there was a roar of laughter in the otherwise holy Cannes

IN Triangle of Triangle Östlund turns the social hierarchy upside down on board a luxury yacht. At the premiere in Cannes, where the real super-rich yachts are moored, there will be cheering.

Bor Beekman

‘Someone told me it sounded like a football match,’ says director Ruben Östlund, not without pride. “That there was cheering during the film as well.” Correct. The premiere of Triangle of Triangle, the first Saturday at the film festival, was nothing like all the other premieres in the Palme d’Or competition. These films are presented in a sacred atmosphere with a standard introductory video referring to the festival’s mythical red staircase; they rise to the highest level of cinema, where this edition also contains the names of all sorts of very cinephile predecessors, from Akira Kurosawa to Jane Campion, due to the 75th anniversary.

There is always a laugh in the movie temple. Or horror if something terrible appears on the screen. And emotions, often more subdued. Applause afterwards, of course. Normally yes. But really loud, long-lasting bursts of laughter? A roaring audience for many minutes? It’s rare here in Cannes.


Director Ruben Östlund at the screening of his film.Picture Getty

One day after the premiere of his new feature film, the 48-year-old Swede sits in front of the assembled press in the festival palace. Östlund won the Palme d’Or in 2017 The place, his satire on the art world features the stunning scene where the world’s best alpha monkey imitator disrupts a delicious art dinner. Following the Cannes Grand Prix, there were Oscar nominations, plus a lot of European Film Awards. How do you follow up on such a success? “You’re asking about the course?” says Östlund to the press room. ‘I will give the pitch as I gave it to the financiers. Okay, the movie starts in the fashion world, continues on a luxury yacht and ends on a desert island. We follow a male and female top model who travel together and use their looks as currency. And we have a Marxist captain, played by Woody Harrelson. There is severe weather, all passengers get super seasick, while the captain gets very full of a Russian oligarch. They read over the built-in microphone from the communist manifesto against the vomiting passengers, who also get diarrhea. So there will be shit and vomiting … ‘The director with a cheerful look:’ Yes, it will be the end of Western civilization. ‘

Triangle of Triangle depicts modern society (the title comes from a term from plastic surgeons to pleating wrinkles over the nose). Below, they covered mostly Asian engine room workers and cleaners, above it the servile white wand. And on the deck are the models who got gifted as influencers and mingle with the super rich: a lone Scandinavian tech billionaire, a nice bunch of British arms dealers and the Russian fertilizer magnate Dimitri, who is tired of the caviar and has to bring jars of Nutella by helicopter . A hierarchy that, if something goes wrong on board, is completely turned upside down.

From left: Actor Harris Dickinson, director Ruben Östlund and actress Charlbi Dean at a photo opportunity in Cannes.  Picture Getty

From left: Actor Harris Dickinson, director Ruben Östlund and actress Charlbi Dean at a photo opportunity in Cannes.Picture Getty

Östlund is known for his films in which he dissects the social dilemmas of modern life. For example, how all the equal and progressive Scandinavian women and men, especially men, are still stuck in traditional patterns. Where are previous Swedish films (Gametourist) was not only witty and clever, but also painful, he tears up the registers with the more farcical Triangle of Triangle† ”Making a roller coaster for adults, that was the goal. A common experience for the audience: that you walk out of the cinema and think: what was this? ‘

The director rubs his cheeky chin: ‘I do not want people sitting like that during the film. Like: hmm, I’ll have to come up with something smart later. We Europeans are often not so good an audience, we sit with our arms crossed: let’s see first. While Americans view such a cinema visit very differently. Although we filmmakers are also responsible for a successful screening. With my film, I want to combine the best part of European film, which is intellectual and trying to say something about society, with the best part of American film. When Americans make a movie it is: It must be a success, otherwise we will no longer have a job and our children will not be able to study. Because of that pressure, you make the audience think: Fuck, I want to see this in the cinema! ‘

Actor Charlbi Dean: 'As trivial as it sounds, I thought it was important to give a voice to the models in this film.'  Image WireImage

Actor Charlbi Dean: ‘As trivial as it sounds, I thought it was important to give a voice to the models in this film.’Image WireImage

Also the cast of Triangle of Triangle is present at the press conference. South African top model Charlbi Dean (32) plays top model Yaya. – As trivial as it sounds, I thought it was important to also give a voice to the models in this film. People think: oh, you are beautiful, you have no substance, you are not multidimensional. But as a model, one is forced to grow up very quickly. I was 13 when I left home to work in Tokyo, I was still scared of the dark. ‘

The creators behind the Triangle of Sadness in Cannes on Saturday.  Picture Getty

The creators behind the Triangle of Sadness in Cannes on Saturday.Picture Getty

Woody Harrelson (60), hat on: ‘How do I get into Östlund’s film? Oh, someone asked me, I think. It was not like I even got in touch and said I should be in your next movie, maestro. But I’m in his next film now. ‘

Østlund nods. “Next time, play a flight captain. The title is: The entertainment system is down† So you understand, right? ‘

Woody Harrelson on his role as captain of the Triangle of Sadness.  »The captain is a Marxist.  Not me, I'm an anarchist. '  Image Samir Hussein / WireImage

Woody Harrelson on his role as captain of the Triangle of Sadness. »The captain is a Marxist. Not me, I’m an anarchist. ‘Image Samir Hussein / WireImage

In that film, now also officially announced in Cannes, the passengers (again from different walks of life) have to enjoy themselves during a long flight. American Harrelson, on his role in Triangle of Triangle: ‘The captain is a Marxist. Not me, I’m an anarchist. In that sense, we are different. And I’m one of those guys who hates it when a superpower attacks a country with all its military might, without being provoked. As in uh … Iraq. Oh sorry, Afghanistan … No, sorry, Viet … sorry, Ukraine! ‘ Harrelson laughs. “I lost it for a while.”

Even at the festival, where the real super-rich yachts are moored right next to the festival palace, the war never goes by name for even half a day. Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland (73), current president of the European Film Awards (EFA), on Saturday cursed the festival’s decision to let Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov compete for the Palme d’Or. The film and theater maker who presents his exciting and partly speculative biographical drama Tchaikovsky’s wife shows at the festival, which often clashed with Putin’s regime. He was previously sentenced to lengthy house arrest and spoke publicly against the war on several occasions. He has since left Russia. The Cannes organization announced ahead of the festival that official invitees and government officials from Russia are not welcome this edition, but make an exception for individual Russian filmmakers. Contrary to the ‘total boycott’ demanded by the Ukrainian Film Academy, there is no relevant ban on participation for them, provided they speak out against the war. Tchaikovsky’s wife is co-financed by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who according to the film’s producer has for years supported Russian filmmakers who still showed a different Russian sound. According to Holland, however, the film was smeared with the oligarch’s money. After the premiere at the festival, Serebrennikov again called for an end to the war. And to end the cultural boycott. ‘Culture is air. It’s water, it’s clouds. And it’s completely independent of nationality. ‘

Palm for a Flemish?

The competition for the Palme d’Or for the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival has 21 candidates. Halfway through the festival, there does not appear to be a clear winner yet. It is already going around that it is more drama that is planned in the end close van de Fleming Lukas Dhont made a big impression at the previously closed screenings for film buyers.

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