[Luxus+ Magazine] Ruben Östlund: portrait of the President of the Jury of the 76th Cannes Film Festival

Twice Palme d’Or at Cannes in only six feature films! The Swedish director has something to intrigue us or make us think. At only 48 years old, he has left his mark with his incisive look and corrosive humor on the small cowardice of our contemporary world. The world of luxury inspires these two golden awards – the art market for the first and the fashion influence for the second – we could not miss it.


Last year – five years after receiving a Palme d’Or at Cannes for his film The Square (2017) – Ruben Östlund won his second Palme d’Or for his sixth film Sans Filtre/Triangle of Sadness (2022).


A first in the history of the festival, the grand prize winner is the one who decides his successor as President of the jury this year.


Two Palmes d’Or… in a row


Don’t be fooled by his friendly Club Med GO look; Ruben Östlund is a born provocateur – like a wild Monty Python – used to going down snowy slopes… and false pretenses.


Don’t talk to him about the “Swedish model,” his native country. The (lost) confidence of Nordic societies is the favorite subject of his first films – in the manner of an American dream blown up by Denys Arcand, Ken Loach, Oliver Stone, or Michael Moore.


Ruben has been a regular at the festival since Happy Sweden, his second film, was selected in 2008 in the Un Certain Regard category. He will continue to do so in 2011 with his film Play, presented in the Directors’ Fortnight, and with his fourth film Force Majeure/Snow Therapy, again in the Un Certain Regard category.


The man-chimp scene (Terry Notary), a “wild” happening in the middle of a gala dinner in the film The Square – © Plattform Produktion / Fredrik Wenzel


When he returned to the Cannes Film Festival two years later, it was to enter the official selection in extremis, winning his first Palme d’Or with a black comedy: The Square. The story of Christian (Claes Bang, masterful), a divorced father and curator of a contemporary art museum preparing a new exhibition entitled The Square. The Square, therefore (but also the “madman”), named after a work of art described in the film by the latter as “a sanctuary of trust and kindness where we all have the same rights and duties.”


However, pickpockets’ theft of his wallet and mobile phone will shatter the great principles of the conservatory above (ethics, equality, and respect) in favor of a desire for revenge, almost sadistic.


In the process, the film ridicules an art world that has become a mere medium of communication, reaching its climax under the gold of a gala dinner with the memorable performance of a man-chimp, played by Terry Notary.


Yaya and Carl (Charlbi Dean, who died on 29 August 2022, and Harris Dickinson) lounging on the deck of the mega yacht in the film Sans Filtre/Triangle of Sadness © Xenix


In 2022, he returned with Sans Filtre/Triangle of Sadness and won his second Palme d’Or. While the French version of the title refers to the attention of society and social networks, Triangle of Sadness refers to the beauty industry. The title refers to the space between the eyebrows where life’s difficulties manifest themselves as wrinkles. In other words, you can’t escape them if you don’t have the money, the power, and the privilege to reduce them with a quick intervention.


With this film, the director wanted to put forward a story “where appearance is capital and beauty is currency.” It can be seen as a continuation of The Square, as it once again beats up the principle of equality, but this time in the very closed club of 0.001% of the planet.


Click here to read the full article on Luxus Plus Magazine.


Featured photo : © Press


Picture of Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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