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The Playlist

Cannes Review: Ruben Ostlund’s Sharp, Icily Funny ‘Force Majeure’

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 27, 2014 10:01 AM
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  • 4 Comments
A biting satire that plays out with almost crystalline precision in the rarefied, thin-air environs of an upscale ski resort, Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s fourth feature, “Force Majeure” took the Jury (runner up) prize in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes, but also, more importantly, took the coveted honor of being The Film We’d Heard Nothing About Prior That Gained So Much Buzz While There We Had To See It (last year’s recipient: “Stranger By The Lake”).

'Play' Director Ruben Ostlund Preps 'Tourist'; Will Contain "The Most Spectacular Avalanche In Film History"

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • November 22, 2011 5:37 PM
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  • 0 Comments
This year's New York Film Festival had plenty to offer for film buffs salivating over the spring season's wealth of buzz movies. From the silent-era love letter "The Artist" to the impressive psychodrama "Martha Marcy May Marlene" (not to mention established champions like "The Descendants," "Carnage," "The Turin Horse," "A Dangerous Method," and more), very few from the anticipated roster disappointed the east coast crowd. However, much like your average fest, these well-known titles stole the spotlight from smaller films not containing Marilyn Monroe or Michael Fassbender's member. It's understandable -- there's only so much time and skrilla -- but one movie worth catching up with is Ruben Östlund's "Play." Based on a true story about a group of wrong-side-of-the-track kids bullying and robbing three better-off children, the Swedish director's third feature is an uncomfortable and often-times bizarre film. The man's got a voice and perspective so unique that the movie only incites a hunger for more -- and thankfully, we won't have to wait long for another helping.

NYFF '11 Review: 'Play' Is A Confident, Complex Look At Social Issues In Sweden

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • October 19, 2011 12:58 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Festivals can be a great place to discover new, brilliant cinema, but often times the unknown films get drowned out by the heavily buzzed or the latest by a longstanding director. How many of us at the New York Film Festival saw "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and "The Kid with a Bike" but, for whatever reason, happened to miss out on "The Loneliest Planet"? It's highly likely that this writer isn't alone. Still, one person generally can't see everything a festival has to offer, so flicks that don't have Palme d'Or helmers behind them or a truckload of auspicious praise for their "breakout performer" tend to get shafted. Still, it's a must to attend those we know nothing about. Besides the fact that they deserve it, they also have something those lauded ones don't: the ability to surprise; for the viewer to go in blind and be completely taken without having known a thing about its cast or the curriculum vitae of the filmmaker. With movie news at the click of a button and various media available all over the web, this is a rare occurrence. We've had a few very pleasant whammies this year, from the social/political critiquing "Policeman" to the sweet "Corpo Celeste," and we're happy to add Ruben Östlund's "Play" to that trust.

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