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Author Topic: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)  (Read 70954 times)

Paul

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Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« on: 09 Jul 2007 - 10:59 »

Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA is a landmark of not only the horror genre, but of cinema itself. Prior to SUSPIRIA, Argento's directorial efforts had been nothing more than a series of well crafted thrillers; gialli. Dario Argento made his directorial debut in 1969 with The THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, an accomplished whodunnit starring Tony Musante and Suzy Kendall. THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE was not only responsible for kick-starting Argento's career, it also spawned a raft of imitations from the likes of Sergio Martino, Umberto Lenzi and Aldo Lado. After the functional CAT O’NINE TAILS (1970) and FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET (1971), Argento became more experimental. Following on from his misguided historical epic, THE FIVE DAYS OF MILAN (1973), Argento made the seminal PROFONDO ROSSO (1975), which would be the start of many collaborations with actress Daria Nicolodi (who would later co-write SUSPIRIA, and mother his daughter, Asia) and the rock group Goblin.

SUSPIRIA, which was released in 1977, was a real departure for Argento. Firstly, the film was Argento's first to be set outside of his native Italy. Secondly, the labyrinthine plots that had anchored his previous films had given way to an entirely stylistic mise-en-scene. SUSPIRIA, although fundamentally a murder mystery, has the most basic of folk stories at its core. Suzy Banyon (Jessica Harper) is an American dance student who has won a scholarship at a coveted academy in Frieberg, Germany. Upon her arrival, Suzy discovers that the students are being picked off, one by one at the hands of a shrouded maniac. As Suzy investigates the murders, she discovers that the academy's faculty have more than a passing interest in the occult...

SUSPIRIA can be described as an attack on the senses. Argento's use of colour is striking and unlike anything else seen prior or since its release. Goblin's maniacal score is the equivalent of having your head bludgeoned with an iron bar for 100 minutes and is integral to the experience of watching SUSPIRIA - adding a great deal to the overall effect of the film. It's Argento's use of colour and score that create a real menacing ambience that runs through the film like lettering in a stick of rock. In conclusion, although lacking a cohesive narrative, SUSPIRIA is a rollercoaster ride of a film and a masterpiece of modern cinema. Argento followed SUSPIRIA with INFERNO (1980) and the soon-to-be-seen THE THIRD MOTHER (2007).

SUSPIRIA was one of the first EuroCult films that I experienced and one of the main factors of me becoming such a rabid fan of exploitation cinema.
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The Hunchback

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #1 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 11:20 »

When, exactly, is "The Third Mother" being released?
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Paul

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #2 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 11:22 »

It's getting a reales in Italy this October. Apparently, much of the gorier footage has been excised in favour of a lower rating. From what I've read, I gather hat the uncut version will follow on DVD. There doesn't seem to be a release date given for any otehr territory.
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The Hunchback

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #3 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 11:24 »

It's getting a reales in Italy this October. Apparently, much of the gorier footage has been excised in favour of a lower rating. From what I've read, I gather hat the uncut version will follow on DVD. There doesn't seem to be a release date given for any otehr territory.


This will probably have a limited release in the states. I guess I'll have to rent the dvd.
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Paul

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #4 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 11:27 »

It's getting a reales in Italy this October. Apparently, much of the gorier footage has been excised in favour of a lower rating. From what I've read, I gather hat the uncut version will follow on DVD. There doesn't seem to be a release date given for any otehr territory.


This will probably have a limited release in the states. I guess I'll have to rent the dvd.

It's co-produced by Myriad Pictures who have been responsible for some pretty high profile films in the past, so I wouldn't rule out a medium-sized theatrical release in the US, mate.
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death_proof_reg

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #5 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 15:51 »

My introduction into the world of Argento. Loved every second of it. I hate hearing people say its style over substance, i completely disagree.

I saw the smashing pumpkins live in london and the "intro" on there set is none other than the suspiria theme. As you can imagine, it was amazing to hear live like that, and a great start to a gig.
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Paul

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #6 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 15:51 »

My introduction into the world of Argento. Loved every second of it. I hate hearing people say its style over substance, i completely disagree.


Crap, isn't it? If iot were merely style over substance, it would have the effect it has.
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Jonny

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #7 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 16:05 »

I was lucky enough to see 'Suspiria' on the big screen last month at the 'Fantastic Films Weekend' in Bradford. The 35mm print screened was an original UK cinema release copy from 1977/78 and I was expecting it to be in dreadful shape. Amazingly it was in very good shape and the projectionists turned the volume up to 11  ::)

I must say it was one of the most amazing cinematic experience I've ever had. Mindblowing. When the Goblin track started as the film began I can honestly say I had a lump in my throat and a little tear in my eye.
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death_proof_reg

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #8 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 16:14 »

I must say it was one of the most amazing cinematic experience I've ever had. Mindblowing. When the Goblin track started as the film began I can honestly say I had a lump in my throat and a little tear in my eye.

There's something about that music isnt there? there's nothing else like it. When I watched Suspiria the first time I woke up at about 4 am from a bad dream and decided to watch it in the dark, on my laptop, with earphones. I cant stress how much I loved every second of it. It must be AMAZING in the cinema.
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Kevin Coed

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #9 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 16:15 »

The wife and I watched it after quite heavy doses of liquid lsd once. It was absolutely fucking terrifying.
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Paul

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #10 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 16:18 »

The music is an integral part of the experience - experience being the key word because you don't watch SUSPIRIA, you simply experieince it, and that was probably Argento's point and why the film's detractors are way off base when they say it's style over substance. There are not many films you experience on the same level as SUSPIRA...

I've not seen it on the big screen - the closest I've come was seeing the DVD projected on my mates 7' screen (accompanied by the DTS mix). It was still awesome to see it like this, so I can only image how great it would have been shown from a 35mm print.
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Jonny

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #11 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 16:21 »

It must be AMAZING in the cinema.

It was.  :'(

The good news is that the print now belongs to the 'National Media Museum' in Bradford so it's more than likely it will get another screening at some point.

http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/home.asp
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death_proof_reg

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #12 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 16:21 »

I'd make the journey
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Gary B.

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #13 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 18:09 »

It's getting played in a theatre near me very soon I've heard, so I'm pretty eager to see an Argento film on a huge screen.
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Paul

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Re: Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
« Reply #14 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 18:37 »

I saw FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET and THE STENDHAL SYNDROME at National Film Theatre in 1996 - there was a retrospective of all Argento's films, culmianting with the premiere of the latter. I opted for those as I had see neither.
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"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson
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