When it comes to modern filmmakers, it’s not too often we hear Martin Scorsese express such reverence. However, in an upcoming book for Midsommar – released to celebrate the film’s first anniversary – Scorsese opens the piece with a wonderful introduction that praises not only the film but its director Ari Aster.
Scorsese writes, “A couple of years ago, I watched a first film called Hereditary. Right from the start, I was impressed. Here was a young filmmaker [Ari Aster] that obviously knew cinema. The formal control, the precision of the framing and the movement within the frame the pacing of the action, the sound — it was all there, immediately evident.”
That’s significant praise coming from the legendary filmmaker. It wasn’t too long ago he was starting his all-out war with modern blockbusters, so it’s refreshing to hear the director praise a newer mind in the industry.
Midsommar opened on July 3, 2019, and received mostly positive praise from critics. The film went on to gross $46 million and took director Ari Aster to that year’s award season. This was his follow-up to his smash debut Hereditary, starring Toni Collette.
A24 will release the 62-page book of ritual artwork that was used in Midsommar, alongside Ari Aster’s 171-minute director’s cut on Blu-ray. The illustrations featured in the book are from Ragnar Persson, the same artist who created the mesmerizing murals in the film. You can see an example of the work below:
Midsommar is the second film by Hereditary director Ari Aster. It stars Florence Pugh (Fighting With My Family), Jack Reynor (On the Basis of Sex), Will Poulter (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch) and William Jackson Harper (The Good Place).
Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor) are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing.