A Magnolia Pictures release, The Square, a film by Ruben Östlund, is a gripping sociological suspense story that dives into the ethics of moral responsibility, privilege, and media sensationalism. Christian is the respected curator of a contemporary art museum, a divorced but devoted father of two, who drives an electric car and supports good causes. His next exhibition, “The Square,” is an installation that invites passersby to altruistic deeds, reminding them of their role as responsible human beings. But sometimes it’s difficult to live up to your own ideas: When Christian’s phone is stolen, his foolish response drags him into a shameful situation. And when the museum’s PR agency creates an unexpected campaign for “The Square,” the overblown reaction from the public sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis.
The Square has been shortlisted for the 2017 Oscars as the Best Foreign Language Film nominee. It has received numerous distinctions since its premiere, including six awards at the European Film Awards, including Best European Film; and the Palme D’Or Winner at the Cannes Film Festival, 2017. It has also been featured at the Toronto International Film Festival, 2017; Fantastic Fest, 2017; and New York Film Festival, 2017.
“Ruben Östlund’s sprawling and daringly surreal satire The Square turns a contemporary art museum into a city-state of bizarre, dysfunctional and Ballardian strangeness… It sets out to make your jaw drop. And it succeeds.” —Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“[Östlund] creates suspense in a new-fangled way, turning the space between people into an alarming existential battleground.” —Owen Gleiberman, Variety
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.
About the Series
Each year, Scandinavia House presents the films chosen by Nordic countries to compete for the Oscar nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film. This year we will be presenting the 2017 contenders: November (Estonia), You Disappear (Denmark), Under the Tree(Iceland), Tom of Finland (Finland), Thelma (Norway), and The Square (Sweden).
Films in the series include:
THU—JANUARY 18—7 PM
$12 ($7 ASF Members)
145 minutes. In Swedish, English, and Danish with English subtitles.