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The Square (2017) Poster

(2017)

Trivia

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Terry Notary portrays the ape-man "Oleg" in the film. The Russian artist Oleg Kulik was invited to the international group exhibition "Interpol" at Färgfabriken, Stockholm, Sweden. At the opening, the vernissage, Kulik performed like a dog. He glittered, jumped up, rolled and even bit the VIP crowd in their legs. Kulik said he acted as a representative of the browbeaten Russian people, who now attacked and bit back. The crowd became so scared and enraged that they called for the police. In this movie, there is a similar, charged and offensive scene, but here the performance artist acts like an ape.
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The crowd Oleg was taunting in the dinner scene, throwing water over and pushing around, were in fact drawn from the actual ranks of Sweden's 1 percent, including some of the country's wealthiest art patrons ("They were so into it," Terry Notary said).
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"I never want to have any in-between scenes that are only there to tell the plot. If I have these scenes I think I've failed a little bit as a director." Ruben Östlund explained that his mission is to make movies full of interesting, stand-alone scenes that highlight human behavior.
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The voice warns that the animal is trained to sense weakness and fear, so the best defense is to stay very still and hope for the misfortune of others. "It's about the bystander effect. The reason we don't have the ability to take responsibility in situations like that is because we are herd animals and we get scared, and when we get scared we get paralyzed. And we're thinking, don't take me, don't take me, take someone else." said Ruben Östlund.
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In one scene, a man with Tourette's syndrome yells at a reporter. Ruben Östlund said this was inspired by a true incident at a Swedish theater, and was depicted without fear of insensitivity, since he said all people are satirized in his work.
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The preliminary study of "The Square" was "Rutan" (The Square), an exhibition at Vandalorum in Värnamo, Sweden, in spring 2015, where director Ruben Östlund and film producer Kalle Boman wanted to examine the trust they felt towards each other. Pictures from the exhibition are included in the film.
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The incident where Christian's cell phone is stolen is based on the real life experience of director Ruben Östlund, whose friend was robbed in a similar way.
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"These people that in the beginning were sitting in tuxedos and eating their nice, fancy dinner, I wanted them to be uncivilized animals in the end, I think that the most uncivilized thing about our time is the collective rage against individuals that are acting uncivilized. Isn't that the scary thing about us?" said Ruben Östlund about the monkey-man scene.
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Ruben Östlund said in Cannes, "Anything can happen in a movie when suddenly a monkey appears in an apartment. Everything should have a monkey in it."
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Anna-Stina Malmborg and Gunnar Höglund play themselves as two major art collectors and long-term donors in the art world of Stockholm.
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While "Christian" is told by the character "Michael" that he is thinking and acting in a manner "too Swedish" the irony is that the actor Claes Bang is a Dane and speaks Danish through the entire film.
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Ruben Östlund won the Palme d'Or for this movie, marking the first time a predominantly Swedish production received the honor since The Best Intentions (1992) in 1992 and the first time a Swedish director won since Alf Sjöberg for Miss Julie (1951).
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Sweden's submission to the Foreign Language Film Award of the 90th Annual Academy Awards.
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Ruben Östlund said it was challenging for Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West to adapt to Swedish direction, but they eventually adjusted.
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The PR agency guys are played by art director Daniel Hallberg and copywriter Martin Sööder at King, Stockholm.
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For the general release of the film, Ruben Östlund cut 2 minutes and 43 seconds from the final quarter of the film (as presented at Cannes) to sharpen the last 30 minutes saying, "I sped it up a little."
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Minor edits were made to finalize the film after its Cannes premiere.
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Filming took place from June to October 2016 in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Berlin. The gallery in the film is based on Sweden's Royal Palace.
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One of the few, if not the first film ever, to feature a bonobo, let alone an adult one.
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This movie has played for more than a year at the Øst for Paradis cinema in Aarhus, Denmark.
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The character of Julian played by Dominic West is reportedly based on filmmaker and painter Julian Schnabel.
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In The Square artists' statement, they wrote "The Square is a sanctuary of trust and caring. Within it we all share equal rights and obligations."
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The ape that appears in the film is a full grown female bonobo.
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Romain Duris reportedly turned down the leading role.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

If you look carefully about ten minutes into the movie, you can actually see the hand of the woman Christian is trying to shield from her assumed follower reaching into Christian's pocket for his phone.
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In the film there is an ape seemingly busy creating art. This refers to an old practical joke. An alleged self-taught French avant-garde artist, Pierre Brassau, appeared at an art exhibition in Gothenburg in 1964. A series of art connoisseurs were tricked by this intentional experiment. It was the chimpanzee Peter from Borås Zoo that had created the "spontanist painting", and the brain behind it was a gallerist and a journalist who were reported to be a police officer for fraud.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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