Movies - TV
Ari Aster's First Cut Of Midsommar Dwarfed The Theatrical Runtime
By WITNEY SEIBOLD
Ari Aster’s “Midsommar” contains one of the bleakest openings in cinema history, and the whole film is a lengthy exploration of Aster’s own emotional struggles after a devastating breakup. The final theatrical cut of "Midsommar" was already a hefty 148 minutes, but Aster's first cut was even heavier in both tone and running time.
The filmmaker hadn't merely gone through a rough time following a breakup — he was still deep in it when setting pen to page. Aster spent a lot of time playing back arguments in his head, processing the breakup for material, saying, “I usually find that writing comes easiest to me when I'm in a crisis.”
The first draft of “Midsommar” was repetitive and needed a lot of editing and polishing, as that version would have made for a 220-minute film. Aster was eventually able to be more nakedly vulnerable in a later, theatrically released director's cut of "Midsommar" that ran 171 minutes (a version, he revealed in a /Film interview, that he prefers).