Short of the Day: Ruben Ostlund’s Last Short Film Finally Comes Online

From the director of ‘Force Majure’ and this year’s Palme d’Or Winner ‘The Square.’

From the director of ‘Force Majure’ and this year’s Palme d’Or Winner ‘The Square.’

Five years before he shook the film world with Force Majure and eight before he conquered Cannes with The Square, Swedish director Ruben Ostlund jumpstarted his feature career with the following taut and dramatic short, Incident by a Bank.

Based on a true story, the 12-minute film depicts a 2006 bank robbery using 90 participants, one camera, and two confused perspectives: the cinematographer and his producer. The short, which was the last Ostlund directed, blends reality with subjective perspectives to create a blurred, delightfully uncertain version of the truth, and the meticulous yet unassuming camerawork instills a tone of verisimilitude, almost as though we’re spying in on the situation.

Incident by a Bank won a score of major awards upon its release in 2009, including a Golden Bear for Best Short at the Berlin International Film Festival, two awards – Best Short and Best Fiction Film – at the Krakow Film Festival, and it was nominated for the Short Filmmmaking Award, International Division, at Sundance. But until now, it’s never been available in its entirety online. The film debuts as a Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere. Check it out before you catch The Square, which is slated for a limited release here in the States on October 27th.

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist