The Entertainment System is Down - Ruben ÷stlund


Ruben ÷stlund (Triangle of Sadness) has a clever follow-up planned

What are you working on next?
My next project is called ďThe Entertainment System Is Down.Ē It takes place on a long haul flight. And quite soon after take-off, the crew of the flight is telling the passengers that the entertainment system is down. They are now stuck on a 15 or 17 hour-long flight without any digital entertainment. They donít have the screens that we are so used to in our contemporary world. So itís going to be like a study of how human beings interact in this little laboratory that is a plane. It will look at how modern human beings are wrecked under these circumstances.

Sounds promising! So itís about air rage.
Yes, air rage is a term that is used when a passenger becomes so violent that they have to proceed with an emergency landing of a flight. I read a study about it and they found out that when economy passengers are boarding through business clause or first class, the risk of average is increased by four times. Itís super interesting fact because it says so much about something that is true, that inequality is provoking us, inequality is making us frustrated. And if we see if you are confronted with inequality, I think also thereís a risk in our society that it will provoke rages.

Are you looking to make it in Sweden or abroad?
I havenít decided yet. Once again, itís a possibility to have an international cast because these long-haul flights always have international passengers.

Itís been in your head for some time now. I remember you mentioning this project to me several years ago.
Yes, itís my method to tell about the film to everybody and then people tell me, ĎOh, you have to hear that story, what happened to me when I was on a flight, etc.Ē So this is really a research method for me to pitch my film, even if Iím just pitching the set-up right now. Soon I will start to pitch more and more. And once I can pitch this film from the beginning to the end to someone, then I know how to write the script. When youíre communicating it verbally, you can tell immediately when someone is not very interested or when you catch someoneís attention. So itís a very efficient way and itís something that I always try to teach to students at the university.

Are you going to work with the same team as ďTriangle of SadnessĒ?
Yes, I believe that it takes at least three films to get to know each other. The DOP, the set designer, me and Erik Hemmendorff (co-founder and producer at Plattform Produktion), weíve been working for a long time. We know each other quite well. But when it comes to the crew, I would say it takes three films to get to know each other. And then you can start to use the good things and you can avoid the bad things that have been in these relationships. So I want to keep on fine tuning and do better and better things and try to master the craft of filmmaking together with the same people.

Oh yeah and they're also trying to get Keanu Reeves for this

A24 picks up US rights....