For "Director on director action," EW asked notable filmmakers which auteurs they are binging during the coronavirus quarantine. Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver, the upcoming Last Night in Soho) recommends Roy Andersson and offers his picks on where to start. 

Edgar Wright
Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Who to watch: Roy Anderssen

Why: My girlfriend is Swedish, so I’ve been using this lockdown to acquaint myself with many a Svensk Film. One director of whom I was already a fan (and am now a bigger one) is Roy Andersson, who made two movies in the '70s, then took 25 years off to make award-winning commercials and came back to the big screen as one of our most distinctive living stylists. If I had to describe his recent films, I’d say it’s like a mix of Jacques Tati, Monty Python, but filtered through a very Scandinavian existential angst. I’d say the phrase "bleakly hilarious" is apt as Andersson’s movies are as laugh-out-loud as they are despairing. It’s sometimes like watching a magnificent sketch show beamed from purgatory. The films are beautifully made, too. Every scene is a single composition, with nearly every one constructed in Andersson’s own studio. You can hang every frame from one of his movies on your wall.

What to watch: There are only six films total, so this is an easy marathon. The debut movie, A Swedish Love Story [1970], is in the vein of Gregory’s Girl [1981] or Melody [1971], a keenly observed snapshot of young love contrasting with the cynicism of older relationships. Jump ahead three decades and just savor his startling, utterly unique trilogy; Songs From The Second Floor [2000], You, the Living [2007], and A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence [2014]. They are all beautiful, bleak, and hilarious in equal measure. His new one is the 78-minute-long, award-winning About Endlessness [2019], and I can’t wait to enjoy it on a big screen when this grim winter of cinema is over. I’ll see you at the first screening.

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