Ari Aster’s Latest Film ‘Beau Is Afraid’ Takes a Bold New Direction

Ari Aster’s Latest Film ‘Beau Is Afraid’ Takes a Bold New Direction

...By Henry George for TDPel Media.

Director Ari Aster, known for his horror films “Hereditary” and “Midsommar,” has taken a new direction with his upcoming film “Beau Is Afraid.”


The film follows a bumbling man named Beau, played by Joaquin Phoenix, on a journey to his mother’s house, and is classified as a comedy.

However, as described by New York Magazine, the film is “almost unbearably intimate, like being dropped directly into someone’s subconscious at full, rolling boil.”

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The movie includes an extended and bizarre semi-animated sequence that adds to its strange flat affect and psychological impact.

The animated sequence was created by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña, who worked out of their studio in Santiago while Aster shot the film in Montreal.

The sequence used a variety of techniques, including green screen, hand-painted backdrops, life-size diorama-esque sets, and rotoscope animation, to create an unforgettable and intricate experience.

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The sequence was inspired by “The Wizard of Oz,” but Aster challenged the artists to make it even bigger and more distorted.


Despite never being in the same room with Aster, León and Cociña collaborated with a team of about 20 artists to create an intricate and multi-layered sequence that incorporates many different techniques.

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Cociña cites the portrayal of time as the trickiest element, with “seasons changing with, like, three seconds per season!” Ultimately, the team created a laboratory of techniques that combined to make a lucrative and fertile creative space.

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