Ruben Östlund – Play (2011)

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Quote:
Based on a real Swedish petty-crime wave, Play troubles the waters of any smugly held view, liberal or conservative, about how society should regard and handle its own rogue elements — a dilemma Östlund obviously thinks is vital in countries such as Sweden that are over-comfortable with their own homogenous reasonableness. (His characters cannot help moralizing to each other like scolding parents.) Still, his camera strategy remains fascinating and elusive, always partially obscuring distant action with foreground reality, and patiently letting incidents play out in breath-holding takes that never look away. It’s the rare contemporary film that’s as majestically and gruelingly rigorous in its form as in its thematic interrogations. Continue reading

Ruben Östlund – De Ofrivilliga aka Involuntary (2008)

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Synopsis wrote:
It’s almost summer in Sweden and minor indiscretions and misbehavior abound. Leffe likes to show off for his friends and play salacious pranks, especially when he’s drinking. Meanwhile, a righteous grade-school teacher doesn’t know where to draw the line: she insists her fellow educators need a bit of instruction. Then there are two young teenage girls who like to pose for sexy photos and to party, but one night in a park, one of them is found passed out drunk by a complete stranger. Continue reading