“No one can escape justice in my films”: Ruben Oslund marked the first day of the Sarajevo Film Festival – Culture

Screaming is useful to use at the opening of the festival – said Swedish director Ruben Ostlund, double winner of the Palme d’Or in Cannes and this year’s Heart of Sarajevo laureate, commenting on his call to the audience “Let’s scream and make fools of ourselves!”, which enthusiastically accepted it in the packed Summer Cinema. Coca-Cola at the opening ceremony of the 28th Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF).

– It is useful to use it because there are a lot of speeches, awards and by the time the movie starts, 10 to 20 minutes pass, sometimes an hour. Screaming is a good way to restart the audience and regain energy, Ostlund explained a day later.

According to him, the culture of watching movies should be changed a little because, as he says, it’s not the same when you show a movie in America and Europe.

– When you show it in America, the audience is a very active part of the show, and then you go back to Scandinavia where they sit with their hands crossed, not wanting to share anything with the film. When that’s the case, it doesn’t even make much sense to watch movies in the cinema.

Make a fool of yourself, don’t be afraid to laugh or not understand what’s going on, try to participate – Ostlund said.

Although, one should also have understanding for those who freeze after his films while thinking feverishly, probably motivated most about themselves by what they saw.

Ostlund was not called the “king of shame” by chance, although his films are full of excellent humor and satire.

Ostlund’s creations precisely dissect the behavior of people who come to watch movies in tuxedos and toilets, their fears of embarrassment, loss of reputation.

In short, he puts a mirror in front of them, whether he parodies the world of conceptual art as in the movie “Square” or the world of fashion as in “Triangle of Sadness” and, of course, all this, always through the prism of social analysis.

It bites the hand that feeds you

About whether there is a bit of a paradox that he parodies a group of people to which he belongs to some extent, especially considering the structure of the audience in Cannes, where “Triangle of Sorrow” premiered this year, which also won the Palme d’Or there, Ostlund said:

– I remember that the headlines in the Swedish media read “Ruben bites the hand that feeds him”. From the beginning, I wanted to show the audience that vomit, s****, of the captain frantically reading the Communist Manifesto on a luxury yacht. I wanted them to hear it. Premiere is a great place to present such content. It would be silly not to address the people I belong to, the way I experience failure as a human being. Related to this is the established narrative when talking about the rich and the poor, about those who have power and those who don’t. This is one of the motifs of the film, that the problem is not individual, that it will not disappear if we just get rid of one Russian oligarch – warned Ostlund, alluding to the character from his film, who easily dispels prejudices about the Russian rich.

According to him, in that narrative, the poor are honest and decent, and the rich are artificial and selfish.

– And actually the rich are often polite. Unfortunately, the poor often do not have the conditions to be decent, so in my films no one can escape justice. – stated Ostlund.

Male sexuality as currency

When asked how he came up with the idea to provoke the audience through such a story, Ostlund said that a lot of things from his life and he has his friends in his films.

In this particular case, it all started when he met his wife, who is a fashion photographer, eight years ago.

– I immediately became interested in the world of fashion and beauty. It’s interesting to me because he’s scary and attractive at the same time. Beauty is terrible because with the help of beauty a hierarchy is established in the room. We can see it as a currency. I asked the woman to tell me how the world of fashion works. I learned a lot from her about the marketing strategy of different brands about the modeling profession. – said Ostlund, adding that he was particularly interested in the male model profession because it does not have the same status as a female model.

– It is almost considered that being a male model is something silly. You are a man, but you are vain. Male models earn one-third or one-quarter of what women earn. It is one of the few professions where women earn more. Men who engage in it deal with the possibility of being sexual objects. You can sleep with someone and achieve a better career that way. It was interesting for me to observe men who use their sexuality as a currency – pointed out Ostlund.

We are all equal, ladies first”

Answering the question whether his “Triangle of Sorrow” predicts the end of Western civilization or what his message would be, he replies that the end will still last.

– It won’t happen as quickly as in the movie. It will be a slow extinction, as all civilizations have slowly extinguished… In the first scene of the fashion show, the slogans “We are all equal, ladies first” are projected above the runway, and then I put my comment, my message in the film, “Cynicism is disguised as optimism “. That’s how the whole approach to slogans in the world of marketing communication looks to me. Nothing makes me more aggressive than when they try to make me feel good when I read affirmative slogans. I think it’s the most silly thing in today’s world. It seems to me that the film deals a lot with exactly that, cynicism disguised as optimism – concluded Ruben Ostlund.

Photo> Promo 28 SFF

Communist mother and the world from two perspectives

According to Oslund, especially American dramaturgy is based on the fact that there is always a protagonist and an antagonist. – Then that model was copied by the media where we always have the main hero of the news and he must be either positive or negative.

The film “Triangle of Sorrow” was released at the exact moment of antagonism between the East and the West, when we hoped that we had left behind a world where politics is seen as a football game instead of a conversation – pointed out Ostlund.

He added that his mother was a communist during the 1960s and that she declares herself as such today, and that he himself was raised to see the world from two perspectives, Eastern and Western, which are in conflict with each other.

The economy destroys creativity

Speaking about the role of the famous Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson in the movie “Triangle of Sorrows” where he plays the crazy drunken and Marxist-minded captain of a luxury yacht, Ostlund noted that such famous actors “always have to deal with the fact that they are important to the film because they attract attention.”

– When you work with celebrities, you have to earn their trust. They have to believe that I will take good care of them and ensure that their acting performance is high-quality, that I am not interested in them just because they are famous actors,” explained the director. According to him, the Hollywood model in which agents mediate between the director and the actor is a trend that is increasingly appearing in Europe as well. Even the people who do the digital background have an agent. Economy destroys creativity – concluded Ostlund

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