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Exclusive: Trailer For Retrospective Series ‘In Case Of No Emergency: The Films Of Ruben Östlund’

Exclusive: Trailer For Retrospective Series 'In Case Of No Emergency: The Films Of Ruben Östlund'

While it didn’t crack our 20 Best Films Of 2014, “Force Majeure” impressed many of us here at The Playlist, and has been one of the most acclaimed pictures of the year (indeed, it has made the Oscar Foreign Film shortlist). And while director Ruben Östlund may be a new name to many, he’s been making films for over a decade. That said, the spotlight has never shined brighter on the filmmaker than it is right now, and there’s no better time to catch up with movies that have helped launch Östlund into an international cinematic voice that is earning big attention.

The Comeback Company has put together the retrospective series, “In Case Of No Emergency: The Films Of Ruben Östlund” and today we have the exclusive trailer for traveling film event. Feating both his shorts and feature length films, the series isn’t just giving audiences a chance to look back on the filmmaker’s work, but the director too. “It’s been 10 years since I directed my first feature film, and it’s an honor to begin the next decade with a retrospective of my work,” he said in a statement. “I believe that the influence of the moving images on humans is extremely strong. Those that we encounter change our way of looking at life and the way we behave. For those of us who work as directors, it means a responsibility. Therefore, it is important to have a critical discussion about the content and the motives we have when we make a movie. My films are often considered provocative and that makes it stimulating and challenging to meet the audience’s reactions. During this tour, I’m looking forward to discussing my choices and why I have made them.”

Below, you can check out the trailer, the list of cities the series will be hitting (with more to come), as well the full programme for the retrospective. “In Case Of No Emergency: The Films Of Ruben Östlund” kicks off on January 9th at Cinefamily in Los Angeles.


The venues will screen the retrospective in this order:
The Cinefamily, Los Angeles, CA – January 9-18
Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York, NY – January 14-22
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, Silver Spring, MD – January 15 – February 28
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN -January 17-18
Austin Film Society, Austin, TX – January 23-27
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA – January 28-31
Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, WA – February 5-8
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA – February 12-26
Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, NY – March 4-25
Cleveland Cinematheque, Cleveland, OH- March 5-15
The Cinematheque, Vancouver, BC, Canada – March 12-22
Northwest Film Center, Portland, OR – March 26-29

SERIES PROGRAM

FEATURES

A special presentation of: FORCE MAJEURE
Ruben Östlund, Sweden/Denmark/France/Norway, 2014, 118m, 35mm & DCP
Swedish and English with English subtitles
A Magnolia Pictures Release
On a ski vacation in the French Alps, a young Swedish couple and their two children have a close call with an avalanche that sends the father, Tomas (Johannes Bah Kuhnke), scurrying for his life, leaving behind his panicked kids and equally terrorized wife, Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli). Though no one is harmed, the foundational beliefs and expectations holding together the edifices of marriage and family have been shattered. As Östlund plumbs the aftermath of Tomas’s split-second transgression, this scalpel-sharp, often squirmingly funny film examines the flimsy bonds of coupledom, the conflict between social role and survival instinct, and the impossibility of undoing that which has come before. Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and this year’s official Swedish Oscar entry.

PLAY
Ruben Östlund, Sweden/France/Denmark, 2011,118m
Swedish with English Subtitles
“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, 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.

INVOLUNTARY
Ruben Östlund, Sweden, 2008,98m
Swedish with English Subtitles
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.

THE GUITAR MONGOLOID – U.S. PREMIERE
Ruben Östlund, Sweden, 2004, 89m
Swedish with English Subtitles
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.

SHORTS
Incident by a Bank
Ruben Östlund, Sweden, 2009, 12m
Swedish with English Subtitles
Based on a real-life account of a bank robbery witnessed (and filmed) by two bystanders across the street, Östlund’s study of surveillance earned the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at Berlinale. His slow zooms and pans across vast public spaces-and his implicit question, “who watches the watchers?”-may remind some viewers of Michael Haneke’s Caché.

Autobiographical Scene Number 6882 – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Ruben Östlund, Sweden, 2005, 9m
Swedish with English Subtitles
A young man boasts to friends that he will jump from a high bridge into the river below, then begins to have second thoughts. This penetrating short presages Östlund’s Involuntary for its illustration of peer pressure and FORCE MAJEURE for its critique of the fragile male psyche.

Free Radicals (NY ONLY)
Ruben Östlund, Sweden, 1997, 30m
Östlund discovered his penchant for long takes making ski films, in which unbroken shots prove the authenticity of the unbelievable feats depicted. Stunning compositions and an energetic soundtrack (featuring Swedish hip-hop, electronica, ska, and thrash metal) make this a sensory delight, even for those who aren’t skiing enthusiasts.

Free Radicals 2 (NY ONLY)
Ruben Östlund, Sweden, 1998, 30m
Östlund’s follow-up to his highly praised Free Radicals was shot in breathtaking locales throughout Sweden, France, Switzerland, Norway, and Alaska. If FORCE MAJEURE is, as he describes it, “a ski trip to hell,” the natural beauty on display here conjures a celestial vision of heaven on the slopes.

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