One of my favorite distributors in recent years has been Tartan Films, which distributed all kinds of Asian horror films as well as interesting, gutsy things like Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, 12:08 East of Bucharest, Red Road, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, The Cave of the Yellow Dog and Battle in Heaven. The company went through some tough times last year, but they have re-emerged, more or less, newly re-christened as Palisades Tartan. And one of their first decisions on active duty was to scoop up the distribution rights for Roy Andersson's You, the Living in the United States.
This film has been floating around for a while, playing at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and opening in its native Sweden in the fall of 2007. I saw it in the spring of 2008 at the San Francisco International Film Festival. I suspect that critic David Thomson saw it there as well, and he saw fit to include it in his recent book "Have You Seen...?" a collection of short essays on 1000 of the most notable films ever made. It opened a few weeks ago in New York and will be slowly expanding to other cities throughout the fall. I wanted to include it on my list of the ten best films of 2008, but I felt that one screening at one film festival -- and no regular distribution -- disqualified it from consideration. Now I'm considering it a strong contender for 2009's list.