Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Angelo Restivo

Second Advisor

Jennifer Barker

Third Advisor

Greg Smith


Roy Andersson’s unique surrealist style and the affect it gives rise to, situated somewhere between deep existential dread and the most absurdist humor, are intimately connected to his staging of action in stacked layers of meaning in deep focus, immobile long takes. A formal reading of his films then gives us a greater understanding of the connection between affect and film style.But the tableau which all but evacuates time in Andersson is not only a stylistic choice: this challenge to traditional structures and temporalities is the formal manifestation of his anachronistic conception of history. I argue that cinematic time is here closely tied to historical time: a view of history as layered, instantaneous and made up of incongruous juxtapositions as commentary on a failure of historicism as central to the development of a national Swedish identity marked by passivity, anti-intellectualism, and a lack of historical conscience.