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Thread: Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino)

  1. #1
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino)

    Last edited by Henry Gale; 11-01-2018 at 04:45 AM.
    Cold War (Pawlikowski, 2018) - **** / 9.3
    Minding the Gap (Liu, 2018) - **** / 9.0
    Green Book (Farrelly, 2018) - ** / 5.8
    Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018) - **** / 8.9
    The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (Mitchell, 2019) - *** / 7.7
    Alita: Battle Angel (Rodriguez, 2019) - ** / 5.9
    Bohemian Rhapsody ("Singer", 2018) - ** / 4.1
    Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (Persichetti/Ramsey/Rothman, 2018) - **** / 9.2
    Vice (McKay, 2018) - ** / 5.6
    The Favourite (Lanthimos, 2018) - **** / 9.3

  2. #2
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Very curious for your full review, Henry. I was not a fan of Call Me By Your Name, but I've been optimistic about this one.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (No, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  3. #3
    Cinematographer Idioteque Stalker's Avatar
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    Soundtrack was solid Halloween listening.

  4. #4
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Well, Spinal, I'm not sure how good of a gauge I'll be considering CMBYN was my #1 of last year, but despite a similar level of craft on display, this does feels like the work of a wholly different spirit and ambition conjuring its vision and ideas.

    I feel as if this Suspiria is the nightmare that the original film had when it went to sleep in 1977. They're connected in fragmented, haunted and spiritually twisted ways that feel entirely their own and yet perfectly indebted.

    It's a film for those who saw mother! and wished it had just let loose a little more. Just a delirious, erupting volcano of audacity and baffling beauty that has been on my mind (with a slight, tensed wincing lingering in my gut) since I saw it on Halloween night that I can only imagine will remain there in some form every day until I see it again. And even after a repeat viewing (or eight) I still doubt I'll have comfortably wrapped my head around it.

    You rarely get a shift as radical between two films (especially so close together) from a filmmaker than Guadagnino with Call Me By Your Name to this, and I so wish more directors attempted to challenge that. Even if the results of similarly bold turns are inevitably not as phenomenal as these, Luca just embodies a sort of fearless creative force like so few others at the moment, he should be considered the standard instead of the exception. But as it is, he is exceptional.

    So I loved it, but will not bat an eye when others do not. It's a stunning, singular work despite being very consciously a remake, and even moment to moment it can feel only questionably triumphant, but perhaps only because it's a struggle to find any cinematic reference point to some of what is being done here ever at all, let alone done well. So ultimately, even if it doesn't click with you, I can't imagine it not staying with you, and sometimes that's a more important impression than stating how good you feel something was.
    Last edited by Henry Gale; 11-03-2018 at 08:40 PM.
    Cold War (Pawlikowski, 2018) - **** / 9.3
    Minding the Gap (Liu, 2018) - **** / 9.0
    Green Book (Farrelly, 2018) - ** / 5.8
    Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018) - **** / 8.9
    The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (Mitchell, 2019) - *** / 7.7
    Alita: Battle Angel (Rodriguez, 2019) - ** / 5.9
    Bohemian Rhapsody ("Singer", 2018) - ** / 4.1
    Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (Persichetti/Ramsey/Rothman, 2018) - **** / 9.2
    Vice (McKay, 2018) - ** / 5.6
    The Favourite (Lanthimos, 2018) - **** / 9.3

  5. #5
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Henry Gale (view post)
    It's a film for those who saw mother! and wished it had just let loose a little more.
    OK, this is enough to convince me. I'll read the rest once I've seen it.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (No, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  6. #6
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    I'm glad I finally have someone else to talk about this with because I liked it, but not as much as I thought I would. I LOVE everything that was brought to the table in terms of visual style and genre, and Thom Yorkes score is truly great. The ensemble is excellent with Dakota Johnson and Mia Goth being the standouts, along with Tilda Swinton in her dual role. However, while the narrative was engaging when it followed Suzy and the ballet, it drug on with the psychiatrist's subplot, and the film as a whole never felt cohesive thematically. But I'll admit I didn't expect the psychiatrist to play a bigger role in this one, so now that I've seen it, I look forward to unpacking it on the next watch. The climax to this film is something that would have made Pasolini and Ken Russell proud.
    Last Five Films I've Seen (Out of 5)

    The Perfection (Shepard, 2019) 4
    The Legend of Hell House (Hough, 1973) 3.5
    The Wicker Man (Hardy, 1973) 4.5
    Gemini Man (Lee, 2019) 2.5
    The Addams Family (Vernon/Tiernan, 2019) 2.5
    Dolemite Is My Name (Brewer, 2019) TBA Later This Month

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  7. #7
    unattainable Zac Efron's Avatar
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    I'm on the fence on this one. As much as it definitely feels like the Suspiria that could have been made back in the day if Argento had his feet on the ground, the insistence by Guadagnino to have so much on the page about THINGS didn't work for me. While I had issues with the film Burning recently dragging me to the end without much to go on or care for, this just had too much available to me to explain and explain again things as they were happening, conflicts and history (which isn't to say I hated those things, but so many films say a lot with just a line or two to give the audience a sense of the scenario). I liked the entire cast (sans Tilda - I felt she stunk here in all parts), and the dancing was fine. Dakota Johnson is very good at making Susie her own- I forgot by about mid way that her hair was terrible and bought her journey. I don't mind that the movie didn't assault me with color because it has so much working for it in production design and staging- plus matching Argento on COLOR is a task that the most seasoned filmmaker probably cannot do. I wish this movie realized that you can't make an old man a priority on any scale in a picture like this unless we have something to invest our attention with - hiring any Euro-centric elder actor who we can recognize and feel things for might have helped, but frankly that side of the story could have been eliminated altogether.
    Last edited by Zac Efron; 11-05-2018 at 01:03 AM.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    I'll echo Zac. This one tries to cram the entire kitchen sink into the film, hitting every major sociohistorical angle so that there's so many secondary threads being juggled that Sarah and I were trying to figure out what could be cut without hurting any of the film's core and letting it be a bit tighter. It's odd to think of Mother! as tightly constructed, but whether it be the Amish/Mennonite, Baader Meinhof Group, or Klemperer's past, so many bits don't quite add up to enough to anchor this film. And because Suzy is less of an innocent in this film, it's difficult to parse where our interest or sympathies should reside. Mia Goth's Sara comes to the fore in the second act, but she disappears in the admittedly bravura third act, and so the go-for-broke finale doesn't quite have an emotional anchor.

    At times it's almost as distractingly over-directed as Thoroughbreds, but Guadagnino does deliver a good first viewing, but I suspect repeat viewings will lose esteem since so little exists to reward multiple viewings and so much exists to make me wish for a tighter film.
    Ant-Man and the Wasp - 5
    Hereditary - 7
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 7.5
    The Tale - 8

  9. #9
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    I'm about 80% sure this is terrible. I'm also about 20% sure that, like Radiohead*, I might be wrong. If my initial instincts are correct, and this is indeed terrible, it's the type of terrible that only a major filmmaker can create. Think David Lynch's Dune, John Boorman's Zardoz, or umm, Menahem Golan's The Apple. Let's just say at one point Tilda Swinton shows up in prosthetics and a fatsuit looking like a cross between Pizza the Hutt and that fat, sunglasses wearing Cenobite from Hellraiser.

    I'm all for go for broke, polarizing movies if the execution (no pun intended) is on point. The Tree of Life, Spring Breakers, Holy Motors, Under the Skin, and mother! are some of my favorite movies of recent years, so I don't think it's only the batshit insanity this film occasionally partakes in (I should also note that it also draaaags like crazy in the middle section).

    Thom Yorke's music is beautiful, however.

    *[]
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 11-05-2018 at 05:21 AM.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Joker - 7
    Ad Astra - 8
    Toy Story 4 - 8
    IT Chapter Two - 5
    Desperately Seeking Susan - 7
    Parasite - 7
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - 9
    Manson (1973) - 7
    Brick - 7
    War of the Worlds (2005) - 8

  10. #10
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    It's always a treat when a top-tier filmmaker just gets to let loose. Luca gets to do here what Aronofsky did last year. It may not all work as a full piece, but damn, when it does work, it's probably better than anything else in the year.

    It's also the type of horror that'll truly give me nightmares, and had me feeling uneasy through it all.

    What works is the core story of it all. The paranoia of the witches being able to follow and control, and the oddity of Susie's presence is terrific. What doesn't work is the strange subplot of Dr. Josef, which is an interesting idea, but just seems suited for another movie. Tilda Swinton is also strangely offbeat here as Zac mentioned above.

    The Sabbath at the end, crazy as it is, has a creature that simply just hurts the movie's momentum. It's almost laughable really, and this whole operatic portion seems like an extended piece of the dance earlier that is much more interesting to watch.

    But, Guadagnino gets to have a ton of fun with the movie, and it'll likely be something I go back to and watch again, whereas Aronofsky's mother! which also went off the rails at the end, went so far off, that I don't have much interest in checking it out again.

    Good Time (2017) - **
    El Camino - *** 1/2
    Joker - *** 1/2


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  11. #11
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    I think this might work better as a mini series. Luca dangles so many threads that feel half-baked. Each thread could be given an hour chapter.
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 11-08-2018 at 06:37 PM.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Joker - 7
    Ad Astra - 8
    Toy Story 4 - 8
    IT Chapter Two - 5
    Desperately Seeking Susan - 7
    Parasite - 7
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - 9
    Manson (1973) - 7
    Brick - 7
    War of the Worlds (2005) - 8

  12. #12
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    As I think about it more, the more I dislike Tilda Swinton's main character that's more or less a blank slate despite being considered an unofficial ringleader of sorts, and the teacher that the students admire the most. There's definitely a sympathy that she gives Susie, and a slight inner conflict with the groupmind thinking of the rest of the teachers, but I was never really convinced that she was a big name to the area.

    I also still think about that first transformation... What a scene.

    Good Time (2017) - **
    El Camino - *** 1/2
    Joker - *** 1/2


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  13. #13
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    More is almost more in this case. I was in the film's grip for a remarkably long time, as Guadagnino conjures up plot thread after thread and intriguing theme after theme, presented most stylishly. That style is more muted here than in his past films, the better to let sinister forces creep in steadily and so, so effectively. And it's sensational: production design darkly immersive; direction full of pans, pushes, and flashes so uneasily disorienting; performances deliciously stylized; all interspersed with set-pieces of breathtaking dance choreography and wild body horrors...

    ...Only to scatter most of what makes them effective away in the grand guignol climax, in which incoherence gets the best of Guadagnino, both narratively and visually. Plot threads/themes now converge or diverge with no tight internal logic of previous acts, feeling like they happen just to move the myth along nonsensically. The red filter, stuttered effect, and jagged editing just distances the supposed spectacle into pure blurred confusion, with no discernible purpose. The epilogue almost pulls me back in a bit, but by then I am too pushed out of the film, with that character just having never been fully developed, for me to feel the emotional impact from that gesture of grace. So much to treasure before the climax that it's still worth it, and I hope a lot of reading and a rewatch will change my mind more positively, but on first brush I'm disappointed on not leaving theater in the great high that the film has been building towards. 6.5-7/10
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  14. #14
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    I greatly admired this on many levels. I love how utterly crazy it gets in places. A lot of the choreography is exhilarating. Solid performances all around. I just wish the narrative made me feel something a little bit more. Watching it a second time might help.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (No, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  15. #15
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    I've been thinking a lot about Tilda's multiple roles and I can't really figure out what purpose it served. I think it's impressive that she was able to do it. But I don't know that it really helps the film at all.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (No, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  16. #16
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    I've been thinking a lot about Tilda's multiple roles and I can't really figure out what purpose it served. I think it's impressive that she was able to do it. But I don't know that it really helps the film at all.
    My own guess is that it was simply a challenge that she stepped up to do, and since she's worked with Luca for a while, he went for it. I don't really get the sense that there's anything thematically behind it.

    As I start to round out my movies of the year, this is one of the ones resonating with me the most.

    Good Time (2017) - **
    El Camino - *** 1/2
    Joker - *** 1/2


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  17. #17
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    I'm shocked. This is not what I expected at all. Easy top ten of 2018. So moody and demented and deliciously evil mysterious fun. Just the right amount of "not spoonfed yet somehow straightforward" narrative. Biggest complaint is the "half slow mo zombie cam" at the climax. Leaning 8-8.5/10, so not perfect, but far exceeded expectations.

  18. #18
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    I'm shocked. This is not what I expected at all. Easy top ten of 2018. So moody and demented and deliciously evil mysterious fun. Just the right amount of "not spoonfed yet somehow straightforward" narrative. Biggest complaint is the "half slow mo zombie cam" at the climax. Leaning 8-8.5/10, so not perfect, but far exceeded expectations.
    Yep. I'm eager to rewatch.

    Good Time (2017) - **
    El Camino - *** 1/2
    Joker - *** 1/2


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  19. #19
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    I tried to keep an open mind given the glowing reviews but this is not just a bad remake of a masterpiece - it's a very bad movie on its own merits. It's not like it's mediocre or anything, quite the opposite, in fact. But what good it has (the gruesome dancing murder scene, the climax) is ruined by a deeply flawed screenplay and, at the very least, a curious choice of subject matter which doesn't seem to fit the rest of the film. Lots of people talk about the lunacy and the insanity of Guadagnino, but this is, in fact, a very straight-forward work in comparison to Argento's. Themes are constantly talked about out loud and not hinted at and the film even devotes time to showing us how magic spells and such actually work.

    The reason the screenplay sunk the movie for me had a lot to do with the confusing perspective. A lot of the time it's hinted at that our point of view character is Susie, but this is not true at all - it turns out that she keeps a huge secret from us until the final scenes. In fact, we know a lot more about what goes through the mind of our main antagonist, Swinton's Mme. Blanc, who as a result is not very threatening. A case could be made that the other Swinton character, the psychiatrist, is our protagonist, but he enters and leaves the narrative all the time and all his scenes until the final act are tedious exposition or summaries of stuff we've already seen. Plus he has no agency at all. He's more the trope of the friendly supporting character that gets killed just as he's about to help, even if he ends up surviving.

    Don't get me wrong, this isn't a worthless film. But in my mind, it's clearly an experiment that didn't work at all. The only thing I liked was that they made dancing a weapon in the story. I'm not really a ballet fan but it was an underused element in the original.
    Last edited by Grouchy; 02-24-2019 at 04:40 PM.

  20. #20
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Unless this takes a huge left turn in the finale, I am adoring this.

    I could not be happier that it makes no attempt at all to recreate the original.

  21. #21
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting megladon8 (view post)
    Unless this takes a huge left turn in the finale, I am adoring this.

    I could not be happier that it makes no attempt at all to recreate the original.
    Oh it takes a left turn, but in a good way. I loved it. And mega-agree to second sentence.

  22. #22
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Not only does it take a left turn, it veers off the road.

    Nonetheless, the majority of that movie still makes my top five of the year. And it works on repeat viewings.

    Good Time (2017) - **
    El Camino - *** 1/2
    Joker - *** 1/2


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  23. #23
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    So yeah, this was a masterpiece.

  24. #24
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    I appreciate the dissent, but I can't even think of this movie in terms of being a masterpiece.

  25. #25
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    I appreciate the dissent, but I can't even think of this movie in terms of being a masterpiece.
    Don’t worry, it’s ok to be wrong sometimes.

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