Ari Aster

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The Unsettling Glow of Daylight: DP Pawel Pogorzelski on Shooting the Folk Horror of Midsommar

In the span of just two features, writer/director Ari Aster and cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski have forged a signature style that cloaks the heightened emotions of melodrama behind the veil of the horrific. In last year’s Hereditary, the Ordinary People-esque family tragedy unfolded in a haunted house, where a matriarch’s sense of being cursed manifested itself literally. In the new film Midsommar, the crumbling relationship between two American grad students plays out against the backdrop of an isolated Swedish community whose harvest festival isn’t quite as benign as it first appears. With Midsommar out now in wide release, Pogorzelski talked to […]

“I See the Film as a Fairy Tale, More than Anything Else”: Ari Aster on Trauma and the “Folk Horror” of Midsommar

Watching writer/director Ari Aster’s debut Hereditary, I yearned for the horror to come, as if it’d help wash away the pain of the domestic trauma preceding. Then it came, but it painfully didn’t offer the relief I had been thirsting for. Aster’s horror films, full of pain and confusion, are mined from the director’s own traumas. Making them might be a form of exorcism. He coins his latest film, Midsommar — about a grieving woman who travels to a nine-day long festival in Sweden with her diffident boyfriend and his grad student friends — a breakup movie, and this time, […]