The work of Swedish ad director-turned-auteur Roy Andersson defines the term sui generis. With their faded color palette, episodic structure, and pasty-faced, slow-moving actors, they’re more like live-action comic-strip panels than traditional narrative features. For those with morbid sensibilities, they’re also quite funny. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, the third film in a trilogy about the human condition, coalesces less neatly than Songs from the Second Floor and You, the Living, but the absurdity of modern life remains the name of Andersson’s game. The film begins with two vignettes involving a heavyset man struggling to open a bottle of wine and a dying woman refusing to relinquish her purse, while the third section revolves around passive-aggressive novelty toy salesmen Sam (Nils Westblom) and Jonathan (Holger Andersson). Supporting characters include a ferryboat captain, a lonely old man, and a dance student and his instructor. The camps don’t interact with each other, but rather with WWII barmaids, 18th-century kings, and whatever else the 72-year-old director can pull out of his hat. If the results are less satisfying than the previous entries in the trilogy, there’s nothing like an Andersson film, in which every scene has been painstakingly crafted for maximum visual impact. recommended

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