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Robin Ostlund: “I hate auteur cinema, it seems to me that it’s just pure posturing”



Thanks to his new feature film, Sadness triangleRobin OstlundHe is also the director of very dark comedies such as Fuerza Majeure (2014) and Square (2017), became one of the Few directors have won the Palme d’Or twice, the most prestigious film award in the world. As he moves from the superficial world of fashion to the deck of a luxury yacht and from there to a desert island where a fierce battle for survival is being waged, The new movie is aimed at the filthy richRussian oligarchs walking on catwalks, arms dealers, and influencerscheap idealists and, in general, against almost everything. Sadness triangle It has three nominations at the 2023 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Q: How did you feel about winning your second Palme d’Or?

R was found. Honestly good. Winning the second time, I think, removed any doubts that might still linger about the first Palme d’Or, to confirm that I am a valuable director. It also made me greedy. After winning the first place, I didn’t even dare to dream that one day I could win the second title. Now that I’ve got the second one instead, I plan to go for the third.

Q: The victory of the Triangle of Sorrows in Cannes divided opinion. What do you think of it?

s. Which is logical if we take into account that my film does not fit the style of auteur cinema. And I hate auteur cinema or, at least, the cinema that calls itself that; I am referring to those kinds of films which, to convince us of their importance, resort to very long, very static shots. It seems to me that it’s just situations. When I get on the plane and look at the screens of the rest of the passengers, I realize that the movies they are watching are not anthologies but comedies by Adam Sandler and Marvel. and I want that Sadness triangle See it on planes! In my films, I try to talk about relevant issues like I do when I’m sitting at the table with my friends, in a smart and funny way, not in a somber or smug tone.

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Q: How did you come up with the plot premise of “The Triangle of Sorrow”?

s. My wife is a fashion photographer, and she tells me many stories about this world. One of the things that interests me most about him is that, along with money and education, beauty is one of the few assets that allow you to climb the social ladder. And although at first glance it may seem unfair that a person should be able to succeed in life simply by having a pretty face, in reality it is quite the opposite because, after all, if you have beauty, no one cares about your origins or Your social class It is remarkable that Marx did not talk about this in his writings.

Q: It’s interesting that in the movie, unlike in the real world, the person who is forced to use sex as a bargaining chip is a man, not a woman…

s. Yes, in general I was interested in reversing gender roles to question it. For example, the film asks: Isn’t matriarchy prone to reproducing the same dynamics of sexism and exploitation as patriarchy? I don’t want to be insensitive to the terrible abuses women have suffered historically, but I don’t believe in this rhetoric that men are always the perpetrators and women are always the victims. It is a story that keeps us from moving forward as a society.

Q: It is no coincidence that you have just quoted Marx, whose thoughts are frequently quoted in film…

s. My mother became a socialist in the sixties and still considers herself a communist. When I was a child she used to spend all day talking about sociology and Marxist theory. As a result of that upbringing, my brother has turned right-handed, and every time the family gets together our arguments get more vocal. I think there is a lot of truth in Marxist analysis, people’s behavior is largely determined by their position in the economic system. On the other hand, the utopian aspect of communism seems problematic to me. I don’t think a new, better world can emerge after capitalism. Inequality between people is almost like gravity: an inevitable phenomenon. Now, we must wage a perpetual battle against excessive inequality.

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Q: Is the “triangle of sadness” anti-capitalist?

s. No, I hypothetically have nothing against rich people, the only thing I don’t like about them is that they don’t pay taxes. I also see positive things in capitalism, and the same can be said of Marx and Lenin. When people on the left talk about the state of the world, they describe the rich as petty and selfish and the poor as honest and noble people. Of course, things are not so simple. What is a billionaire supposed to do? Donate all your money to charity? This does not solve the problem. Yes, the movie messes with the rich, but it also messes with various other groups.

Why can’t I bite the hand that feeds me? Who should laugh at artists and the rich? A member of the working class? I do not believe that “

Q: There will be those who say it is hypocritical that you, as an artist of the privileged minority, should make films that mess with the art world, like The Square, and with the rich, like The Triangle of Melancholy’. what do you think?

s. I do not agree. Why can’t I bite the hand that feeds me? Who should laugh at artists and the rich? A member of the working class? I do not believe that. It seems logical to me to confront my social group, and to put myself at the center of my criticisms.

Q: There are also those who say that Robin Ostlund is misanthropic…

s. Yes, they think I hate people. But this is not the case. My films may seem nihilistic, but I’m not; I love to socialize and talk. I have a positive image of people. But as a filmmaker, what I love to explore most are the situations that reveal our most flawed sides. Specifically, I am interested in the conflicts between human nature and social expectations. We are pack animals, terrified of not being accepted by the group, and that tension can lead to very uncomfortable and funny situations.

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Q: Situations like the 15-minute sequence that takes center stage in “The Triangle of Sorrow,” and in which rivers of vomiting and diarrhea flow?

s. that it. Vomiting is taboo, because we associate it with disease, bacteria, and infection, and I set out to make this movie have the wildest vomiting scene in movie history. I love to make a viewer laugh out loud, and after just a few seconds, I feel terrible doing it. It is one of my defining features.

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