Triangle of Sadness, Östlund’s satire on fashion and social class at Cannes

Between oysters with caviar and Marxist declamations, regurgitating stormy eruptions and landing on a desert island Wertmüller style Overwhelmed by an unusual fateto Cannes film festival with triangles of sadness it is a biting satire of the world of fashion and class disparities.

After the corrosive and very successful force majeurewith a lamb-hearted father facing an avalanche in the snow, and The squareless successful mockery of the artefact universe of contemporary art, Palme d’Or at Cannes, the Swedish Ruben Ostlund closes the loop with a film that does not leave anyone indifferent, with in particular laughter, moments when the stomach is put to the test, applause and pinches of the nose.

triangles of sadness the title, or “triangle of sadness”. “It’s a term used in the beauty industry,” explained Östlund, in her first English film. “A friend of mine at a party ran into a cosmetic surgeon who, after giving her a quick look at her face, said, ‘You have a pretty deep triangle of sadness… But I can solve it with botox in a quarter of an hour.”. He was referring to a wrinkle between the eyebrows. In Swedish we call it the worry wrinkle, it’s a sign that we’ve had a lot of hardships in life. I found it indicative ofour obsession with time with looks and how inner well-being is, in a certain sense, secondary”.

triangle of sadness

Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Director Triangle Of Sadness and actors Charlbi Dean Kriek and Harris Dickinson on the red carpet for the film “Triangle of sadness”, May 21, 2022, Cannes Film Festival

In triangles of sadnessfilm in competition, it all starts with a couple of models, Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean Kriek), who is also an influencer. She earns more than him but in the restaurant she demands that he always pay the bill, as an outdated etiquette probably claims, contradicting feminist demands for equality and autonomy. The “triangle of sadness” is also that part of the face that models contract to look surly and sexy when posing for high fashion brands, but which on the contrary – as Carl and Yaya teach – must absolutely be relaxed, in the smiles, if the customer, it’s a more affordable brand.

“I studied the world of fashion in 2018, when I created a small line for my friend Per Andersson’s Swedish menswear brand Velor,” the screenwriter explained. “I also acquired in-depth knowledge of this environment thanks to my partner Sina, who is a fashion photographer. He told me a lot about the marketing strategies of the different brands, but also about the working conditions of the models. For example, a model usually earns three times less than a model. When I started my search for the film, many models told me that they often confronted gay men with a lot of power in the business world who wanted to sleep with them, sometimes with the promise of a better career. From a certain point of view, models live the equivalent of what women live in a patriarchal society”.

Photo by Pascal Le segretain/Getty Images

The cast of “Triangle of sadness” before the Cannes Film Festival press conference, May 22, 2022. From left to right: Vicki Berlin, Woody Harrelson, Charlbi Dean Kriek and Harris Dickinson

In triangles of sadness the two rather disgruntled models, mostly busy taking pictures for social launches, are invited on a luxury cruise for promotional purposes at the end of Fashion Week. On the pharaonic boat, where there are more waiters than guests, they come into contact with real wealth, between old men who have become millionaires thanks to the manufacture of hand grenades and the Russian oligarch who calls himself “king of shit”, a fertilizer salesman.
The exteriors were shot Christine Othe former mega-yacht of Aristotle Onassis, symbol of the elite of the 60s and 70s, which welcomed a host of influential men: there took place the first meeting between the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the future US President John Kennedy.

To the sound of absurd situations, Ruben Östlund mocks all the privileges afforded by opulence and prepares a relentless class struggle, for the Parasitewhile the cruise captain, die-hard idealist and alcoholic Marxist (Woody Harrelson), is seen as little as possible by his passengers, towards whom he feels disgust.
Until an improbable shipwreck, which will dissipate all position and social division.

triangle of sadness

Photo: Fredrik-Wenzel / Plattform-Produktion

Image from the movie “Triangle of Sadness”

“On the island, when it turns out that the attendant (who was cleaning the toilets on the boat, ed) knows how to fish and light a fire, classical hierarchies are overturned,” the words of Östlund, who on his biting exploration of wealth says, “I believe in the kindness of rich people. Successful people often have great social intelligence, otherwise they wouldn’t have made it. I’m more interested in our reactions when we’re spoiled. For example, when I fly, I behave differently depending on whether I am in business class or economy class. In business class, I lie down, read more slowly, and drink more slowly as I watch the passengers make their way to economy class. It is almost impossible not to be swayed by the privileges one enjoys“.

It’s a safe bet that Ruben Östlund’s crazy political cruise will make a dent in the sympathies of Vincent Lindonpresident of the jury and actor often involved in films with a strong social connotation. triangles of sadness is a candidate for a place on the Festival prize list.

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