JTVersus

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Ari Aster and the Horror of the Toxic Relationship

    Even during its bloodiest, goriest scenes, Ari Aster’s films ‘Midsommar’ (2019) seems to focus on the unstoppable horror of an unravelling relationship. The protagonist, Dani Ardor, is thrown into a situation where she is forced to confront the ugliest parts of a relationship to her boyfriend which she desperately wants to keep alive. How does Aster manage to convey that the true horror of this film is in staying within a toxic relationship? Is this film ultimately about the liberation from relationships such as these?

    • Whilst the superficial surface layer of 'Midsommar' focuses on Ardor's deteriorating relationship with her boyfriend, for anyone interested in taking this topic, there is a darker underbelly to be found. Take some time to research why Aster gave his characters certain names. What do these names mean? Why are certain names pitched against each other? Why do others appear to complement or even compliment one another? Aster is telling another story within the one that most viewers see. Pay particular attention to the use of runes. Look at which runes appear in relation to which characters and when they appear in the narrative. Aster is well aware of their meanings - and that's why he used them. – Amyus 6 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    Very inspiring and something to come back to whenever I have my doubtful days about why I want to be a writer. Creative writing is more intrinsic than the people who deride it realise. Stories, novels and comics; television and film, music, video games…all these things that the world love. Anyway, thank you for writing this. Very grateful to have read it.

    Creative Writing is the Sincerest Form of Reality

    This was a really well-written piece and I agree with a lot of points.

    When I watched ‘The Lion King’ I was disheartened by how…flat it seemed. It lost the exuberance and the soul. Even the fact that they cut ‘Be Prepared’ out of the songs when there wasn’t that many songs to begin with. It was a filmic Invasion of the Body Snatchers…It looks like ‘The Lion King’, it sounds like ‘The Lion King’ but there is something clearly off about it.

    ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is probably a good example of how the live-action remakes should go in terms of direction: they gave Belle way more backstory, they added additional songs, they kept the nostalgic aspects and most importantly: it wasn’t the exact same.

    Let’s hope future remakes are better. I still feel that Disney create wonderful live-action films.

    Live-Action Disney Remakes and the Souring Faith in Animation

    Awesome essay – it’s always one of those polarising debates and you explored both sides well.

    I’ve always felt that the difference between a good adaptation and a bad one is whether the screenwriter and director properly respect the source material. Not just taking the “juicy” parts while ignoring other aspects which build the plot and contribute to characterisation.

    Take Stephen King for instance. I can only describe the recent output of adaptations (i.e. It and Pet Sematary) as a redemptive renaissance period for his works. They capture the horror and darkness without losing the substance and characterisation of his writing. With the obvious exception of Misery and Kubrick’s The Shining, a large amount of the old adaptations felt very underdone. With respect to those, they might not have been given the same budget/resources as these newer adaptations but there was still a lot lacking.

    The Art of Adaptation: From Book to Film