Saturday, March 25, 2023

‘Triangle of Sadness’: Cannes delighted by social satire bite

Cannes, France ( Associated Press) — Fashion models, Instagram influencers and Russian oligarchs collide on a yacht — and some very serious illness ensues — in Ruben Ostlund’s “Triangle of Sadness,” a social satire involving hysterics in Cannes. There were spectators at the film festival.

The Swedish filmmaker’s latest, co-starring Woody Harrelson as a Marxist boat captain, has made the biggest splash at this year’s festival. At its premiere on Saturday evening, there was such a wave of laughter and applause that on Sunday, Ostlund compared it to the crowd at a football match.

stlund has already found an international audience for films such as the alpine matrimonial drama “Force Majeure” (remake with Julia Louis Dreyfus and Will Ferrell as “Downhill”) on money, masculinity and other biggies. An outrageous, uncomfortable take on social targets. ) and the art-world satire “The Square”, which won the Palme d’Or top prize at Cannes in 2017.

But in his first English-language film, and with a budget twice that of “The Square”, tlund wanted to go even further with his exclusive brand of “rollercoaster for adults” cinema.

“I wanted to do something that was worth leaving your home and leaving your screen, leaving the streaming services at home,” Ostlund said before the film’s premiere. “I didn’t want to get bogged down in the art house part of making cinema. I was actually watching that I thought I enjoyed watching myself. And the project I was thinking about was a wild set-up .

The “Triangle of Sadness,” which is in competition for this year’s Palme d’Or, is named in the fashion world for a triangle-shaped crease between the eyebrows. The first third of Ostlund’s film follows a male model played by Harris Dickinson and his influential girlfriend, portrayed by Charlby Dean, who argue over taking a check after dinner.

Other cracks on fashion follow, but the “Triangle of Sadness” kicks into another gear in their second act when they travel on a luxury yacht captained by a drunk socialist (Harlson). The boat’s uber-rich tourists include weapons maker and a Russian fertilizer magnate played by Zlatko Burik.

When the seas turn rough, the “Triangle of Sadness” reaches a comic crescendo, and an elaborate dinner ends with a spectacle of vomiting — and even worse — while the captain and the elite debate politics. .

“During my upbringing, East and West were banging their heads against each other,” Ostlund says. “All of a sudden, we’re back in it somehow.”

“I grew up in a household where you talk about a lot of the ideas that influenced society and politics in the ’60s,” Ostlund says. “Marx has been someone who is present in discussions in my house. If you talk about human behavior and you have a materialistic view of why we behave the way we do, then don’t talk about class. It becomes almost impossible to do.”

Harrelson quickly became a big fan of stlund. On Sunday, he told reporters that making “The Triangle of Sadness” was a “reviving” experience and announced that he would be in Ostlund’s next film, whether the director wanted him or not. (The plans are real. Ostlund said the film would be titled “The Entertainment System Is Down.”)

“That can make you extremely uncomfortable,” Harrelson said. “He makes you think. He can give you a sense of meaning, as if watching the movie was a purpose – and perhaps more importantly, he makes you laugh the whole time. Which is quite the trick.”

Stlund admitted that the pressure to form a “triangle of misery” had mounted before winning the Palme d’Or. But judging by the encouraging response from festival-goers, Ostlund may find himself in the mix again for Cannes’ top awards.

“It was a possibility to really do what you were dreaming of and not limit yourself,” says the director. “For us, it was a chance to combine the best parts of American cinema with the best parts of European cinema, to do something with intellectual content, and to do it in an entertaining way.”


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