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Beautiful Horror: Studying Midsommar (2019) by Ari Aster

Written by NDA tutor Ruth Skrytek

As we move into winter, the heatwave of this summer seems a million miles away. There was one film that defined every horror-nut’s summer this year – and that was Ari Aster’s most recent endeavour in cinema.

Ari Aster has been revered as a post-modern horror hero – when his film Hereditary (2018) was released, it set itself above from other films of its genre in the 21st century. His movies have been compared to classics such as The Exorcist (1973) and other cult favourites. With an architectural and sculptural twist, Hereditary (2018) was the horror film for the designer – aesthetically considered and composed with an architectural and sculptural twist. Midsommar (2019) has continued Aster’s legacy – with less of a focus on the interior, but an aesthetically-driven piece of film none-the-less.

There is something horrifying about the pristine, light and bright aesthetics portraying such a dark story. There is an added sense of unease in this piece of film, perpetuating that not everything is as innocent as it seems in the Swedish village of Harga.

In many scenes in the film, there is a distinct amount of illustration in the form of tapestries, wall paintings and wood carvings – which not only creates an engaging atmosphere but sets the scene – in some cases, literally. A mural is shown in the opening scenes of the film – whilst the viewer is not aware yet, illustrates the events to come in a seemingly innocent fashion at first glance.

This artistic element of the film not only makes it much more engaging and exciting, but especially memorable. Traditional Swedish artistry was used in the film, and the depictions of old-fashioned visual story-telling really put the film in the fine art category of cinema. The graphics and prints shout out at you, pulling you into the tasteful and artistic nature of the story as well as the aesthetics.

So, can horror films be beautiful? Yes, of course. Especially this one. In fact, Aster has paved the way for a revolution in horror – concentrating on how to tell a dark story, whilst not having to rely on horror movie tropes such as jump scares, old, decrepit haunted houses, gloomy atmospheres and supernatural phenomenon.

We hope that Aster’s next cinematic adventure will be as iconic as the first two, and continue to please designers everywhere with the beautiful composition and artistry.

Has your interior design appetite perked? If so, you’ll love our Diploma in Professional Interior Design! No entry requirements, all abilities welcome and you can study online from your own home. Check it out!

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Course Timeline

3rd September to 20th January

Introduction Week

Course Introduction

2 hour Live Online Introduction Session
Tuesday, 3rd September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 1

Unit 01: Fabric Selection & Colour Theory

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 10th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 13th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 2

Unit 02: Estimation for Soft Furnishings

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 17th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 20th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 3

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 23rd September

Week 4

Unit 03: Window Treatments: Mitres, Hand-Stitching Techniques & Pattern Matching

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 1st October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 4th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 5

Unit 04: Lined & Interlined Curtain Construction

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 8th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 11th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 6

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 14th October

Week 7

Unit 05: Constructing Hand-Sewn Buckram Headers

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 22nd October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 25th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 8

Unit 06: Constructing Piped Crescent Tie-Back & Piped Cushion

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 29th October @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 1st November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 9

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 4th November

Week 10

Unit 07: Constructing a Roman Blind

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 12th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 15th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 11

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 18th November

Week 12

Unit 08: Constructing Padded Pelmets

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 26th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 29th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 13

Unit 09: Constructing Swags & Tails (Swags)

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 3rd December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 6th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 14

Unit 09: Constructing Swags & Tails (Tails)

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 10th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 13th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 15

Unit 10: Setting-up a Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings Workroom

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 17th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
*Thursday, 19th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)
*One day early due to office closure

Christmas Holidays

NDA Office Closed

20th December - 6th January

Week 16 & 17

Independent Study Break Week x2

Commencing Monday, 6th & 13th January

Week 18

Project hand-in

Monday, 20th January 2025

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