Dir. Ruben Östlund | Sweden | 2017 | 142 min. | R | DCP | English, Swedish, and Danish with English subtitles
Post-screening discussion led by Lutz Koepnick, Gertrude Conaway Professor of German and Cinema & Media Arts.
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Swedish provocateur Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure) took home the Palme d’Or at Cannes for this no-holds-barred satire of the postmodern art world. 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 show is "The Square,” an installation which invites passersby to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. But sometimes, it is difficult to live up to your own ideals: Christian's foolish response to the theft of his phone drags him into shameful situations. Meanwhile, the museum's PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for "The Square.” The response is overblown and sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis.
“Östlund’s eye for the subtleties of human behavior, especially public behavior, never fails.” —Emily Yoshida, Vulture
“King of the cringe-inducing confrontation, nabob of the nervous laugh — if he hadn’t already laid claim to the titles with the withering Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund truly anoints himself with The Square, an excoriating razor-burn of a movie that deploys drollery like an instrument of torture.” —Jessica Kiang, The Playlist