CANY – Models, Instagram influencers and Russian oligarchs collide on a yacht – and a very serious illness occurs – in Ruben Estlund’s “Triangle of Sorrows”, a social satire that caused hysteria among viewers at the Cannes Film Festival.

The latest film by the Swedish director, in which Woody Harrelson starred as the captain of a Marxist boat, caused one of the biggest surges at this year’s festival. At its premiere on Saturday night there were such waves of laughter and applause that Estlund on Sunday compared it to the crowd at a football match.

Estlund has already found an international audience for films that set a noisy, inconvenient goal in money, masculinity and other great social goals in films such as the alpine marriage drama “Force Majeure” (reworked as “Descent” with Julia Louis Dreyfus and Wee Ferrell) and the world art satire “Square”, which won the main prize “Golden Palm” in Cannes in 2017.


But in his first English-language film and with a budget twice as large as in The Square, Estlund wanted to go even further with his specific brand of roller coaster.

“I wanted to do what it would take to leave your home and leave the screens, leaving the streaming services you have at home,” Estlund said before the film’s premiere. “I didn’t want to linger in the art house part of filmmaking. I really looked at what I felt I liked to look at myself. And the project I was thinking about had a wild setting. ”

The “Triangle of Sorrows”, which is participating in this year’s Golden Palm competition, is named after the triangular fold between the eyebrows. Harris Dickinson and his girlfriend-influencer as Charlie Dean, who are arguing over getting a check in the afternoon.


Other fashion riffs follow, but “Triangle of Sorrows” shifts to another show in its second act when they embark on a journey on a luxury yacht under the captain of a drunken socialist (Harrelson). Among the very rich tourists on the boat are arms manufacturers and Russian fertilizer tycoon Zlatko Burich.

The “Triangle of Sorrows” reaches a comic crescendo when the sea gets rough and a complicated dinner ends with a farce of vomiting – and even worse – while the captain and oligarch discuss politics.

“During my upbringing, East and West fought over each other,” says Estlund. “Suddenly we somehow got back to it.”

“I was raised in a house where you talk about society and a lot of ideas that influenced politics in the’ 60s, ”Estlund says. “Marx was someone who was present at the discussions in my house. If you talk about human behavior and have a materialist view of why we behave the way we behave, it becomes almost impossible not to talk about class. ”


Harrelson quickly became a big fan of Estlund. On Sunday, he told reporters that the creation of “Triangle of Sorrows” was an “invigorating” experience, and announced that he would be in Estlund’s next film, whether the director wants it or not. (The plans are valid. Estlund said the film will be called “The Entertainment System Doesn’t Work.”)

“It can make you very uncomfortable,” Harrelson said. “It makes you think. It can give you a sense of meaning, as if the film had a purpose – and perhaps more importantly, it makes you laugh at everything. It’s a pretty trick.”

Estlund acknowledged that obtaining the Palme d’Or Hygiene added pressure to the creation of the “Triangle of Sorrows.” But given the enthusiasm from festival goers, Estlund could once again find himself in the mix for Kahn’s top prizes.

“It was an opportunity to really try what you dreamed of, and not limit yourself,” says the director. “For us, it was a chance to combine the best parts of American cinema with the best parts of European cinema, do something with intellectual content and do it in an entertaining way.”



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