Ari Aster on Midsommar, Cathartic Endings, the Director's Cut, and His Favorite Films

  • Published: 12 July 2019
  • Ari Aster joined us last summer for a talk at Film at Lincoln Center to discuss his previous feature, the unforgettable Hereditary, and we were delighted to welcome him back for another Film Comment chat on Tuesday, July 10. In front of a packed house, Aster sat down with author and Film Comment mainstay Michael Koresky for a discussion about his Swedish countryside-set horror film Midsommar, working with star Florence Pugh, and favorite movies such as 45 Years. Also, listen up for a few details on the forthcoming director’s cut of Midsommar, and don’t forget to read about Aster’s inspirations for the film in the July-August issue of Film Comment:

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Comments • 447

  • Emily Placke
    Emily Placke  20 hours back

    I want the 4 hour cut! I think he's brilliant. Hereditary and Midsommar stand out from other "horror" movies in such a profound way 👏

    • Dmitriy Annenkov
      Dmitriy Annenkov  3 days back

      "I realize that might've been pushing you to an uncomfortable place". Why the fuck would you say some horseshit like this when it seemed he was about to say something interesting.

      • Sadie 13
        Sadie 13  4 days back

        I couldn't take my eyes off the screen in the two and a half hours of the movie. thanks to midsommar I want to watch hereditary too.I will closely follow the work of this brilliant director 👏👏

        • linchen008
          linchen008  4 days back

          Yes, it's a happy ending. Dani's wishes come true. She has a supportive familie now, where she is the queen. Her boyfriend is deadly punished for not understanding her. It's the total narcistic fullfilling. That's why she accept to decend in insanity. As a adult we should fear the fullfilment of our (childish) wishes.

          • Kendall
            Kendall  6 days back

            I don't think I've experienced a film that made me feel physically sick quite like this movie. Combining the anxiety Dani feels constantly and the gore had me constantly on edge.

            • d haze1215
              d haze1215  1 weeks back

              Wow how sad the girl behind Ari is focused on her phone instead of paying attention to a brilliant Director. I would of loved to here him speak. Someone should of told her to leave. B*tch.

              • RichardJennings1234
                RichardJennings1234  1 weeks back

                Modern Alfred Hitchcock, can’t wait to see what he has in store

                • Mythark !
                  Mythark !  1 weeks back

                  Disgusting anti-White. When will his next piece of anti-Swedish propaganda be released?

                  • none of your business
                    none of your business  2 weeks back

                    I am IN love with him✨

                    • Raghava Daroori
                      Raghava Daroori  2 weeks back

                      As messed up as Hereditary and Midsommar are, Aster is actually funny as a person.

                      • BlueVelvet116
                        BlueVelvet116  2 weeks back

                        I feel like the zombie girl behind him is some sort of a surreal teaser for his next film.

                        • Presley Rexford
                          Presley Rexford  2 weeks back

                          Uh eh uh eh eh uh...

                          • polisherci
                            polisherci  2 weeks back

                            I watched so many other interviews of him but this is the only one where he looks comfortable and understood (by the audience and the interviewer). thank you for uploading this.

                            • jskd2953
                              jskd2953  2 weeks back

                              Just finished watching Midsommar... Ari Aster's a fucking nutcase! I guess american cinema still has some hope for the future ;)

                              • VHS
                                VHS  2 weeks back

                                By now I'm pretty familiar w/ Ari's style and tastes. But after Midsommar, I gotta say I'm definitely over his schtick. Liked it... didn't love it... so I'm just going to let it slide. If we get another movie though and it's the same format, then that's it for me.

                                • N.E.U.R.O.OFFICIAL
                                  N.E.U.R.O.OFFICIAL  2 weeks back

                                  I'd love to see him write and direct a sci fi horror, taking place in space

                                  • Hari Nam Simran Singh
                                    Hari Nam Simran Singh  2 weeks back

                                    You think this guy is like Kubrick but actually he is just part of the group that killed him. Open your eyes because they want you to keep your eyes wide shut.

                                  • jmcieslak0
                                    jmcieslak0  3 weeks back

                                    Imagine being on your phone while Ari Aster is talking

                                    • Emily Placke
                                      Emily Placke  20 hours back

                                      I felt the disrespect 🤬 I would have loved to be there 😔

                                    • natasha prinsloo
                                      natasha prinsloo  1 weeks back

                                      So happy other people also picked up on this.

                                  • Steve
                                    Steve  3 weeks back

                                    Can the girl in the background get off her phone

                                    • Gary Cambridge
                                      Gary Cambridge  3 weeks back

                                      Over rated film and director - preferred hereditary- the characters in midsommar are so one dimensional you care nothing for them so there’s no cathartic experience- it’s not scary and has a couple of gruesome scenes - all that’s good about it is the cinematography

                                      • Carlos Vardi
                                        Carlos Vardi  3 weeks back

                                        For fuck's sake this man needs to learn interview and speaking skills

                                        • Lu Tello
                                          Lu Tello  3 weeks back

                                          21:00 Glad I skipped that part. On my list, haven't watched it yet.

                                          • Grrr.
                                            Grrr.  3 weeks back

                                            Hold on! I only watched it two days ago so I'm still feeling disturbed. Getting flashbacks of the bear/human. Just writing this has brought it back.😳😬🥺

                                            • Kārlis Kārkliņš
                                              Kārlis Kārkliņš  3 weeks back

                                              dude, i feel you. i am hardcore horror fan, but this movie made something afterwards which turned out to be wanting to stay with me. really disturbing and odd feeling for a native sweden citizen myself. this movie is future classic, real masterpiece in real horror. not like crap nowadays containing only cheap jumpscares.

                                          • Zibran Abhie
                                            Zibran Abhie  3 weeks back

                                            Can anyone give me the list of the movies they talked about in this interview? I sat through The Shining, AI, 45 Years, After hours references. Just dont want to get those films spoiled for me, thats why a list will be really appreciated.

                                            • educostanzo
                                              educostanzo  2 weeks back

                                              I actually don't remember any more films mentioned, besides Hereditary obviously.

                                          • Poseable Dumbs
                                            Poseable Dumbs  3 weeks back

                                            Hot garbage. Just an excuse to put real cult rituals from Hollywood and give the kill the white men b.s.. Fuck this guy and his sucked

                                            • jmcieslak0
                                              jmcieslak0  3 weeks back

                                              "I have like 10 screenplays lying around"


                                              • Yutaro Sebastian kida
                                                Yutaro Sebastian kida  6 days back

                                                I KNOW RIGHT??? Watching his movies and shorts make think that I have no imagination, I would NEVER thinked the things I witnised and felt in Hereditary and Midsommar and I'm so excited of see how twisted his imagination can be.

                                              • callmecatalyst
                                                callmecatalyst  1 weeks back

                                                All of us Horror fans squealed with glee when he said that.

                                            • Nicko Pajarillo
                                              Nicko Pajarillo  3 weeks back

                                              13:00 that was a very tough question? And Ari aster's ex-girlfriend in the background?? So much cringeness going on here but you can really see
                                              Ari is taking it professionally by his answers still related to the film, and his personal take on relationship that's too awkward to dwell in, now i can really feel the awkwardness this girl is feeling sitting there for an hour with her head bent down using her phone...

                                              • Twin lake Pictures
                                                Twin lake Pictures  3 weeks back

                                                I keep going back to that scene from hereditary : " I am your mother " . It reminds me of my own mother and I break down every time.

                                                • Andrew Fox Smith
                                                  Andrew Fox Smith  4 weeks back

                                                  shout out to Ari Aster the Master ;) the gift we don't deserve

                                                  • Riana Anaïs
                                                    Riana Anaïs  4 weeks back

                                                    OMG A.I. is my favorite tooooo!!! That's crazy because no one I know even likes it and most didn't even make it to the end. It always makes me cry like a wild banshee. Omg

                                                    • ian bulack
                                                      ian bulack  1 months back

                                                      Ari Aster disgusts me in the best way possible

                                                      • LUMINOUS
                                                        LUMINOUS  2 months back

                                                        Towards the end I did feel a bit of sympathy for Christian Ari has become an inspiration for me

                                                        • Rayce Rockey
                                                          Rayce Rockey  2 months back

                                                          Who’s the rude girl on her cell phone while a famous movie director is there talking about the film 😒?!

                                                          • Robert_6- _
                                                            Robert_6- _  2 months back

                                                            Someone get this guys committed to a hospital

                                                            • toxicsugar art
                                                              toxicsugar art  2 months back

                                                              I’d watch the 4 hour version tbh. Also I think gore going too far is very subjective. Like the mallet scene and the cut back to the body later, that was too far for me, but that’s kinda the point of horror right? To make the audience uncomfortable? I hope that makes sense lol.

                                                              • Deborah Luper
                                                                Deborah Luper  2 months back

                                                                why punish a guy for trying to break from a sexless, relationship with a needy , clinging female?

                                                                • Ramon Suarez
                                                                  Ramon Suarez  2 months back

                                                                  Because he was using and gaslighting her the whole time.

                                                              • bravetherainbow
                                                                bravetherainbow  2 months back

                                                                "queasy" is a probably a really good way to describe Midsommar's ending, and a lot of the movie in general as well as Hereditary

                                                                • Petrol-Dollar
                                                                  Petrol-Dollar  2 months back

                                                                  The host is an idiot

                                                                  • James Davidson
                                                                    James Davidson  2 months back

                                                                    I didnt like the ending. endings where the villains win dont do anything for me.

                                                                    • Katty Koo
                                                                      Katty Koo  2 months back

                                                                      This movie is brilliant. I really hope they release the director's cut on Blu ray.

                                                                      • King Nathan
                                                                        King Nathan  2 months back


                                                                        • bh617
                                                                          bh617  2 months back

                                                                          I actually wish he wouldn't talk about his films so much, I prefer directors who let the work speak for itself and answer vaguely about process and meaning, like David Lynch.

                                                                          • WSG Man
                                                                            WSG Man  2 months back

                                                                            48:20 that's my secret cap, i'm always anxious

                                                                            • Jessica Desmond-Robitaille

                                                                              Would straight up watch the 4 hour version

                                                                              • CHAD20
                                                                                CHAD20  2 months back

                                                                                49:04 Should be his PA. She continues tapping on her phone while the girl next to her takes the mike.

                                                                                • Patrick O'Boyle
                                                                                  Patrick O'Boyle  2 months back

                                                                                  You came to this event and sat on the front row so that you could take an IG video and then be on your phone for the rest of the interview.

                                                                                  • Miska Autiorinne
                                                                                    Miska Autiorinne  2 months back

                                                                                    Man, I don't know, when he said he still has 'plenty of despair left'..I hope he keeps it under control

                                                                                    • Ricky Garcia Jr
                                                                                      Ricky Garcia Jr  2 months back

                                                                                      hereditary was better