Introduction by Ruben Östlund on January 16!
Östlund’s feature debut is set in Jöteborg, a fictional Swedish city resembling the director’s own hometown of Göteborg (Gothenburg). His focus is on outsiders and nonconformists, in particular the titular musician, a young man facing dire obstacles in life. The mostly nonprofessional cast brings a documentary quality to this loosely scripted communal portrait, wrought with compassion and touches of humor. Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2005 Moscow International Film Festival, The Guitar Mongoloid is shot in typical Östlund fashion, with an observant camera capturing life from fixed positions.
Autobiographical Scene Number 6882ç Ruben Östlund, Sweden, 2005, DCP, 9m
Swedish with English Subtitles<br />A young man boasts to friends that he will jump from a high bridge into the river below, then begins to have second thoughts. This penetrating short presages Östlund’s Involuntary for its illustration of peer pressure and Force Majeure for its critique of the fragile male psyche.
Incident by a Bank
Ruben Östlund, Sweden, 2009, DCP, 12m
Swedish with English Subtitles
Based on a real-life account of a bank robbery witnessed (and filmed) by two bystanders across the street, Östlund’s study of surveillance earned the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at Berlinale. His slow zooms and pans across vast public spaces—and his implicit question, “who watches the watchers?”—may remind some viewers of Michael Haneke’s Caché.