Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund’s wickedly funny and precisely observed psychodrama about a model Swedish family on a skiing holiday at a five-star resort in the French Alps, is Sweden’s official Oscar entry for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film. When family patriarch Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke) makes a split second decision in the face of an unexpected crisis, his relationship with his wife (Lisa Loven Kongsli) and children (Clara & Vincent Wettergren) begins to unravel. Opening in New York today and in Los Angeles on October 31st, the film also features Kristofer Hivju and Fanni Metelius.
At our roundtable interview, Östlund and Kuhnke talked about the influence of Stanley Kubrick and Luis Buñuel on the film’s visual style, filming the avalanche scene, Östlund’s directing style, shooting 30 to 50 takes of each scene to allow the actors to develop the feelings and emotions of the characters, wanting to tell a story that highlights expectations about gender, the sociological studies that inspired the film, the appeal of playing Tomas, the power of moving images to change human behavior, Östlund’s criticism of the Hollywood film industry and the way filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino are reproducing a certain kind of character, and his upcoming feature The Square. Check out our interview after the jump.