The British documentary about Roy Andersson, Being a Human Person by Fred Scott, has recently had its première, a retrospective of Roy Andersson films is being shown, and an exhibition of behind-the-scenes material from his films opens tomorrow, 28 October, at the Swedish Embassy residence in London. On 6 November Silver Lion, EFA and Guldbagge Award winner About Endlessness (Om det oändliga) premières at British cinemas.
In documenting this process, Being a Human Person becomes a powerful meditation on the relationship between art and artist, and a heartbreakingly honest portrait of one of the most startlingly original and unremittingly humane directors in world cinema.
“We’re just so heartened that Fred’s humanistic portrait of Roy has caught the imagination of so many critics and audiences in the UK. It’s a testament to Roy’s standing as a living legend of world cinema that Being A Human Person has sparked such a powerful conversation about his work, and we’re forever grateful to him, and everyone at Studio 24, for trusting us to do his story justice,” says the film’s producer Mike Brett.
A recent review in The Guardian (Wendy Ide) gave the film four out of five stars:
“In advance of the release of his most recent film, the Venice Silver Lion-winning About Endlessness, this terrific, unexpectedly moving documentary portrait captures the man at work.”
Being a Human Person is co-produced with Studio 24 and has been granted co-production funding from the Swedish Film Institute. At the time of writing, no date has been set for when it will be shown in Sweden. It will eventually have its television première on culture programme K Special.
British distributor and theatre owner Curzon Cinemas is taking an ambitious initiative focusing on Roy Andersson and his films. This at a time when many other cinema chains and film distributors are closing down or limiting their activities in the UK. Roy Andersson’s latest and, he claims, last feature film About Endlessness, for which he won the Silver Lion in Venice last year, premières on British cinema screens on 6 November. In addition, Curzon is screening a retrospective series of the three previous films in what was planned as a trilogy, but ended up as a quadrilogy, starting with Songs from the Second Floor (Sånger från andra våningen). The screenings have pre-recorded introductions by figures such as Mike Leigh. Curzon is also distributing Being a Human Person.
To increase awareness about the Curzon initiative, the Swedish Embassy in London is hosting a Covid-safe exhibition at the embassy residence for the press and a small group of Roy Andersson fans.
“The Swedish Embassy in London is one of very few embassies or cultural institutions in the UK to hold any physical cultural events since the pandemic began. The Roy Andersson exhibition will also be documented, so that it can be made available to a wider audience in digital form,” says Pia Lundberg, Sweden’s Counsellor for Cultural Affairs in the UK.
One of the producers behind About Endlessness, Johan Carlsson, will be in attendance in London during the week.
The Swedish Film Institute is a collective voice for film in Sweden, and a meeting-place for experiences and insights that elevate film on all levels. We preserve and make available Sweden’s film heritage, work to educate children and young people in film and moving images, support the production, distribution and screening of valuable film, and represent Swedish film internationally. A broad diversity of narratives establishes discussions and insights that strengthen the individual and our democracy. Together, we enable more people to create, experience and be enriched by film.