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'Triangle of Sadness' director launches stuck-on-a-plane dark comedy at Cannes

Having previously claimed the top award at Cannes twice and served as the head of the jury last year, Ruben Ostlund made a comeback to the renowned film festival in southern France. This time, he unveiled his latest endeavor - a dark comedy centered around the experience of being stranded on a plane with limited diversions.

Reuters CINEMA
Published May 18,2024

Ruben Ostlund, two-time winner of the Cannes Film Festival's top prize and last year's jury president, returned to the festival in southern France to launch his next project on Saturday, a dark comedy about being stuck on a plane with no distractions.

"The Entertainment System Is Down" will star Kirsten Dunst and Daniel Bruehl as a couple whose relationship is put to the test on the 20-hour-plus plane ride from London to Sydney.

"When the iPhones and iPads are shutting out, they are doomed to deal with their own boredom," said Ostlund.

"And I'm going to look on this aspect, like taking away entertainment on a societal level, what happens then?"

Examining what happens when the rails come off of polite society has been a particular fixation of Ostlund's films, which include "Triangle of Sadness," "Force Majeure" and "The Square."

"I always want to work with people that, you know, push the boundaries of cinema," Dunst said at the launch. "That's always my dream to be a part of working with those type of filmmakers."

For filming, which is due to begin soon, the team has bought a Boeing 747, where 99% of the film will be set, said Ostlund.

"We have an aeroplane, a whole aeroplane, to not only build a section, but that you can walk from the cockpit all the way to the back so you can do longer tracking shots and really create a feeling of being in the space," said the Swedish director.