Monday, October 24, 2016
Episode 44: Suspiria
The only thing more terrifying than the last ten minutes of our new episode on Dario Argento's Suspiria are the first seventy-two. Corinne and Tim discuss how the film incorporates elements of fairy tales, point out the futility of remaking the movie, and warn of the psychological hazards of watching an Argento film under the influence of pain medication. Warning: Contains explicit language, spoilers, and a random bat attack.
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I've been through about 8-9 Argento films over the years, and I just really don't like him. He is a master of style and at one point had a very admirable precision for how he put sequences together, but I think both he and others have used "dreamlike" too sparingly to cover for very clunky writing, lackluster characters, and themes which are openly blurted out in ham-fisted dialogue, robbing them of any degree of nuance. Suspiria is one of his few fantasies I'm ok with because it has such a carnival funhouse feel, especially when the score would kick in, but all the other's I've seen just usually end up peeving me off more than they frighten or intrigue me. Amusingly, the one film of his I really like, the early giallo Cat O' Nine Tails, is one of his personal least favorites because he feels he was too conventional and coherent. I think he and I are just destined to never get along on a deep fundamental level. :)ReplyDelete
I honestly haven't seen as many of Argento's, probably only about six, and I definitely have had similar problems with his movies. Story and characters have never been his strength, with the script often existing solely as an excuse to hang some fantastically-designed set pieces on. I have similar issues with Fulci.Delete
I did come around on Suspiria, but it was his more straight-forward murder mystery films like Deep Red and Tenebrae (which might still be my favorite of his) that helped get me into his work.
While I own Cat O'Nine Tails, I still haven't watched it yet. Must get to that one soon!