Suspiria ★★★★★

"What did it feel today to dance Volk in front of the one who made it? No, no. That's a vain question. Let me ask you another. When you were dancing, what did it feel like... inside you, inside your body?"
"It felt like what I think it must feel like to fuck."
"You mean to fuck a man?"
"No, I... was thinking of an animal."

Suspiria is a horror film of a very different sort, the kind that wants you to think about history and our place in it, about dance and the meaning we give to art of any kind, about sisterhood and about just what life is. It also gets into the gooey, gory, fun stuff too and in heaps once it gets to the film's climax, but it wants us to think a bit first. Personally, I like that.

It's a very different film from the original, but it reflects director Guadagnino's great respect and love for it as it makes its own way into the story of a great coven of witches whose presence has been known to only a very few for countless years. The coven actually seems more realized in this film than the original, but the witches themselves didn't seem to matter as much as Mother Suspiriorum herself in the original. She's there right from the start in that film, whereas in this one she shows up when Madame Blanc's not expecting and starts messing with things, taking Blanc's position of leadership from her. Or not, as we later learn in that gooey, gory, fun climax that I was hinting at before...

I know some are bothered by the character of Dr. Klemperer, but I find the scenes that he's in to be just as fascinating as those concerning either the dance school or the coven hidden there. He represents the rational, the need to explain away the madness of the world. As he's told by one of the witches regarding his lost wife, "When women tell you the truth, you don't pity them. You tell them they have delusions!" There's a lot of that going on in the world and I appreciated the fact that it was addressed as it was. We hear things that are hard to fathom at times, but that doesn't mean that they're not true. Just that we need to be a little more open to the possibility that we don't know everything that we think we do.

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