Ruben Östlund. Photo by Chrostopher Mair.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center will host the first stop of In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund, a touring retrospective of the award-winning Swedish filmmaker’s first decade of work. The retro will run January 14-22, alongside one-week theatrical runs of Swedish Oscar submission Involuntary (2008) and NYFF49 official selection Play (2011).

Östlund began his career in the 1990s directing skiing films before moving on to narrative shorts and features that have been steadily collecting prizes and accolades on the festival circuit for the past 10 years. His new film, Force Majeure, took the Grand Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and opens in New York City on Friday, October 24. It is also his second film to be submitted by Sweden for the Best Foreign Language Oscar race.


The retrospective will cover all of Östlund’s features, including his rarely screened debut The Guitar Mongoloid, which won the FIPRESCI Award at Moscow in 2005 and was the first Swedish feature film shot on video. It will also include several ski films and shorts, among them the Berlinale Golden Bear winner Incident by a Bank. Östlund is known for his experimentation with new technology, and Incident is notable for the fact that every camera movement was computer-generated in post-production.

In Östlund’s bracing, darkly funny movies, modern life takes shape as a series of simultaneously devastating and absurd crises, no less real for being imagined, and the civilized veneer of Western bourgeois society barely conceals all manner of foibles and prejudices. His deconstructions of ego and privilege are elegant provocations, designed to defy easy identification and, in his words, “make the audience take a moral stand on its own.”

In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund is produced by Comeback Company, in partnership with the Swedish Film Institute and Plattform Produktion, with additional support from the Embassy of Sweden in the U.S. and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York. The complete lineup, schedule, and list of cities will be announced in November.