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Midsommar

Jeremy Blackman · 64 · 3190

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WorldForgot

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Reply #30 on: July 10, 2019, 04:34:03 PM
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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


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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.


eward

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Reply #31 on: July 10, 2019, 04:38:03 PM
Arguably his most egregious offense explored below:

Midsommarís Scariest Use of Fashion
By Kelly Conaboy

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

Ari Asterís 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 ďthesis.Ē Do not take pictures of a book with your phone.

Midsommarís most prescient warning, though, was communicated through its use of fashion. No, Iím 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.

Midsommarís 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 havenít 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 ó an actor whom your brain tricks you into associating with Seth Rogan ó 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 Daniís 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 doesnít give an appropriate emotional response after they watch two people kill themselves. He couldnít 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 manís 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, havenít 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 hasnít 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 canít expect the journey with every scoop-neck T-shirt boyfriend to end so appropriately.

Just donít do it.

Say no to dating scoop-neck T-shirt men.
If I could move the night I would
And I would turn the world around if I could
There's nothing wrong with loving something you can't hold in your hand
You're sitting on the edge of the bed, smoking and shaking your head
Well there's nothing wrong with loving things that cannot even stand
Well there goes your moony man
With his suitcase in his hand
Every road is lined with animals
That rise from their blood and walk
Well the moon won't get a wink of sleep
If I stay all night and talk


Something Spanish

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Reply #32 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.


eward

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Reply #33 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 ďapologyĒ scene mentioned above.
If I could move the night I would
And I would turn the world around if I could
There's nothing wrong with loving something you can't hold in your hand
You're sitting on the edge of the bed, smoking and shaking your head
Well there's nothing wrong with loving things that cannot even stand
Well there goes your moony man
With his suitcase in his hand
Every road is lined with animals
That rise from their blood and walk
Well the moon won't get a wink of sleep
If I stay all night and talk


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #34 on: July 11, 2019, 04:33:58 PM
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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.
"Hunger is the purest sin"


WorldForgot

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Reply #35 on: July 11, 2019, 04:50:33 PM
A conversation on Midsommar's cinematography -- why they chose Digital over Film, the set ups demanded of their shotlist, large frame lenses, and Technicolor's LUTs


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #36 on: July 11, 2019, 05:03:19 PM
Here's the mural from the beginning. SPOILERS obviously.

Click for the full pic.
"Hunger is the purest sin"


WorldForgot

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Reply #37 on: July 11, 2019, 05:51:17 PM
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This John Bauer (Swede!) illustration iz prominently featured in Dani's bedroom
She kissed the bear on the nose


polkablues

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Reply #38 on: July 12, 2019, 06:43:48 PM
Predictably, I loved this.

I donít have time at the moment to go deep into it, but I will soon, because I HAVE MANY THOUGHTS.
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


jenkins

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Reply #39 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 occult sex scene, good luck


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Reply #40 on: July 19, 2019, 04:06:49 AM

Midsommarís 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!
Ever have a feeling and you donít know why?


Tictacbk

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Reply #41 on: July 25, 2019, 05:13:45 AM
Hi.  Sorry Iíve 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, itís 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 arenít going to try to figure anything out or engage with a conflict, what are we supposed to care about besides watching everything play out thatís been telegraphed to us via very cool paintings?


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Reply #42 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.


polkablues

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Reply #43 on: July 25, 2019, 10:47:38 AM
Itís that theme of manipulation again. They were essentially being guilted into passivity, put on the defensive through accusations of cultural insensitivity, etc.
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


Tictacbk

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Reply #44 on: July 25, 2019, 01:00:35 PM
(Some spoilers)

I guess agree to disagree on whether or not itís 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.