Homage to Roy Andersson

Porträt Roy Andersson

Lübeck, September 29. The 65th Nordic Film Days Lübeck (November 1 – 5, 2023) will dedicate its Homage to Swedish director and screenwriter Roy Andersson. The internationally renowned filmmaker will receive the festival’s Honorary Award on opening night, November 1, at the Cinestar Filmpalast cinema.

“Roy Andersson has created a unique body of work that explores personhood in all its vulnerability, inadequacy, and brutality”, says NFL artistic director Thomas Hailer about this year’s honouree, “His eye is keen, but empathetic”.

Born in 1943 in Gothenburg, Andersson studied literature and philosophy, before studying film at the Swedish Film Institute. His directing debut “A Swedish Love Story” (1970) became a hit. When his next film, the social satire “Giliap” (1975), was a critical and commercial flop, Andersson withdrew from moviemaking and spent the next two decades making hundreds of commercials. Those short films gained cult status and the director used them to develop his magic touch for absurd snapshots of life, which he would carry over into his unique aesthetic when he returned to filmmaking.

Roy Andersson himself curated the films that will be shown in the homage. They include the “Living Trilogy” and his most recent work “About Endlessness”. The fifth programme of shorter works is titled “The Early Years” and comprises his last student film “Saturday October 5th” from 1969, seven of his legendary commercials, and the short “World of Glory” that launched Andersson’s return to cinema in 1991.

Almost all the films were made in Andersson’s Studio 54 in Stockholm where until recently, he both worked and lived. The Homage will be rounded out by two documentaries that explore more closely how the director ticks. Filmmakers Johan Carlson and Fred Scott both had unique access to observe Andersson at work.

Complete information about the 65th Nordic Film Days Lübeck can be found on our website www.nordische-filmtage.de and on Facebook and Instagram.

The Nordic Film Days Lübeck will run from November 1-5, 2023. The entire NFL programme will be announced at a press conference on October 10. Advance ticket sales start on October 28.

We would like to thank our partners Finnlines, CineStar, STAWAG, the Lübeck Public Utilities authority, Teschke & Collegen, Moinsener, skanbo, Grundstücksgesellschaft TRAVE, Convotis, avt plus Mediaservice, SG Medientechnik, and the meda partners NDR and the Lübecker Nachrichten newspaper their support.

The Homage Films:
“Songs From the Second Floor” (“Sånger från andra våningen”), Sweden, 2000, dir: Roy Andersson.
Existence as a fight for survival. This first film in the “Living Trilogy” captures scenes of our everyday worries and fears with black humour. In the end, there’s nothing for it but to sing and have that last, lonesome drink in the pub.

“You the Living” (“Du levande”), Sweden, 2004, dir: Roy Andersson.
Loosely connected episodes depict men and women seeking a little bit of happiness and an opposite number. When all else fails, they express their yearning in song and music inserts.
“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” (“En duva satt på en gren och funderade över tilvaron”), Sweden, 2014,dir: Roy Andersson.
The last film of the “Living Trilogy” looks at colonial history and the capitalist fight for survival. Once again, loosely linked scenes explore why we are so much closer to the downfall of civilisation than to utopia.

“About Endlessness” (“Om det oändliga”),Sweden, 2019,dir: Roy Andersson.
In Andersson’s most recent film, the camera once again takes a step back and observes seemingly banal situations. And once again, people indulge in all the things they always have with this director: They wait, they brood, love, wage war, and drink.

The Early Years – Short Films and Commercials from 1969 to 1991
“Saturday October 5th (“Lördagen den 5.10”), Sweden, 1969, dir: Roy Andersson.
One day in the life of a young man. High-contrast black-and-white images provide insight into the everyday life of an everyman.

Commercials – seven advertising spots from the 1960s to the 1980s, dir: Roy Andersson.

“World of Glory” (“Härlig är jorden”), Sweden, 1991, dir: Roy Andersson.

Exaggerated snapshots in the life of a real estate agent. He suddenly hears screams and a profound sense of guilt materialises

Side-bar Programme
“Tomorrow's Another Day” (“Det är en dag imorgen också”), Sweden, 2011, dir: Johan Carlsson
Portrait of a director and his crew in action. A visit to Roy Andersson’s legendary Studio 24 during the multi-year production of “You the Living”. A chance to admire the craftsmanship that goes into realising a cinematic vision.

“Being A Human Person”, Sweden, 2020, dir: Fred Scott
Each member of the crew in the film studio works with concentration and dedication. Only Roy Andersson is nowhere to be seen. The director, whose films deal with the weaknesses of human existence, speaks openly about his own fears.

Press contact:
Hansestadt Lübeck - Nordic Film Days Lübeck
Dr. Kathrin Steinbrenner & Kristian Müller, SteinbrennerMüller Kommunikation, E-mail: presse@nordische-filmtage.de
Tel: +49 (0)30 47372191