Un Certain Regard: “Involuntary” by Ruben Östlund

Emmanuelle Trompille

Presented in the Un Certain Regard program, Involuntary, by Swedish director Ruben Östlund, is a tale of summer and its many opportunities for youthful misbehavior and mischief. With hormones running high, sexual pranks are irresistible, especially under the influence of alcohol. The devil-may-care mood encourages everyone to go beyond the bounds of what is reasonable.

“In my first feature, The Guitar Mongoloid, I addressed the theme of individual people seeking their place in society,” remarks Ruben Östlund. “Characters who never took into account what their entourage might think of them. At the same time I witnessed totally opposite situations, people who would do anything not to lose face in front of other people. The Guitar 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.”