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TIFF17 | The Square Successfully Pokes Fun at the Postmodern Art World


Winner of Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’Or, The Square is the latest provocative piece by Swedish director Ruben Östlund. It’s a hilarious, spot-on satire which highlights the more vapid idiosyncrasies of the postmodern art world.

The film follows Christian (Claes Bang), the curator of one of Sweden’s most cutting-edge art museums. The audience travels with the self-centred hero as he hopelessly attempts to promote the museum’s newest out-of-the-box exhibit. Each of his ideas are ultimately deflected by personal misfortunes, culminating with an outrageous online campaign designed by two inept millennial marketers.

Östlund does a brilliant job at dissecting the act of art curation, honestly outlining the challenges that face artists trying to examine their increasingly complex and curious world.

The Square packs a satisfying punch, forcing audience members to hysterically laugh (everyone giggles when an audience member with Tourette’s is found screaming “cock, whore, garbage” as a famous artist is being interviewed) and quickly switches to a slithering squirm as the most unimaginably awkward moments splash across the screen.

The Square reminds art aficionados that “the work” doesn’t always elicit a pleasant response and proves some of the most memorable creative moments leave you stiff and scared.

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