THE SQUARE

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THE SQUARE

THE SQUARE

Where: PANTHEON CINEMA, NICOSIA

When: 25/01/18 - 06/02/18

Tickets: €7


About the event:

The Square is a 2017 Swedish satirical drama film written and directed by Ruben Östlund, and starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West and Terry Notary. The film is about publicity surrounding an art installation, and was partly inspired by an installation Östlund and producer Kalle Boman had made. It was shot in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Berlin.
TICKETS AVAILABLE AND AT PANTHEON CINEMA BOX OFFICE


More about the event:

The Square is a 2017 Swedish satirical drama film written and directed by Ruben Östlund, and starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West and Terry Notary. The film is about publicity surrounding an art installation, and was partly inspired by an installation Östlund and producer Kalle Boman had made. It was shot in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Berlin.

The film was entered into the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, where it received positive reviews and won the Palme d'Or. It was subsequently selected for the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. It went on to win the European Film Award for Best Film and other honours.

Plot

Christian is the curator of an art museum in Stockholm. During an interview with Anne, he is stumped when she reads him a text about one of the art pieces in his museum which she found on the museum's website and asks him to explain it to her. Clearly having no knowledge of the text and not understanding it, he stumbles through an answer which does not address the text in question.

After he is pulled into a confrontation in a pedestrian zone, Christian notices that his smartphone and wallet are missing, presumably stolen in a confidence trick. He is able to track the position of his phone on his computer and when he and an assistant notice that the phone has stopped moving and seems to be in a large apartment block, they write a threatening anonymous letter demanding the return of the phone and wallet by depositing them in a nearby convenience store. They print dozens of copies of the letter and Christian throws a copy in the mailbox of each apartment late one night. Several days later, a package for Christian is actually deposited at the store and it contains the phone and the completely untouched wallet.

Euphoric after the success of his plan, Christian goes to a party where he meets Anne again. He ends up in her apartment where he notices a chimpanzee which seems to live as Anne's roommate but is not acknowledged by her. Though he is baffled by the sight, he still sleeps with her. After he has had an orgasm, Anne immediately offers to throw away his used condom but he steadfastly refuses to hand it over to her. They argue over the situation and it is implied that she believes he thinks of himself as somewhat of a celebrity and therefore fears she wants to steal his semen. Christian vehemently protests her implied accusations but cannot give a good explanation for his behavior.

Several days later she meets him in the museum and states that for her the evening meant more than just casual sex. She asks him if he feels the same but he is evasive. She then asks him if he often picks up women for a one-night stand and he again does not give a clear answer. She then accuses him of using his position of power to have sex with women which he counters by stating that she herself is obviously attracted to power because she slept with him.

When Anne later tries to call him, he does not pick up the phone.

Shortly after the first package has arrived, Christian is informed that a second package has arrived. Suspicious, he sends his assistant to pick it up. In the store, the assistant is confronted by a young boy who, believing the assistant to be Christian, states that his parents believe that he is a thief because of the letter and demands that Christian apologize to him and his family. Otherwise, he will create chaos for Christian.

Later the boy visits Christian's home and confronts him on the staircase, again demanding Christian apologize to him and his family. Christian tries to send him away but after seemingly giving in, the boy begins to knock on doors and screaming for help. After the boy falls down a flight of stairs during a scuffle, it seems that he actually leaves. But a short time later, in his apartment Christian hears the boy's voice calling for help. Christian searches lamely several times in the staircase for the source of the voice but does not find it and does not descend to where the boy would have landed. After being tormented by the voice, Christian desperately searches the trash outside the house for a note which contains the boy's phone number. After finding it and unsuccessfully trying to call the boy, Christian records a video message which starts as a sincere apology to the boy and his family for his actions but degenerates into a meandering essay on society, class and politics. It is not shown whether Christian actually sends the message to the boy.

Several days later, Christian drives to the apartment block and tries to find the boy and his family. He talks to a neighbor who states that he knew a boy for which Christian's description fits but that he and his family have moved out.

At around the same time, Christian has to manage the promotion of a new exhibition centered on an art piece called The Square, which is described several times in the film with the statement: "The Square is a sanctuary of trust and caring. Within it we all share equal rights and obligations."

The advertising agency commissioned by the museum states that to attract attention they need to harness social media and create controversy because the art piece itself is too positive and bland. The agency then presents a promotional clip showing a white blond toddler made up to look like a beggar which enters the square and is then killed in an explosion. Christian does not attend the meeting because of his private troubles and the rest of the team, even though shocked and incredulous, do not object to the clip. After the clip is shown on the museum's YouTube channel and receives millions of views and extremely hostile reactions from media, religious figures and the public, the museum arranges a press conference. During the press conference, Christian states that he has let the museum down by not checking the clip before it was published and is stepping down as curator. Several journalists then attack him for stirring up cheap controversy with a tasteless clip while others attack him for alleged self-censorship because of his resignation.

Later, Christian reads the newspaper which contains several pages dedicated to the controversial clip, to the reactions in the public and also to the exhibition and the art piece.

Cast

Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West star.[6]

Claes Bang as Christian

Elisabeth Moss as Anne

Dominic West as Julian

Terry Notary as Oleg

Christopher Læssø as Michael


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