Ari Aster's MIDSOMMAR (2019)

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0UWIya-O0s

Number None, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 15:07 (four months ago) link

in before the inevitable Wicker Man comparisons

I found Hereditary unique and effective enough to assume he's canny enough to go for something a little different here. Do we know who's handling the music yet?

bhad bundy (Simon H.), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 15:28 (four months ago) link

he's canny enough to go for something a little different here

well if the trailer is anything to go by it's all daylight, which is definitely an interesting (and challenging) choice

Number None, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 15:36 (four months ago) link

i thought hereditary was great, i'll watch the shit out of this - i really like the sun-dappled look of the cinematography

florence pugh's been great in everything i've seen her in so far, keen to see what she does here

invited to an unexpected ninja presentation (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 15:42 (four months ago) link

two months pass...

new trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vnghdsjmd0

Number None, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 13:59 (two months ago) link

I'm going to avoid watching the trailers, but really looking forward to this. I saw Hereditary just a few days ago and loved it.

jmm, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 14:02 (two months ago) link

Conflicted about watching the trailer; considering Hereditary’s trailer had as much deception as some of the choices in the film itself, I can only imagine the Midsommar trailer would be well-crafted and avoid giving away anything you wouldn’t want it to ahead of time.

unashamed and trash (Unctious), Tuesday, 14 May 2019 17:15 (two months ago) link

midsommar murders

findom haddie (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 14 May 2019 17:34 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

interestingly polarized reactions on twitter so far, many raves but a few vicious dissenters. should be interesting.

Simon H., Thursday, 20 June 2019 02:50 (one month ago) link

I feel like this type of movie should be perfect for me, but they never go dark enough.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 20 June 2019 03:38 (one month ago) link

Hm. Okay, hopefully non-spoilery thoughts: Aster's metier, clearly, is trauma and survivorhood. That's what he explores, consistently. The question is how he constructs the vehicle. In this case I would add there's a definite sense being raised of *how* trauma/survivorhood is understood and interpreted not merely by the survivor but those around the survivor, especially, in this case, beyond family as understood, as opposed to <I>Hereditary</I>'s clear internal focus on family. I think this film will be one to reflect on with time, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it, and I look forward to others' thoughts. Beyond that: beautifully shot (the all-encompassing/oppressive sense of light and its rare muting or absence is handled extremely carefully), some actual funny moments, truly striking diagetic (mostly) Haxan Cloak score. Will say that how the scenes are stacked to show all sorts of activity going on that is never fully explained (and doesn't need to be explained) is one of the film's strong points. Would add that this is clearly a case where if you know your horror tropes you kinda know where it's all going, which may or may not frustrate you -- this isn't <I>Wicker Man</I> redux, say, but it's a film that knows its heritage. Final note: it's LONG. Give into a pee break if you think you need it.

Oh and this is accurate:

#Midsommar spoilers out of context. pic.twitter.com/B70gkiMb8K

— JustinKnoepfel (@JustinKnoepfel) July 3, 2019

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 3 July 2019 06:04 (two weeks ago) link

tbh I just want to know how long it takes them to kill the black guy

brigadier pudding (DJP), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 13:08 (two weeks ago) link

Final note: it's LONG. Give into a pee break if you think you need it

This gave me pause. But I'm going to a 10 a.m. screening. See you on the other side!

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 13:25 (two weeks ago) link

140 minutes

comedy and horror generally benefit from being compact

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 14:20 (two weeks ago) link

gonna end up seeing this despite how much i hated hereditary, hoping for the best. the length does not give me a lot of hope tbh

american bradass (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 14:56 (two weeks ago) link

Also, now that I’ve had a night to sleep on it — sound design is pretty crucial in this film. Grief and its aftereffects are portrayed visually (natch) but the underscoring of how someone can *hear* differently in its throes is something that really stands out to me all the more. Like it is an aural representation of shock and what it means to work through it — things are murky, unclear, you feel disoriented, sudden memories overwhelm you and your senses don’t ‘work.’ Again, it’s there visually to a degree but the sound design really underscores it, and arguably has both vivid moments of sudden actualization in the narrative, making itself manifest and then part of a greater whole, leading to an ending where it is absolutely central on several levels. This might be one of the strongest such efforts in terms of how grief is portrayed since Twin Peaks season 3, though instead of Lynch’s operatic dream tragedy and confusion via sound, this is somewhere where we are constantly looped back into an internal headspace projected outward. It’s very striking the more I think about it.

the length does not give me a lot of hope tbh

An edit or two wouldn't've hurt anything.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 3 July 2019 14:58 (two weeks ago) link

Took me a little more thought but I finally put my finger on something that helps me think about the film: two themes, maybe more implied than directly stated, are culpability and conscious guilt. This plays out to the end, but in a way where I’m not entirely sure whether the resultant ambiguity is intentional. This could just be an overread on my part, though.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 3 July 2019 15:19 (two weeks ago) link

Also manipulation is more obviously central as well the more I think about this. I was initially treating the cult trappings as just that but the more I think about it the more obvious it is that you have to separate the actual 'trappings' part -- the rituals, the visuals, etc. -- from what a cult is like in any form. This all still feeds into grief as the core. And I'll finally stop for now.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 3 July 2019 15:37 (two weeks ago) link

It's dark enough.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 16:38 (two weeks ago) link

I am intrigued by some ppl criticizing it for being not scary/horror-y enough (not seen yet), since I rewatched The Wicker Man recently and it reminded me how just a few plot trappings and a creepy scene or two were once more than enough to earn you the tag. Now people tend to whinge about classification if it's not wall-to-wall slayings or hauntings.

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 July 2019 17:21 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah this is a movie with a very slow burn, one or two incredibly grotesque scenes, and the aftermath of same.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 3 July 2019 17:26 (two weeks ago) link

my main point of curiosity is what this guy can do without the WMD that was Toni Collette. Don't think I can handle a Hereditary rewatch just yet but I'm unsure how much of what I loved about that movie was her or the direction.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 18:05 (two weeks ago) link

This movie is unthinkable (and unendurable) with the casting of Florence Pugh.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 18:06 (two weeks ago) link

without, you mean?

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 18:07 (two weeks ago) link

haven't seen her in anything so don't have any expectations.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 18:07 (two weeks ago) link

tired: midsommar

wired: midsummer murders

bookmarkflaglink (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 18:17 (two weeks ago) link

yeah, without

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 18:19 (two weeks ago) link

haven't seen her in anything so don't have any expectations.

See Lady Macbeth at first opportunity.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 18:25 (two weeks ago) link

yep

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 18:25 (two weeks ago) link

oh shit, i had forgotten about that and yes she is amazing in it. that's reassuring.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 19:01 (two weeks ago) link

the emphasis on casting and performance as being discrete and separable from directing is....weird to me

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 July 2019 20:52 (two weeks ago) link

Alfred's got his review up -- there are spoilers so only read if you've seen it or if you know you're not going to, but I think it's a very sharp read on the film, including problems that I didn't address properly (but which DJP rightly noted upthread):

https://humanizingthevacuum.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/midsommar-wants-to-be-more-than-a-horror-film/

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 3 July 2019 20:56 (two weeks ago) link

when you’re at an elite festival but IG is down pic.twitter.com/UGzBCtGTCG

— Eric Allen Hatch (@ericallenhatch) July 3, 2019

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 July 2019 21:06 (two weeks ago) link

I literally just got out of this film and one of my first thoughts was “I bet Eric Hatch is on this”

shhh / let peaceful like things (wins), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 22:35 (two weeks ago) link

Alfred's got his review up -- there are spoilers so only read if you've seen it or if you know you're not going to, but I think it's a very sharp read on the film, including problems that I didn't address properly (but which DJP rightly noted upthread):

I finished the thread, just read DJP's remark -- yep. The racial politics are....fucked up.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 23:01 (two weeks ago) link

The racial politics are....fucked up.

I'm not gonna get around to this movie till it's on Amazon Prime, so if answering my questions would require too much spoilage feel free to ignore me, but...is there much made of the black guy being "a black guy," or is he just seen by the villagers/cultists as "not from here" just like the other protagonists? In other words, is his role in the film to be "the black guy" or is he a real character? And if it's the latter, why is it necessary or even good for a film set in a weird European village to hew to contemporary US racial politics?

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 23:54 (two weeks ago) link

You know what, never mind.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 23:55 (two weeks ago) link

The summary on Wikipedia doesn’t even mention which character is black.

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Thursday, 4 July 2019 00:25 (two weeks ago) link

why is it necessary or even good for a film set in a weird European village to hew to contemporary US racial politics?

I mean, the writer-director is American (along with, we can assume, the bulk of the financing) and the festival is made up, so it hardly seems out of bounds

Simon H., Thursday, 4 July 2019 01:10 (two weeks ago) link

It's also a well-known horror trope that black people in those movies largely exist to be brutally murdered in front of or in the vicinity of the Final Girl

brigadier pudding (DJP), Thursday, 4 July 2019 01:58 (two weeks ago) link

I'm not gonna get around to this movie till it's on Amazon Prime, so if answering my questions would require too much spoilage feel free to ignore me, but...is there much made of the black guy being "a black guy," or is he just seen by the villagers/cultists as "not from here" just like the other protagonists?

SPOILER

All these things, and he's the most committed to research, the smartest, yet he must collaborate with the boyfriend-asshole.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 4 July 2019 04:51 (two weeks ago) link

Lots of insane stuff in this movie but IMHO the most audacious move was to visually reference the Wicker Man remake during the climax. That is some next level cinematic trolling.

Conceptualize Wyverns (latebloomer), Thursday, 4 July 2019 08:00 (two weeks ago) link

Good new Haxan Cloak interview re the score:

https://thequietus.com/articles/26744-the-haxan-cloak-midsommar-ari-aster-bobby-krlic-interview

Also worth noting — when I mentioned to my partner how I thought all the constant background activity was one of the film’s best points, she immediately said it made her think of Drowning By Numbers. Lo and behold, Krlic brings up that both he and Aster bonded over a mutual Peter Greenaway love among other things.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 4 July 2019 13:35 (two weeks ago) link

Seeing this tonight, but another thing I find interesting about this guy's movies is that no one can seem to agree about their degree of intentionality. I saw someone on twitter argue, for instance, that the ending of this one was "funny" and "wasn't supposed to be." Meanwhile in an AVClub interview Aster says he thinks of the movie as a dark comedy and specifically cited the ending!

Simon H., Thursday, 4 July 2019 14:50 (two weeks ago) link

I’m a bit bemused at the idea of seeing this film and thinking the humour was unintentional

shhh / let peaceful like things (wins), Thursday, 4 July 2019 15:43 (two weeks ago) link

Ari Aster is incredible at inserting bleak humor into his films. The reveal at the start of his short The Strange Thing About the Johnsons is simultaneously the darkest and funniest sight gag I think I've ever seen.

OneSecondBefore, Thursday, 4 July 2019 16:52 (two weeks ago) link

I enjoyed this.

Spoilery question - after the boyfriend was supposedly taken to the airport, did anybody else hear a woman screaming in the scene a few minutes later?

Fuck Trump, cops, and the CBP (Neanderthal), Thursday, 4 July 2019 16:58 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah that was clearly Connie.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 4 July 2019 20:38 (two weeks ago) link

*walking past a bear in a wooden cage*
"so we're just going to ignore the bear?"

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:03 (eight hours ago) link

"That's a bear."

chap, Monday, 22 July 2019 15:04 (eight hours ago) link

'I'm going to lie down. Everybody lie down'

frame casual (dog latin), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:05 (eight hours ago) link

^ paraphrase because I don't remember the exact line but this whole scene had me in absolute stitches. The whole 'I don't want to meet new people' is perfect psylocibin talk

frame casual (dog latin), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:06 (eight hours ago) link

rip Mark, not a horrible enough person to truly loathe, more than enough of a fool to get skinned

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:06 (eight hours ago) link

- Can we just go back to Stockholm and have a real holiday?
- Sorry, I'm skint.

Manfred Hemming-Hawing (WmC), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:10 (eight hours ago) link

I was debating whether there was a non-zero chance any of the outsiders would have been allowed to leave. There's definitely the tension earlier in the film where it's unclear whether they're getting killed for fucking up by screaming when the elders commit suicide, or taking pictures of the sacred book. I think it's pretty clear at the end that they were all fated for death, so the stakes of the earlier interactions.. kind of evaporate? Minus the May Queen, obviously. She's the wild card.

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:11 (eight hours ago) link

I just assumed that once Connie and Simon got murdered for not *really* doing anything wrong that all the outsiders were going to die. Including Dani! I was more focused on how Dani was going to transform and what she would turn into.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:35 (eight hours ago) link

baffled that no one saw Dani = May Queen as soon as the May Queen thing was referenced, that seemed as obviously telegraphed (if not *moreso*) than the deaths of everyone else

Οὖτις, Monday, 22 July 2019 15:42 (seven hours ago) link

Pelle clearly had his eye on her as May Queen immediately, like as soon as he tried to broach the subject of their common "orphan" status

Οὖτις, Monday, 22 July 2019 15:43 (seven hours ago) link

If he did, he lucked into it, because it seems like he had zero involvement in her going on the trip in the first place.

Fuck Trump, cops, and the CBP (Neanderthal), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:45 (seven hours ago) link

I guess the one discrepancy to me was that Pelle mentions his parents died in a fire which seems to imply they were sacrificed, but it's probably both a red herring and foreshadowing to what the cult does. They never really deviate from the initial claim that the full festival only happens every 90 years? Although they must do a lot of the rituals in other years, because otherwise there wouldn't be all of the photographs of May Queens

baffled that no one saw Dani = May Queen as soon as the May Queen thing was referenced

idk seemed pretty obvious to me and a lot of other people I've talked to!

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:47 (seven hours ago) link

well since she was the main character, it seemed likely Dani would end up as May Queen... the question is did she win the dance contest fair and square, or was it rigged to ensure she would win?

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:47 (seven hours ago) link

as soon as she arrives there, everything from her asking about the May Queens, looking at the photos, having a bed directly under a picture showing part of the rite, directly points to that

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:48 (seven hours ago) link

obviously they don't need to rig anything because in a movie if gods are worshipped, said gods are the director and writers. whatever the gods want to happen, will happen

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:49 (seven hours ago) link

Although they must do a lot of the rituals in other years, because otherwise there wouldn't be all of the photographs of May Queens

had a confused discussion about this with the ppl I saw it with immediately afterwards - as referenced upthread, it must be that they have May Queens every year (because why else all the photos), but the sacrifice stuff is only every 90 years?

Οὖτις, Monday, 22 July 2019 15:50 (seven hours ago) link

^^^ otm

I thought they may have rigged it because they could tell from the screaming ritual that she needed a success. And she got it!! :) big smile!!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:51 (seven hours ago) link

well, I mean... it's about if Dani wants to be they May Queen or they do

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:52 (seven hours ago) link

e they could tell from the screaming ritual that she needed a success.

doesn't the screaming ritual happen afterward?

Οὖτις, Monday, 22 July 2019 15:53 (seven hours ago) link

which actually lines up with the cycle of life: youth until 18, on a quest until 36, pillars of the community until 54, ritual suicide at 72, and every 90 years they reset the cycle with sacrifices

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:53 (seven hours ago) link

That otm was for knowing there was a May Queen situation happening for Dani

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:53 (seven hours ago) link

Idk — I thought the screaming was first but I saw it like a month ago and I’m in a doctors office rn so my brain may be mushy

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:54 (seven hours ago) link

when Dani is sharing screams with all the ladies it's after she sees Christian having sex with Maja, so she's already the May Queen at that point.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:58 (seven hours ago) link

my memory is that the ritual orgy thing happens *while* the May Queen dance contest is happening, then when she wins she wonders where Christian is, finds him goin at it in the barn, flees to the other house where all the women follow her and they have their primal scream therapy session

Οὖτις, Monday, 22 July 2019 15:59 (seven hours ago) link

but I think it would have been clear to them well before that that Dani needed a win!

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 16:00 (seven hours ago) link

well yeah

Οὖτις, Monday, 22 July 2019 16:01 (seven hours ago) link

hey, I saw it only yesterday so I can weigh in!

the dance contest happens, and she wins. they sit down at the long tables with her at the head, and Chris is drugged during the meal. Dani is taken away off to the fields to bless the crops in the chariot thing, and asks if Chris can come along

shortly after she's carried off, Maja makes this little flower petal path up to Chris and he's led away. while Dani's doing the ritual to bless the crops, he's being prepped and the entire mating thing begins. by the time she returns, it's nearly done

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 16:02 (seven hours ago) link

so it's quite a while after she's already won the dance contest -- they've already finished dinner and she's been taken off to the fields

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 16:03 (seven hours ago) link

the sex ceremony doesn't start until Dani's been crowned May Queen, but it's a rapid succession of events... Dani is crowned, and taken in the carriage to bless the fields and concurrently Christian is taken to Maja and both rituals are interwoven.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 16:04 (seven hours ago) link

literally everything that happens in this film is clearly and deliberately signposted and the joy of it is experiencing all the things you know shall happen. it's also about how they happen

imago, Monday, 22 July 2019 16:04 (seven hours ago) link

Yeah it's kinda like Taken in that sense... you're just watching a falling object shatter through a succession of barriers until it hits the ground

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 16:06 (seven hours ago) link

the biggest red herring for our anthropologist character is the interest in the inbred sage and the holy book -- there might be something interesting in there, but every part of the rituals is documented right on the walls of the room they're sleeping in!

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 16:12 (seven hours ago) link

yeah everything's on the murals, I noticed a bunch of stuff while watching it

Οὖτις, Monday, 22 July 2019 16:15 (seven hours ago) link

dude showed her sketch of her as may queen fan art even before they left right?

Philip Nunez, Monday, 22 July 2019 16:21 (seven hours ago) link

yup

Οὖτις, Monday, 22 July 2019 16:21 (seven hours ago) link

pretty sure he was humming Stairway to Heaven too

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 16:30 (seven hours ago) link

Side note, no anthropology grad student doing field work in 2019 would take photos of a sacred book after being explicitly told not to. In fact what actually happened to Josh is not far off from the response he would get from his thesis advisor upon discovering he'd done that. Dani was much closer to what an actual sociocultural anthro grads are like.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 16:43 (six hours ago) link

Yeah it's kinda like Taken in that sense... you're just watching a falling object shatter through a succession of barriers until it hits the ground

― the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 16:06 (forty-eight minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

or as others have said, Mandy...

imago, Monday, 22 July 2019 16:55 (six hours ago) link

xp kind of unclear whether he would have done that if left to his own devices or if he's reaching for unique material after getting his thesis sniped by Chris

which, if the prior scenes of him being a dick to his girlfriend weren't enough, clearly established him as a shithead. a few grad student friends of mine will be seething mad at that scene

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 16:57 (six hours ago) link

I need to watch Mandy!

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 17:07 (six hours ago) link

update: one of said friends was, in fact, very mad at that scene. lol

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 17:11 (six hours ago) link

Have trouble believing Josh would feel any academic threat from Christian, he was such a fuckup it would be more funny than insulting that he'd decided to do his dissertation on the Hårga. No way is that guy going to make it through a seven-year Ph.D. program.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 17:19 (six hours ago) link

Also on an academic note, I will add that I absolutely loved during the dance contest when Dani begins to speak Swedish and is, like, completely delighted by it, maybe the most joyous part of the movie?

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 17:29 (six hours ago) link

that was the closest to a supernatural moment, imo!

like.. is she speaking Swedish because she's becoming the May Queen? who knows!

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 17:52 (five hours ago) link

To me it sorta pointed towards her wanting to be the May Queen, and also that actual magic was affecting events in the film.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 18:10 (five hours ago) link

The old guy clapping to fuck with tripping Christian cracked me up

Fuck Trump, cops, and the CBP (Neanderthal), Monday, 22 July 2019 18:21 (five hours ago) link

(a bit of online research reveals that they were not in fact speaking Swedish in the dance contest, but nonsense... that's a bit less fun)

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 22 July 2019 18:25 (five hours ago) link

speaking in tongues, maybe?

you know, the version where you're speaking in the pre-babel universal language that all humans understand

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 18:44 (four hours ago) link

Glossolalia

Οὖτις, Monday, 22 July 2019 19:02 (four hours ago) link

maybe it's an oblique ABBA dancing queen joke?

casting-wise are there any easter eggs like bergman actors or such?

Philip Nunez, Monday, 22 July 2019 19:13 (four hours ago) link


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