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Jacqui Oakley 2013
In the spirit of Halloween I thought I’d show some screen shots of one of my favourite horror films, Suspiria. Dario Argento’s 1977 dark Italian fairytale.
Suspiria is set in a ballet school in the Germany’s Black Forest region and descents into a disorienting nightmare involving witchcraft and madness which is further exaggerated by the dark soundtrack from Goblin. A few years ago I went on a trip in this region and it truly does feel like the origin of every childhood fairy-tale. There’s some indeterminate characteristic in the medieval architecture, winding old roads and the filtered light though the old trees that makes you feel like there’s an old witch around ever corner trying to lure you into their cauldron.
The film emphasizes vivid primary colours–especially reds–which create a nightmarish surreal quality to the film. Supposedly it was the final feature film ever to be produced in Technicolor before the processing plant was closed. This process will be forever connected to beautiful nostalgic films such as Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of OZ so it’s fascinating seeing the technique used with such a contradictory fevered effect. The over-saturated colours exaggerate the allure of stain glass windows, the architecture and even the beautiful harshness of the blood and gore.