He said the cries of delight and horror saluted by Robin Ostlund’s latest film, Triangle of Sorrow, on Sunday, after the film’s premiere at Cannes. Ostlund has made it clear that he intends to offer a “roller ride experience” for adults.
“People were clapping like it was a football match,” Ostlund said.
Best known for the 2014 alpine drama Force Majeure, which was remake in English two years ago under the name Downhill, Ostlund may also have succeeded in establishing himself as his young British star, Harris Dickinson, with this new film. Dickinson, 25, from Leytonston, east London, carries much of the film’s narrative which also features copious amounts of vomiting and diarrhea – yet he drew the festival’s longest applause to date (eight minutes).
In the role of supermodel, Carl, who was in a relationship with an influential model, Dickinson said he had to allow himself to be treated as “a piece of meat” in the drama, but joked that he would happily accept the role from Donkey, an animal that arrived to a sticky ending in the movie, so he was eager to work on the project.
With the title denoting the unwelcome frown area on the model’s forehead, Triangle of Sadness is a fierce satirical attack on the distorted but inevitable social power of beauty and wealth. Ostlund described the film’s original pitch as a story that “begins with the world of fashion, takes to a luxury yacht and ends on the island, and where we’ll see how models use their looks as currency all along. It would be the end of Western civilization.”
For shocking effect, Triangle of Sorrow may have preempted David Cronenberg’s Thunder of Future Crimes, which premiered at Cannes on Monday and for which the director had already anticipated the audience’s exit.
Ostlund, 48, of Gothenburg, who won the Palme d’Or at Cannes with irony from art world The Square, admitted that his latest film disappointed some critics with its extensive humor and deliberate bad taste, but said he was pleased with the audience’s response.
“At the premiere and at our test shows outside the cities, in the countryside in Spain, for example, people were laughing and screaming live. We urban Europeans are not a good audience. We sit with our arms crossed, and my goal was to play it like a rollercoaster for adults, to use the cinema for the purpose it should To be used for. Not to watch in a clever way.”
The director added that he aimed to create a mixture of European cinema traditions, “to try to say something about society”, with the American produced habit of making films that is motivated by the need to please audiences and make money.
It has been hailed by some critics as one of the festival’s best films to date.
Ostlund’s cast of actors, including Woody HarrelsonAs a drunken Marxist yacht captain, they were all required to improvise and regularly take 25 shots per shot.
Harrelson, 60, said at the premiere in Cannes that he doesn’t closely match the role because while the character is Marxist, he’s an anarchist. Then he ventured with his own risky jokes, inspired by President George W. Bush’s recent gaffe on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: “I’m the kind of person who thinks it’s distasteful when you attack a country, a country with all that army, a great power, there has been no provocation for a county like the Era.. .Avga…Vietnam…No, sorry I lost my way there.”
But the American star was interested in working with Ostlund on the film.
“He can make you very uncomfortable and make you think. He makes you laugh all the time, maybe more importantly, which is a big trick. I’ll be in his next movie whether he wants me or not. It was an invigorating experience, one of the greatest experiences of my life.”
Ostlund said he chose to study the fashion industry because of his conversations with his wife, a fashion photographer, and his interest in the way fashion markets the human instinct to find safety in the appearance of the herd.
Dickinson said he felt his character in the film played a conscious role in this economy: “He knows a lot where he stands and uses his looks to his advantage. Robin makes incredibly clever observations about human behavior and picks holes in all of our egos. I had to allow myself to be pathetic. And to present myself as a piece of meat. That’s what works and what makes Carl move forward.”
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