sus­PiriA (Luca Guadagnino)

NOW Magazine - - MOVIES -

finds the di­rec­tor of Call Me By Your Name and A Big­ger Splash bring­ing his sump­tu­ous aes­thetic palette to a re­work­ing of Dario Ar­gento’s 1977 Day-Glo night­mare – and ei­ther fail­ing to un­der­stand what makes that movie a clas­sic, or choos­ing to dis­re­gard it in favour of a gor­geous but in­ert medita- tion on pa­tri­archy, witch­craft and the fail­ure of Ger­mans to reckon with their col­lec­tive guilt af­ter the Holo­caust. The set-up is the same, with Amer­i­can dancer Susie Ban­nion (Dakota John­son) ar­riv­ing at the Tanz Academy to dis­cover the place is slith­er­ing with an­cient evil – but now the na­ture of that evil is iden­ti­fied be­fore Susie’s even in the door, with ethe­real in­struc­tor Madame Blanc (Tilda Swin­ton, of course) vy­ing to take over the coven that runs the place. Over two and a half very slow, very hazy hours, the re­sult­ing power strug­gle will en­snare Susie, her fel­low stu­dents and sev­eral teach­ers, as well as an el­derly psy­chother­a­pist (Swin­ton again, un­der heavy makeup for no dis­cernible pur­pose) who’s al­ready aware that some­thing’s off in Ber­lin. Guadagnino es­chews Ar­gento’s fren­zied pac­ing and as­saultive mise en scène, but doesn’t bring any­thing else to re­place them; the new Sus­piria is a gen­tle drift through some un­set­tling ideas about gen­der, des­tiny and evil that in­tel­lec­tu­al­izes them into ab­strac­tions. It’s in­ter­est­ing and oc­ca­sion­ally quite strik­ing… but it’s never as up­set­ting as it wants to be, or as pro­found. 152 min. Some sub­ti­tles. NN (Nor­man Wilner)

Sus­piria is a vague, point­less re­work­ing of Dario Ar­gento’s 1977 hor­ror clas­sic.

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