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Force Majeure
Blackly funny, yet lightly brutalizing, this Swedish film observes a married couple for whom a passing threat turns into an existential crisis.
Film Review  November 7, 2014, by Kimberley Jones
"...Just who do you think you are? Those seven little words in a row typically signal a taunt or a sneer. But in the blackly funny, lightly brutalizing Swedish film Force Majeure, they mark the collective cri de coeur of a husband and wife perched on the lip of a major existential crisis...."

Fantastic Fest 2014: Force Majeure
Perversely funny Swedish film asks: Are you man enough?
DAILY Screens  September 19, 2014, by Kimberley Jones
"...Just who do you think you are? Those seven little words in a string typically signal a taunt or a sneer. But in the blackly funny, lightly brutalizing Swedish film Force Majeure, they mark the collective cri de coeur of a husband and wife perched on the lip of a major existential crisis...."

Skidoos and Skidonts
Filmmaker Ruben Östlund exposes male and female social roles in Force Majeure
Screens Story  November 6, 2014, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...or a spouse. In the Swedish film Force Majeure, a carefree family ski vacation becomes the unlikely canvas for hashing out the age-old questions of nature vs..."

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
The third book of Stieg Larsson's addictive Swedish trilogy is now onscreen.
Film Review  November 19, 2010, by Marc Savlov
"...Which brings me to the core reason, I think, for such manifestly giddy embrace of the author's work, which spans not just two artistic media but also two entire continents, subtitles be damned. And there’s Noomi Rapace, who so utterly embodies the character of Lisbeth Salander as a sort of forcibly detached, hideously scarred – mentally, physically, emotionally – force majeure that it's inconceivable, for now, that any actor would have the brass balls to place herself at the center of the forthcoming, inevitable Hollywood remakes..."

Lupe Fiasco: Tetsuo & Youth
Chicago MC delivers a meta-religious tome
DAILY Music  January 28, 2015, by Kahron Spearman
"...These interludes occur throughout, breaking subject matter while tying ends together. “Mural” features the wordsmith as the preeminent “God MC,” leveling with a force majeure metaphor and alliteration usage...."

Humans Being Human
Bad behavior in Ruben Östlund's observational kinda-comedies
Screens Story  January 22, 2015, by Kimberley Jones
"...Last weekend, a YouTube video made the rounds of Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund and his producing partner Erik Hemmendorff reacting to the Oscar nominations. In the video, they pace nervously in a hotel room, watching the livestream announcement and reacting poorly when their film, Force Majeure, fails to secure a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film..."

Josh Kupecki's Top 10 List
Screens Story  December 31, 2014, by Josh Kupecki
"...1)Force Majeure With exacting precision, this film turns a fight-or-flight moment into a wicked treatise on trust, identity, and the tenuous bonds of, well, everybody...."

Fantastic Fest First Wave Hits Hard
Stephen King adaptations, Arabic cinema, and Three Billboards
DAILY Screens  August 8, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...Comparing it to Östlund's Force Majeure and the Oscar-winning, remake-bound Toni Erdmann, which played the fest last year, Fantastic Fest head programmer Evrim Ersoy said, "We have a very long history of showing socially awkward, uncomfortable comedies, and The Square fits firmly in that. It's a biting satire of the art world, it is a take-down of the male psyche, it is incredibly uncomfortable, incredibly funny."..."

The Year in Film
Austin Chronicle critics throw in for Boyhood
Screens Story  December 31, 2014, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...I'm delighted to see several titles on the Chronicle's combined Top 10 which have not appeared on every film list out there. Highlights include the Australian spook show The Babadook; Jim Jarmusch's vampires-in-love seduction Only Lovers Left Alive; the dazzling Snowpiercer; the taut, one-man-show Locke; and the punk girls coming of age in We Are the Best! Because the Chronicle makes all types of films eligible for Top 10 consideration, the celebrated documentary Citizenfour, the popular foreign film Force Majeure, and the widely beloved The LEGO Movie also appear in our combined Top 10...."

William Goss' Top 10 List
Screens Story  December 31, 2014, by William Goss
"...9)Force Majeure Formally rigid and cleverly conceived, Ruben Östlund's he-said-she-said look at relationships provides an infectious catalyst for arguments...."

Kimberley Jones' Top 10 List
Screens Story  December 31, 2014, by Kimberley Jones
"...1)Force Majeure Ruben Östlund blew the roof off with his bravura black comedy about what it means to be a man, a woman, and/or/always a fallible human being...."

The Square
A scathing and uncomfortable satire of the art world
Film Review  November 10, 2017, by Josh Kupecki
"...Meet Christian (Bang), an affluent, charismatic man who is the chief curator for a prestigious contemporary art museum in Stockholm, and the latest casualty in writer/director Ruben Östlund’s evisceration of the male ego (his previous film, Force Majeure, plied similar territory). The viewer is introduced to Christian via an interview with an American journalist, Anne (Moss, terrifically cast), where she asks for clarification to a particularly convoluted passage she found on the museum’s website..."

Fantastic Fest Review: Thelma
Grappling with faith, sexuality, and powers in Norway
DAILY Screens  September 22, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...For every moment of Thelma's self-actualization, there's a shadow hanging over her, placing this into a classic science-fiction lineage that only becomes clear in its final moments. Not since the closing sequence of fellow Scandinavian Ruben Östlund's Fantastic Fest breakout, 2014's Force Majeure, has a film so deliberately re-framed its own message...."

Maps to the Stars
David Cronenberg's film, with a script by Bruce Wagner, is a darkly humorous moral fable aimed at Hollywood.
Film Review  February 27, 2015, by Josh Kupecki
"...Screenwriter Bruce Wagner (who's been skillfully dissecting Hollywood misfits high and low since his 1991 novel, Force Majeure) has crafted a darkly humorous moral fable that Cronenberg embraces with unabashed glee. Moore looks like she’s having a blast playing a bat-shit crazy diva, and Evan Bird deserves singling out for his deadpan yet nuanced performance of a kid who has grown up way too fast..."

Marjorie Baumgarten's Top 10 List
Screens Story  December 31, 2014, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...8)Force Majeure What, exactly, are the unspoken vows of the marriage contract, asks this droll family study...."

Steve Davis' Top 10 List
Screens Story  December 31, 2014, by Steve Davis
"...Near Misses Wild, Only Lovers Left Alive, Force Majeure, Finding Vivian Maier, Guardians of the Galaxy..."

Austin Film Critics Pick Boyhood
AFCA showers Linklater favorite with four awards
Screens Story  December 18, 2014, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Best Foreign Language Film: Force Majeure (D: Ruben Östlund)..."

Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations Announced
Boyhood, Kumiko earn multiple nods
DAILY Screens  November 25, 2014, by Kimberley Jones
"...BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director.) Force Majeure (Sweden)
Director: Ruben Östlund Ida (Poland)
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski Leviathan (Russia)
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev Mommy (Canada)
Director: Xavier Dolan Norte, the End of History (Philippines)
Director: Lav Diaz Under the Skin (United Kingdom)
Director: Jonathan Glazer..."

DVDanger: How to Date in a Sci-Fi Universe
Premature and The One I Love probe romance
DAILY Screens  November 8, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...You should read Marjorie Baumgarten's review of The One I Love, the feature debut from director Charlie (son of Malcolm) McDowell, which puts Sophie (Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men) and Ethan (UT grad Mark Duplass, Cyrus, Jeff, Who Lives at Home) as a couple very much on the rocks. A kin to this week's genre-defying snowbound family drama Force Majeure, there's a neat little featurette that aspiring SF directors might want to check out, if purely to see how a time-worn SF trick can be given new life with contemporary technology..."

Afghan Star
In Afghanistan's version of American Idol, there's a lot more at stake than the glory.
Film Review  October 16, 2009, by Marc Savlov
"...The Afghan Star TV show began broadcasting in 2004 with the ouster of the Taliban and has been running continuously, if tentatively, given the number of threats on contestants' lives in this formerly no-singing, no-dancing, no-fun capital of Persia. In a country where fewer than one in 10 people have a semi-functioning television set, the fact that Afghan Star still even exists is proof that once the Taliban (who have since regained a measure of control over several Afghan regions) slipped even a little, the force majeure of some really godawful, highly Westernized Afghan pop music and hoardes of native, cash-crazed "promoters" were already in place and biding their time, just waiting to step in and bring "culture" and "modernization" to weary, war-torn Afghanistan..."

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