9th November 2017
Based on Thomas De Quincey’s seminal essay in 1845, “Suspiria” (1977) is one of the seminal 70s horror films of its time.
Suspiria (1977)// Dario Argento
Suspiria is the 70s Italian Horror film by acclaimed director Dario Argento. The first in a trio of movies it was based on Thomas De Quincey’s 1845 essay “Suspiria de Profundis (Sighs from the Depths.) The cult hit, falls into the Giallo subgenre and aside from its gory storyline, is renowned for being one of the most cinematic movies of its time. It stands as one of McQ’s inspirations for the latest eyewear collection, and here is why.
Unusually for a film, the experimental musical score for Suspiria was composed predominantly before shooting began. Prog-rock band “Goblin” along with director Argento composed the music together and according to the music website Pitchfork, the title song was one of the best songs released between 1977-79. Just to make filming even more dramatic, the iconic score was apparently played on set for the actors as the films dialogue would be dubbed in post production.
An accumulation of garish tone, red filters and surreal terror make up the acclaimed cinematography in this classic. Some have referred to the film as high art for its 98 minute barrage of bright colours (created by used carbon arc lights and stretched coloured fabric over the top) and imagery that verges on the supernatural. Argento allegedly cited “Snow white and the Seven Dwarves” as one of his inspirations. “(In) Suspiria … we were trying to reproduce the color of Walt Disney’s Snow White,” Argento said. “It has been said from the beginning that Technicolor lacked subdued shades, was without nuances—like cut-out cartoons.”
Argento would keep the camera constantly moving as though it were a predator to keep its audience on their toes.
The Whale House in Freiburg, Germany was used as the famous Dance Academy in the film. Part of a complex of 17 buildings it was inhabited officially from 1517. Its eerie red façade and vast interior make for the ideal horror film setting.
And as luck would have it 2017 sees the remake coming to the big screen, with Oscar winning Tilda Swinton, Chloe Grace Moretz and Dakota Johnson set to star in it.