Art and Experience: It wasn’t the Palme d’Or winner that many expected this year at Cannes, but “Force Majeure” director Ruben Ostlund‘s epic “The Square,” an “excoriating razor-burn of a movie that deploys drollery like an instrument of torture,” took the big prize. It’s quite an achievement, especially considering it went to the Croisette unfinished, running 142 minutes long, with the director promising to add even more to the movie once he was all done. We’ll see just how much he pads it out, but the first international trailer certainly promises an experience like no other.

Starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, Terry Notary, and Christopher Læssø, the film essentially strips bare the hypocrisies of the cultural elite, and has a grand time doing it. Here’s the synopsis from Cannes:

Christian is the respected curator of a contemporary art museum, a divorced but devoted father of two who drives an electric car and supports good causes. His next show is “The Square”, an installation which invites passersby to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. But sometimes, it is difficult to live up to your own ideals: Christian’s foolish response to the theft of his phone drags him into shameful situations. Meanwhile, the museum’s PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for ”The Square”. The response is overblown and sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis.

Magnolia Pictures has the rights to the Swedish and English film, but no word yet on when they’ll drop it into cinemas, but presumably it’ll hit a few more festivals, and get released before the year is out. [Cine Maldito]

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