Although he’s been occasionally pilloried for his public disinterest in certain big-name Hollywood blockbusters of late—back in the salad days of late 2019, when any of us were even physically capable of giving a shit about such movie-making minutiae—Martin Scorsese has always been a tireless cinephile, and an advocate for new creators making their way into the field. Hence, presumably, the effusive praise he’s just heaped on Hereditary and Midsommar’s Ari Aster, penning an introduction for the Blu-ray release of the director’s cut of the latter film. In the essay, Scorsese highlights both Aster’s “formal control,” and his ability to capture “something unnameable and unspeakable,” “true visions…you are not likely to forget.”
You can read the full thing over at Entertainment Weekly—with a mild caveat that Scorsese spoils one of Hereditary’s biggest surprises, for those who’ve somehow managed to avoid seeing it so far. But it’s also just nice to see one of film’s biggest names go out of his way to highlight someone like Aster, who’s become such an abrupt fixture in the world of genre cinema in the last few years. Scorsese notes that he sometimes has trouble finding the time to sit down and watch new movies, but that as soon as he began Hereditary, “Right from the start, I was impressed.”
“What am I looking for?” Scorsese writes.
I’m looking for people with a need to express something. “I need you to experience this…” Not an idea or a theme as much as a whole experience, or a recollection, or a profound emotional impression from which the ideas and the themes emerge organically, so to speak. It’s difficult to put into words for a reason: because it can be expressed in moving images and sounds—in other words, cinema.
The Midsommar director’s cut is currently out on Blu-ray.