Ruben Östlund: 5 films that inspired my own cinema

“I discovered the cinema quite late in my life”, specifies Ruben Östlund. Born on the island of Styrsö in Sweden, he found seasonal work in ski resorts in the Alps as a teenager, where he first picked up a camera. “That’s how I started filming. I was making ski films at this ski resort of freeskiing and powder and blah, blah, blah.”

Östlund made her feature film debut in 2004 The Mongoloid Guitarbut he found international fame with 2014 force majeurea black comedy set in a luxurious ski resort in the Alps. force majeure debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Jury Prize. Östlund’s next film, the satire of the art world 2017 The placealso competed at Cannes and won the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or.

His latest is triangle of sadness, a social satire about ultra-wealthy guests aboard a luxury cruise. When the ship sinks and its passengers and crew are stranded on a desert island, the social hierarchy is broken. When triangle of sadness premiering at Cannes this year, it earned Östlund its second consecutive Palme d’Or. (“Someone once told me: ‘The first Palme d’Or may be an accident, but the second really means something,’ he says.) Quite an achievement for someone who, originally just wanted to film his friends skiing.

“When I was 25, I discovered the history of cinema for the first time. Of course, I had already seen examples, but that’s where I became interested,” he says. “Little by little, I’m becoming a filmmaker. Little by little, I started to respect the work of my colleagues and I started to understand the talent they had. But it came late for me, so I are still discovering great films.”

Below, Östlund shares with A.frame the work of five filmmakers who have inspired him the most.