How ‘Midsommar’ Takes a Bad Trip | Anatomy of a Scene

How ‘Midsommar’ Takes a Bad Trip | Anatomy of a Scene


“My name is Ari Aster, and
I am the writer and director of “Midsommar.” This scene directly
succeeds a scene in which our
protagonist, Dani, played by Florence
Pugh, is pressured into taking mushrooms. She recently suffered a
very, very serious loss and is probably not
in the best place to take psychotropic drugs.” “Can you feel that, the energy
coming up from the earth?” “A big challenge that
we took on in this film was putting the spectator
into the experience of somebody going
through a mushroom trip. This is the first
scene that kind of introduces
psychedelic elements in the film that will be
more prevalent later on.” “Look, the trees too,
they’re breathing.” “There’s a lot of
sound design work here that’s also helping bring
us into her subjectivity. When she looks up
at the tree, we notice that the tree now seems
to be bending and warping, that the texture
seems to be moving. As I was working with the
visual-effects artists on these shots, we managed
to experiment a lot and find what was too much
and what was not enough.” “You guys are like my family.” “I would say that
some of these shots we had 80 versions of. And then when she
stands up, Dani is thrown instantly
into a bad trip.” “I’m going to go for a walk.” “And from here we kind of
enter this negative vortex — “ “No, no, no, no. Don’t think that. You’re fine. It’s almost your birthday.” “ — where we start playing
with facial warping, warping expressions. This effect was especially
difficult to accomplish, and so a big part of
my job and the job of my editorial
team was actually to be merciless in the way we
watched these effects as they came in — “They were laughing at me.” “ — to see if there were any
effects in the background that jumped too suddenly
or where the effect feels especially digital.” “You want to come
meet my friends?” “Thank you, I’m — “ “The tripping effect
for the background is more pronounced at the very
end of the shot than anywhere else in the film. So the disorientation
that the viewer might feel at this
moment is more extreme than they will feel again.”

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