Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

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senseabove
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:07 am

Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#151 Post by senseabove » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:59 pm

Oof. I'm glad I didn't go out of my way for the director's cut and opted for the slightly earlier, easier to get to regular cut at the second-run theater. If I'd had to sit through thirty minutes of previews at the AMC that started thirty minutes later with an additional thirty minutes in the movie, I might not have made it to the end. Though I am sad to have missed, according to a description of the differences, hearing someone shout
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“You didn’t even know how to use JSTOR!”
I find both of Aster's movies so far incredibly frustrating, because I enthusiastically agree with this:
Mr Sausage wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:34 am
For me, Aster is an excellent writer and director of dramatic action, especially the more difficult forms of trauma and grief.
But the horror elements just do not work for me.

He pulls unexpectedly strong performances out of his cast, his camerawork is compelling (when he isn't being ostentatious—like that nauseating shot when they first drive into the festival, under the banner...), and I thoroughly enjoy the interpersonal, emotional elements of his scripts when he's setting them up and everything's still sub-supernatural. Then they go completely over the top and/or on the nose, like
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did he really need Mark to literally piss on tradition? I follow that this is some of the humor Aster is playing with and "dumb kid defiling the sacred" is a horror trope, but still... Did he need to physically incapacitate the "real villain," sew him into a bear skin, and have someone intone about resisting the Big Bad Evil One?
I felt the same way about the end of Hereditary, though; while the supernatural elements don't nullify the layered emotional situations that he is refreshingly patient with building, in my experience they undercut them with heavy-handedness—though it's weirdly fascinating that the type of complexity he does build uses the patience, discomfort, and lingering static shots of characters just experiencing emotion that planting the horror banner makes audiences expect and more willingly endure.

It feels weird to say that I'd be there on opening day if he made a straight-up (melo)drama, but if his next is another horror, I think I'm likely to avoid what, for me, is an exercise in frustration.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#152 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:14 pm

Senseabove - it tends to be difficult to remember to point this out to users here when their contributions are valuable, especially when they post with the [relative] infrequency that you do - but I always enjoy your posts a bunch.

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senseabove
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#153 Post by senseabove » Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:15 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:14 pm
Senseabove - it tends to be difficult to remember to point this out to users here when their contributions are valuable, especially when they post with the [relative] infrequency that you do - but I always enjoy your posts a bunch.
Aw shucks... Thanks, mfunk.

I may not post much, but I'm here lurking pretty regularly and I'm always amazed by how quickly you regulars get your well-expressed thoughts down. I'm a slow writer, and usually while I'm still figuring out what I want to say and how to say it, you folks have pointed and counterpointed around most of what I was trying to get at anyway!
Last edited by senseabove on Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pianocrash
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#154 Post by pianocrash » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:07 pm

senseabove wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:59 pm
It feels weird to say that I'd be there on opening day if he made a straight-up (melo)drama, but if his next is another horror, I think I'm likely to avoid what, for me, is an exercise in frustration.
Aster mentions in this interview (around the 14 min mark, some spoilers) that Andrew Haigh's 45 Years is one of his favorites, and, elsewhere, has said it's the basis for the type of drama he wants to pursue next.

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senseabove
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#155 Post by senseabove » Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:36 am

And now I've spent so much time thinking about this one despite being distinctly disappointed by it that I may find time to go see the Director's Cut, since it's been extended another week at a theater closer to me...

I ended up getting into a bit of back-and-forth with a friend of mine and the topic of whether Christian agreed to the priestess's proposition came up. I'm curious whether anyone else read this particular shot sequence the same way I did:
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When Christian leaves the priestess's cabin and sits down by the Maypole dance, there's a distinctly odd shot: as he sits down, he pointedly turns to look over his shoulder, noticeably at something and almost directly into the camera positioned behind him, but we are, un-"grammatically," not shown the reverse shot with the next cut, so we don't know what or who he was looking at. It's a jarring cut—iirc, the next cut is closer to the maypole dance, which is behind him in the shot, and the cut occurs before he turns back around. A few cuts later the camera's position when he looked back is revealed to be exactly where Maja is seated, who then gets up and serves him his tea. The elision of his choice just before that moment is echoed by Dani's later, also elided but presumed "choice" of Christian, which Aster indicates with a closeup of her looking, like Christian earlier, almost directly into the camera, at the incapacitated Christian. It's a bit of a one-two step, but there's a logic to it that, to me, implies retroactively that he "agreed" to sleep with Maja—though obviously/presumably not in that eventual setting—just as Dani obviously/presumably "chose" him, over the other option.
pianocrash wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:07 pm
Aster mentions in this interview (around the 14 min mark, some spoilers) that Andrew Haigh's 45 Years is one of his favorites, and, elsewhere, has said it's the basis for the type of drama he wants to pursue next.
This whole interview only amplifies how conflicted I feel about being impressed with and excited by what he does as a director and disappointed in where he takes it as a script-writer... He comes off as talented and knowledgable, aware of what he's doing, but I wish he'd withhold more and trust his audience to be emotionally literate. (Also, amusingly, he specifically quotes the line I mentioned as something he regrets cutting and would likely put back in if there were a Director's Cut.)

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Murdoch
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#156 Post by Murdoch » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:08 pm

senseabove wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:59 pm
I find both of Aster's movies so far incredibly frustrating, because I enthusiastically agree with this:
Mr Sausage wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:34 am
For me, Aster is an excellent writer and director of dramatic action, especially the more difficult forms of trauma and grief.
But the horror elements just do not work for me.
While I enjoy Aster's approach to horror, especially in Hereditary, I was very disappointed that the shocking event that led to Dani's grief is largely unexplored and merely used as a means to give Dani something to grieve about. I'd be far more interested in her relationship with her sister and parents and that whole family drama then her hopping off to a Scandinavian commune. For me what made Hereditary so spectacular is how the family trauma and history fed into the narrative of possession and demons. Here, it's absent.
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It'd be one thing if Dani's sister and parents died in a tragic but commonplace car accident. But instead Aster shows us in grisly detail her dead sister and parents in their home while Dani is stressing over her sister's vague messages and subsequent radio silence. I want to see what led to that, or at least see this explored more. Not Dani's boyfriend arguing with his friend about a thesis topic.

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swo17
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#157 Post by swo17 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:17 pm

Murdoch wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:08 pm
I was very disappointed that the shocking event that led to Dani's grief is largely unexplored
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Other than the loss of her family making Pelle particularly interested in her coming on the trip, and all the intimations of the commune becoming like a new family for her

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Murdoch
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#158 Post by Murdoch » Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:10 pm

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But none of that explores the actual circumstances that led up to her family's death - i.e. her sister's mental health issues and subsequent suicide. For me that was a very compelling part of the movie that never went anywhere.

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Mr Sausage
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Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#159 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:33 pm

Aster already made that movie, tho’.

The prologue is important to the themes of Midsommar, but nothing that happens in it needs more explaining. We learn everything we need to. You’re basically complaining that this wasn’t an entirely different movie altogether...one the director’s already made.

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Murdoch
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#160 Post by Murdoch » Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:30 pm

Yeah, basically.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#161 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:43 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:53 am
Probably a good time to remind folks that Apple TV will be an app that is downloadable across essentially all devices in the weeks to come, and that it won't require a subscription to access material that is purchased (like this, presumably) - so even if you don't own an Apple device, you'd still be able to buy this and watch it with ease. The only impediment I can see people having is that it's not a disc, which is a whole other ball of wax. But this is a pretty easy gate to get past, as far as streaming exclusivity goes.

Also, it looks like Bloody Disgusting only has that text to go by - it's possible when they say "exclusive to Apple TV" they mean vs other streaming apps, and that a disc could still be in the offing.

More information on the upcoming Apple TV app
Just an update: This app should be available by November 1st, when Apple's streaming service launches, at which time you'll be able to watch the director's cut of this film on pretty much any streaming device

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tenia
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#162 Post by tenia » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:38 pm

It looks like the French BD release slated for early December will contain both cuts.

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aox
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#163 Post by aox » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:22 am

Any thoughts if this might hit one of the main streaming services? I know his first film was either on Hulu or Prime (how I saw it), so I assume he has a relationship there.

The last day to see it at my local theater is tomorrow, but I am too busy to catch it sadly.

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swo17
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#164 Post by swo17 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:26 am

Look up two posts

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mfunk9786
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Re: Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

#165 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:33 am

aox wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:22 am
Any thoughts if this might hit one of the main streaming services? I know his first film was either on Hulu or Prime (how I saw it), so I assume he has a relationship there.

The last day to see it at my local theater is tomorrow, but I am too busy to catch it sadly.
It's discussed above - the director's cut is going to be exclusive to iTunes, and presumably it'll be a little while before the original theatrical cut is available via a subscription streaming service, if other A24 films are any indication. Depends on who scoops it up - A24's past releases are spread out among multiple streaming services, but just a quick spot check of a few seems to indicate it would be Amazon or Netflix, probably this time next year or so.

I think you may be thinking of NEON when you refer to Hulu, as nearly all of their films wind up there within about 6 months of release.

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