In the fourth episode of our film podcast, we talk about Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria and find unexpected connections between its gory violence and chaos, and Guadagnino’s more gentle works A Bigger Splash and Call Me By Your Name.
Episode 4: Suspiria and Luca Guadagnino’s violent bodies
In the fourth episode of our film podcast, we come to grips with Luca Guadagnino’s unruly, upsetting, yet fascinating Suspiria. The film is based on Dario Argento’s 1977 film of the same name, yet Guadagnino insists he did not remake the horror classic, and only took inspiration from it.
Taking place in late 1970s Berlin, Guadagnino’s film follows young American amateur dancer Susie Banion (Dakota Johnson), as she quickly comes to prove her worth to the teachers of the Helena Markos Dance Company. Main teacher Madame Blanc (played by Tilda Swinton) is especially unsettled by the arrival of this prodigy, but her interest goes way beyond contemporary dance alone: Banion’s ability to perform certain numbers has a direct and gruesome effect on the wellbeing of her peers, to the delight of the teachers behind the scenes…
We’ve dedicated two Special Issues to Luca Guadagnino’s work before: one on his Italy-set crime drama A Bigger Splash, and another — our most popular — to his bittersweet romance Call Me By Your Name. As Associate Editor Orla Smith, Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney, and Associate Editor Elena Lazic discuss the new film, they soon unveil discreet but undeniable connections between the madness and violence of Suspiria, and Guadagnino’s sweeter yet often brutal two previous films.
To get the most out of this episode, we recommend listeners watch the film as well as Guadagnino’s previous work, then read our Special Issues on A Bigger Splash and Call Me By Your Name.
This episode was edited by Edward von Aderkas.