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Entries in Ari Aster (5)

Sunday
Jul072019

Podcast: MidSommar & Wild Rose

with Murtada Elfadl, Nathaniel R, and Chris Feil

 

Index (56 minutes)
00:01 A spoiler-filled discussion of Ari Aster's new horror film MidSommar starring Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor. We have three different opinions about its value.
38:10 Tom Harper's Wild Rose. You've seen this musical drama before but three performances by Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, and Sophie Okonedo and the music (the finale song is by Mary Steenburgen!) elevate it. 
50:00 Lots of randomnees including Almodóvar movies, bad television, and future movies we're looking forward to including The Farewell and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Reading Assignments
Chris Feil's MidSommar review
"The End of Empathy" -Andrew Kendall on MidSommar
Halfway Mark Actresses - Nathaniel's fav performances of 2019
Nick's VOR ratings -an explanation

 

MidSommar & Wild Rose

Tuesday
Jul022019

Review: MidSommar

by Chris Feil

Ari Aster’s sunbleached hellscape MidSommar opens with a horrific tragedy, a shocking act that has nevertheless long been grimly foretold for Dani, a depressed collegiate played by Florence Pugh. What unfolds for her in the rest of the film feels as projected by the warning signs around her and as cataclysmic. No, not the ominous surroundings of her European countryside getaway. She’s in a relationship doomed to collapse.

Though Dani’s imminent breakup with Christian (Jack Reynor) gets stalled by this horrible event, she suddenly finds herself slipping into his vacation plans with his begrudging friends. Promised a once-in-a-lifetime folk traditions in the isolated home village of one of his bros, the group descends upon the Hårga of Hälsingland looking to get a little stoned and enjoy some cultural tourism. Once there, Dani’s already established isolation in the group (and her relationship) intensifies from her grief and the increasingly strange rituals in which they participate. Lines are crossed early, but for reasons that feel insignificant in the end, they still stick around.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun022019

Would you rather?

Sharing our fav Instagram posts semi-weekly via a little game we like to call Would you rather

... lift weights with Laura Dern?
... get piggy with Zachary Quinto?
... celebrate Pride at Disneyland Paris with Rossy de Palma?
... cave swim with Rebel Wilson?
... stroll by a Yalitza Aparicio mural with Yalitza herself?
... stuff your face at Applebees with Gabrielle Union?
... commute to work with Glenn Close?
... work without sleep with director Ari Aster?
... eat lots of ice cream with Nina West?

Pictures are after the jump to help you decide...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan142019

Interview: Toni Colette on horror, grief, and her prismatic performances

by Nathaniel R

Toni Collette gives one of the year's great performances staring into the abyss of her own life in "Hereditary"Toni Collette doesn't like horror movies. We relate but there are exceptions: horror films starring Toni Collette are events. Her resistance to the genre,  she refers to both of her biggest horror hits as "classic dramas", may be the strange key to why she's so superb in them, grounding them in emotional truths while simultaneously having the kind of stylistic range as an actor that can lift right off with them into otherworldly places. 

We recently sat down after an encore screening and lively Q&A of Hereditary. Her sole Oscar nomination came early in her career as the grieving mother of little Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense (1999) and in a way, twenty years later, she's bookended that great early success with another very different grieving mother. This one's much harder to love but the performance is even better. Even if you don't love horror movies, it's impossible to miss the fact that her Annie, a self-indulgent artist and resentful mother, is a tour de force performance from an actress at the top of her game. Annie's life is traumas stacking up on traumas but Toni's performance keeps stacking brilliance upon brilliance.

Though she's played her share of narcissists or flighty women, the actress herself comes across as generous and grounded, thrilled by the collaboration of filmmaking. She rolls her eyes about herself and other actors if anyone gets too precious or self-involved about the craft. Though she loves acting dearly, she hilariously refers to it as her "day job" as we're making small talk before the interview.

In a rare turnabout, as we sat down, Toni asked the first question. So we'll begin right there....

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun072018

Review: "Hereditary"

by Chris Feil

Hereditary gives so much: a bold lead performance from Toni Collette, genuine skin-crawling scares, and a stream of ominously manicured imagery to obsess over on multiple viewings. And yet its mightiest power is how and when it withholds. Layers revealed in its central family mystery only yield more questions and terrifying unreconciled implications on its descent into madness. You think at first the film is keeping you at arm’s length, when really it is picking you up by the shoulders and placing you down precisely where it knows it will unnerve you most. Letting it get its sadistic claws on you is simply one of the year’s essential cinematic experiences.

The feature debut of writer/director Ari Aster, Hereditary is uncommonly patient in delivering on its horrific promises. The film is less of a slow burn than an enticing bear trap, meditatively luring the audience with all of its pieces before suddenly closing its jaws on us with furious velocity. But that’s the thing about nightmares: rarely do they announce their punishment immediately. Hereditary is as wise and calculating as a demon ready to pounce.

Click to read more ...