The Platinum Egg 1984: Roy Andersson.

On an average-sized smartphone display, the Wikipedia entry on Roy Andersson is 4.7 metres long. The references at the end alone are 40 centimetres long. Most of his life is included. His childhood in a working class home in Hisingen in Gothenburg. The huge success of his feature film debut, “A Swedish Love Story” in 1970. His disappointment at the reception of film number two, “Giliap”. His triumphant return, 25 years later..., with “Songs from the Second Floor”, in which he developed the distinctive approach to narrative that took the world, including the jury in Cannes, by storm. The follow-up, “You, the Living”, and then the conclusion of the trilogy, “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence”, the first Swedish film to win a Golden Lion in Venice. All this creativity and much more flashes by as you scroll and scroll and scroll down this encyclopaedic slide. Still, the most striking thing is what is so conspicuously absent. Nowhere in the entry is there mention of any of Roy Andersson’s commercials. Luckily, we can correct this omission here. For over three decades, his commercials for Trygg-Hansa, Lotto, Arla, Estrella, Viking Line, Aftonbladet, Falcon and many others were an integrated part of the Swedish movie-going experience. Gradually, they became an integrated part of the Swedish national consciousness. It was advertising created with the same artistry as Roy’s other films. The same eye for the absurd in human existence. The same endless concern with detail. The same sense of humour. In time, we came to understand that the commercials had always been one big experimental laboratory in which Roy, step by step, refined his cinematic idiom. Wikipedia also fails to mention that Roy Andersson was once kidnapped by TV host Ingvar Oldsberg and forced to take part in the Swedish version of “This is Your Life”. He is the only member of the Platinum Academy who has had that experience.

After the Platinum Egg: For forty years, Roy ran the production company Studio 24 in a big, old building on Sibyllegatan in Stockholm. Today he lives in Lund. The production company is still operated by his employees and remains a lively hive of filmic creativity.


More projects that Roy Andersson contributed to.