THE SQUARE

France / Germany / Sweden / Denmark, 2017 (MIFF 2017, Headliners)

Director: Ruben Östlund

THE SQUARE

The winner of the 2017 Cannes Palme d'Or is a deliriously strange detonation of art and imagination that marks Ruben Östlund as modern cinema's most savage and inventive satirist.

Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure, MIFF 2014) is a filmmaker who revels in the uncomfortable shadowlands of polite society. In The Square, he turns his eye toward the pretense and performance of the cultural elite, transforming a modern art gallery into a giddy playground of discomfiting surrealism and scathing absurdity that will leave you squirming and breathless.

Ostentatious and suave, art gallery owner Christian is the very definition of the European effete. On his way to work one morning, where he’s about to launch a daring new exhibition, his wallet and mobile phone are stolen in an even more daring pickpocket scheme. But when an attempt at payback goes awry, and a marketing stunt for his exhibition goes off the rails, Christian’s sense of the natural order of things is dangerously destabilised.

Danish actor Claes Bang lives up to his name in the role of Christian, while Elisabeth Moss (also appearing in this year’s festival in Top of the Lake: China Girl) steals the few scenes she’s in; along with Dominic West’s, their performances help make The Square one of the year’s most talked about films.

'An excoriating razor-burn of a movie that deploys drollery like an instrument of torture … Östlund clips precisely through the barbed-wire barrier fences of culture, sophistication and socialization that refined middle-class modern humans erect between our public selves and our private, animal natures.' – The Playlist


See also...

Incident by a Bank

A one-shot reconstruction of an actual event witnessed on June 26, 2006, as a bank robbery doesn't quite go to plan. ... More »

PLAY

A behavioural and psychological drama, based on true accounts of a racially charged street scam in Sweden. ... Over the course of a tense afternoon, five kids of African descent playfully toy with thr... More »

BPM

This year's Cannes Grand Jury Prize and Queer Palm winner dives headfirst into the passions, protests and politics of 90s AIDS activism. ... Drawing upon his own experiences as a member of direct-acti... More »

LET THE SUNSHINE IN

Juliette Binoche shines in this Cannes Directors' Fortnight award-winning romantic comedy from iconic French director Claire Denis. ... After exploring the darker side of human nature in MIFF 2013's B... More »

FACES PLACES

Agnès Varda, the grande dame of the French New Wave, revives the spirit of The Gleaners and I (MIFF 2001) with this picaresque romp through rural France, and is joined in her travels by the artist JR.... More »

SLACK BAY

"Bruno Dumont mixes grotesque class comedy with far-out human behaviour in this bizarre coastal farce." – Time Out London ... Juliette Binoche, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Fabrice Luchini mix it up for... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director