Ruben Östlund wrote in the script for Triangle of Sadness that he wanted the film’s dramatic vomiting scene to be so intense that it actually makes the audience say “enough.”
“I actually wrote in the script that I wanted to push the scenes so far, so the audience starts to feel like, ‘Please, they have had enough,’” Östlund told the crowd at a Santa Barbara International Film Festival Cinema Society event. “Depending on how much empathy the audience had… I want them to feel that they had enough. That is also something that is important to me when it comes to things like vomiting and sea sickness.”
Triangle of Sadness follows a group of very wealthy and glamorous people who are on vacation on a luxury yacht when a storm hits and things go horribly wrong. It stars Harris Dickinson, the late Charlbi Dean Kriek, Dolly De Leon, Woody Harrelson, Zlatko Burić, and Vicki Berlin.
Östlund was inspired by the vomiting scene in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.
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“We have seen it before in some movies, and I mean Monty Python had a scene in [The Meaning of Life], and they pushed it quite far,” he said.
His background in ski movies influenced his love of pushing the envelope.
“I started out making ski films, you know, free skiing in the mountains. And then everything, when it came to shooting, was to try to push the boundaries to go a little bit further than someone else had been doing before,” he said. “I want to go furhter than something I’ve done before. And so I was watching these classic vomiting scenes that are in the history of filmmaking, and I decided, I’m going to go 10 steps further.”
The result is a scene that, once you’ve seen it, will be burned into your memory forever.
Triangle of Sadness is now in theaters.
Main Image: Triangle of Sadness director Ruben Östlund courtesy of SBIFF