When it was first announced that a remake of Dario Argento’s brilliantly art directed horror film, Suspiria, would be happening, the first question — apart from the mere “why?” — was how it’d be able to meet the aesthetic glory of the original, whose identity is deeply rooted in its 70s prog rock soundtrack and technicolor palette.
As /Film notes, David Gordon Green was initially behind the project, and was envisioning it as very faithful to the original (which of course begged the question: why not leave it at the original?), saying that he wanted everything to be heightened to an operatic level. But he left, and now Luca Guadagnino (director of I Am Love), who was formerly only producing the project, has stepped in. Given the deliberately overwrought symbolism and grandiose cinematography of I Am Love, you’d think the “operatic” description could also apply to Guadagnino’s reinterpretation, but allegedly it will be “very different.”
Firstly, he told Empire that it’ll take place during Berlin (as opposed to Freiburg), though it’ll also be set in 1977. He suggests his interest in setting it there has to do with the division of Germany at the time, and the fact that “a new generation was claiming and asking to recognise the debt of guilt that forged the new Germany after the war against the fathers who wanted to deny the responsibility.” Thematically, his main interest is “the concept of motherhood and about the uncompromising force of motherhood. It’s going to be about finding your inner voice – the title is very evocative on these grounds.” Whether or not he’ll maintain the central plot following a ballet student who transfers to a new school that happens to be a coven remains to be seen — though there’s nothing indicating this won’t be the case.
The director’s newest film — A Bigger Splash — just premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it was hailed by The Guardian as “a cocktail of intense emotions, transcendent surroundings and unexpected detours.”