Songs from the Second Floor by Roy Andersson (2000, 94 min.). Songs from the Second Floor, which shared the Special Jury Prize at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, is a surreal examination of the pointlessness of modern life in a nameless city full of directionless people. In a series of unrelated vignettes, marked by absurd black humor, the film’s characters stand witness to a motionless traffic jam, the pathetic firing of a 30-year employee, a magic trick gone horribly wrong, and the failed business ventures of a crucifix salesman. Dialogue is largely absent from the film, and, even when present, usually confounds what little expository quality there is in the narrative. The tone of Swedish director Roy Andersson’s highly original and challenging project recalls such bleak visionaries as Samuel Beckett and Luis Buñuel, and while it perplexes audiences, it leaves them laughing uncontrollably.