Ruben Östlund’s 2014 satire, Force Majeure, took on the world of bourgeois familial/gender norms, as heightened by the altitude of a disastrous ski trip. His next film — The Square, which won the Palme D’Or this year at Cannes — takes on the aristocratic art world. Now he’s announced his follow-up to that (still unreleased) film, and lo and behold, it’s another shape-movie: Triangle of Sadness, and it looks like it’ll be taking on the modeling world. Its title actually taken, as Östlund tells Variety, from “a term used by plastic surgeons to fix a wrinkle between the eyes with Botox in 15 minutes.”
Sadness will follow two models whose bodies and lives start to diverge from industry standards with age: one character is a male model who has difficulties after he begins balding, and the other is a lesbian model who refuses to be exploited by rich men. Östlund told Variety that it was his girlfriend, a fashion photographer, who explained to him the difficulties models have — augmented as they are by gendered expectations — transitioning out of their short-lived careers:
In the modeling industry, people start looking for an exit at a very young age, but for men it’s harder to use their looks to secure a stable financial future. Female models, meanwhile, often have the option to marry a very rich guy, unless they’re not into men, like our female protagonist.
The director says his film “use[s] satire to create a warm portrait of people trying to deal with a cynical industry and show the extent to which economics are connected with looks in our society.”
Meanwhile, The Square has been picked up by Magnolia for U.S. distribution, so that should be upon us soon. Apparently Östlund is also working on writing an English-language TV comedy about adultery, called You Know That Weekend You Were Away With The Kids.