XIXAX Film Forum

Film Discussion => This Year In Film => Topic started by: Jeremy Blackman on March 05, 2019, 11:56:11 AM

Title: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on March 05, 2019, 11:56:11 AM


From A24

RELEASE DATE: Summer 2019
DIRECTOR: Ari Aster
CAST: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgran, Archie Madekwe, Ellora Torchia, and Will Poulter


Based on this haunting viral video (http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=14023.msg354202#msg354202).
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Robyn on March 05, 2019, 12:17:38 PM
Skĺl!
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: eward on March 05, 2019, 12:41:50 PM
I need more before deciding whether or not he seems to be falling for his own hype.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Robyn on March 05, 2019, 12:48:18 PM
I need more before deciding whether or not he seems to be falling for his own hype.

Making a horror movie in this happy-go-lucky summer environment is a fun idea to me.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: eward on March 05, 2019, 12:52:11 PM
For sure, I just hope it stands out enough from Hereditary (which I loved). This doesn't quite suggest that to me...yet.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: polkablues on March 05, 2019, 03:49:58 PM
I love how even from a short trailer, it’s indelibly recognizable as an Ari Aster film. Horror is one of the last refuges of the cinematic auteur, and Aster is one of its best refugees.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: polkablues on May 14, 2019, 07:05:09 PM
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on June 04, 2019, 03:23:46 PM
Get your tickets now:
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on June 15, 2019, 10:36:58 AM
There's a press screening in 3 days. Not sure if there will be an embargo, though.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: WorldForgot on June 15, 2019, 12:27:36 PM
Everyday we step further closer to the Wicker Man's flame  :notworthy:
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on June 18, 2019, 10:49:09 PM



Invalid Tweet ID
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: jenkins on June 19, 2019, 02:51:04 AM
oh wow. it feels obvious that um i gotta see this movie
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on June 19, 2019, 11:26:59 AM
By the way, the initial report of "nearly 3 hours" was not accurate. It's 2 hours and 20-30 min long.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on June 19, 2019, 12:21:15 PM


Ugh... I need to see this NOW.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Something Spanish on June 19, 2019, 12:28:13 PM
Concurrently, I am hyped as well. Looks great, hope it earns that running time. Between this and Hollywood, summer is brightening.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: WorldForgot on June 19, 2019, 01:29:12 PM


A lotta reviews remarking that it's "surprisingly funny" -- hell yes, Hereditary's best quality gets an expanded runtime  :twisted:
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: polkablues on June 19, 2019, 04:44:18 PM
It's only surprising because people haven't been paying close enough attention. Ari Aster's oeuvre is way more that of an absurdist dark-comic than a pure horror filmmaker.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: WorldForgot on June 20, 2019, 12:36:52 AM
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: jenkins on June 24, 2019, 02:17:10 PM
Quote
Admirable, ambitious and impressive, but ultimately aloof, “Midsommar” has its delights for sure, but it lacks the emotional depth to match the sharp insights it has into the evils of the ambivalent, wishy-washy relationship (run as fast as you can). In the end, with its notions of “new blood,” Aster’s “Midsommar” is a torch and a purge, asking the characters to set their pain on fire and liberate themselves from the abuse they’ve actively participated in. “Midsommar” is its own kind of horrific cautionary tale, a floral, psychedelic, “He’s Just Not That Into You” for modern movie-going culture. About the excuses, we give ourselves to stay in relationships, and the crime of habit and dependency we often commit in broad daylight, Aster’s movie is an intelligent argument against ineffectual relationships. I just wish I could love it back.

C+ (https://theplaylist.net/midsommar-review-ari-aster-20190619/). i go there because they're into movies and i can be into movies, but they're not the final word no way. yet i do like when possible other perspectives are conveyed regarding a movie
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 07, 2019, 04:18:22 PM
I think I saw this under the correct circumstances: on a very hot, very sunny Sunday afternoon in the middle of summer. And I loved it.

Actually I sort of wanted to turn around and watch the next showing. On first watch, I could not stop trying to predict what would happen and when. The dread is nice to have, but the guessing game is not ideal, especially when tainted with a few spoilers. I want to watch this again and enjoy all of its twisted beauty, its perfectly-pitched humor, and its quirky delights.

Midsommar is better than Hereditary for me. It seems more consistently playful, and the silly stuff feels more baked-in. But it still does pack a hard punch in a few spots very similar to what Hereditary was capable of delivering.

This might be the film that finally pushes me over the edge into full spoiler purity for things I'm anticipating. I can't imagine what an unmitigated joy this film would have been going in cold. I should not have watched any trailers or read any reactions. Definitely saw a few things coming that I really should not have, especially the very end.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 08, 2019, 11:43:08 AM
FYI, the music from the trailer is not on the soundtrack. Part 1 (violins) is the song "Disorder" by Haxan Cloak. Part 2 (the more scary music with the pagan breathing) is unreleased, but there's a loop of it here:


Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Something Spanish on July 09, 2019, 06:18:30 AM
The pageantry alone is worth a second viewing, it had a real spellbinding effect, especially that hallucinogen saturated final day of festivities, a block of moviemaking so impressive it makes revisits very worthwhile. I found it more emotional than funny, although I can understand how one would be inclined to chuckle at the absurdities of the rituals depicted. The communal concept of everyone feeling the pain of a single member was extremely moving. Definitely not horror driven, yet layered with disturbing vibrations wrought from its undeniably hypnotizing effects. The story was not nearly as impressive as the theatrics, Aster pulling it al off with sadistic aplomb. Jubilant a movie this weird that can rock an emotional core or two actually got released in theaters.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 09, 2019, 12:09:18 PM
Minor spoilers...


Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Drenk on July 09, 2019, 12:31:02 PM
I must say that I appreciated the ending of Hereditary, the strange ritual and the imagery he developed, and regretted that the movie wasn't really about that, about these crazy people, because I thought that he lost himself with the family drama—it didn't ring true to me. But the story around the ritual was fun, crazy, inventive. So I'm quite excited by what I perceive from Midsommar even if I have to keep reminding myself that I wasn't head over heels about Hereditary in order not to be disappointed.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 09, 2019, 01:12:31 PM
Still thinking about this movie and want to see it again. It's just so much fun! Definitely my favorite film of the year so far. I think Midsommar is going to have a lot of durability, because it actually doesn't rely on horror. It's driven by characters and character relationships, and a lot of playful themes, and a whole lot of aesthetic and sonic beauty.


SEVERE SPOILERS

Letting this movie sink in is an interesting process—specifically, coming to terms with this being a happy tale with a happy ending. If we just skip over literal interpretations and view this as a fable, as we're clearly meant to, Midsommar is almost unambiguously happy. Dani purges herself of toxic people one by one. Almost more importantly, she's embraced by family and overwhelmed with empathy. It doesn't matter that the expression of empathy is over-the-top and ceremonial. It's so forceful that it becomes real. Which I suppose can be the point of ceremony.

You would expect the film to devolve into total chaos and horror, revealing the cult as wildly bloodthirsty and evil, but that is very intentionally not the case. There's not even a charismatic cult leader you can point to who's enforcing things. Instead, you feel like each event is a force of nature, coming about through the sheer power of ancient tradition. That's how the sex ceremony plays out. Dani discovers Christian's betrayal and runs, but the cult does not try to persuade her that it's right. Instead, they instantly surround her to accept and echo her feelings of grief—an ultimate form of validation.

Also did not expect Midsommar to be a referendum on masculinity and American culture, but it certainly is. Christian (the boyfriend) is the most fascinating one to me. He is the embodiment of toxic laziness and cowardice. He always takes the path of least resistance, to the detriment of himself and those around him. Christian doesn't break up with Dani, because it's easier not to. Christian doesn't tell her any kind of truth about his feelings or even his summer plans because it's easier not to. He procrastinates on his thesis and then leeches off someone else's idea (who is himself arguably a leech) because it's just easier that way. He goes along with the sex ceremony because it's easier not to resist—even his worst betrayal is done passively. And finally, I love how he's literally paralyzed in the end, having achieved his final form of supreme inaction, encased in a symbol of masculinity. Even while burning alive, he's unable to express his feelings.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: eward on July 09, 2019, 03:22:13 PM
It didn't have quite the initial impact of Hereditary for me, but the more I sit with it, the more I think it's the superior piece of work. Florence Pugh is incredible, just born to be on the big screen, the best performance by an actress in a major film since Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread. I can't remember the last time I empathized with a character so much. I fucking hated - HATED - the boyfriend - and pretty much every man/boy/bro in the film - so

Spoiler: ShowHide
 not really
the ending, without giving anything away but still keeping it hidden, was quite unexpectedly satisfying, even downright celebratory.


Can't wait to see this again.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: WorldForgot on July 10, 2019, 02:00:33 PM
It doesn't matter that the expression of empathy is over-the-top and ceremonial. It's so forceful that it becomes real. Which I suppose can be the point of ceremony.

And the point of cinema as ceremony! Which I think Ari Aster accents with diegetic music throughout, and the entire communal emphasis of the piece.

Dug this film plenty. When I rewatch it'll be for Florence Pugh's performance and its resplendent production design.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Something Spanish on July 10, 2019, 02:17:43 PM
Spoiler: ShowHide
not absolving Christian all the way, he's a hapless dope mostly, but there is a slight counter case if i may point out: Dani does come with mucho baggage, constantly freaking about her bi-polar sister family drama the BF Christian has to contend with and listen to ad nauseam, not to mention the few implications of a rather tepid sex life, he does a decent job hanging in there. he doesn't tell her about Sweden until the last minute, okay, a relationship faux pas, but she did recently lose her folks and it would make for a rough convo. he's totally spineless for jacking his friend's thesis, that's some horrible shit, but i don't think he's as bad as people are making him out to be. the whole deflowering thing? dude was under the influence of some heavy heavy stuff and didn't have much of a choice. not to mention Dani opts to have him burned alive as a repercussion.
sorry, had about 3 min to write that out.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: WorldForgot on July 10, 2019, 04:06:24 PM
Spoiler: ShowHide
if you and your significant other can't lean on each other over "family drama" you're probz not in a healthy relationship... this movie goes to great lengths to highlight all the gaps in Christian's compassion... the sex hang up iz like, come on, your SO is not your personal sploosh towel (and in a comic Aster reversal, Christian is used for his sploosh harvest)
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Something Spanish on July 10, 2019, 04:32:11 PM
Spoiler: ShowHide
it just seems like she's over the top in the family drama dept., even admitting to her friend over the phone in the beginning that maybe she's pushing him away with all her personal problems. he's a college kid, man, everyone has their limits of what they can deal with at that age. he's there consoling her over the tragedy in the beginning, making her feel comfortable among his friends that she's tagging along to Sweden. does C deserve Dani? probably not. does he deserve to be burned alive inside a hollowed bear carcass when she could have easily chosen a complete stranger to take his place? don't get it misconstrued, i'm team Dani all the way, just don't think C's as shitty a bf as a lot of the reviews and peeps talking about the flick make him out to be
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: WorldForgot on July 10, 2019, 04:34:03 PM
Spoiler: ShowHide
it just seems like she's over the top in the family drama dept., even admitting to her friend over the phone in the beginning that maybe she's pushing him away with all her personal problems. he's a college kid, man, everyone has their limits of what they can deal with at that age. he's there consoling her over the tragedy in the beginning, making her feel comfortable among his friends that she's tagging along to Sweden. does C deserve Dani? probably not. does he deserve to be burned alive inside a hollowed bear carcass when she could have easily chosen a complete stranger to take his place? don't get it misconstrued, i'm team Dani all the way, just don't think C's as shitty a bf as a lot of the reviews and peeps talking about the flick make him out to be


Spoiler: ShowHide
Christian didn't even take off his jacket to hold her... he's always removed from intimacy, as JB put it. A lil bit of production design I like is the art above Dani's bed, before they make the trip, of a little girl touching an enormous bear.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: eward on July 10, 2019, 04:38:03 PM
Arguably his most egregious offense explored below:

Midsommar’s Scariest Use of Fashion
By Kelly Conaboy

This post contains spoilers related to Midsommar and the male psyche.

Ari Aster’s gruesome horror comedy Midsommar offers a lot of good advice. Do not go hiking, for example. Do not go on a vacation with your boyfriend and his male friends exclusively. Do not sleep over at some fucking weird place. Do not accept mind-altering substances from strangers who openly participate in ritual suicides. Do not go to Sweden. Do not hang out with anyone who talks about their “thesis.” Do not take pictures of a book with your phone.

Midsommar’s most prescient warning, though, was communicated through its use of fashion. No, I’m not referring to how one should avoid large, white billowy dresses when they are paired with flower crowns, though clearly one should. I am referring to something else.

Midsommar’s most prescient warning was, instead:

DO NOT DATE A MAN WHO WEARS SCOOP-NECK T-SHIRTS.

Repeat it again: Do not date a man who wears scoop-neck T-shirts. Say it out loud: Do not date a man who wears scoop-neck T-shirts. Remember it now and forever: Do not date a man who wears scoop-neck T-shirts!

For those who haven’t seen it, Midsommar is about a woman whose family dies and who then has to go on vacation with her terrible boyfriend and his even worse, pervy, academic, vaping friends. Truly horrific. The boyfriend, Christian, played by Jack Reynor — an actor whom your brain tricks you into associating with Seth Rogan — is distant and uncaring. He allows the girlfriend, Dani, played by Florence Pugh, to feel like a burden for wanting to talk to him about how her sister carried out a murder-suicide, killing herself and Dani’s parents. In a particularly damning scene, Christian manipulates Dani into apologizing for the fact that he did not tell her he was about to leave the country for 1.5 months. He does not remember her birthday. He brings her to the Swedish pagan suicide cult. He doesn’t give an appropriate emotional response after they watch two people kill themselves. He couldn’t even come up with his own thesis idea.

And he wears scoop-neck T-shirts!

A scoop-neck T-shirt, as you can see, is a T-shirt with a wide, circular neckline, which cuts into a man’s chest and exposes a bit of his shoulder that is not typically exposed with a normal cut of T-shirt. As you can see, it does not look good. They have a look similar to that of a T-shirt whose neck has been unnaturally stretched out due to thoughtless pulling or careless washing, which just so happens to be the type of T-shirt Christian wears when he is not wearing an on-purpose scoop neck. Often, and as shown in a Midsommar scene from which I am unable to find a still, the T-shirts are inexplicably quite long.

T-shirts like this appear on straight men who consider themselves bohemian in a vague sense. The men are purposeless, adrift, unsure of themselves. They do not know why they are wearing this cut of T-shirt, but they figure someone must know why, because the T-shirts do exist, and that is good enough for them. They live in the Williamsburg of their city, though this is something they, too, haven’t much considered the reason behind. They live an unexamined life, made worse by the fact that they are untethered from any natural sense of taste. It hasn’t occurred to them that the type of person they want to present themselves as would at least lie about meditating. They have not considered the fact that you have an interior life, as they do not have much of their own. I assume they like to think of their necks as unusually large.

They are the sort of guy who would stay at a Swedish death cult out of a voyeuristic American arrogance disguised as open-mindedness, rather than at least attempt to run away, even if admittedly that did not work out for the nice British couple.

Listen to Midsommar: Do not date these scoop-neck T-shirt men.

Does it all work out for the best in Midsommar? Of course. Dani wins a dancing contest and gets to wear a large flower suit, and the scoop-neck T-shirt man and his terrible friends are gruesomely murdered either before being or by being ritualistically placed in an on-fire barn. But you can’t expect the journey with every scoop-neck T-shirt boyfriend to end so appropriately.

Just don’t do it.

Say no to dating scoop-neck T-shirt men.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Something Spanish on July 10, 2019, 05:07:02 PM
reprehensible apparel i think we can all agree upon. but c'mon, the dude was willing to postpone his psychedelic trip in the beginning until Dani was ready to shroom it up, a true gentleman.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: eward on July 10, 2019, 06:22:58 PM
I read it as an act of passive-aggressive manipulation on his part, leading her to concede out of guilt, as she did in the earlier “apology” scene mentioned above.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 11, 2019, 04:33:58 PM
Spoiler: ShowHide
Christian is not a fully malevolent figure. He's just bad. He represents a failure of masculinity. This movie illustrates how a dude's laziness and inconsiderateness can end up having a toxic power much stronger than you'd expect. I've long believed that obliviousness is one of the absolute worst things. I think Midsommar supports that position. But Christian is even worse: he has obliviousness + laziness + resentment.

Christian's toxicity is subtle, and I think that's what makes it all the more infuriating and relatable for a lot of women. He is a "nice guy" who believes he's nice and projects that image, but all of that is superficial and basically meaningless. As eward said, most of his politeness is tainted with resentment and manipulation.

I think a rewatch would illuminate some of the very subtle things he does and says, many of which I didn't catch and had to hear about afterwards.

BTW, Ari Aster decided to cut a key scene or two that made Christian more sympathetic.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: WorldForgot on July 11, 2019, 04:50:33 PM
A conversation on Midsommar's cinematography  (https://www.indiewire.com/2019/07/midsommar-cinematography-bright-technicolor-fairy-tale-ari-aster-pawel-pogorzelski-1202155560/) -- why they chose Digital over Film, the set ups demanded of their shotlist, large frame lenses, and Technicolor's LUTs
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 11, 2019, 05:03:19 PM
Here's the mural from the beginning. SPOILERS obviously.

Click for the full pic.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: WorldForgot on July 11, 2019, 05:51:17 PM
Spoiler: ShowHide
(https://live.staticflickr.com/1556/23582423214_23cfb723ce_b.jpg)

This John Bauer (Swede!) illustration iz prominently featured in Dani's bedroom
She kissed the bear on the nose
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: polkablues on July 12, 2019, 06:43:48 PM
Predictably, I loved this.

I don’t have time at the moment to go deep into it, but I will soon, because I HAVE MANY THOUGHTS.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: jenkins on July 13, 2019, 08:22:29 PM
i don't want to spend too much time on this just because i don't want to

it's a riot to imagine someone saying "i'll make a better one of this." let's see it! what a riot. oh it's all fully formed and i don't think the movie suffers from emotional absence, it's just insane the entire time. i like how he snuck in two (or three? i forget) dream sequences. i'm a big fan of sneaking in the dream sequences. but here's a fine example of being clever as hell without surprising you one bit. as in, its emotions relate to its narrative. and it's a fine narrative in a fine setting, i missed life the entire time, and hell i could have done without the comic foil by the way, that character whose only purpose was to be a joke of a character, i could have done without him tbh. point is let's see a funnier cult sex scene, good luck
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Reelist on July 19, 2019, 04:06:49 AM

Midsommar’s most prescient warning was, instead:

DO NOT DATE A MAN WHO WEARS SCOOP-NECK T SHIRTS

I started up Hereditary again when I came home from seeing this and noticed both movies seem to share the message:

BE WARY OF PEOPLE WHO LOVE TO DRAW!
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Tictacbk on July 25, 2019, 05:13:45 AM
Hi.  Sorry I’ve been very absent from the board for an extended period of time due to various businesses.

Hate to come back just to be negative, but every character in this (beautiful and intriguing) film is crazy passive. Despite a great intro and some interesting themes thrown out, it’s ultimately just watching stuff happen to people who seem resigned to letting everything play out. Fun, I guess? But pretty much after the first shocking cult ritual all of the tension was gone for me.  If our main characters aren’t going to try to figure anything out or engage with a conflict, what are we supposed to care about besides watching everything play out that’s been telegraphed to us via very cool paintings?
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Something Spanish on July 25, 2019, 08:14:08 AM
Well, you had the dude doing his thesis, then Christian piggybacking off him, so they have a purpose to be there. The English tourists were actively trying to leave, none of them had a chance to leave and those that tried met their maker.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: polkablues on July 25, 2019, 10:47:38 AM
It’s that theme of manipulation again. They were essentially being guilted into passivity, put on the defensive through accusations of cultural insensitivity, etc.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Tictacbk on July 25, 2019, 01:00:35 PM
(Some spoilers)

I guess agree to disagree on whether or not it’s believable that, aside from British couple, no one tried to leave (sidenote:  why did the cult kill them one at a time with such a terrible lie?).

But for me even if I buy that they have reasons to stay, it still makes for a less interesting movie. I very much enjoyed individual scenes and the craft behind the film, but found it to be relatively tensionless after a certain point.

Still looking forward to whatever Ari does next.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: jviness02 on July 29, 2019, 01:36:55 AM
(Some spoilers)

I guess agree to disagree on whether or not it’s believable that, aside from British couple, no one tried to leave (sidenote:  why did the cult kill them one at a time with such a terrible lie?).

But for me even if I buy that they have reasons to stay, it still makes for a less interesting movie. I very much enjoyed individual scenes and the craft behind the film, but found it to be relatively tensionless after a certain point.

Still looking forward to whatever Ari does next.

I agree. After a pretty incredible opening, this film lost me when they just accepted the first death ritual. I’m normally one to defend against “the characters didn’t react how I would, therefore it’s bad”, but I just really could not wrap my head around any sane person being  like “oh different culture” and just sticking around. I feel like human death is the one thing that crosses cultural differences.

Not a bad movie, but I don’t get the hype.  I prefer his first film.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: WorldForgot on July 29, 2019, 12:59:54 PM
Well even if we're only considering our protagonist --
Spoiler: ShowHide
That initial death ritual allows Dani to process her loss on terms that are completely alien and irrelevant to whatever framing her mind would want death to fit into -- just as her sister's experience was alien to those around her -- just as her own grief seemed to Christian.

In those flashing images on the rock, Dani's sister is posthumously granted the same agency as those within the festivities. 

Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: polkablues on July 29, 2019, 08:31:55 PM
SPOILIES: ShowHide
You nailed it. It's another in the long list of ways that the community manipulates Dani. Unlike Christian, who is woefully unable to help her process what she's going through, the community presents her with this re-contextualization of death. As jarring and violent as it was, it allows her shattered mind something to grasp onto; the kernel of the idea of "What if I'm wrong about what death means and they're right?" It's using her confusion and her fragile state of mind to slip in an alternate frame of reality, one that works implicitly to drive a wedge between her and Christian by suggesting that they can help her in a way that he can't.

This gets really explicit in the scene where Pelle comforts her in the main cabin. His continued insistence of "I lost my parents, too. I know how you feel." He (and by proxy, the community as a whole) is telling her "We're the only ones who understand what you're going through." The (mostly) unspoken converse, of course, being that her boyfriend doesn't and can't. It's pickup artist shit; they're finding her weaknesses and exploiting them by whatever means necessary. All toward that ultimate goal of positioning her to have to choose between Christian and the community, and her picking the community.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Tictacbk on August 02, 2019, 04:45:10 AM
Like I said, I guess we’re just in personal preference territory. Whether or not any of the character’s reactions are justified, just don’t think it makes for a more interesting film this way.  What can I say, I like tension in my two and a half hour horror films.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Drenk on August 07, 2019, 05:55:29 PM
Still thinking about this movie and want to see it again. It's just so much fun! Definitely my favorite film of the year so far. I think Midsommar is going to have a lot of durability, because it actually doesn't rely on horror. It's driven by characters and character relationships, and a lot of playful themes, and a whole lot of aesthetic and sonic beauty.


SEVERE SPOILERS

Letting this movie sink in is an interesting process—specifically, coming to terms with this being a happy tale with a happy ending. If we just skip over literal interpretations and view this as a fable, as we're clearly meant to, Midsommar is almost unambiguously happy. Dani purges herself of toxic people one by one. Almost more importantly, she's embraced by family and overwhelmed with empathy. It doesn't matter that the expression of empathy is over-the-top and ceremonial. It's so forceful that it becomes real. Which I suppose can be the point of ceremony.

You would expect the film to devolve into total chaos and horror, revealing the cult as wildly bloodthirsty and evil, but that is very intentionally not the case. There's not even a charismatic cult leader you can point to who's enforcing things. Instead, you feel like each event is a force of nature, coming about through the sheer power of ancient tradition. That's how the sex ceremony plays out. Dani discovers Christian's betrayal and runs, but the cult does not try to persuade her that it's right. Instead, they instantly surround her to accept and echo her feelings of grief—an ultimate form of validation.

Also did not expect Midsommar to be a referendum on masculinity and American culture, but it certainly is. Christian (the boyfriend) is the most fascinating one to me. He is the embodiment of toxic laziness and cowardice. He always takes the path of least resistance, to the detriment of himself and those around him. Christian doesn't break up with Dani, because it's easier not to. Christian doesn't tell her any kind of truth about his feelings or even his summer plans because it's easier not to. He procrastinates on his thesis and then leeches off someone else's idea (who is himself arguably a leech) because it's just easier that way. He goes along with the sex ceremony because it's easier not to resist—even his worst betrayal is done passively. And finally, I love how he's literally paralyzed in the end, having achieved his final form of supreme inaction, encased in a symbol of masculinity. Even while burning alive, he's unable to express his feelings.

Basically every word of this. I loved how the horror was rapidly submerged by a twisted sense of awe—but, in a way, it was also about letting the horror out.

I especially like how you describe Christian. The movie doesn't want the viewer to despise him and I don't think he's pure caricature (something I thought would be the case). He ends up at a logical place, indeed.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: jenkins on August 07, 2019, 06:00:30 PM
yeah i think i like jb's description of the movie better than the movie tbh
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Gold Trumpet on August 07, 2019, 09:02:11 PM
It's a wonderful film. Ari Aster helped to revive one of the blandest movie genres. I don't understand half the criticisms.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Drenk on August 08, 2019, 09:26:02 AM
SPOILERS

Not to see depression everywhere, but Christian isn't the only one responsible of the toxicity of the relationship, and his extreme passivity, as described by JB, can be a symptom of his form of depression (although he's very severe against Dani's sister state in the beginning, but depressed people also exploit their family and friends as if all their shitinnes was inherently the fault of the disease, so bitching about this doesn't necessarily means that he's oblivious).
Nothing points that Dani loves him in the movie. She gives him excuses because she is scared to lose him, which doesn't always equal to love. They were feeding toxic fumes to each other...
At the end, she doesn't only get rid of a toxic person, there is a perverse pleasure in total destruction. Let's totally start anew and destroy everything that would remind her of her past, a past that died with the end of her family. A really cathartic experience. There is no morality at play. The only thing in consideration is what feels good.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: WorldForgot on August 19, 2019, 12:29:00 PM
A  write-up of Aster's 171 minute director's cut (https://www.indiewire.com/2019/08/midsommar-directors-cut-details-ari-aster-review-1202166882/)

Spoiler: ShowHide
 
Quote
The first chunk of added material in the director’s cut speaks to the former kind. In the theatrical version, we don’t learn that Dani is coming on the trip to Sweden until Christian springs the news on his unsuspecting friends. Now, a lengthy scene of dialogue has been added in Dani’s living room just before the part where Dani swings by the boys’ apartment. Christian, desperate to ease his tension with Dani, accidentally invites her to come on the trip, and then plays it off as though it had been his plan all along; he claims it was going to be a romantic gesture, and that Dani just ruined her own surprise.
[...]
Watching the director’s cut, it eventually becomes clear that several of the scenes Aster edited back in form an interconnected subplot of sorts; when he deleted one of them from the theatrical version, he had to delete them all. The first evidence of this occurs after the ättestupa, as Christian is invited to help decorate a fir tree with various pagan ornaments. Maja (Isabelle Grill), his pre-selected mate, is also there, but she’s pretty shy.

Initially, this restored moment seems to be about laying a firmer groundwork for the film’s climax, but things pivot in an ominous new direction when the same imagery resurfaces in this cut’s most significant new sequence: A night-time(!) drowning ritual on the shores of a nearby river. The Hĺrga gather by the water, and perform a lighthearted (if characteristically morbid) skit about making an offering to the goddess; in this case, the offering is a “brave” young boy named Bror with a very unenthusiastic mother.

Bror is dressed in the same tinselly chainmail that Christian helped out on the tree, and then prepared to be sacrificed into the water; they even force him to hold a giant stone for good measure. But the ceremony is halted at the last moment, as Bron’s bravery is deemed a sufficient gift to the goddess. Everyone laughs. Good times. No child murder tonight. But if you look closely at what Connie (Ellora Torchia) is wearing at the end of her movie when her body is wheeled into the funeral pyre, the mystery of her death can now be solved: She was drowned in Bror’s place.

Meanwhile, Dani pulls Christian aside to ask him — and I’m paraphrasing here — “what the actual fuck?!” Whereas the theatrical cut painted Dani as being more in tune with the Hĺrga practices, this scene reminds us that, for all of her trauma, she’s often the most grounded character in the film. She’s thoroughly creeped out by the midsummer festivities (she calls them “backwards”), and begs Christian to leave with her. But Christian — stupid, oafish Christian, who was born to be the victim of a horror movie — wants to stay; he’s finally found a work subject he’s excited about, and doesn’t need Dani anymore.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Drenk on August 19, 2019, 12:36:00 PM
All that seems like good cuts to make? I love the movie, but I am not interested in this at all.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: polkablues on August 19, 2019, 06:34:44 PM
I can at least see a case being made for the inclusion of the last scene mentioned in WorldForgot's excerpt, but even that might be pushing it into the realm of over-explaining. Everything else listed is just flat-out unnecessary.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Ravi on August 27, 2019, 02:07:24 PM
https://www.slashfilm.com/midsommar-directors-cut/?fbclid=IwAR1TPyyS39Cl5SBkfSUBm-kDQ0xgMMKmPsD032k6VPCwxBglplLGj_sv8sY

‘Midsommar’ Director’s Cut Opening in Select Theaters This Weekend
Posted on Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 by Chris Evangelista

If you’re in the mood for even more Midsommar, you’re in luck. The Midsommar director’s cut will be opening in select theaters nationwide this weekend. This cut features new and extended scenes and brings the total runtime to 171 minutes. So break out your flower crowns, stir up some special herbal tea, and get ready to dance your ass around the maypole all over again.

Midsommar is one of the year’s best films – and now there’s even more of it to go around. Ari Aster‘s brightly lit, surprisingly funny folk horror film was already long in its theatrical form, clocking-in at 147 minutes. But Aster’s preferred cut of the film was even longer – 171 minutes, to be precise. This director’s cut screened recently in NYC, and it was presumed it would be included on the upcoming home video release. But it isn’t – the director’s cut doesn’t appear on either the digital release or the Blu-ray, for reasons unknown (my guess: a double-dip is in our future).

But fret not – you’ll (probably) still be able to see the director’s cut for yourself. Because A24 is rolling it out in select theaters this weekend. You can get tickets here.

When our own Ben Pearson asked Aster about his director’s cut, the filmmaker responded:

“I would say my preferred cut would have been maybe 25 minutes longer, but I actually feel like this cut is the most accessible cut. There probably will exist a director’s cut, and I would not actually call the director’s cut necessarily better. I would say, ‘This is the cut with scenes that were very painful for me to cut that I might have not cut if I weren’t encouraged to keep pushing.’ But [the theatrical version] is definitely an approved cut. I had final cut on the film, and I’m very proud of what we arrived at. But yes, I would say, the three-hour and forty-five minute cut, I would never want anybody to watch. I would say there’s a two-hour and forty-five minute cut, without credits, that I would be interested in what people thought.”

In Midsommar, “Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor) are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing. From the visionary mind of Ari Aster comes a dread-soaked cinematic fairytale where a world of darkness unfolds in broad daylight.”
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on August 27, 2019, 02:31:21 PM
Through some miracle, my nearest ACM is one of the select few. Bought me a ticket for Friday.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on August 31, 2019, 12:35:22 AM
I'm in serious danger of blowing this out of proportion, but yeah, wow, that was one of the best director's cuts I've seen. Definitely feels like this is the real thing—this is what we were supposed to see. It's very long, indulgent, and cinematic in that way, so I understand, but still... a shame.

It's a fuller experience. Feels like a complete journey in ways that the original cut did not. Some key scenes have more time to breathe, give us more information, and feel more connected to the surrounding scenes. Makes you realize how chopped up some sections of the original were. This works a lot better.

SPOILERS but nothing too specific about the director's cut

The extra scenes and moments we get with the cult make you feel more immersed in their little world. There's enough to make them a bit more grounded. Things make a little more sense. Surely some of this was the benefit of rewatch, and I couldn't always tell what was new. But there's one completely new ritual/pageantry scene that's very illuminating.

We get a lot more Christian in the director's cut. And oh boy, he does not fare well. His coldness comes into crystal clear view. He has no real human connection or attachment to any of his friends, in fact. We get to see Dani come to that realization gradually throughout the film. This is probably in the original, but Dani has one especially strong reaction shot where she looks at him like, oh, I get it, you're an actual real-life sociopath. Christian, in fact, probably does have a serious personality disorder. And remember that Dani is a psychology student, so she very specifically figures Christian out. Some of that was in the original, but some of it was definitely not. The director's cut leaves no room for mystery about Christian. The phenomenon of Christian defenders simply would not be a thing if everyone saw this cut.

I was struck even more strongly by the happy ending. The music throughout the whole last sequence is unambiguously joyful.

So yeah. Great stuff. Enough for this to flip back to my fave of the year.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Something Spanish on August 31, 2019, 08:23:33 AM
(SPOILERS, BIG TIME

has the polar opposite reaction, JB. was really digging the DC up to a certain point, as a matter of fact, was jubilant with the notion that this felt like a whole new movie, fresher, despite having seen Midsommar twice less than two months ago, now it was if experiencing it for the first time. slowly the feeling dissipated with the elasticated length, and by the time it arrived at the new ritual scene by the lake i nearly completely checked out. there were too many cons overpowering the pros between the two cuts. while I hated Christian much more, seeing how there is little mystery to his toxically manipulative personality, all the extra footage sacrificed the power of the pageantry, you need to get to all those rituals much sooner since they are very procedural and leisurely show you that entire process, and all the extra character scenes bogs the rituals down. at first i loved how much more of an asshole Mark seemed, but at a certain point it felt like overkill. he just doesn't shut the fuck up with snarky comments in this cut. the theatrical version is much better balanced, delivered a stronger emotional wallop. this is a movie that already takes its time to slowly develop and reveal its nefarious intentions, so supplementing the already turgid story with more of the same for clarity's sake felt unnecessary. I longed to have your reaction, seeing as I love Midsommar, but could not abide the alterations. The movie I saw twice back to back in July felt perfects, all this cut did was sully that experience. Maybe I'd give it another shot after viewing the theatrical cut a few more times to rinse this experience from memory.

and man did that added ritual scene not work: i'm assuming it's all geared to the community choosing Dani as the May queen, yet felt so pointless. can see why it was cut. the only aspect I liked was the clarity in Dani's animosity for Chistian as the film progressed, which makes opting for his death somewhat clearer at the end, although as already said by that point I was completely checked out. still glad I gave it a shot, just didn't do it for me.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Something Spanish on August 31, 2019, 08:28:40 AM
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on August 31, 2019, 10:13:33 AM
I respect that opinion and can see how you got there, but I just loved it. I guess there was one new Mark comment that might've been a bit much, but even that I liked. The length of this cut really makes it feel like a journey, whereas the original cut is sort of in a middleground that doesn't quite have the same effect.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: polkablues on August 31, 2019, 01:33:17 PM
I'm having a hard time imagining that removing the ambiguity of Christian's character would strengthen the film in my eyes. To me, that's a feature, not a bug.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on August 31, 2019, 03:50:27 PM
I'm having a hard time imagining that removing the ambiguity of Christian's character would strengthen the film in my eyes. To me, that's a feature, not a bug.

You'd think so. That's what I would expect, too. But I felt that making Christian less ambiguous refocused the film on Dani. Instead of trying to figure him out and decide who's in the right, your frustration with him builds, and then you're more "with" Dani (she puts up more resistance to him in this cut) and focused on what she's going to do with her life and for herself. With all that in mind, there's also an element of wish fulfillment here that's more satisfying as a consequence.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Alexandro on November 22, 2019, 10:42:02 AM
I'm having a hard time imagining that removing the ambiguity of Christian's character would strengthen the film in my eyes. To me, that's a feature, not a bug.

You'd think so. That's what I would expect, too. But I felt that making Christian less ambiguous refocused the film on Dani. Instead of trying to figure him out and decide who's in the right, your frustration with him builds, and then you're more "with" Dani (she puts up more resistance to him in this cut) and focused on what she's going to do with her life and for herself. With all that in mind, there's also an element of wish fulfillment here that's more satisfying as a consequence.

Yes. I agree. On paper, it sounds like overexplaining, but all in all it becomes an improvement and it allows the viewer to focus more on her. That's mainly what you get from the extended version, a better focus on Dani's journey.

I really like Midsommar, it's a powerful and unforgettable experience. I prefer the DC, but I do gotta say, that the film has one big thing that it does not in the best way, and I really have to make an effort to let it go in order to enjoy everything else. Many people I've spoken to about the film agrees, and some just can't let it past them:

Spoiler: ShowHide
 They don't leave or appear to be as shocked by the first sacrifices as most normal members of the audience would. I think is a lot to ask from us at that point, and it's probably a miscalculation where internal character logic (meaning showing us who these characters are by their actions regarding that moment) was privileged over basic narrative logic. They witness a pretty fucked up thing, by any standard, and next thing you know, no one seems to care that much about it. It's one thing for Dani, who is having an assimilation of her own with all of this, to digest it in a strange way; but it's completely different when our other three main characters just blow it off as "cultural". It seems unearned how barely two minutes after this very violent and traumatic moment, Christian and this other dude are discussing who has priority about their subject for a thesis. It really is like, "what the fuck? Shouldn't they be discussing something else right now? How come they don't say this to his other friend who wasn't there? How come that is not THE SUBJECT OF EVERY CONVERSATION FOR THE REST OF THE DAY, AT LEAST?

The scene with Dani by the lake seems like a better moment to follow the sacrifice, because this is when she expresses not only her concerns, but ours as well. The fact that she talks about this, expresses doubts, and maintains a logical position, frees us to let the subject go as well. But where the scene is at right now it comes a bit late, the damage is done and it becomes really difficult to "be" with these guys for a while. Nevertheless, it speaks of the film's power that it eventually can make us forget that (at least some of us) and get into the full experience of what comes next. 


Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on November 22, 2019, 04:57:54 PM
Spoiler: ShowHide
Hmm. I admit, I kind of had the same issue. And for some reason I still haven't decided what I think about that.

If you break it down, each individual's reaction does sort of make sense. You have the 2 Brits freaking out instantly. You have Dani in a daze of re-traumatization. Then you have the anthropologists, one of whom knows exactly what's coming — I would argue the bigger plot hole is why he didn't properly warn his friends.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Alexandro on November 22, 2019, 06:24:03 PM
Yes, but there's no one in our place to react to something so huge, and that becomes a kind of elephant in the room for the rest of the film. When I saw it for the first time, after ten minutes had passed and I saw that was the way it was gonna be, I made a conscious choice to just go with it, despite my reservations. It paid off big time, but not everyone can be so open to that kind of weirdness.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: jumjum on December 05, 2019, 02:30:04 PM
What's the difference in length of each cut? I get confused when I try to google it.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: jenkins on December 05, 2019, 02:35:47 PM
147/171
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: jumjum on December 05, 2019, 05:12:46 PM
Tackar! :yabbse-thumbup: :yabbse-smiley:
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 10, 2020, 01:18:41 PM
Now streaming on Amazon Prime! Only the theatrical cut, though.
Title: Re: Midsommar
Post by: Robyn on January 10, 2020, 03:09:24 PM
Tackar! :yabbse-thumbup: :yabbse-smiley:

swede? :p