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Six acts and an epilogue in a divided Berlin

Regissør: Luca Guadagnino
( Italia,Tyskland)

The horror opera classic Suspiria has been re-recorded. The year is 1977, the city is Berlin, and Helena Markos Tanzkompanie seduces and fills dreams with horror and horror.


When Luca Guadagnino warned that he, after the perfectly passable Call Me by Your Name, were to release a new version of the horror opera classic Suspiria – Dario Argento's masterpiece from 1977 – I was skeptical. After seeing the film for the first time at the world premiere during the Venice Film Festival, I was still not completely convinced. But I had to admit that there is something to like, and I was looking forward to seeing the film again during The Great Cinema Day at the newly opened Vega Scene in Oslo. By accepting that Guadagninos Suspiria is a completely different solution to partly the same starting point, quite a few things appear that both thought and resolved satisfactorily – and some things very well.

Berlin 1977

Before the film itself begins, the text comes: "Six Acts and an Epilogue in a Shared Berlin."

The year 1977 is a good starting point. Argento Suspiria had its premiere. The director mentions that it was also important to see the connection with the feminist wave's new progress that year. The Berlin 1977 is perfect. It is easy to recognize in the dark, the fog. Rain and some snow. Helena Markos Tanzkompanie is part of the time. New, hypnotic, seductive. Dreams full of horror and horror. Hallucinations. Blood red canvases. Maybe you are the spectator who kills, or gets murdered.

Dario seemed influenced by history: His dance academy was a hyper-realistic construction. (With any clues to German artists in the 20th century?) Susie was played here by Jessica Harper (she appears as Anke in the new recording). Helpless, with no opportunity to escape. A fallen angel, fragile as glass. In Guadagnino's version, Susie is played by the absolutely talented Dakota Johnson.

But otherwise nerdy casting: As Madame Blanc, we meet in the original Joan Bennett, from among others Fritz Lang's American films. Madame Tanner is interpreted by Alida Valli, the dark heroine of The third man. Tilda Swinton, who has worked extensively with Luca Guadagnino, is impressive of course as the new Madame Blanc. In addition, she fixates the combination Helena Markos (a powerful invisible witch) and Dr. Josef Klemperer in an elegant way. At the Venice press conference, she said she drew inspiration from several famous choreographers, including Pina Bausch. We can also see traces of the artist Marina Abramovic.

Mia Goth (Sara) and Chloë Grace Moretz (who starred in the latest version of Carrie) are new super talents, both of which fit perfectly in genre material like this.

Sit back and be sucked into the nightmare in all its madness.

Guadagninos Suspiria has fewer sheer horror effects, is more arthaus movie in the expression. Not unexpectedly, we track a tribute to the brilliance days of German alternative films in the 70 century. Ingrid Caven (Miss Vendegast) is still active as an actor and singer. Her efforts in Fassbinder's films are classic film history. Angela Winkler (Miss Tanner) is remembered among other things by German classics like Blikktrommen (based on Günther Grass's novel, directed by Volker Schlöndorff) where she played Agnes, and not least in the title role of Schlöndorffs and Margarethe von Trottas Katarina Blum's lost honor, after a novel by Heinrich Böll. A few years later, she played her mother in Benny's video.


Dario Argento found his right colors in collaboration with photographer Luciano Tovoli – and through the access to the residue warehouse of IB Technicolor in Italy, which was absolutely crucial. For its 2018 version, Lucas has chosen to continue the collaboration with Thai Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, which was "approved" for its work with Call Me by Your Name. In film circles, he is world famous for his magical photo work for compatriot Apichatpong Weerasethakul's many masterpieces, including the film Onkel boonmee (about one who remembers past lives, an exciting gold palm winner in Cannes).

The band Goblin, led by keyboardist Claudio Simonetti, and their progressive rock became a trademark of Argentina's best film. new Suspiria has original music written by Thom Yorke (vocalist in Radiohead), and it has a very active and evocative role. Large variety, some songs, such as "Volk", are among the highlights of the film. Expect more movie music from Thom.

The overall sound picture is effective. Costumes (Giulia Piersanti) and choreography (Belgian Damien Jalet) are of high quality. The game between shades of gray and red shades the film. The new movie is significantly longer than the original, and I'm still unsure if it's needed. Some parts are partly confusing and unclear, maybe it is just fine.

Either way: Think it's best not to try too hard. Sit back and be sucked into the nightmare in all its madness. Join in the deepest darkness. It can seem mesmerizing, creepy and disturbing. The color red is blood, death and pain, nightmares that bathe in red, but also passion, celebration, celebration and joy. Very much blood. I dream in red. The Berlin 1977 was David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Vienna artists fled and found exile in Berlin. You could meet Foucault and Genet. The wall stood there in the divided city. More than 400 occupied urban farms. Rote Army Fraction (RAF), Baader-Meinhof, actions and protests of all kinds. Police cars on fire. Exploded bank premises.

But most great creativity. Film, dance, theater, wild art and music.

Recommend: Enjoy Suspiria, it's just a movie! Or a dream?

Going to the cinema.

Tommy Lørdahl
Tommy Lørdahl
Lørdahl is a journalist, critic, DJ and regular writer in Ny Tid.

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