Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark 2017

Synopsis

Christian is the respected curator of a contemporary art museum, a divorced but devoted father of two who drives an electric car and supports good causes. His next show is "The Square", an installation which invites passersby to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. But sometimes it is difficult to live up to your own ideals: Christian's foolish response to the theft of his phone drags him into shameful situations. Meanwhile, the museum's PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for "The Square". The response is overblown and sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis.

Biography

Ruben Östlund was born in 1974 in Styrsö, a small island on the West Coast of Sweden. He studied Graphic Design before enrolling at the University of Gothenburg, where he met Erik Hemmendorff with whom he later founded Plattform Produktion. An avid skier, Östlund directed three ski films, alluding to his taste for long sequence shots, a taste he structured and developed throughout his film studies and which to this day remains an important trademark of his work.

Ruben has become well known for his humorous and accurate portrayal of human social behaviour, as well as for his renowned used of Photoshop and other forms of image-processing software in his films. His feature debut THE GUITAR MONGOLOID, produced by the co-founder of Plattform Produktion, Erik Hemmendorff, won the FIPRESCI Award at Moscow in 2005. The film was then distributed in more than 20 countries and shown at numerous festivals, awarding Ruben international recognition. Two years later, he won the Golden Bear in Berlin for INCIDENT BY A BANK, a short film in which every camera movement was computer generated in post-production, also nominated for the European Film Awards. The premiere of his third feature film PLAY (2011) was held in Cannes at the Director’s Fortnight, where he was awarded the ‘Coup de coeur’ Prize. After Cannes, PLAY was shown in Venice and Toronto as well as numerous other festivals where it received additional prizes and distinctions: among others, PLAY was nominated for the prestigious LUX prize of the European Parliament and won the Nordic Prize, the highest distinction in Scandinavia. His fourth feature film, FORCE MAJEURE, premiered at Un Certain Regard in Cannes, where it was awarded the Jury Prize. The film was selected in countless festivals and won 16 Best Foreign film awards. FORCE MAJEURE was also nominated for the European Film Awards and the Golden Globe, and shortlisted for an Oscar®. The film has been distributed in over 70 countries. THE SQUARE is the fourth of Östlund’s films to premiere in Cannes and his first feature to be selected to compete for the Palme d’Or.

Filmography:
2017, THE SQUARE
2014, FORCE MAJEURE
2011, PLAY
2010, INCIDENT BY A BANK (SHORT)
2008, INVOLUNTARY
2005, AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SCENE NUMBER 6882 (SHORT)
2004, THE GUITAR MONGOLOID
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Cast & Crew

Directed by : Ruben Östlund

Written by : Ruben Östlund

Produced by : Erik Hemmendorff, Philippe Bober

Director of Photography : Fredrik Wenzel

Editor : Ruben Östlund, Jacob Secher Schulsinger

Production Design : Josefin Asberg

Costume Design : Sofie Krunegård

Hair & Make up Artist : Erica Spetzig

Sound Design : Andreas Franck

Main Cast : Terry Notary (Oleg), Christopher Læssø (Michael), Claes Bang (Christian), Elisabeth Moss (Anne), Dominic West (Julian)

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2017