Ari Aster Bio
Ari Aster is an American director and screenwriter, best known for writing and directing the 2018 horror film Hereditary, the 2019 folk horror film Midsommar, and the 2011 short film The Strange Thing About the Johnsons. He was born in 1987/1988 in New York, U.S.A.As of his parents, his father was a musician and his mother was a poet. He has a younger brother and his family is Jewish. The director graduated from the AFI Conservatory and met many of his future collaborators there. He became obsessed with horror films growing up.
Ari Aster’s debut film was the controversial short film, The Strange Thing About the Johnsons in 2011. Aster wrote and directed five more short films, between 2011 and 2018, often teaming with his AFI Conservatory friends Alejandro de Leon and Pawel Pogorzelski to produce and shoot. In 2018, A24 released the horror-drama film Hereditary, directed by Ari Aster, which garnered high praise from critics. Aster’s next film with A24, Midsommar, was released on July 3, 2019.
Ari Aster has not revealed the exact date of his birth. Nevertheless, most sources have confirmed that he was born between the year 1987 and 1988. This makes him 31–32 years old.
Ari Aster started his career in 2011 as a writer. He wrote short movies and also directed them. In 2011, the director also acted in the short movie Beau.
Aster might gain good revenue from the ‘Hereditary’ film. As this movie is one of the most anticipated movies in 2018 and is categorized as one of the scariest movies, he might increase his financial status. The net worth of Aster is now estimated to range from $50,000 to $200,000.
Ari Aster Midsommar
It is a 2019 new horror movie written and directed by Ari Aster and starring Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren, and Will Poulter. The storyline is centered around a group of friends who travel to Sweden for a festival that only occurs every ninety years, only to find themselves directly in the hands of a pagan cult.
B-Reel Films, a Swedish company, was announced as the producer of the film, with A24 distributing. According to Aster, he had been approached by A24 executives to wheel a slasher film set in Sweden, an idea which he initially rejected as he felt he “had no way into the story.” Aster ultimately devised a story in which the two central characters are experiencing relationship tensions verging on a breakup, and wrote the surrounding screenplay around this theme.
He described the result as “a breakup movie dressed in the clothes of a folk horror film”. Midsommar had a pre-screening at the Alamo Drafthouse in New York City, on June 18, 2019. It then had a wide release in the United States on July 3, 2019.
Jordan Peele called it “atrociously disturbing” – detailing that he’d “experienced it with this open-mouthed, wild-eyed gape.” Peele wrote and directed “US”, a 2019 American horror film starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker.
What makes Midsommar scary in its own right isn’t just its shock value. Ari Aster has slashed the horror genre on its head and resurrected an even more terrifying beast… one we can identify with.
The only thing horror fans have to go on this time around, in Midsommar, is the unique terror Ari Aster brought to Hereditary last year. There’s something unique and rare about having an original horror premise these days, and it’s a strange feeling to see the same director do it twice in a row. It’s the same feeling Jordan Peele gave us when “Us’ had fans terrified and intrigued, following all the buzz around “Get Out”.
Ari Aster creates tension at first with a conversation between a couple, Dani and Christian, that is meant to show their conflicts with each other that’s amplified with its deafeningly silent atmosphere. When Dani suffers a tragedy that later has her tagging along with Christain’s Sweden vacation with his friend, Aster manipulates sound through the actor’s grief to create its horrors.
Ari Aster Movies
» 2011 -The Strange Thing About the Johnsons
» 2011- Beau
» 2013- Munchausen
» 2014 -Basically
» 2014- The Turtle’s Head
» 2016 -C’est La Vie
» 2018 –Hereditary
» 2019- Midsommar
Ari Aster Interview
This is an interview with the director of the new film Midsommar, Ari Aster.
Your very first shot in this movie is this artwork depicting all of these rituals, which sort of slides away as the movie begins, almost like a curtain pulling back to begin a play. Where did that idea come from?
That actually occurred to me in post-production. The film has always been like a fairy tale for me, and I got excited by the idea of laying out the framework of the film before we even begin it. If anything, it felt like it would orientate the viewer in the right way, to take in this film on its own terms. So I commissioned this brilliant contemporary artist Mu Pan to make that tapestry mural, and I’m really pleased with what he did.
And that sense of…maybe not full-on voyeurism in a traditional sense, but the sense of being on the outside looking in is something that you return to over and over again in your work. In Hereditary, we see that idea in the dioramas, and we see it in the dollhouse-style structure where the characters sleep in Midsommar. What is it about that idea that resonates with you?
I don’t know. Gosh, I don’t know. It was easier to talk about with Hereditary because there were thematic ideas at play that were being applied aesthetically. Whereas here…I’ve always seen the film as a fairy tale, and I’ve always seen the film as this perverse wish fulfillment fantasy. So there’s this sort of agreement with the audience coming in: they’re coming to see a folk horror movie. Most of us know the traditions there.
Most of us know The Wicker Man either by reputation or because we’ve seen the film, so we know, ‘OK, Americans are going to this other country, and if we’ve seen one horror film, we’ve seen them all – they’re going to be killed off one by one and they’re going to be sacrificed.’ For me, the pleasure of making the film is not focusing on those things.
Those things are inevitable. It’s not about ‘How am I going to kill this guy off?’ or ‘How am I going to kill that guy off?’ That’s all very banal for me and not very interesting. But it’s about ‘How am I going to get exactly where we all know I’m going?’ Because if I don’t go there, it’s going to be dissatisfying, because there is that contract. But how am I going to get there in a way that reveals this to be something else?
So for me, there are two films happening here: for the American men in the film, this is a folk horror movie. For the main character, for Florence Pugh’s character, this is wish-fulfillment fantasy. In the same way Horga, this community, I want this to feel like this rich, lived-in place that has deep traditions and a long history and I want those details to be very rich, at the same time, they all exist for Dani, for the main character. So in that way, the movie itself kind of exists for Dani. The trajectory exists for Dani, and there is fun to be had in being self-conscious about that. I guess that’s my circuitous way of answering your question.
A lot of filmmakers talk about how the editing room is where they “find” the movie. You’ve written and directed both of your features, so did you have that sense of discovery in post-production or was it more straightforward than that because you’ve had the idea of the film in your head since back when you wrote the script?
No, you find the shape of the film in post-production. The original cut was three hours and forty-five minutes, and that’s not exclusive to my films. I think most films are unwieldy when you first put them together and they’re much longer. The way I work, too, is that I don’t typically get traditional coverage. In some scenes I will, when it’s appropriate. But if I can make a scene live for a long time in one master, I like to just do that and not give myself anything to lean on. I find that it allows me to really focus on the aesthetics in a way that – to have no way out forces me to really commit to choices that I tend to not regret. Sometimes you do regret them. Sometimes you absolutely regret not getting options.
But what happens when you do that is that you have to be really careful, and post-production can become a torture for a little while because you have scenes where your only option is to cut at a certain point. Otherwise, your film will be lousy with jump cuts. Again, this is a long-winded way of saying I tend to find a new shape for the films in post-production, but the trick is how do I retain the shape of the script and what I intended to do? How to choose what details are extraneous and what details are valuable, even if they aren’t pushing the story along. So it becomes a negotiation. Every step in the process is one of discovery.
This one was particularly punishing because we had very little pre-production time because I was split between finishing Hereditary, doing Hereditary press, and having about two months of pre-production during which we had to build the entire community from scratch. And that includes cultivating the land, because when we first found that field, the grass was taller than I was, and that includes creating a path through the woods that would lead to this field. So we had no time to build it and we had a very tight, intensive production schedule.
We did not have nearly enough time to do what we did. And then we finished shooting in October, and the movie’s coming out now. We really had to sprint through the cut and through visual effects and the score, [and the] sound [mix]. So if anything, it’s about trying to maintain a certain amount of focus and integrity even while the deadlines are encroaching and as punishing as they could be.
I’d heard a rumor that your preferred cut was longer than the theatrical one. Is that true, and what was in that that didn’t quite make the theatrical version?
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.
@AriAster is the handle that you can find Aster with on Twitter. He has 28.8K followers with over 322 tweets. Take a look at his tweets in the embed below.