Those who could not tolerate the heritage of 2018, either because they thought it was too scary or because they did not have enough, will be even more worried about the next director's film, Midsommar, White Nights in Hungarian. The horror film that plays in almost full light and blends Scandinavian traditions and pagan customs, is not a horrifying, but terrifying, two-week experience in the classical sense of the word, where we constantly feel threatened. Not only for scary elements, but also for stomach cramps, which are similar to very dark comedies.
The White Nights protagonist is a 20-year-old woman, Dani (Florence Pugh), who wants to break with her slightly unpleasant boyfriend, Christian (Jack Raynor), when she is postponed because of a terrible family tragedy. Although not originally invited, Christian and his friends bring a sad girl with him to Sweden: the entire Brans is officially invited to a festival where the Hårga community holds its usual rituals. It starts with a terrible bombardment, from which more and more strange, horrifying and terrifying turns are needed.
The main location of the film, a meadow corresponding to Hälsingland, and houses, cottages and temples on it were built in Hungary, more specifically in Budakesci, although the story is happening in Sweden. Since White Nights was born before the legend has stirred up a lot of movie visitors around the world, they have read the script in the Swedish production company and have asked Aster to play a horror game in Sweden. The director then extended the invitation by adding the feelings of his breakup and sinking into Scandinavian mendemic speeches, from methods of torture to the meaning of run.
The genre has an extraordinary tradition in the history of horror films, the foundation of the so-called "folk terror", which in 1968 was the general veteran, blood in 1971 and the man with a comic pound from 1973. The latter received remake in 2000 with Nicolas Cage. They have a common appearance of the countryside, mysterious sects and the sacrifice of human beings. And White Nights does not only deal with Scandinavian traditions, but also in accordance with the rules of this film genre. The blend of both has turned into a disturbing, but especially an unforgettable ethnographic horror that Hungary could add to most of the crew and venues. Among other things, we talked to director Ari Aster over the phone.
Were there any special things that captured me in this world?
When the Swedish company contacted me to make a horrible movie for them, I was on a break. Then I got the idea of getting married with a decaying film with folklore horror. I went to the Scandinavian folk customs and I did not have to go to folklore at all, to feel that there was a lot of material here to find out that the world was a devastating story.
After the film I read a lot of details and was surprised that most of the worst things were.
The whole film is a mixture of facts and inventions, but the majority of the traditions it contains is true, but I tailor the details to the story. Others were surprised at how much I did not invent.
How did you feel about catching existing traditions and using them to tell your personal story?
The fact that the Swedes asked me to work on this topic for the first time were a few excuses for the expropriation of their culture. Although it's true that I actually did it, but I do not think I used anything. And I can not say that I was blasphemous because the midsommar (with us on Holy Day – KD) have pagan roots. When you tell a story, this is how you can create link points, how you can link different elements to how you can create a mosaic. I did it.
In the last two of your films, emotionally tortured women appear. Are you attracted to these characters?
I work from film to film, and the main characters always adhere to the requirements of the story. This has now turned out to be a woman in my last two films. I love women, I like to write them, but I have put in some character in every character, because they can only be authentic if their emotions come from a real place. I put many people in the leadership of the White Nights and I recognize a lot of things in me. However, there was no strategy in the background. In both cases, it was very early to decide that women would be protagonists.
White night is full of scenes I should laugh at, but they were so grotesque and dark that I did not dare. How funny was your movie?
I see this film as a black humorous comedy. Actually, I've seen most of the heritage. But something is in the setting of White Nights, which is very comical.
When you know what's all, it's ridiculous.
So I really meant it.
How was it to be shot in Hungary?
It was great! We would not be able to do this film the way you would if you wanted to go elsewhere. Working in Sweden would be too expensive and you can not work more than 8 hours a day in accordance with local labor law. When we decided on Hungary, we were initially nervous because none of us worked there, and we knew that almost the entire crew would be Hungarian. We did not know what to expect. Our costume designer, Andrea Flesch, was also a Hungarian, and I can not imagine that someone else would do a better job. Woody Master (which manages the car that is loaded on tracks – KD) could not speak a word in English, neither I nor the cameraman could communicate with him, but he was able to perform all the virtually impossible movements of the cameras we requested. I must also mention Ivan Poharnok, who made fantastic prosthesis. I loved Taxidermy, a great fan of things you did in this movie, and it was big enough to work. Without full artistic staff, they would never be able to build and equip the village.
Is it true that you were afraid of ticks?
Very. I was dressed on the neck so I would not be Lyme.
Is there anything from this village?
Unfortunately, no. It was the same with heritage, we built a perfect house and in the end it was necessary to demolish it. So much of a loss is part of the movie.
That would be a good spectacle.
I agree that sometimes I would return to see her.
On the 18th of July, Hungarian cinemas will be broadcast on White Nights.
(Cover by Vilhelm Blongren, Florence Pugh and Ari Aster on the set. Source: ADS Service.)