‘Force Majeure’ Director Ruben Östlund Ready To Build ‘The Square’

If you’re in the mood for a beautifully shot, thematically rich drama, then director Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure might do the trick. The story centers on a Swedish family whose lives unravel after an avalanche hits the French Alps.

But issues were already bubbling under the surface before the avalanche, as Tomas (Johannes Bah Kuhnke) and his wife Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli) are subtly disconnected from each other. Opening in New York on October 24 and October 31 in Los Angeles, the movie premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it was honored the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize.

During the interview, I asked Östlund if having a strong point of view is an integral element in filmmaking.  “Definitely . . . a moving image is very powerful when it comes to changing human behavior,” said Östlund, whose previous include Play and Involuntary. “I have been interested in that topic for quite a long time.”

Lisa Loven Kongsli and Johannes Bah Kuhnke in FORCE MAJEURE, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.
Lisa Loven Kongsli and Johannes Bah Kuhnke in FORCE MAJEURE, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Last month, Östlund was appointed  professor at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, where he can lend his skills and experience to a new generation of filmmakers. “Young students who come to the school, they are very skilled at making (a film) look very good” said the director, who subverts our idea of the archetypal hero with Force Majeure with surgical, cinematic precision. “So what we need to focus these days are the content of the films.”

To hear Ruben Östlund talk about the importance of filmmaking and the moving image, click on the audio bar below:

Ruben Östlund also talks about the next project he plans to direct – The Square. Click on the media bar below for details:

 

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