Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria will hit viewers like a train. Music (courtesy of Thom Yorke), choreography and camerawork masterfully combine to disturb, haunt and turn your mind inside-out. It’s the director’s homage to, or cover of (rather than a remake) Dario Argento’s iconic 1977 original, following the mysterious goings-on in a prestigious Berlin dance school in 1977, which, it transpires, is run by a coven of witches.
Guadagnino’s film forms a fascinating, bold, and somewhat critically divisive, re-interpretation of the revered classic, from its contrasting bleak palette replacing Argento’s bold flashes of colour, to an unexpectedly gory and violent turn from the director whose steamy, sultry Italian-summer set romance Call Me by Your Name caused such a stir last year.
Rich in imagery and mythology, Suspiria reflects themes of feminism, matriarchy and the power of motherhood as well as forces of evil. Not only does the film feature a selection of actresses right at the top of their game – Dakota Johnson (her turn in Fifty Shades is utterly forgotten in her central performance), Mia Goth, Chloë Grace Moretz and the formidable Tilda Swinton – but the sole male character is also played by a woman (Swinton playing Lutz Ebersdorf playing Dr Josef Klemperer).
Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton are on frighteningly good form in their work with Luca Guadagnino to create the visual, auditory and psychological onslaught that is his homage to the iconic 1977 film.
We were at the movie’s London Film Festival screening to hit the red carpet and talk with the film’s stars.
Tilda Swinton told us about playing Madame Blanc and what makes working with Luca Guadagnino so special.
Dakota Johnson spoke to us about making the film and her role as the central character Suzy Bannion.
Mia Goth stopped to speak to us about playing Sara Simms and her experience of making the movie.
By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 17th October 2018.
Videos: Marta Starczynowska
Suspiria is released nationwide on 16th November 2018.
Watch the trailer for Suspiria here: