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Ruben Östlund Series Pass
Northwest Film Forum
Seattle, WA
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Ruben Östlund Series Pass
35mm prints!

The first U.S. retrospective of the films of Swedish satirist Ruben Östlund includes all four of his features and two short films.

Östlund's penchant for a clinically distanced camera belies an intimate and at times mortifyingly perceptive analysis of the behavioral idiosyncrasies and effects of human susceptibility to groupthink, conformity, and peer pressure. Over the course of his long takes, Östlund builds social tension expertly, propelling characters to careen perilously toward the brink of disaster (sometimes quite literally; various forms of public transit are a favorite trope for scene settings).

Incisively abrupt edits frequently follow and subvert long takes that have become turgid with tension. The result is deliciously disconcerting black comedy, accompanied by a side of ethnographically-nuanced social commentary.

   Get a series pass and see all of Östlund's films at a discount: $35 ($20 for Film Forum Members) >

This touring retrospective is produced by Comeback Company, in partnership with the Swedish Film Institute and Plattform Produktion and with additional support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Embassy of Sweden in the U.S. and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York.

In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund
The Guitar Mongoloid

Feb 05

(2004, Sweden, 35mm, 89 min)

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 non-professional cast brings a documentary quality to this loosely scripted communal portrait, wrought with compassion and touches of humor.


In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund

Feb 06

(2008, Sweden, 35mm, 98 min)

Five separate vignettes about (alternately dangerous and unsettlingly funny) ramifications of peer pressure are woven together, with scathingly satirical effects, in Involuntary. Östlund described his second feature as "a tragic comedy or a comic tragedy."


In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund

Feb 07 - Feb 08

(2011, Sweden/France/Denmark, 35mm, 118 min)

"I want to make the audience active and reflective," Östlund has stated. He does just that with this controversial record, inspired by actual court cases, of five black teenagers harassing white and Asian youths through scams and role-playing. All violence is implied, but the graver implication (which inflamed critics on the home front) is that political correctness debilitates society, as "good people" stand by and do nothing for fear of being thought racist.


In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund
Force Majeure

Feb 08

(2014, Sweden/Denmark/France/Norway, 35mm, 118 min)

Our house manager Chris Day calls it "the funniest movie of the year." A brutal indictment of the pillars of nuclear family and normative masculinity in the foundation for human interaction in organized society, Force Majeure presents a picture-perfect Swedish family of four and unravels them with agonizingly funny effects.



Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
United States




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