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  Cycle index  
Involuntary
De ofrivilliga
dir. Ruben Östlund / Sweden 2008 / 98’
subtitles: Polish and English
Cinema of Sweden

Cast

Villmar Björkman, Linnea Cart-Lamy, Leif Edlund, Sara Eriksson, Lola Ewerlund, Olle Liljas, Maria Lundqvist, Cecilia Milocco, Simeon Nordius, Henrik Vikman, Vera Vitali

Film description

The second full-length feature film by Ruben Östlund can be associated with early works by Michael Haneke - Involuntary, just like 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance of the Austrian master, consists of separated frames-scenes. No matter what it observes, the camera remains static, evoking the same feeling of coolness and subconscious cruelty. Despite the distance, Östlund's film is not dull at any point. Two teenagers pose as sex-divas before a camera and get completely drunk, a driver stops a bus trip in the middle of its schedule, swearing that he won't go any further unless the person responsible for a tiny act of vandalism in the bathroom admits their guilt publicly, a teacher who defended a pupil cannot cope with the ostracism from the other teachers. TheGuitar Mongoloid examined those people who don't give a damn what others think of them. Involuntary looks at those who attribute too much importance to the opinions of others and are terrorised by the idea of losing face -Östlund says. And to present them, the director uses an 'objective' look of a closed-circuit camera and the spectator is like a voyeur watching this - shocking at moments - spectacle and becoming a part of it.

Darek Arest

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