Posted on Thursday, February 4th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
(Welcome to the /Film Movie Club, a new semi-regular feature where we delve into some of our favorite movies, focusing on films that lie a little off the beaten path. Today: Dario Argento’s Suspiria.)
Some movies benefit from being watched at a particular time, in a particular place, while you are in a particular mood. Suspiria, Dario Argento‘s 1977 horror masterpiece, is a gripping and unsettling experience in any context, but it practically demands to be watched in the dark, on the biggest screen you can access, with the sound cranked up as high as you can bear. Oh, it it helps if you start watching if after midnight, so you’re just tired enough to wonder if you’re actually seeing what you think you’re seeing.
That last part isn’t necessary, but when I recently settled in for a late night repertory screening of Suspiria, I found myself instantly battling fatigue. The result: one of the most memorable movie-watching experiences of my life, where Argento’s film merged with my susceptible, dreary consciousness to create the ultimate experience of inhabiting a bad dream. But even without that extra help Suspiria plays like a nightmare – logic plays second fiddle to a world where bad things happen to good people for reasons that are intentionally vague and maddening. You can’t argue with the visions of an uneasy sleep.
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A remake of Suspiria, Dario Argento‘s gorgeous and dreamlike tale of witchcraft at a boarding school for dance, has been in the works for a very long time. For most of that period, David Gordon Green was planning to direct the film. He’s said his version was going to be “a very faithful, extremely elegant opera. I don’t mean musical opera, but it would be incredibly heightened music, and heightened and very operatic and elegant sets.”
When Green pulled away from the film, he did say that it would still be made, by “a great Italian director.” Now we know that he was talking about Luca Guadagnino, whose film I Am Love was released in 2009, and who has the new movie A Bigger Splash at the Venice Film Festival. Guadagnino, who was previously set to produce Green’s version, says Suspiria is next for him, and his version, he says, will be “very different.” Read More »
The Suspiria film remake may be dead, but that doesn’t mean you can keep a coven of witches down. There’s now a Suspiria TV series in development out of Europe, with original writer/director Dario Argento on board as “artistic consultant.” But you’re probably not expecting precisely this plan for the TV version of Argento’s film about a dance student who discovers a horrifying supernatural secret at the heart of her new school.
Meanwhile, there’s also news of development on a Django TV series, based on the western character originally played by Franco Nero. Read More »
Posted on Friday, September 7th, 2012 by Angie Han
Nicolas Cage tends to emphasize quantity over quality when it comes to his career choices, but he still comes across some truly good projects every once in a while — I’d say just often enough to remind us that he can bring it if he really wants to. And after a long streak of forgettable stinkers like Season of the Witch, Seeking Justice, and Trespass, he’s landed an especially promising new project in Joe.
Billed as a “gritty Southern drama,” Joe is being adapted by Gary Hawkins from the novel by Larry Brown. David Gordon Green is set to direct, marking his return to drama after a string of comedies. There’s a catch, though — cameras on Joe are scheduled to roll this fall, which indicates that Green’s long-gestating Suspiria remake has been pushed back yet again. More after the jump.
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Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 by Angie Han
It’s been several years since David Gordon Green began working on his remake of Dario Argento‘s horror classic Suspiria, but the pieces appear to be falling into place for real this time. About a month after producers announced that financing was locked in and casting was underway, Green has found his star:15-year-old Isabelle Furhman, best known for her turn in Jaume Collet-Serra’s rather insane Orphan.
Fuhrman leads a strong cast that also includes Isabelle Huppert, Janet McTeer, Michael Nyqvist, and Antje Traue, in unnamed roles. More details after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 by Angie Han
For four years now, David Gordon Green has been working on a remake of Dario Argento‘s 1977 horror classic Suspiria. For a while the movie looked to be coming together for a 2010 start, but it wasn’t until summer 2010 that Argento finally turned over the rights, so Green’s project got off schedule. Green never gave up, though, and as of last spring had written a new draft of the script and secured the rights to the original’s score from Goblin. And now all that work is about to pay off, as the pieces are falling into place to start production this fall. More after the jump.
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Though we’ve heard little about it in the past year, David Gordon Green‘s plans to remake Dario Argento‘s landmark horror/thriller Suspiria have not died. Much to the contrary. He has a new draft of the script written, and wants to make it his next film. And while he plans to change some elements of the story, in recent interviews he says he is planning a very faithful adaptation. He’s even got the rights to the original film’s chilling, screeching score from Italian band Goblin, and will use the music in his version. Read More »
What’s going on with David Gordon Green‘s proposed remake of the Dario Argento horror classic Suspiria? We first heard about the film almost two years ago, and there were rumors not long ago that the film would shoot this year. But we haven’t heard much about the remake since people hit Green with questions while on the set of his latest film Your Highness.
Turns out the holdup may have been with Argento, who held the rights to his original film. Read More »
When 2009 is reflected on later, it won’t be the clunky, predictable Oscar-bait pics that standout but rather a new crop of outspoken auteurs that came into their own in ’09 with stealthy, highly confident fare. A charged determination and can’t-fail idealism is instilled in these directors that makes the filmmaking process once again exciting and truly daring: A young man’s game. Writer/director, Ti West, is one such auteur. Not yet 30 years of age, West has crafted a horror film with an attention to detail, sex appeal, color and sound so as to evoke the paranoid trips of early Roman Polanski and the vintage, pop-darkly appreciation of early Richard Linklater and Paul Thomas Anderson.
Bearing a title that is epic and playfully dry, The House of the Devil reconnects the horror genre with roots-y, genuine, teetering suspense. By doing so, West also manages to grasp viewers in the claws of doom by way of a foreboding graveyard or a pitch black basement, as opposed to, say, a phallic torture chamber aired simultaneously on forty live surveillance cameras. Stylistically, West forwent mining homage from the Grindhouse well—so exhausted this decade—and instead made a film set in the ’80s that not only looks period, but feels of it. The era’s mundane pace of life and lack of social interconnection can be sensed from the movie’s start and is incensed by the decade’s “Satanic Panic”: a media-exploited phenomenon that did for Satanism what coverage of the Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam did for serial killers in the ’60s and ’70s. At Devil‘s heart is the lead performance by newcomer, Jocelin Donahue, 27, who gets my vote for movie crush of 2009. Donahue plays Samantha, a smart, unsure college sophomore in dire need of a payday who eventually responds—in that ’80s way—to a nondescript babysitter flyer. No one ever said that $atan doesn’t have great taste.
From the way in which Donahue walks in high-waisted jeans to the way Samantha and her BFF eat and critique pizza, it’s a luscious thrill to witness such a dope actress and director get it and get it some more. Moreover, West appears supported by one of the cooler, simpatico filmmaking crews working in indie films today. Unlike the stereotypical proto-auteur of past and present, West’s horror movie shines as both the work of a driven perfectionist and a clear vision by a superlative collective; this enables the viewer to fall into, and fall in love with, all the creepy, masterful foreplay before West’s plot rocks wildly alongside a devilish eclipse. Afterward, I desired to open a pack of THoTD trading cards showcasing the film’s collaborators and characters alike rather than scan IMDB. Ti West discussed his creative process with /Film, as well as the film’s titular House, its mystic pizza, and why his experience helming the yet-to-be-released Cabin Fever 2 was an effing nightmare straight outta Hell Hollywood.
Hunter Stephenson: Hi Ti. I found this to be a very uncompromising horror film. I think what many are finding to their surprise is that The House of the Devil is not an homage to the ’80s a la Thanksgiving but a real period piece.
Ti West: Thanks, I’m glad you see it like that because that’s how I see it: as a period piece. I appreciate that. I mean, the film is basically about a cultural phenomenon in the 1980s, the Satanic Panic. So, I wanted to create a very accurate depiction of that and not do it tongue-in-cheek, or as a parody, because then people wouldn’t care about the characters in the movie. That’s why there’s a really nice primer to the beginning of the film [explaining the Satanic Panic, complete with statistics], because so much of the film is a contrast between a lot of realism and then these very fantastic horror elements. And that’s why, with the beginning, I wanted it to feel like this is something that could have really happened.
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