Östlund has already found an international audience for films that have been remade as “Downhill” with the exciting alpine marital drama “Force Majors” (with Julia Louis Dreyfus and Will Ferrell) about money, masculinity and other big social goals. And the art-world cartoon “The Square”, which won the Palme d’Or Top Prize in Cannes in 2017.
But in his first English language film, and with a budget twice as high as “The Square”, Ostlund wanted to go further with his special brand “Rollercoaster for the Elderly”.
“I wanted to do something that would leave your home, your screen, your home streaming services,” Ostlund said before the film’s premiere. “I didn’t want to be stuck in the art house part of filmmaking. I really felt like I felt like I enjoyed seeing myself. And the project I was thinking about had a wild set up. “
The “Triangle of Sorrow”, playing in this year’s Palme d’Or competition, is named after a word in the fashion world for a triangle-shaped crease between the eyebrows. The first third of the Ostlund film follows a male model played by Harris Dickinson and his influential girlfriend, portrayed by Charlie Dean, who argues about taking a check after dinner.
The other reefs of fashion follow, but the “triangle of sorrow” moves into another gear in his second job, when they travel on a luxury yacht led by a drunken socialist (Harrelson). The boat’s rich Uber tourists include an arms manufacturer and a Russian manure magnet played by Zlatko Burich.
The “triangle of sorrows” reaches a humorous twist when the sea becomes rough, and the farce of vomiting at an elaborate dinner ends – and worse – when the captain and oligarch are debating politics.
“During my upbringing, East and West were beating their heads against each other,” Ostland said. “Suddenly, we’re back somehow.”
“I grew up in a house where you talked about a lot of ideas that influenced society and politics in the 60’s,” said Ostland. “Marx was the one who attended the discussion at my house. If you talk about human behavior and you have a materialistic view of why we behave, then it is almost impossible not to talk about class. “
Harrelson quickly became a great fan of Östlund. On Sunday, he told reporters that creating “The Triangle of Sadness” was a “revived” experience and announced that he would be in the next film in Ostlund, whether the director wanted him or not. (The plans are real. Ostlund says the title of the film will be “The Entertainment System Is Down.”)
“He can make you extremely uncomfortable,” Harrelson said. “He makes you think. He can give you ideas of meaning, just as the film had a purpose – and perhaps more importantly, he can make you laugh everywhere. Which, of course, made the video an overnight sensation. “
Ostlund admits that the pressure to create a “triangle of sorrow” increased before Palme d’Or won. But given the enthusiastic response from festival attendees, Ostlund may find himself in the mix again for the Cannes Top Prize.
“There was a possibility to really try what you were dreaming about and not limit yourself,” the director said. “For us, it was an opportunity 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.”
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
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