One of the breakout foreign films of the last few years was Ruben Östlund’s “Force Majeure.” The Swedish filmmaker has been building an ever-growing reputation over the last decade or so with provocative, thought-provoking dark comedies, but had a legitimate crossover hit with his most recent film, the acerbically funny story of a family on a ski holiday put to the test when the father briefly abandons his wife and children under threat of avalanche.
It proved internationally popular (though famously missed out on an Oscar nod) and a Julia Louis-Dreyfus-starring remake is in the works, but Östlund isn’t just hanging around, with news of his follow-up breaking recently thanks to Screen Daily. The trade reports that the filmmaker is developing “The Square,” a new film being backed by the Swedish Film Institute.
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The organization’s head, Theo Tsappos, explains the premise. “It’s about an inner city square. Inside the square there is 10-square metres where you can do anything. There are no rules, only morals… people want to use the square for good, people can ask for help. Homeless people start to come there. It explores group dynamics – that’s what Ruben has always been interested in.”
It seems very much in the director’s wheelhouse, and though it’s in early days, work is already underway — in April, Östlund set up an art installation in Varnamo in order to explore the concepts he’s wrestling with. A premiere at Cannes in 2017 is being targeted, so shooting should start next year.