Luca Guadagnino is definitely an eclectic director who likes to try different film genres. After the bucolic and sentimental atmosphere of “Call me by your name”, a hit movie that gave him international fame, the Italian director with the remake of Dario Argento‘s 1977 cult horror classic Suspiria, immerses the viewer in spellbinding and threatening atmospheres.
Guadagnino’s version has numerous changes compared to the original work, he moves the action from Freiburg, where the original movie was set, to the grey, ghostly, dark, 1970’s Berlin, still divided by the wall and crossed by the ghosts of Nazism. From that period he recalls the restless socio-political climate of the cold war with references to the destabilizing actions of the Baader Meinhof group. There are also numerous cultural and cinematographic references: the appearance of Madame Blanc (played by Tilda Swinton) director of the prestigious dance school Markos Tanz Company -where the film takes place- is very reminiscent of Pina Bausch, great choreographer and German dancer, while a tribute to the memory of the director R.W. Fassbinder is made through the participation of Indrid Caven, his wife and actress in many of his films.
International cast, including Dakota Johnson (starring Susie Bannion), Mia Goth, Angela Winkler, Chloë Grace Moretz. The film’s background score is also very well looked after: the soundtrack was in fact entrusted to Thom Yorke, the Radiohead’s leading singer. Besides 5 sung pieces including “Suspirium” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTZl9KMjbrU) it mainly includes instrumental pieces in line with the moody and mysterious atmosphere of the film. “When Guadagnino asked me to collaborate on the film, I thought he was crazy. I had never composed any soundtrack and I just did not feel like comparing myself with the original ones of the film made by the Goblins, a real cult. I was certain, however, that if I had given up then I would have repented. So I thought about it for two months and then I accepted also because Luca left me total freedom of expression,” said Yorke.
The release of the film is scheduled for November 2nd, while the soundtrack (in double CD or double pink vinyl) will be available from October 26th.
Above: Dakota Johnson, Suspiria by Luca Guadagnino, 2018