With films like Hereditary, Midsommar, The Witch, and the forthcoming The Lighthouse under their belts, there's no denying that when it comes to modern horror, Ari Aster and Robert Eggers are two of the most innovative and interesting filmmakers working in filmmaking today.
A24 has released a new podcast episode titled Deep Cuts with Robert Eggers and Ari Aster this week, wherein the directors have a nearly hour-long conversation about their shared influences and obsessions, the dreaded question of "genre," and how they feel about the horror fans who saw The Witch and Hereditary and wanted their money back.
During the chat, Eggers told a great story about A24’s marketing for The Witch, and how a certain stunt nearly got him banned from filming in Poland!
"So we didn’t have any stars for The Witch. A24 felt they needed something special for marketing, and they wanted to have the Satanic Temple endorse the film," Eggers recalled. "I don’t have anything against the Satanic Temple or their political agenda or anything like that at all, but I didn’t want the movie endorsed by the Satanic Temple like I wouldn’t want it being endorsed by something that called itself Christ’s Temple either. And I have tons of personal philosophical, semi-spiritual reasons for not wanting this, and also, I said, ‘People are going to think I’m a fucking Satanist.’ But they did it anyway, and I hope it helped."
He continued, "But when I went to scout a film – that was not made – in Poland, the woman who was running the film office said, ‘We don’t want Robert Eggers coming to Poland because he’s a Satanist.’ So we had to spend a week convincing them that I wasn’t a Satanist before I could go scout in Poland."
Other topics covered include: chasing the Bergman close-up, preferred aspect ratios, why Hereditary is unabashedly a horror movie, talking to press while intoxicated, the "trick" of Midsommar, the scene from Carrie that still gives Ari nightmares, dealing with the consequences of an A24 marketing stunt you did not consent to, the silver lining on a ‘D’ Cinemascore, why movies are meant to be watched more than once, and the magic of being in dialogue with other filmmakers across history—and becoming more yourself in the process.
You can listen to the new episode of The A24 Podcast below.