On Tuesday, February 20, Scandinavia House will be screening a double feature event of films by Ruben Östlund: the 2014 film Force Majeure at 4 PM and this year’s Oscar Contender for Best Foreign Language Film at 6:30 PM, The Square. The screening of The Square will be followed by a presentation by the director, who will be conducting a Q&A on the film.

This wickedly funny and precisely observed psychodrama tells the story of a model Swedish family – handsome businessman Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke), his willowy wife Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli), and their two blond children – on a family skiing holiday in the French Alps. On a perfect, sunny ski day, the family is enjoying lunch at a mountainside when disaster strikes — an avalanche threatens to bury them along with diners at a mountainside restaurant.

As people flee in all directions and as his wife and children panic, Tomas makes a decision that will shake his marriage to its core and leave him struggling to reclaim his role as family patriarch. Force Majeure questions some of our guarded truths: What if you learn that you are not the person you thought you were?

The director will be giving a presentation after the following film at 6:30 PM, The Square, with a Q&A.

About the director

Ruben Östlund was born in 1974 in Styrsö, a small island on the West Coast of Sweden. He studied graphic design before enrolling at the University of Gothenburg, where he met Erik Hemmendorff, with whom he later founded Plattform Produktion. His feature debut The Guitar Mongoloid won the FIPRESCI Award in Moscow in 2005 and was followed by his films Involuntary, 2008; Incident By a Bank, 2010, a short film in which every camera movement was computer generated in post-production, and a Golden Bear winner in Berlin; and Play, 2011, which won multiple awards and distinctions, including nomination for the LUX prize of the European Parliament and winner of the Nordic Prize, the highest distinction in Scandinavia.

His fourth feature film, Force Majeure, premiered at Un Certain Regard in Cannes, where it was awarded the Jury Prize. The film was selected in countless festivals and won 16 Best Foreign film awards, and was also nominated at the Golden Globes and shortlisted for an Oscar®. The film has been distributed in over 70 countries.

The Square is the fourth of Östlund’s films to premiere in Cannes and his first feature to be selected to win the Palme d’Or.



Image Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

$12 ($7 ASF Members)
Double Feature $20 ($10 ASF Members)
118 min. In Swedish, English, and French with English subtitles.