In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund
January 14-22 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center
In interviews about the inspiration for his masterful Force Majeure, a deadpan psychodrama about a crisis of masculinity set at a fancy French ski resort, director Ruben Östlund is fond of citing two studies. The first found that couples are much more likely to divorce after experiencing an airplane hijacking, and the second that, on average, men survive maritime disasters at a much higher rate than women. From there, the film’s premise: while on vacation in the Alps, a father abandons his family when an avalanche plummets towards the restaurant where they’re having a meal. The screen goes white, but it turns out to be a false alarm, and Tomas spends the rest of the trip reckoning with his reaction.