Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Suspiria (1977) Review

Film poster
Suspiria is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento and stars Jessica Harper and Stefania Casini. The film revolves around an American ballet transfer student at a dance academy in Germany, only to find that all is not as it seems in the dance academy as it is controlled by a coven of witches.
The use of red colours at play
The film’s setting is highly stylized, with brightly coloured stained windows and walls of primary colours in particular red, set similar to the styles of a comic strip as well as creating an unrealistic, nightmarish setting. However throughout the course of the film, the colours play an important role leading to Suzy’s discovery of the witches as well as a way to destroy them. The use of camera angles to create a sense of long journeys, repetition or even no way out is often used throughout most of the film. Shooting on bold, very fake-looking sets, he uses bright primary colors and stark lines to create a campy, surreal atmosphere, and his distorted camera angles and crazy lighting turn out to be much more memorable than the carnage.” (Maslin, 1977)

Use of camera angles and colour made this shot looks repetitive.
The film mostly focuses on the mental state of mind as well as the characteristics of being under the spells of a witch like hypnotism, occult traditions and brings things back from the dead. It also focuses on schizophrenia and psychological happenings coming to life. However the use of blood is played a lot as well as showing characters slowly dying until they’re dead in particular nose bleeds, murders and even falling into a room full of barbed wires.  The movie climaxes with a fantastic light show of lysergic apparitions and exploding chandeliers.” (Hoberman, 2009)


The musical score made by The Goblins was well praised for its scores that suits the atmosphere of the film and because of their success, they’ve went onto create musical scores for most of Argento’s films. “The Goblins' carnivalesque, tribal score amplifies the horror like the roar of fire leading to a hellmouth, and saturated, bold color schemes permit an otherworldly tone, like fantasy come to life...” (Projection booth, 2011).


List of Illustrations:
OffRamptToNoWhere (2010) Suspiria (1977) (online):
http://offramptonowhere.blogspot.com/2010/07/suspiria-1977.html - (accessed on 30/12/2011)

Land of Whimsy  (2009) Suspiria BD (final) impressions: The use of red colours at play (online):
http://whiggles.landofwhimsy.com/archives/2009/03/suspiria_bd_final_impressions.html - (accessed on 30/12/2011)

Summer, D (2006) Use of camera angles and colour made this shot looks repetitive.
http://www.best-horror-movies.com/suspiria.html- (accessed on 30/12/2011)


Bibliography:

Maslin, J (1977) The movie climaxes with a fantastic light show of lysergic apparitions and exploding chandeliers. (Online):
http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=990CEFDB1F3BE334BC4B52DFBE66838C669EDE&partner=Rotten Tomatoes – (accessed on 29/12/2011)

Hoberman, J (2009) Suspiria Shock: Two Runs in Two Weeks (online): http://www.villagevoice.com/2009-09-01/film/suspiria-shock-two-runs-in-two-weeks/ - (accessed on 29/12/2011)

Projection Booth (2011) Viewing Log #10 (online):
 http://projectionbooth.blogspot.com/2011/06/viewing-log-10.html -  (accessed on 30/12/2011)

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