Saturday, 25 August 2018

SUSPIRIA trailer dissection

Darkness, Tears and Sighs!

With just days to go until its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, let's take an uncomfortably close look at this week's trailer for Guadagnino's SUSPIRIA remake. The devil is in the detail, as they say, so I've obsessively dissected this two minutes of footage for you to peruse at your leisure. Feel free to conduct your own postmortem examination, but be careful what you look for, you might find it (or it might find you).

First, a comparison of characters (and casting) carried over from Argento's film:

Suzy (now Susie):


Miss Tanner (is that human fucking hair?):

And of course, Madame Blanc:

And now to the trailer itself:


Mysterious psychoanalyst, Dr. Jozef Klemperer. Very obviously played by Swinton, but Luca and Co. are trying to pull a fast one on us, claiming that the role has been filled by an enigmatic actor by the name of Lutz Ebersdorf. They've gone so far as to create a fake IMDB listing for him, with a detailed career summary that makes him sound like a character out of SUSPIRIA itself.

A luminous presence.

Helena Markos, is that you?

The Colour out of Space.

Who the fuck is this? A member of the Coven? Lutz

Diagram of Evil. The names "Millius" and "Mandel" are a nod to the '77 film's Professor Milius and Dr. Frank Mandel (played by Udo Kier). "Sonia" is also carried over from the orignal, the ballerina impaled by falling debris at the beginning of the film.

A reference to Argento and cinematographer Luciano Tovoli's aesthetic. In green...

...and purple.

The Akademie.

The Dancers.

Their Masters (note "Helena Markos" poster).

"Broken Mirrors / Broken Minds".

A dance? Or a ritual?

The wonderful location that I made all that fuss about last year.


So, this looks like a shot from the gory set piece that was screened for the press earlier this year, to an overwhelmingly visceral reaction of shock and disgust.

A powerful connection. Madame Blanc holds...

... Susie in her spell.

Sara, be careful what you look for. You might end up with pins in your eyes!

Filling the shoes of the late, great Alida Valli, Angela Winkler (CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA) makes for a suitably menacing Miss Tanner.

Don't go in there!

A great shot of Susie and her mentor.

I know this is a dance film, but this is taking the term "footloose" far too literally.


This is intriguing, and fits in well with the film's themes as well as our current sociopolitical climate. A dark past, an evil ideology hiding in plain sight, emerging once again to cause violence and hatred. Wait, am I talking about fictional black magic, or real world fascism? 

The mask comes off. I imagine this shot is from the film's conclusion. Is that a fucking pile of dancers in the middle ground arranged into some kind of occult freeze? If so, I'm very much reminded of this iconic image from Michele Soavi's THE CHURCH. This is a good thing.

It appears that Tilda Swint- uh, I mean Lutz Ebersdorf's Dr. Klemperer has fallen afoul of that which he should not have meddled in.

The Madame, at the height of her power.

Well, that's it. Following its debut in Venice, expect the first reviews to hit on September 2nd!

Saturday, 18 August 2018

SUFF '18: The Traumatic Revenge of Mandy Luz's Puppet Reich

The program for this year's Sydney Underground Film Fest is off the chain. Their hottest lineup yet? Yeah, I think so. In 11 years SUFF has gone from the little fest that could to Sydney's premier genre event. No disrespect intended to SFF, ANOH or Monster Fest, but  SUFF is where it's at baby. 

I've picked up tickets to five films: Chilean "extreme" shocker TRAUMA (which is being compared to the infamous A SERBIAN FILM); the latest horror hit out of France, REVENGE; Arty German euro-horror throwback LUZ; the insane looking PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH (scored by Fabio Frizzi!); and most exciting of all, Panos Cosmatos' reportedly bonkers Nic Cage starrer, MANDY (with added bonus of the disgustingly delicious combo of ice cream and beer!).

If I had the goddamned time, I'd be going to Forzani/Cattet's Euro-crime + Spaghetti Western mashup LET THE CORPSES TAN, and Jim Hosking's GREASY STRANGLER followup AN EVENING WITH BEVERLY LUFF LINN too! I WANT MORE LIFE, FUCKER!