Ruben Östlund Doesn’t Like “Barbie”: Calls it the Madness of Our Times

Ruben Östlund, the creator of “Triangle,” which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year, was asked about his thoughts on Greta Gerwig taking over the presidency of the Cannes jury. Instead of answering the question directly, the director shared his opinion on Gerwig’s latest film. And his words are not warm.

Ruben Östlund Criticizes “Barbie”

First and foremost, Östlund accuses “Barbie” of not saying anything about reality but rather about an imaginary world and using, in his view, harmful marketing:

“I saw ‘Barbie.’ For me, it’s cynicism disguised as optimism. It perfectly illustrates the madness of our times. The toy manufacturer [Mattel] is funding its own film and pulls in an independent director to restore glory to its old-fashioned dolls. In my opinion, it’s complete madness.”

He criticizes the film for being more about the virtual world than the real one. It’s about expressions, quotes, constant opposition to something, etc. “I didn’t like it. What’s good about capitalism is that we still produce more things. And we want them to be better and better. To make this happen, word of mouth is needed. A film like ‘Barbie’ disrupts this process. It puts a lot of money into marketing, but there’s no whisper marketing here.”

Kelly Reichardt, the creator of films such as “Certain Women” and “First Cow,” shared a similar opinion about “Barbie,” stating that there is more marketing than art in the film.

Interestingly, the organizers of the Cannes Film Festival justified choosing Gerwig as the president of the jury for the upcoming festival based on her ability to combine art with making money.

Ruben Östlund – Key Films

Östlund has directed films such as “Play,” “Force Majeure” (Golden Globe nomination), “The Square” (Golden Globe and Oscar nominations), and most recently, “Triangle” (two Golden Globe nominations and three Oscar nominations).

He is currently working on “The Entertainment System is Down,” inspired by the novel “Brave New World.” It is intended to be a comedy with a sociological edge. The film will feature Woody Harrelson as a plane captain.

Trailer for the film “Triangle”

The film follows a celebrity couple, Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean), on a cruise ship, but their trip quickly becomes unsuitable for Instagram. A sudden storm sends seafood back to where it came from, demolishes the yacht, and, along with it, shatters the entire social hierarchy.

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