Press in Cannes Palmes Square

(Cannes) It was a heavyweight Saturday in Cannes when two former Palme d’Or winners came into play, with works very critical of the failures of the time: Ruben Östlund, for Box in 2017, and Cristian Mungiu, 10 years ago for 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days.

Posted at 19:00.

Marc Cassivi

Marc Cassivi

The triangle of sadness is the first English feature film by Swedish director Ruben lstlund, which was screened in Cannes in 2014 thanks to the excellent film force majeure, Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section. The 48-year-old director signs another social satire in the tone of Boxwith an extravagance of cynicism about the human condition.

At the center of this tragicomedy is the young couple formed by Carl and Yaya, both models and influencers. From the beginning of the film the meaning of the film’s title is revealed, as a shirtless Carl attends an audition for a fashion show. “Maybe he needs Botox?” asks one of the appraisers, talking about a wrinkle on Carl’s forehead.

“In Swedish, we call it the wrinkle of concern,” Ruben Östlund explained in a press conference with the Festival. “It would be a sign that we had many trials in her life. It seemed to me to be indicative of the obsession of our time with appearance and the fact that inner well-being is, in a way, secondary. »

It was lstlund’s wife, who is a fashion photographer, who inspired her with characters from that superficial world filled with hypocritical advertising slogans for equality, diversity and respect for the environment, as we know that fast fashion it is anything but environmentally friendly.

The triangle of sadness is divided into three chapters. Initially, we meet Carl and Yaya through an ethical dilemma that reminds him of force majeure, while a father, in the face of the threat of an avalanche, had the reflex to grab his phone and not his child, causing a crisis in the couple.


Some team members The triangle of sadness : Jean-Christophe Folly, Ruben Östlund, Charlbi Dean, Henrik Dorsin, Vicki Berlin, Arvin Kananian, Woody Harrelson, Dolly de Leon and Sunnyi Melles

Karl can not hide his irritation when his girlfriend lets him pay the bill at the restaurant once again. She is richer than him and had promised the day before that she would pay the bill. He thinks she is a feminist when it fits. She can not overcome the lack of gallantry. He does not let go. She is manipulative. He lacks self-confidence.

No one puts on “beautiful concerns” like Ruben Östlund. After attending Fashion Week, Carl and Yaya are invited on a luxury yacht cruise, courtesy of their numerous Instagram followers. They give, of course, the impression of a dream life, but Karl’s jealousy and the fantasies of the Yaya princess create a lot of tension between them.

On the ship, billionaires rub their shoulders with far less fortunate employees. The self-proclaimed “shit king” of Russia who made his fortune with trash, a Swede who recently sold his tech business for a fortune, an elderly British couple whose family business specializes in “tools for access to democracy “, i.e. the grenade. and anti-personnel mines…

We recognize, especially in this second chapter, the irresistible black humor of Ruben Östlund. His brilliant look, full of insight into class dynamics, privileges, abuse of power, the vulgarity of the young rich, the excesses of capitalism or even sex as currency.

When a severe storm approaches and the ship’s alcoholic and Marxist captain (Woody Harrelson) throws a gala dinner anyway, the drunken ship is shocked and the story of The triangle of sadness turns into a delightful delirium of surpluses of all kinds… before it inevitably ends at the end of a very long third chapter. At 2 hours and 30 minutes, Ruben Ostlünd shows complacency and I would not be surprised if this hurts him with the jury. However he was very good …

The rise … of the far right

In a completely different register, Cristian Mungiu introduced on Saturday NMR (for “nuclear magnetic resonance”). “Given the state of the world, I think we all need a brain scan,” the Romanian director told the magazine. HollywoodReporter this week, to explain the intriguing title of his film.


Cristian Mungiu, Romanian director

Matthias, a filthy and obese man who went into exile in Germany to find work, returns to his native and multi-ethnic village in Transylvania. His father, Otto, is not well and his 8-year-old son, Rudi, did not speak as he was suddenly unreasonably frightened in the woods on the way to school.

When the bakery run by his ex-girlfriend Csilla decides to recruit workers from Sri Lanka, for lack of local manpower, the villagers stand up to demand that the workers return to their country immediately. “We have nothing against them, they say in the choir, but we prefer them at home! »

It is this unbridled xenophobic discourse, nurtured by the far right, that has invaded Europe (and not just Europe…) that Cristian Mungiu is interested in. NMR. He was inspired by a news story about a village in Romania, where citizens of Romanian, Hungarian and German origin live, who wanted to expel the foreign workers who had been there from the local factory by 2020.

Islamophobia, racist stereotypes about hygiene and disease, fear of invasion, the theory of “great substitution”: Mungiu, Cannes Screenplay Award in 2012 for Beyond the hills and Director Award for Baccalaureate in 2016, especially not sparing his compatriots.

He underlines the paradox of a community made up of people from different countries, who speak different languages, who are themselves despised abroad, but refuse to welcome anything other than white Europeans into their homes. “Revealing the details of this news,” says the 54-year-old director, “I noticed how fragile the notions of sensibility and humanity are.” But also that it takes very little human beings to wake up the dark side that lies dormant in them. »

NMR is, in the image of this observation, a harsh, gray film, snowy landscapes and desolation, like most of Cristian Mungiu’s works. The filmmaker’s view of his society is unwavering. However, he does not spare the rest of Europe, through the character of a young Frenchman working for an NGO (and whose task it is to count the number of bears in the forest), to whom we recall the catastrophic effects of colonization. and the failure to integrate the African, black, and Arab populations in France.

Cristian Mungiu offers another bold, disturbing, destabilizing film, the enigmatic ending of which, in the form of a fable, nevertheless left me in doubt. After 8 out of 21 movies, I’m still waiting for an authentic love in this 75AND the official Cannes Film Festival competition.

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