Songs from the Second Floor

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)
  • October 6, 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 Swedish black comedy-drama film which was released to cinemas in Sweden on 6 October 2000,[2] 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 in a trilogy, followed by You, the Living (2007) and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014).


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. The main men all have goals but their destinations change during the story.



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." Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four stars out of four and wrote, "You may not enjoy it but you will not forget it."[3] Anton Bitel, writing for Eye for Film, felt that "the heavy symbolism overwhelms the storytelling."[4]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film received an 89% approval rating, based on 35 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10.[4] On Metacritic, the film was given a score of 76 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[5]

Awards and nominations



See also


  1. "The New Cult Canon: Songs From The Second Floor". Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  2. "Sånger från andra våningen" (in Swedish). Swedish Film Database. 6 October 2000. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  3., "Songs from the Second Floor". Accessed October 3, 2015.
  4. 1 2 "Songs from the Second Floor (2002)". Accessed May 16, 2016.
  5. "Songs from the Second Floor". Accessed December 27, 2015.
  6. 1 2 "Festival de Cannes: Songs from the Second Floor". Retrieved 2009-10-13.
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