‘Triangle of Sadness’ Director Ruben Östlund Proposes Requiring a License to Use Cameras

Triangle of Sadness director Ruben Östlund understands the power of cinema and its impact on society, which is why he’s proposing a radical idea to regulate the use of cameras.

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker recently expressed in an interview with The Guardian the importance of consuming high-quality media, especially since people’s relationship with screens — big or small — has become much more prominent today.

“I have an idea,” Östlund said. “What if you were only allowed to use a camera if you have a license? You need one for a gun — at least in sophisticated countries. The camera is also a powerful tool.”

The Square director also advised other filmmakers to treat media with a level of caution and understand the responsibility they hold as films can potentially influence society in ways they weren’t intended to.

“Movies are changing the world and it’s important to take that into consideration when you’re in this profession,” Östlund explained. “In the entertainment industry there is the strange sense that if you’re dealing with fiction then it’s not going to affect the world. You have to fight quite hard to make people realize what kind of effect the images we consume have.”

The Force Majeure director later noted that the world is quickly leaving a “text-based society and going to the image-based society,” especially with the use of smartphones and social media every day. However, he recognizes that it has also led to more individual viewing experiences, which is why he believes there’s something special today about going to the cinema and watching something with a group.

“It offers some kind of citizens’ assembly, all reacting and starting to formulate things together. Physical meetings where you can discuss what you have experienced will be more and more important as people move into a meta world,” Östlund said regarding the significance of theaters. “We have finally realized its unique point is not the big screen. It’s having to process information in a completely different way, because someone might ask you what you think. When you’re watching things individually, you are not processing the images in an intellectual way but like a zombie.”

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