In Case Of No Emergency: The Films Of Ruben Östlund

Started by jenkins, December 18, 2014, 12:52:28 PM

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JAN 9 - 24    Los Angeles, CA: The Cinefamily
JAN 14 - 22    New York, NY: Film Society of Lincoln Center
JAN 15 - FEB 17    Silver Spring, MD (DC area): AFI Silver Theatre
JAN 17 - 18    Minneapolis, MN: Walker Art Center
JAN 23 - 27    Austin, TX: Austin Film Society
JAN 28 - 31    Boston, MA: Museum of Fine Arts
FEB 5 - 8    Seattle, WA: Northwest Film Forum
FEB 12 - 26    San Francisco, CA: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
MAR 4 - 25    Pleasantville, NY: Jacob Burns Film Center
MAR 5 - 15    Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Cinematheque
MAR 12 - 22    Vancouver, BC, Canada: The CInematheque
MAR 26 - 29    Portland, OR: Northwest Film Center

trailer for involuntary:

trailer for play:


i need a day or so to think on how force majeure and play are similar and dissimilar


i haven't seen force majeure yet. did you like it?

also, this is pretty funny:


[you can actually skip this "opening" part that seems vaguely related to ornithology in like a basic way]

when you go a bit beyond the basic, there's always more. a great example is birds

a reminder about birds:

they got dem feathers. beaks. wings. they use the wings to do the

flying-around biz birds do. a bird: feathers, beaks, wings, flight

you already know the curveball? famous curveball

ratite birds. birds that can't fly. birds fucking up what a bird should be. they don't seem bird-right, yet they're birds

i already mildly regret my bird analogy, but i already wrote it so idgaf about your sass. anyway point is, i believe art should be seen as i believe birds should be seen (as i believe people should be seen too), and that's with the main curiosity of what you don't know

[this is when movies are talked about]

it was mentioned during cinefamily's intro to play that östlund's main interests are psychological experiments and youtube

he's a mixed drink of what it feels like to have old desires in a new world, a thing i tend to like

the structural foundation of his narratives is the impacting psychology of humans making choices

both play and force majeure are best understood as portraits of psychological experiments, rather than traditional narratives

i think their interpretations of narratives are similar. i think play closes similar to how force majeure closes. and i think that in a big picture way, the two movies have a lot in common. i like the name given to östlund's retrospective: in case of no emergency

[spoiler section] tell you what, the wife and kids were unaltered by the avalanche, actually. it's a heated emotional movie owing to results from a decision that didn't alter the life course of the characters until it started being talked about. and the razz in play is clear — no one thought the kid's phone was the brother's phone[/spoiler]

but östlund isn't just dicking around, it's not the same movie twice, not at all, because you go in there and you look at what opens the narrative and how it unfolds, and there's a lot of little moments to look at

[spoiler section]the kids in play seem worse because right away they know they're conning the other kids, and what the audience gets to see is how far they can push the other kids, really. except, waiiit a minute, because isn't the father in force majeure worse, since his impulse and first-decision is to run away from his family during the avalanche, which suggests he's selfish and terrible at his core[/spoiler]

it's hard not to walk around thinking about östlund's movies after seeing his movies

but, i'm having trouble with him, trouble with being impressed by his cinema but, this is tricky, because it takes a lot of talent to make what he's making. that's a "because" and two "but"s, and the sentence should be taken to an editor. life is hard

on a formal level, östlund's killing it. the dude did the slamdunk three moves ago, also a half-court three-pointer and he's danced twice. example:

QuoteFor Incident By a Bank, we were shooting the whole film with a fixed camera angle, and afterward we added all the movement, the panning, the zooming, and so on, in the editing. So we used a 5K RED camera, and if we're only projecting what amounts to 2K, what do we do with the rest of the K's? We can throw it away, or we can start to reframe the shot afterward.  That film is a reconstruction of a failed robbery attempt that I was an eyewitness to. When you see it, it feels like it's real time, single-shot. But actually it's a combination of four different shots.

which is the same way he shot play and that's called a good idea

the full range of possibility from the type of style he's exhibiting, tho, that's what i wonder about. that's how i wonder if there might be a wall

because he's not using a lot of cinema, you ask me. coulda called his retrospective: in case of no cinema

[^cracked myself up]

he does long takes

stories exist, from moments that ripple the movie, but the stories feel unshaped. the dialogue feels unshaped. the characters feel shaped by emotions

long takes and an invisible script, that's realism, innit

these fucking days, meohmy these days, cinema is sometimes seen and described as an "exaggerative effect", something like that, which boggles me, it's like everyone wants to forget that cinema is an art form. basic. shit. is. being. forgotten. expressionism. impressionism. and god bless me for saying it, but montages

a thing that happened to me during the romanian new wave is i realized the limitations of realism. romanian cinema is still thriving, still alive and well, btw, but it was a couple exits back where the freeway became less thrilling for me. my seatbelt became buckled. plenty of people say the same thing about usa mumblecore. it strikes me -- i'm generalizing -- that limitations of realism comes from a restrained use of cinema

i think the difference can be described as

the character being looked at
the character being looked into

when i want to describe it that way to bolster my perspective here. i prefer when characters are looked into because i'm an emotional person, and the inside of people is emotion. and i think when you start looking into a character, you gotta use some cinema

because i think people look similar or similar enough when they do things. they're moving their body parts and whatnot. that's science. stuff to write on a data sheet

i think people can feel a lot fucking different from each other, while looking like they're doing the exact same thing. it's a flaw of ours, it's the imperfection that'll allow the robots to overtake us: humans have emotions. aka, emotions are science

so i think shared data entry results in a complexity of data output. and i'm curious about the complexity

i think the minimalism of cinematic realism is a brick wall in efforts to depict the multitudinous possibility of feeling human. i think it's asking the question, "who can make the brick wall look more fabulous?"

[sad ending]

and i think i could keep talking about this but i don't know with whom i'm having a conversation. pretty solid opening, imo, and if i kept writing maybe there'd just be more to disagree with. i haven't talked about extraordinary features in östlund's movies, like it impresses me that he got those kids as actors in play. it's hard to direct one kid and he put like nine together, sometimes in places of public transportation, what a show off. the kid in the tree in play. the attempt-to-be-positie explanation friend friend about why maybe the dad ran away from the avalanche to be the one who could come back to save the family, in force majeure. great stuff

i've written all this about two movies that i continue to think about after seeing, yet i wouldn't call either one a favorite movie of mine in general, or even from their respective years. i prefer play, fwiw

so östlund's doing a thing i always admire, where i'm impressed by him without being sure how much i like him. i respect him as a person


Force Majeure director, actress ready new films for Swedish Film Institute
via Screendaily

Ruben Ostlund's new film The Square is among a host of intriguing projects in development in Sweden.

It has been a notable 12 months for Swedish film.

Roy Andersson's A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence won the Golden Lion in Venice this time last year, David Sandberg's 30-minute short Kung Fury has notched up 20 million YouTube views, August 29 marks the 100th anniversary of Ingrid Bergman's birth and a healthy crop of Swedish films are headed to Toronto.

The trend looks set to continue as the Swedish Film Institute (SFI) can point to a crop of exciting features now in development or production.

Among them is The Boyfriend (Jag Vill Inte Bli Gammal Nu), which will be directed by Force Majeure actress Fanni Metelius.

"Like her shorts it shows the relationships between guys and girls and sexuality from a female perspective," said Andrea Reuter of the SFI, speaking to ScreenDaily at last week's Way Out West festival in Goteborg.

The film is now shooting in Stockholm with Garage Film producing and Film Vast also investing.

Force Maejure director Ruben Ostlund is now in development on anticipated drama The Square.

SFI executive Theo Tsappos described the film: "It's in development. I'm not sure which way it will turn. It's about an inner city square. Inside the square there is 10-square metres where you can do anything. There are no rules, only morals...people want to use the square for good, people can ask for help. Homeless people start to come there."

Reuter added: "It explores group dynamics - that's what Ruben has always been interested in." 

Ostlund's own company Platform will produce and the film is aiming to premiere at Cannes, 2017. In April, Ostlund made an art installation square in the southern Swedish town of Varnamo and explored the film's concepts in an art gallery.

Platform is also producing the debut feature of Ninja Thyberg, who has made a number of award-winning shorts including Girls and Boys, Pleasure, Catwalk and Hot Chicks.

Thyberg's feature will follow a Swedish girl in Los Angeles who wants to make it in the porn industry. The as-yet-untitled film will shoot in 2016.

Notable documentaries in-the-works for SFI include Erik Gandini's A Swedish Theory Of Love, about how ideas from the 1970s have shaped Swedish society today; and Lawen Mohtadi and Gellert Tamas' Taikon, about a Romany-rights campaigner and author (the latter had its world premiere at Way Out West).

There are also new films coming from Lisa Langseth (now in development); Lisa Aschan (now finishing White People) and Daniel Espinosa (about to start shooting The Emigrants).


Berlin: Ruben Ostlund Readies 'The Square,' Preps TV Drama Debut
via Variety

Swedish helmer Ruben Ostlund is getting ready to direct "The Square," a provocative satire that looks to be one of his most ambitious movies. He will most likely shoot it in English.

Ostlund will be reteaming with his co-producer/sales agent Philippe Bober at the Coproduction Office, which handled his hit "Force Majeure." That pic world premiered at Cannes' Un Certain Regard where it won the Jury Prize.

"The Square" is set in a renowned museum where an artist is exhibiting a square, an installation that is meant to promote altruism, providing people with a symbolic space where only good things can happen. The movie's protagonist is the manager of the museum who hires a ruthless PR firm to build some buzz around the installation but things get out of hand when the museum's PR team goes too far with their publicity plans, sparking a public uproar and exposing the hypocrisy of the media.

The idea for "The Square" came to the director while he was making his 2011 observation on bullying, "Play." "'The Square' can be interpreted as an allegory of how society works today. It seems that we're getting more and more individualistic and we tend to see other adults as a potential threat. Overall, we're less inclined to feel responsible for one another," said Ostlund.

"The Square" will be produced by Ostlund's Goteborg-based shingle Plattform. Shooting will take place between July and October.

Casting for the movie in under way. Ostlund is currently in London for the BAFTA awards and is meeting with actors.

Ostlund is also making his TV debut with "You Know That Weekend You Were Away With The Kids?," an English-language comedy turning on adultery.

The series will explore the topic of adultery from different perspectives, said Ostlund. The pilot has been acquired by a soon-to-be-announced U.S. network.


Palme d'Or Winner Ruben Ostlund To Direct 'Triangle Of Sadness'
via The Playlist

Variety reports that Ostlund will helm "Triangle Of Sadness." The filmmaker will tackle the world of modeling, but unlike Nicolas Winding Refn's "The Neon Demon," a lurid take on women trying to break into the industry, Ostlund will look at models trying to get out. The title refers to the spot between the eyes where plastic surgeons use Botox to fix wrinkles. Here's how the trade describes the plot:

The two protagonists face different complications: The male model suddenly starts balding and sees his prospects shrink, while the female model is a lesbian and spurns rich men's lavish offers.

Intriguingly, the film will mostly take place in a luxurious yacht hotel. There's no word on when production might begin, but Ostlund is pretty busy as it is. The director is going back to the editing room with "The Square," where he'll apparently be padding it out to a nearly three-hour runtime. He also shot the short film "What It's Like to Win the Palme d'Or" at Cannes the same evening he won his award, and has the TV pilot "You Know That Weekend You Were Away With The Kids?" on deck as well.


QuoteRuben Östlunds next film will be about a male model who starts balding and sees his prospects shrink. Östlund will send him on a luxurious yacht hotel together with a female colleague
-It's extremely comical with young people who pretend to be billionaires. They take pictures of themselves entering private jets, but in reality they sit in a shabby hotel room with four other models.
The 20 guest on the Caribbean ship Sea Cloud is handpicked (do you say that in English too?) billionaires. The captain (or if it will be a chef. it's not decided), a delusional Marxist, will serve a seven dish meal just when the storm of the century begins.
-We won't see the first vomit, Östlund says. They will continue to eat. Another oyster, Sir? Yes, I insist. We know that they are billionaires, but this isn't okay! In that moment they realize the food is bad, and they begin to shit as well.
While the billionaires are sick, the captain gets drunk with a Russian venture capitalist, who has earned his fortune on manure in the resolution of the Soviet Union. The duo heads towards Cuba and recites "the communist manifest" in the ship's speakers.
At the same time, a Philippine cleaner is cleaning the ship cabins with the Rage Against the Machine song "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" - on the loudest volume in her headphones.
Ruben Östlund is gesturing, in the empty restaurant on Sunset Marquis,
-I sat over there the last time I was here, when I pitched the idea to Nicolas Cage (I came when I wrote this down. This is KJ speaking btw... not the article). It was funny as hell. I mean, he's so goddamn rich. Nicolas Cage. He owns his own island. So I want him to play the captain. He got very exited, and started to shout "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me." repeatedly.
When the storm calms, a old British couple gets up to the ship's deck. They are weapon dealers and their most popular product is landmines. In the hazy sunlight, they don't see the pirates - "five black men with machine guns" - that is getting closer on the horizon.
A grenade flies through the air, and the British couple gets to taste their own medicine.
-EXPLOSION! And then we cut to a deserted island.
Now the hierarchy is reversed. The Philippine cleaner is a really good fisher, while the billionaires has no clue what they are supposed to do.
-So the billionaires became socialists. "It's very important that we share equally now", while she becomes more liberal. "My  fishing skills are crucial for our survival. You have to contribute with something too". It will be interesting to explore these ideas.
In Hollywood, Ruben Östlund, is pitching to anyone who wants to listen. The day after our dinner he eats breakfast with two young hipsters from Brad Pitt's production company Plan B. He tells me that he always flesh out the story while pitching the idea to different people.
-In the Swedish movie climate you can't keep the story to yourself. That's a ridiculous attitude. If someone is giving me money to make a film, they need to feel safe and know what they spend the money on.  And someone always says something genius and useful.
Östlund has a hard time getting the scenes down on paper if he hasn't talked about them before.
-I have to try the idea. And if I don't get the right response, I formulate them again.
Do you know any other Swedish film director who work with that approach?
-I believe Roy Andersson is doing it with individual scenes. But not as much with the big picture. And that's exactly what I feel about his films: the different components is genius, but it doesn't work as a whole. He has a unique voice, but the films  suffer from a lack of overall view.


Quote from: Deadline[BBC Films] has boarded Palme d'Or winner Ruben Östlund's Triangle Of Sadness, the anticipated fashion world satire in which a pair of models find themselves at a crossroads in their careers. Due to shoot in coming months, the $11m project is The Square and Force Majeure director's biggest production to date and his first entirely in English.



'Triangle Of Sadness': Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Woody Harrelson Lead Satire From Palme D'Or Winner Ruben Ostlund; Imperative, 30West, WME Join
via Deadline

The Square and Force Majeure writer-director Ruben Ostlund is – quite literally – about to set sail on wild, fashion-world satire Triangle Of Sadness. Palme d'Or winner Östlund will begin the film's 70-day shoot on February 19 in Sweden and Greece, where cameras will roll on the Adriatic Sea.

Leading cast in the English-language movie will be rising Brit actor Harris Dickinson (The King's Man), South African actress Charlbi Dean (Black Lightning) and three-time Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri), we can reveal.

The film, which has a brilliantly wicked premise, will follow fashion model couple Carl (Dickinson) and Yaya (Dean) who are invited on a luxury cruise. When the yacht sinks they become stranded on a desert island with a group of billionaires and a cleaning lady (De Leon). In the fight for survival, old hierarchies are turned upside down since the cleaning lady is the only one who knows how to fish. Think Lord Of The Flies meets the fashion world.

Ostlund tells us that Harrelson will play an eccentric Marxist sea captain who spouts the communist manifesto at his passengers during a storm which has his precious cargo reaching for the sick buckets.

Also among the ensemble will be Croatia's Zlatko Buric (Pusher), Germany's Iris Berben (Miss Sixty) and Sunnyi Melles, Sweden's Henrik Dorsin (Solsidan), The Philippines' Dolly De Leon (Verdict), Denmark's Vicky Berlin (Anja & Viktor – In Sickness And In Health) and the UK's Oliver Ford Davies (Star Wars Episodes I, II and III).

"I was raised with the idea that looks don't matter, that it is the inside that counts," said Ostlund. "Even as a child I realised that this was a well-meaning lie. Through the models, Carl and Yaya, I want to explore the significance of looks in three different environments – In the fashion world, on a luxury yacht amongst billionaires and on a desert island. On the island, a Filipino cleaning lady ends up on top of the hierarchy. At the same time Carl finds a new way to use his good looks."

The project, budgeted at between 10-15m euros, is Ostlund's biggest and most ambitious to date. It's his first entirely in English.

Producers are regular collaborators Erik Hemmendorff at Plattform Produktion and Philippe Bober at Coproduction Office. Joining the movie are U.S. producer-financiers Imperative Entertainment with Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas and Ryan Friedkin as executive producers, and 30West, whose Micah Green and Daniel Steinman will also serve as exec producers.

30 West and WME will co-rep sales rights in North America. International sales are being handled by Philippe Bober's Coproduction Office. SF Studios has Nordic rights to the film, BAC has rights in France and Alamode in Germany.

The feature reunites the filmmaker with director of photography Fredrik Wenzel (Force Majeure, The Square), production designer Josefin Åsberg (Force Majeure, The Square) and costume designer Sofie Krunegård (The Square).

The in-demand project has a cornucopia of partners. Producers are Plattform and co-producer backers are Film I Väst, Essential Films, Coproduction Office, SVT, BBC Films, Arte France Cinéma, and ZDF/Arte, Swedish Film Institute, Eurimages, the BFI, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Danish Film Institute and Nordic Film & TV Fund.

It's being produced in association with Bord Cadre Films, Sovereign Films and Piano Films. Among co-producers are Marina Perales Marhuenda, Giorgos Karnavas, Konstantinos Kontovrakis, Per Damgaard and Julio Chavezmontes. Mike Goodridge (the Macao Film Festival chief's UK production company Good Chaos is ramping up) is among executive producers from Europe.

Ostlund told us that he traveled the world to meet many of his actors in person during which time they did improvisations. The road-trip took him to Berlin, Paris, London, LA, New York, Manila, Stockholm and Copenhagen. "Woody responded well to the role," the director said. "I think we share political views to an extent."

He added, "The film is about how our behaviour changes according to our position in an economic structure. It's inspired by Marxist theory....I want to combine the best parts of European and U.S. filmmaking. Sometimes I think there's a problem with European arthouse filmmaking, which becomes almost a style or genre of its own. I wanted the movie to be thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time."

Clearly, the acclaimed filmmaker is much in-demand among European and U.S. funders. Unlike many creatives, he is resisting the streamers and TV for now.

"I teach at a cinema school. That collective experience of watching something is still so important. In Sweden, in homes, it seems like the Eurovision Song Contest is the only thing we watch together now. I really enjoy working with my production team and at a pace that suits me. There's good stuff coming out of the streamers but there's also the chance that algorithms don't always lead to the best content. It's funny when people talk about 'making a Netflix movie'. 'I'm making a Netflix movie,' they say. When people name-check Netflix rather than the content they're making, that says something to me."

Harris Dickinson is represented by Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment Partners; Charlbi Dean is represented by Silver Lining Entertainment & Innovative Artists; Woody Harrelson is represented by CAA.


Got delayed and will premiere in Cannes 2022.   :shock:


Ruben Östlund Says Next Film Takes Place On Long-Haul Flight As Passengers Deal Without Entertainment Options
The Playlist

Swedish director Ruben Östlund is returning to the Cannes Film Festival with "Triangle of Sadness," a new fashion world social satire starring Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, and Woody Harrelson. Last week, the film was among those announced as part of the competition entries in the 75th-anniversary edition of the festival. The film marks Östlund's fifth Cannes entry and he's already a Palme d'Or winner for his 2017 art world satire, "The Square."

However, the director is already thinking about a follow-up film. In a recent interview with Cineuropa, Östlund revealed his next untitled project will focus on a group of passengers on a long flight who are dealing with the fact that the entertainment system is down. It might sound like low stakes, but this kind of social dilemma, people forced to interact with each other while all the distraction options are gone, is just the kind of acute human subject that Östlund excels at: poking that small, annoying wound as best he can.

"My next attack will be executed differently, hopefully," he explained. "It will take place during a long-haul flight, where the passengers are told shortly after take-off that the entertainment system is down. So the next 17 hours will have to be spent without any kind of digital pastime. The story will take a look at what happens to humanity inside this little fuselage of an aircraft in this situation. You want to know how it ends?"


Whenever I think of un cinema de Ruben Östlund I'm reminded of that Garth Marenghi meme about how writers who use subtext are cowards.

The Square had one quite brilliant scene - the one with the ape impersonator, of course - but otherwise I've all but forgotten its banal and obvious commentary on the art world. It's full of poseurs, you say? Who knew!