Date: January 10, 2021
Force Majeure (French: [fɔrs maʒœr]; Swedish: Turist, "tourist") is a 2014 Swedish comedy-drama film directed by Ruben Östlund. It follows the marital tension resulting from an avalanche during which the husband, named Tomas, is believed by his wife to have prioritized his own escape over the safety of his family. The title used for the film in some English-speaking countries comes from force majeure, a contractual clause freeing both parties from liability in the event of unexpected disasters.
The video presentation and discussion are free and open to the public and begin at 2:00pm on Sunday, January 10, 2021 (virtual)
A video presentation by a film scholar takes place on the Sunday date listed above, after viewers watch the film on their own during the week prior to each presentation and online discussion. Supplemental material about the context of each film, along with other interesting information related to each, will be available to attendees. Films are available free to Grand Rapids Public Library cardholders (and many other libraries and universities) via Kanopy or similar databases.
Force Majeure (Ruben Östlund, 2014) The film can be viewed online via these platforms:
- Kanopy (free via Grand Rapids Public Library)
- Hoopla (free via Kent District Library)
- Hulu (free with subscription)
...it is also available as a paid rental through many other streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others.
Video Commentary for Force Majeure
Film Introduction/Moderator: Spencer Everhart
Film Intro / Commentary Video: https://fb.watch/2UGAk2dqtz/
Video (The Seventh Art) - https://youtu.be/SmXVvZyGfy8
Text (Film Comment) - https://www.filmcomment.com/blog/interview-ruben-oestlund/
Cinema Scope - https://cinema-scope.com/currency/force-majeure-ruben-ostlund/
Reverse Shot - http://reverseshot.org/archive/entry/1922/force_majeure
Film Comment - https://www.filmcomment.com/article/broken-contracts-ruben-ostlund/
Related Film Recommendations:
The Square (Ruben Östlund, 2017)
Östlund's follow-up film (which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival) wherein the filmmaker shifts his darkly comic gaze to the art world, satirizing its extravagances and hypocrisies.
The Loneliest Planet (Julia Loktev, 2011)
If you remixed the central premise of Force Majeure, you might get something like this quietly stunning movie: a vacationing couple's relationship is challenged during their backpacking trip after a single spontaneous moment - and a shocking reaction - changes everything.
Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)
As fluid and textured as Force Majeure is stark and cold, this sublime film also explores masculine roles, emotional frustration, and what can remain repressed or unspoken - all surrounded by a strange desert landscape.
The Power of Kangwon Province (Hong Sang-soo, 1998)
Östlund would likely appreciate the patient observation and wry humor of this film, which tells two separate but interconnected stories of various characters coming together and coming apart while on vacation at a popular mountain retreat.
Black Narcissus (Powell & Pressburger, 1947)
The ominously imposing portrayal of the French Alps in Force Majeure could have taken inspiration from this classic, where the Himalayan mountain setting intoxicates a small group of visiting nuns, with mounting tensions - erotic and otherwise - made worse by the temptations of a man in their midst.
More about Chiaroscuro's 15th Season
2021 Series Theme: Greatest Hits-A Virtual Voyage through the Past
Due to Covid19, Chiaroscuro is going virtual! We embrace this opportunity to celebrate 15 years of exceptional international cinema and cultural exchange.
We've selected five popular films from our archives, if you didn't see them the first time around, now is your chance. If you did see them, you know how good they and are likely ready to experience them again!
All films are available for viewing online. We look forward to each presenter's video introduction and commentary about the films, made available on the website, and lively online discussion with our engaging patrons every other Sunday via social media. In this unusual time, one thing remains the same for fifteen years straight: the 2021 series presents an award-winning roster of five celebrated films from around the world.
"Look for this very original picture as a possible Best Foreign Film Oscar nominee. A ski trip snowballs into disaster." Jordan Hoffman, NY Daily News
NY Daily News
"A brittle black comedy that has plenty to say about modern manhood and the human survival instinct."-David Hughes, Empire
"It is a film that makes your murmur in amazement as you watch and then brood on the dangerous corners in all our lives. It’s a quiet avalanche."-David Edelstein, Vulture