The films that influenced HEREDITARY | TIFF 2018

The films that influenced HEREDITARY | TIFF 2018

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Hi! I’m Ari Aster, the writer/director of
HEREDITARY, and, these are the films that inspired me most when writing and directing the film. DON’T LOOK NOW was a big touchstone for me, it was probably the film I was referencing
most when I was talking about the film. like HEREDITARY, it’s a film about grief. It’s a relationship drama that has
shades of something darker. And then, by the end it reveals itself
to be something much more sinister. Beyond DON’T LOOK NOW, Nicolas Roeg is a filmmaker that I’ve
been fascinated by – for years – and his films are tonally,
really… [sighs] strange, and kind of upsetting? I’ve never quite been able to put my
finger on them. You know, there’s this opening montage and walkabout that is still one of my
favourite sequences in all of cinema, and the opening montage in DON’T LOOK NOW. He’s working with these, like, these psychic
connections between images that are really striking, and I think they have
a lot to do with the tone. [Suspense music] [Aster] ROSEMARY’S BABY was an important one, and I feel like people who see the film… it’s,you know, it’s in the text.
It’s very clear how the films are aligned beyond that, Polanski is just somebody
that I’ve been studying for a long time… the way that he blocks his actors, and
the way that he moves his camera in relation to that blocking is really
beautiful, really intricate and everything that he’s doing is invisible;
everything is, like, designed to be hidden. It’s really something to see, and I…
I’m always thinking about that. [Mrs. Gilmore] “Rosemary, go back to bed! You know you’re not supposed to be up and around!” [Aster] Brian De Palma’s CARRIE is a film
that I was thinking about less as an overt aesthetic reference, and more because it was a film
that really bothered me as a kid. It was probably the first horror
film that really f*cked me up [String suspense music] [Aster] I saw when I was… I think I think I was 12, and I remember not being particularly
unnerved by it while I was watching. And then, later that night I went to bed, and, these images… they had insinuated
themselves into my consciousness. [String leer sound effect] Sissy Spacek is, like… the expression on her face
when she’s standing on the stage, covered in blood. That just — the eyes that are wide and
her stance, which is, like, so rigid… there is a scene in HEREDITARY
that I’ll… that I won’t mention, because it would be a spoiler, but, I was certainly thinking about
Sissy Spacek’s expression when I was directing that scene. I saw that film when I was 12, and I never went back to it because I regretted having seen it in the first place. And I finally watched it again, like, ten years ago, and I was shocked at how campy it is. Which is… you know, which shouldn’t have been
a surprise, because at that point I… you know, had burned thorugh all of
Brian de Palma’s work, and everything he makes, like, kind of just borders
on kitsch without falling all the way in. [People screaming] [Aster] One thing that’s exciting about working in genre is that people come in with certain expectations. They know what the tropes are;
they know what the conventions are, and it’s like comfort food. And, I feel like it… creates a certain complacency in the audience. There’s something really exciting about the idea of totally appending those conventions. I know that I’m always looking, as a spectator, for that moment in a film where I realize
I’m not in control of this experience, and the movie isn’t safe. That’s certainly something I was
hoping to do with HEREDITARY.


  1. Just saw Hereditary last night and wow.. that movie was amazing. I won't be forgetting that one.

  2. Love this discussion. It's great to hear where some of Ari's inspiration came from for Hereditary, especially since his new film stands so well on it's own. Thanks for sharing! I added this to one of our playlists about HEREDITARY!!

  3. I got them right, especially "don't look now" another all time favourite classic horror! πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜Š Well…everything except carrie

  4. Hey, my wish is to always keep on making nice movies and I have a short movie that I like to show you, if you plan to see it look for "Planeta Zeme Stonjaus" on Youtube otherwise text me for the link. THANKS🀝

  5. I'm pretty surprised that he didn't cite The Shining, The Amityville Horror (1979) and a few others as influences. I even saw some A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) in there. Maybe it was subliminal, a time limit or he didn't think to mention them. It's a great film.

  6. I knew Rosemary's baby (the book and film) was very influential for Hereditary. Thanks for giving credit where credit is due Ari.

  7. I know what scene spoiler he's talking about in the movie with the Sissy Spasek facial expression.

  8. "That moment where you realise you're not in control as a spectator". Well he sure nailed it in THAT scene 100 percent.

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