INCIDENT BY A BANK

Two confused spectators witness an attempted bank robbery in this 2009 short by Palme d’Or winning director Ruben Östlund.

With his preconceptions of a how a bank robbery would play-out largely formed through scenes he’d experienced in cinema or television, Östlund’s idea of what such a hold-up should look like turned out to be nothing like the real-life event he witnessed.

“These embedded images had become a point of reference that had very little correlation to the actual events I observed taking place across the street”, he says in a Director’s Statement. “Reality seemed absurd and incongruous. Unreal. The film Incident by a Bank evolved out of my own perception of the robbery attempt. The fact that it is based on my perceptions is a cornerstone of my work. The way I see it, the majority of films that include situations like this are based on other, cinematic, references”.

Shot as one stationary wide-shot and then made more dynamic in post-production by editing scenes from the high-resolution image, Östlund and his team were able to take one eight-minute long sequence and turn it into a ten minute short (12-mins if you include titles). This unusual approach from the director results in his film maintaining a certain level of authenticity to its story, whilst also preserving the real-time feel of his short. Director: Ruben Östlund Script: Ruben Östlund Cast: Ramtin Parvaneh, Leif Edlund, Bahador Foladi, Producers: Erik Hemmendorff, Marie Kjellson Country: Sweden Year: 2009

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