The Square, Wednesday, Film 4, 9pm

Although on the face of it Ruben Ostlund’s film is a darkly comic satire on the art world and its pretensions, there are other issues buried deep within it – how much trust individuals have in each other, and how much they place with other entities including the state – that make it feel extraordinarily prescient. A worthy winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival it was also nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar and if you were to compile a top ten list of cinema’s most show-stopping moments of weirdness then The Square’s climactic scene featuring stuntman and movement specialist Terry Notary would be up there near the top.

Danish actor Claes Bang (Dracula in the BBC’s smash hit Christmas adaptation) stars as Christian, a divorced father of two young girls and the director of a large and august Stockholm art gallery. His latest acquisition is an artwork called The Square, a conceptual piece involving a physical space which (in the artist’s words) represents “a sanctuary of trust and caring” in which “we all share equal rights and obligations”. In another part of the exhibition visitors are also asked to push a button corresponding to whether they do or don’t trust other people and then, depending on which one they chose, to place their phones and wallets in a square on the floor. Then leave the room.

Ostlund moves his film from set-piece to set-piece, each one either toe-curlingly embarrassing or deliberately unsettling. In one scene American reporter Anne (Elisabeth Moss from The Handmaid’s Tale) interviews Christian and confronts him with a load of art-speak gobbledygook from his own gallery. He has to pretend he knows what it means. After they have sex following a party, he refuses to give her the condom to dispose of and she asks if he thinks she’s going to try to impregnate herself with its contents. A not-very-decorous tug-of-war ensues. And why is there a chimpanzee wandering around her flat?

Meanwhile, in the meeting from hell, a grey, aging, pony-tailed hipster dad dangles his baby while the young guns from his advertising agency pitch their idea for an attention grabbing campaign that will put the gallery in the map. This it does, though not quite in the way Christian imagines.

At the same time, Christian is trying to retrieve his phone, which has been stolen by a pickpocket. He tracks it to a nearby housing scheme, which is when his trouble really begins. And so on and so on. Class, racism, privilege, inequality, pretension, gender politics, political correctness, art, money, nationality – Ostlund takes them all on and skewers most of them with ease. If you want a comparison there are echoes of Michael Haneke’s 2005 masterpiece Hidden, but the spectacular scenes with Terry Notary are unlike anything you’ll see anywhere. Ever.

Parasite, Curzon Home Cinema

Now streaming

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho scored a mighty first at this year’s Academy Awards when his film Parasite became the first non-English movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture. He already had the 2019 Palme d’Or on his mantlepiece which fact adds even more gloss to the achievement: not since 1955 has the same film won the cinema world’s top two accolades. With Parasite’s release for the video on demand market, anyone who didn’t catch it on its pre-lockdown theatrical run now has the chance to see what all the fuss is about, though if you caught his 2013 film Snowpiercer on Film 4 last month or you’ve seen 2017’s Okja, currently streaming on Netflix, you’ll have a working knowledge of his filmic shtick.

A jet black satire on consumerism, inequality, education and aspiration, it turns on a family of grifters and wasters (think Shameless’s Gallagher family relocated to a cramped basement flat in Seoul) and the havoc they wreak when they see an opportunity to inveigle themselves one by one into positions of trust within the Park family, a rich couple living in a to-die-for house with their two young children. It starts with son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) securing a job as tutor to the Park’s teenage daughter Da-hye (Jung Ji-so). He recommends an acquaintance of his called Jessica, actually his sister Ki-jung (Park So-dam), who contrives to have the Park’s chauffeur fired and her father Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho) hired instead. Next in the door is matriarch Chung-sook (Jang Hye-jin ), who takes over a housekeeper. That’s when things take a turn for the anarchic – think Fargo meets The Ladykillers meets something considerably more twisted.