Songs from the Second Floor

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Songs from the Second Floor
Original Swedish poster
Directed by Roy Andersson
Produced by Lisa Alwert
Roy Andersson
Philippe Bober
Sanne Glæsel
Johan Mardell
Written by Roy Andersson
Starring Lars Nordh
Stefan Larsson
Bengt C.W. Carlsson
Torbjörn Fahlström
Sten Andersson
Music by Benny Andersson
Cinematography István Borbás
Jesper Klevenas
Robert Komarek
Edited by Roy Andersson
Release dates
  • May 2000 (2000-05) (Cannes)
  • 6 October 2000 (2000-10-06) (Sweden)
Running time
98 minutes
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Budget $5.5 million[1]

Songs from the Second Floor (Swedish: Sånger från andra våningen) is a 2000 surrealistic Swedish film written and directed by Roy Andersson. It presents a series of disconnected vignettes that together interrogate aspects of modern life. The film uses many quotations from the work of the Peruvian poet César Vallejo as a recurring motif. It is the first film of a trilogy, You, the Living being the second and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence being the third.


A man is standing in a subway car, his face dirty with soot. In his right hand he carries a plastic bag with documents, or rather, the charred leftovers of them. In a corridor a man is clinging desperately to the legs of the boss who just fired him. He is screaming: "I've been here for thirty years!" In a coffee shop someone is waiting for his father, who just burned his furniture company for insurance money. Traffic jams and self-flagellating stock brokers are filling up the streets while an economist, desperate for a solution to the problem of work becoming too expensive, gazes into the crystal ball of a scryer. Everything and everyone is going somewhere but their goal and its meaning have disappeared along the way.



Film critic J. Hoberman from The Village Voice concluded about the film: "Easier to respect than enthuse over, Andersson's rigorous personal vision is not only distanced but distancing."[citation needed] Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "You may not enjoy it but you will not forget it."[2]

Anton Bitel writing at Eye for Film felt that "The heavy symbolism overwhelms the storytelling."[3]

At review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 88%, based on 34 reviews with an average rating of 7.4/10.[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]


  • Bodil Awards
    • Best Non-American Film (Bedste ikke amerikanske film) Roy Andersson (director)
  • Guldbagge Award
    • Best Film (Bästa film) Lisa Alwert
    • Best Direction (Bästa regi) Roy Andersson
    • Best Screenplay (Bästa manuskript) Roy Andersson
    • Best Cinematography (Bästa foto) István Borbás and Jesper Klevenas
    • Best Achievement (Bästa prestation) Jan Alvemark


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The New Cult Canon: Songs From The Second Floor". Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  2. ^, "Songs from the Second Floor". Accessed October 3, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Songs from the Second Floor (2002)". Accessed October 3, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Festival de Cannes: Songs from the Second Floor". Retrieved 2009-10-13. 

External links[edit]