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Canadian Film Institute
Moving images.
Gitarrmongot (The Guitar Mongoloid)
dir. Ruben Östlund
Sweden, 2004, 89 minutes
Swedish, with English sub-titles • Presented in 35mm!

In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund
Richcraft Hall Theatre (formerly River Building), Carleton University, Saturday, March 28, 2015, 9:00 pm
This is Ruben Östlund’s first full-length feature film, for which he was awarded the FIPRESCI Award at the 27th Moscow International Film Festival. Its loose narrative follows an abundance of recurring characters around the fictional city of Jöteborg, allowing the city to act as a character itself. These characters, that are essentially playing themselves, are connected only through this city and their penchant for delinquency and the obscene; they are not bound by the norms of society. This ranges from mere childlike indecency and mischievousness to potentially life threatening situations. Östlund’s adherence to fixed camera perspective is effectively demonstrated in this film. Instead of following his characters around Jöteborg, he simply allows the events of the city to unfold in front of the camera.

About use of the word “mongoloid" in the title “The Guitar Mongoloid”
The term mongoloid is an outdated term once used by physicians to describe persons with Down syndrome. Its use remains controversial and is considered offensive to both the Down syndrome and Mongolian communities. The director of the film has acknowledged that the title – which is supposed to reflect Swedish youth slang of the last decade – is controversial to many people and that he would have chosen another title if the film was made today.
Preceded by AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SCENE NUMBER 6882 (Scen nr: 6882 ur mitt liv), Sweden, 2005, 9 min.
Östlund invites us to examine our own compulsion and the need to prove ourselves in this short showing a group of young adult friends walking across a bridge in Sweden. The friends cajole each other about making the jump into the water below, when suddenly Martin decides to go for it. The group is halted by an elderly passerby with a grave warning.