1. Extras include a full-length commentary by the director, which I've chosen not to listen to after hearing his commentary for Songs from the Second Floor, a director interview, two "making of" features, and a selection of clips from the director's previous four movies. In all these are approximately an hour. If you've seen Songs from the Second Floor, these extras are almost a formulaic repetition as for that film. So in brief, if you like to show off Andersson films to friends, you might want to own this, or, you might be like me, and just rent it again. Now the movie itself.

Roy Andersson has made most of his career in TV commercials--often quirky ones--and that approach is his style here, writ large. Everything you see was filmed on a sound stage and was built from scratch. Everything is meticulously placed, and almost nothing ever goes to waste visually.
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