CANNES, FRANCE (AFP) – Swedish director Ruben Ostlund captured the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or top prize on Saturday (May 28) for the second time in five years with Triangle Of Sadness, a biting, viciously funny social satire.
Using Ostlund's now cult cringe-inducing style, the movie places models and the ultra-rich on a cruise ship, only to find their status suddenly undermined by unexpected events.
"We had one goal to really try to make an exciting film for the audience and bring thought-provoking content," he said as he accepted the statuette at a gala ceremony on the French Riviera.
"To entertain them, ask themselves questions, to go out after the screening and have something to talk about."
The 48-year-old director has already taken a scalpel to modern bourgeois niceties with his Palme d'Or-winning art world send-up The Square in 2017.
Triangle Of Sadness, named for the part of the face where furrowed eyebrows create wrinkles, was an early favourite at the 12-day cinema showcase, with a total of 21 pictures in contention.
The movie can be read as a critique of capitalism and its excesses, he said.
In a key scene in the movie, a luxury yacht's captain – played by US star Woody Harrelson – and a Russian billionaire, both drunk, trade quotes by philosopher Karl Marx and hardcore capitalist Ronald Reagan, the late US president.
An extended sequence of projectile vomiting and violent diarrhoea on the cruise ship left audiences either howling with laughter or turning green.