pigeon copy

There’s a reason why I tweet, and a reason why I blog. As the film I will henceforth be referring to as PIGEON got out on Saturday afternoon, the smartass in me tweeted this:


Now that it’s been a day, I hope you’ll permit me a few hundred words to explain, including openly wondering when saying “That was Swedish” equalled me claiming dislike.

PIGEON doesn’t follow a traditional narrative structure so much as it presents a series of vignettes and tugs a few common characters through them. There’s sort of a plot about two malcontent friends unsuccessfully trying to sell novelty items, but saying the film is “about” them is to do this film a disservice. This film is about our own lives and all the curious things we do while we are on this earth. It presents the various facets of life to us almost like dioramas in a natural history museum.

The beauty of this is that each new shot fills us with both curiosity and encroaching dread. We are kept back at arm’s reach every time, so we’re allowed the time and space to soak up every new moment and all the life within it. It’s like walking into party after party and soaking up the dance floor from a balcony high above. The dread I mention comes when we’ve soaked it all in, and we’re left to wonder “What fresh hell will be walking into this“, and we’re seldom disappointed. Sometimes it’s a person who can’t find the person they are supposed to meet, sometimes it’s a person who is about to die, sometimes it’s a person on a horse.

That these feelings of high amusement, and mild discomfort are brought on again and again by static, locked-off scenes are wickedly impressive. There’s a stoic humour involved, and a somewhat arrogant humour as well. It says “I can pull the same trick again and again for 100 minutes and you will not tire of it”. And we don’t – for all its repetitive, muted-palette, awkward conceit, we never tire of gazing upon these metaphorical pigeons on their metaphorical branches.

It’s been a long week, with a lot of ups and downs…a lot of good movies and bad. There are things I’ve seen this week that may fade from my memory in the years to come, only to be re-summoned with great effort and an “oh yeah…“. But this I can promise you, there will nary come a day where I forget about what I witnessed in PIGEON – and all its Swedish glory.