You love this and he said Dakota Johnson came on the show to talk about Suspiria.
So this is the an ironic the Luca guadagnino remake of Dario argento’s classic 1970s Chiller. So I’ll gentle basically started out making sort of, you know, Jolly Thrillers like for flies and Berber the crystal plumage and then moved into the territory of you know, Fantasia and horror deep red and Suspiria, which I think was his biggest International hit and the original had a young American ballerina travels to Europe to go to a dance academy where she uncovers a coven of which he secrets.
So now we have Dakota Johnson is the dancer who arrives in Berlin in 1977, which is the year that Suspiria was made very very specific time frame goes to a dance academy where she uncovers a covenant of which he Secrets at the beginning of the film. We see a dancer confiding in her psychotherapist that she thinks that the dance company is run by witches and there’s a whole thing which he says they’ve got the you know there which is it salt. Rebel and the Psychotherapy says look you can see these paranoid delusion. It’s transference. It’s putting all that stuff on and this dance of then disappears amidst lots of stories about. Oh, well she went away because her political affiliations because all the time going on around this there’s lots of discussion of the baader-meinhof.
There’s lots of discussion of terrorism discussion of political upheaval. All this stuff is very stuff that may have been background noise before is absolutely foreground.
Meanwhile Susie played by Dakota Johnson turns up at at the dance company where despite the fact that she’s untrained. She doesn’t audition that has some kind of untrammeled power to it, which is spotted by melon block played by Tilda Swinton in one of three roles that she plays and she sees something in Susie, which she thinks she can she can she can bring something out of it in a way that is almost Supernatural his equipment when you’re done, sir dance of another you make yourself in the image of its creator.
She wants to go higher. I think I think she wants love and she likes the Thom Yorke soundtrack as well. Yeah Thom Yorke, of course and and because what’s happening in that is there’s this sense of Defying Gravity of something almost magical starting to happen through dance.
Now when you saw the film, I know that you visit this isn’t not a place where you I know that you weren’t a fan of it and you were interested to say to see what I thought of it because I’m a fan of the agenda because I had sent you an introduction that I done to the Argento which I watched on or talking to Dakota. Yeah. Okay cool. And that was I mean, I think I think I film that in the 90s.
I mean certainly I was young enough to get away with wearing leather jacket and I still had most of my hair so it was a long time ago, but the point is if you’re a horror fan of my age, and actually I think probably if you’re a fan of any age, you know, Argento is it’s really really important horror auteur and Suspiria and profunda raw. So, I mean, these are movies which we all grew up with and everybody afterwards, you know, whether it’s rich Stanley or Clive Barker or whoever are all making movies that refer back to Argento and everything is everything is kind of inflected by our gender in in the same way that no science fiction movie.
Look the same after Blade Runner everything kind of existed in the post Blade Runner Universe the same was sort of true of our gentle an obviously. I’m very good friends with Alan Jones who wrote Our gentle the man the myth and magic and he’s kind of you know, I gen toes great interpreter over here.
So I went into seeing this knowing that I had I’m a huge fan of the original and knowing that I’ve met some people who really like the Remake. In fact, some people had said that they thought that the Remake was a superior film.
He was my feeling about it in the case of the Argento everything is to do with style everything has to do with that thing that I love which is show don’t tell which to do with visual storytelling when we did secrets of Cinema. There is a sequence that we used of heroin arriving at the airport and nothing happens. She basically gets off the plane. She walks through the airport she gets in Taxi in the rain and the taxi takes at the Academy but everything about the film is telling you you know, the story The Baxter what’s going it’s obviously with the lighting. It’s the camera angles. It’s the it’s the kind of over cranked performance. It’s the score. It’s the goblin score which is actually actually is literally saying when you say goblins ghosts, so and yeah, it’s a bit which was the people who are providing the music for it is a kind of proggy score but it’s got this sort of which e sound in the background. So it’s setting everything up through that in the case of this what’s happened is that they said firstly the Argento seems to exist in a slightly Timeless. I mean, it does have references to where it is and to you know, political backstory but there in the background this is very specifically set in you know, so the beginning divided Berlin and it’s 1977 and there is it’s not just that all the news footage of hijackings and discussion about Nazi Legacy and the changing role of women in society pre and post war that stuff isn’t in the background that stuff is right up in the foreground because people are constantly talking about it and it’s Constantly being you know pushed forward and the plot is from you know, my point of view constantly getting obfuscated by this whole other areas, which have been Laden onto the filmy. The Argento film is the longest version around about a hundred minutes long this adds an hour to that. This is two and a half hours long. So firstly there’s a there’s a weird thing about just basically loading it with a load of stuff that feels serious that feels as if you what you’ve done is you’ve made subtext super text the second thing that it does which is odd.
Is that it in the first in the Argento film you had this sense of cinematic Joy. I mean Guillermo del Toro said that it was the perfect embodiment of a kind of a growing Madness and pure cinematic joy in what he meant. Was that what Argenta was doing was telling the film in a really cinematic fashion that often narratively in this is very very true of Argento didn’t make logical sense, but made sense in terms of the film.
And the weird thing about this is although it has visual nods when there is a 70s inflected visual sensibility. There are kind of wobbly pans and there are crash zooms and there are there is there’s a kind of period detail to it which is authentic now to the way that it shot.
It feels the need constantly to explain to tell to lay out to come, you know to absolutely hold forth about what it’s about. And the strange thing is that what that does is you lose that sense of electricity that sense of vibrancy that sense of urgent cinematic thrill that you got from the Argento. Now, I know that you’re not a big horror fan and certainly in terms of this. It doesn’t skimp on, you know, when it turns into horror and Grand guignol and all that stuff. It’s all there and that’s fine. And of course it’s interesting because the agenda itself was a great case of all its extreme Cinema and is it too extreme and you know, can we have an uncut version of long version blah blah blah blah blah. Well, nobody nobody.
Argues about those things anymore than the world has changed but that was definitely a part of me thinking there’s a 90-minute movie in here and it’s just somehow been weighed down by this other are of stuff which has been put on top of it. And it’s funny. The reason I chose that clip of jump higher higher higher higher is this it is a good clip of the sense you get is that the film itself is constantly being weighed down by its own frankly self-importance and it’s what you what you end up with is this kind of frustrating experience, whereby all the things that made the Argento so memorable so startling so, you know Visual and cinematic it’s not like what God need is not a director who knows how to do that stuff, but it just felt like it got lost under this huge kind of baggy canvas of other stuff that have been put on top of it that felt That felt extraneous to the central idea the whole central three mothers, you know, the current all that stuff going on in the background characters swapping roles. Which yeah, okay. Yes to some extent made some kind of sense. But also I have to say when you see people doing an impression of Max von Sydow hours father Merrin it kind of did I find that rather distracting and the problem with it is is that as a result of that? It doesn’t have the visceral thrill that the Argento did now I understand that some people, you know, they think of the kind of admire that seriousness of purpose but you know from my point of view as a horror fan, I just sat there thinking did Suspiria need to have somebody overlaying all this other stuff on it. It’s like a butterfly that somebody’s kind of put a huge thing on top of it said they’re carry that and consequently it starts to fall apart under its own weight. It it quite often tips over into the risible and again, you know you you know Argento would With with the ridiculous, but he would do it in a way that was so full of free song that it didn’t matter and we there is plenty of moments in argento’s films when you go what why is that?
Why is that there? The lighting is literally changing around you for no good reason other than it looks good, but it has this kind of operatic and we’re Aztec sensibility to it. And I felt that whilst the Argento was a movie that lept and flew.
This is a movie that sits there and tells you off a little bit whilst being a horror film around the edges of it.