Triangle of Sadness Trailer: Ruben Östlunds Class Satire Puts the One Percent Through Maritime Hell

The trailer for Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner “Triangle of Sadness” has arrived from Neon ahead of the film’s theatrical release on October 7, and festival bows in New York and Toronto. The latest full look at the class satire features star Harris Dickinson as a male model reaching his prime (at the ripe old age of 25!) and in all manner of undress. But we also get a glimpse at the bawdy, gross-out hijinks that happen aboard a cruise ship for the super rich — and that sent Cannes audiences howling into the aisles.

As with his other Palme d’Or winner “The Square,” the Swedish filmmaker puts power on trial and turns social hierarchies on their heads to reveal the tawdry relationship between power and beauty. Celebrity model Carl and his girlfriend Yaya (Dickinson and Charlbi Dean) are invited on board a luxury cruise for the mega rich, with an unhinged captain (Woody Harrelson) at the helm. What at first seems Instagram-ready unravels into a spectacle of catastrophe and, as IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote out of the Cannes Film Festival, “a seasick eruption of shit and vomit so intense that it manages to engender sympathy for some of the worst people in the world.”

“My intention was to shock the audience as much as I always want to shock the audience,” Ostlund told IndieWire on the question of broadening his films’ appeal to a global audience (“Triangle of Sadness” is primarily in English). “But I was scared to lose my old audience. I was scared to lose the kind of connection I had built up with the distributors of the European arthouse cinema. It’s been very important for me to try to keep that audience and step it up, make it a little bit bigger, of course.”

“The situation has such a clear and strong setup,” said Östlund. “Like paying the bill between a man and a woman. Culturally, since we live in a patriarchal world, not only do the men have the money, but basically all the countries where I pitched the film, everybody can relate to this situation. And many of my situations are very simple. They are not twisted or advanced. They are more similar to stand-up comedy humor. So I was maybe a little bit worried about some nuances, but not in the big picture.”

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