In Case Of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Ostlund

 

 

Only one film released in 2014 signaled the Stateside arrival of a fully-formed, world-class talent on the level of Kubrick, von Trier or Godard — and that is Force Majeure, written and directed by Ruben Östlund, Europe’s fastest-rising filmmaking star. Immediately upon viewing this seminal and unforgettable work, we yearned to know much more. Just who was this man behind such a laser-focused aesthetic, and such potent emotional impact? What other secrets did his body of work hold?

 

Force Majeure’s been shortlisted for the next Best Foreign Language Film Oscar roll call (no surprise), in addition to already being nominated for the same honor at this next Golden Globes. We’re very lucky to have Ruben in town for a select number of in-person appearances alongside his work.

 

“A sly, trenchant observer of human behavior under duress…Östlund has rapidly emerged as one of world cinema’s most distinctive voices, equal parts satirist and sociologist. In Östlund’s bracing, darkly funny films, modern life takes shape as a series of simultaneously devastating and absurd crises — and the civilized veneer of Western bourgeois society barely conceals all manner of foibles and prejudices. His deconstructions of ego and privilege are elegant provocations, designed to defy easy identification and, in his words, ‘make the audience take a moral stand on its own.’ Östlund and his narrative features have been collecting major festival prizes including Cannes, where his latest, the widely acclaimed Force Majeure, took the Grand Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard competition. Two of his four features have been chosen as the Official Swedish Oscar® entry: 2008’s Involuntary and now Force Majeure this year. This first American retrospective of Östlund’s work includes all four of his features: The Guitar Mongoloid (2004), Involuntary (2008), Play (2011, NYFF), and Force Majeure (2014), as well as some of his shorts, among them the award-winning Incident by a Bank (2009).” — Film Society of Lincoln Center

 

For more info on Ruben Östlund, visit the retrospective page at Comeback Company. This touring retrospective is produced by Comeback Company, in partnership with the Swedish Film Institute and Plattform Produktion and with additional support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Embassy of Sweden in the U.S. and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York.

 

TICKETS: $12/free for members. Showtimes subject to change):
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RUBEN ÖSTLUND IN PERSON:
Play – Sat 1/10: 4:00pm
Force Majeure – Fri 1/9: 9:45pm,
Sat 1/10: 7:15pm

 

FORCE MAJEURE
Sun 1/11: 9:00pm

Mon 1/12: 9:45pm

Tue 1/13: 9:45pm

Wed 1/14: 10:30pm

 

INVOLUNTARY
Sat 1/17: 2:00pm

PLAY
Sun 1/18: 7:30pm

THE GUITAR MONGOLOID + RUBEN ÖSTLUND SHORTS
Sat 1/24: 4:30pm

 

The Guitar Mongoloid + Ruben Ostlund Shorts

guitarmongoloid_website
1/24/2015 - 4:30PM

“Ruben Östlund’s feature debut is set in Jöteborg: a fictional Swedish city resembling the director’s own hometown of Göteborg (Gothenburg). His focus is on outsiders and nonconformists, in particular the titular musician — a young man facing dire obstacles in life. The mostly nonprofessional cast brings a documentary quality to this loosely scripted communal portrait, wrought with compassion and touches of humor. Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2005 Moscow International Film Festival, The Guitar Mongoloid is shot in typical Östlund fashion, with an observant camera capturing life from fixed positions.” (Film Society of Lincoln Center) Plus, Ruben Östlund’s short films Autobiographical Scene Number 6882 & Incident by a Bank before the feature!
The Guitar Mongoloid Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2004, DCP, 89 min.
Autobiographical Scene Number 6882 Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2005, DCP, 9 min.
Incident by a Bank Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2009, DCP, 12 min.

Play (1/18)

play_website
1/18/2015 - 7:30PM

” ‘I want to make the audience active and reflective,’ Östlund has stated. He does just that with this controversial record, inspired by actual court cases, of five black teenagers harassing white and Asian youths through scams and role-playing. All violence is implied, but the graver implication (which inflamed critics on the home front) is that political correctness debilitates society, as “good people” stand by and do nothing for fear of being thought racist. Östlund, who won a Swedish Oscar for Best Director and a “Coup de coeur” prize at Cannes [for Play], imprisons his actors within a frame, not unlike our social mores freezing us in place. Unabashedly impolite, Play offers food for thought and fuel for fury.” (Film Society of Lincoln Center)
Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2011, DCP, 118 min.

Watch the trailer for “Play”!
YouTube Preview Image

Involuntary

involuntary_website
1/17/2015 - 2PM

“Described by Östlund as ‘a tragic comedy or a comic tragedy,’ the director’s second feature examines group dynamics and the dark side of human nature in five tales of social discord. In one, a teacher sees a colleague carry discipline too far and mentions the act in the staff room, with startling consequences. In another, a party host, afraid of losing face, unwisely neglects an injury. Two parallel stories detail groupthink among young men and women respectively. Co-written with Östlund’s long-time producer Erik Hemmendorff, and inspired by personal experiences, Involuntary situates the viewer inside each social powder keg, where recognition and uneasy laughter coalesce.” (Film Society of Lincoln Center)
Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2008, DCP, 98 min.

Watch the trailer for “Involuntary”!
YouTube Preview Image

Force Majeure (1/14)

forcemajeure_website3
1/14/2015 - 10:30PM

Force Majeure is the best possible introduction to Ruben Ostlund’s wicked mind, for this Oscar-worthy lightning crack dexterously stirs up the whole damned pot of feelings, and keeps your heart securely in your throat. But we’re not talking weepy melodrama, or a horror film that goes bump in the night. Rather, it unlocks that indescribable kernel of dread lodged deep in your core, the one that flowers when life’s messy wrath blurs everything you previously held dear. On a ski vacation in the French Alps, a married Swedish couple and their two young kids have a freakish close call when the detonation of a controlled avalanche threatens to engulf the entire resort. But that’s merely Ostlund’s awesomely photographed red herring, for the husband’s awkward ensuing fight-or-flight response is the film’s true explosive device. The phrase “Kubrick-ian” gets thrown around a lot these days, but Force Majeure is the real deal, the closest thing we’ve seen since Kubrick’s passing to that legendary filmmaker’s detached meta-cool, as well as giving every single shot the air of an alien planet, all using only the special effects of the mind.
Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2014, DCP, 118 min.

Watch the trailer for “Force Majeure”!
YouTube Preview Image

Force Majeure (1/13)

forcemajeure_website2
1/13/2015 - 9:45PM

Force Majeure is the best possible introduction to Ruben Ostlund’s wicked mind, for this Oscar-worthy lightning crack dexterously stirs up the whole damned pot of feelings, and keeps your heart securely in your throat. But we’re not talking weepy melodrama, or a horror film that goes bump in the night. Rather, it unlocks that indescribable kernel of dread lodged deep in your core, the one that flowers when life’s messy wrath blurs everything you previously held dear. On a ski vacation in the French Alps, a married Swedish couple and their two young kids have a freakish close call when the detonation of a controlled avalanche threatens to engulf the entire resort. But that’s merely Ostlund’s awesomely photographed red herring, for the husband’s awkward ensuing fight-or-flight response is the film’s true explosive device. The phrase “Kubrick-ian” gets thrown around a lot these days, but Force Majeure is the real deal, the closest thing we’ve seen since Kubrick’s passing to that legendary filmmaker’s detached meta-cool, as well as giving every single shot the air of an alien planet, all using only the special effects of the mind.
Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2014, DCP, 118 min.

Watch the trailer for “Force Majeure”!
YouTube Preview Image

Force Majeure (1/12)

forcemajeure_website1
1/12/2015 - 9:45PM

Force Majeure is the best possible introduction to Ruben Ostlund’s wicked mind, for this Oscar-worthy lightning crack dexterously stirs up the whole damned pot of feelings, and keeps your heart securely in your throat. But we’re not talking weepy melodrama, or a horror film that goes bump in the night. Rather, it unlocks that indescribable kernel of dread lodged deep in your core, the one that flowers when life’s messy wrath blurs everything you previously held dear. On a ski vacation in the French Alps, a married Swedish couple and their two young kids have a freakish close call when the detonation of a controlled avalanche threatens to engulf the entire resort. But that’s merely Ostlund’s awesomely photographed red herring, for the husband’s awkward ensuing fight-or-flight response is the film’s true explosive device. The phrase “Kubrick-ian” gets thrown around a lot these days, but Force Majeure is the real deal, the closest thing we’ve seen since Kubrick’s passing to that legendary filmmaker’s detached meta-cool, as well as giving every single shot the air of an alien planet, all using only the special effects of the mind.
Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2014, DCP, 118 min.

Watch the trailer for “Force Majeure”!
YouTube Preview Image

Force Majeure (1/11)

forcemajeure_website5
1/11/2015 - 9PM

Force Majeure is the best possible introduction to Ruben Ostlund’s wicked mind, for this Oscar-worthy lightning crack dexterously stirs up the whole damned pot of feelings, and keeps your heart securely in your throat. But we’re not talking weepy melodrama, or a horror film that goes bump in the night. Rather, it unlocks that indescribable kernel of dread lodged deep in your core, the one that flowers when life’s messy wrath blurs everything you previously held dear. On a ski vacation in the French Alps, a married Swedish couple and their two young kids have a freakish close call when the detonation of a controlled avalanche threatens to engulf the entire resort. But that’s merely Ostlund’s awesomely photographed red herring, for the husband’s awkward ensuing fight-or-flight response is the film’s true explosive device. The phrase “Kubrick-ian” gets thrown around a lot these days, but Force Majeure is the real deal, the closest thing we’ve seen since Kubrick’s passing to that legendary filmmaker’s detached meta-cool, as well as giving every single shot the air of an alien planet, all using only the special effects of the mind.
Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2014, DCP, 118 min.

Watch the trailer for “Force Majeure”!
YouTube Preview Image

RUBEN OSTLUND IN PERSON: Force Majeure (1/10)

forcemajeure_ruben_website
1/10/2015 - 7:15PM

Filmmaker Ruben Östlund and star Johannes Kuhnke in person! Force Majeure is the best possible introduction to Ruben Ostlund’s wicked mind, for this Oscar-worthy lightning crack dexterously stirs up the whole damned pot of feelings, and keeps your heart securely in your throat. But we’re not talking weepy melodrama, or a horror film that goes bump in the night. Rather, it unlocks that indescribable kernel of dread lodged deep in your core, the one that flowers when life’s messy wrath blurs everything you previously held dear. On a ski vacation in the French Alps, a married Swedish couple and their two young kids have a freakish close call when the detonation of a controlled avalanche threatens to engulf the entire resort. But that’s merely Ostlund’s awesomely photographed red herring, for the husband’s awkward ensuing fight-or-flight response is the film’s true explosive device. The phrase “Kubrick-ian” gets thrown around a lot these days, but Force Majeure is the real deal, the closest thing we’ve seen since Kubrick’s passing to that legendary filmmaker’s detached meta-cool, as well as giving every single shot the air of an alien planet, all using only the special effects of the mind.
Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2014, DCP, 118 min.

Watch the trailer for “Force Majeure”!
YouTube Preview Image

RUBEN OSTLUND IN PERSON: Play (1/10)

play_ruben_website
1/10/2015 - 4PM

Filmmaker Ruben Östlund in person! ” ‘I want to make the audience active and reflective,’ Östlund has stated. He does just that with this controversial record, inspired by actual court cases, of five black teenagers harassing white and Asian youths through scams and role-playing. All violence is implied, but the graver implication (which inflamed critics on the home front) is that political correctness debilitates society, as “good people” stand by and do nothing for fear of being thought racist. Östlund, who won a Swedish Oscar for Best Director and a “Coup de coeur” prize at Cannes [for Play], imprisons his actors within a frame, not unlike our social mores freezing us in place. Unabashedly impolite, Play offers food for thought and fuel for fury.” (Film Society of Lincoln Center)
Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2011, DCP, 118 min.

Watch the trailer for “Play”!
YouTube Preview Image

RUBEN OSTLUND IN PERSON: Force Majeure (1/9)

forcemajeure_website4
1/9/2015 - 9:45PM

Filmmaker Ruben Östlund in person! Force Majeure is the best possible introduction to Ruben Ostlund’s wicked mind, for this Oscar-worthy lightning crack dexterously stirs up the whole damned pot of feelings, and keeps your heart securely in your throat. But we’re not talking weepy melodrama, or a horror film that goes bump in the night. Rather, it unlocks that indescribable kernel of dread lodged deep in your core, the one that flowers when life’s messy wrath blurs everything you previously held dear. On a ski vacation in the French Alps, a married Swedish couple and their two young kids have a freakish close call when the detonation of a controlled avalanche threatens to engulf the entire resort. But that’s merely Ostlund’s awesomely photographed red herring, for the husband’s awkward ensuing fight-or-flight response is the film’s true explosive device. The phrase “Kubrick-ian” gets thrown around a lot these days, but Force Majeure is the real deal, the closest thing we’ve seen since Kubrick’s passing to that legendary filmmaker’s detached meta-cool, as well as giving every single shot the air of an alien planet, all using only the special effects of the mind.
Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2014, DCP, 118 min.

Watch the trailer for “Force Majeure”!
YouTube Preview Image

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