NEWS: The Living Trilogy @ Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Have you ever imagined a cross between Ingmar Bergman and Monty Python? No? Well, I don’t exactly blame you. But if you try to form that image in your mind, you might end up with something very similar to the works of Swedish director Roy Andersson. Andersson is known for his musings on everyday life and existence – which forms the backbone of his Living Triology – which are combined with absurdist humour and utterly surreal scenes with eccentric characters. The Tyneside Cinema are bringing back the first two award-winning instalments of the Living Trilogy in the run up to the release of the final, long-awaited segment.

The trilogy begins with Songs From The Second Floor on Saturday 18th April. Set in a nameless city filled with directionless people, the film is a surreal examination of the pointlessness of modern life. Black humour marks out the series of unrelated sketches that unfold across the course of the film, where our characters are witness to an utterly motionless traffic jam (with no psychotic consequences like in Falling Down), a rather pathetic 30-year-old employee, a magic trick gone wrong, and the failed business of a crucifix salesman (yes, really).

You, The Living follows on Monday 20th April. It’s another wonderfully absurd mixture of stories, only this time they’re all just a little bit connected. The individuals are also just that little bit more odd. Here, we’re given the story of an overweight, self-obsessed woman, a disgruntled psychiatrist, a heartbroken groupie, a carpenter, a business consultant, and a school teacher and her rug-selling husband. With a touch of magic realism, Andersson explores their fears and desires in a dreamlike fashion.

Coming 15 years after Songs From The Second Floor, the final instalment in the trilogy, A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, comes to the Tyneside from Friday 24th April. Its title might be more long-winded and pseudo-philosophical, but this latest work loses none of the darkly hilarious charm of the previous films. Instead, it’s yet another encounter with some highly eccentric characters, this time mostly following two travelling salesmen as they pedal their jokes and toys to unsuspecting members of the public. More structured than the previous instalments, A Pigeon promises to be yet another funny look at what it means to be alive and a truly spellbinding closer to the series.

Songs From The Second Floor screens on Saturday 18th April. 

You, The Living screens on Monday 20th April.

A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence begins screening on Friday 24th April, all at the Tyneside Cinema.

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