“Much of my life has been stalking Dario Argento,” says director Luca Guadagnino, who has re-imagined Argento’s 1977 horror classic “Suspiria.” For him this was an “ultimate act of love for Dario,” and “with all the things we love, somehow we want to possess them.” Guadagnino was joined by the film’s stars Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia Goth and Jessica Harper to discuss the film with Oscar voters at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater on October 27. Watch their Academy Conversation above.
Swinton thinks of “Suspiria” less as a remake and more like a “cover” of a classic song or a reinterpretation of Shakespeare. She remembers the original film as “a provocation … like a homeopathic treatment. It got the juices flowing.” This version departs significantly from the original, not least of all by casting her not only as dance director Madame Blanc but also cloaking her in prosthetic makeup to play elderly male psychiatrist Josef Klemperer — a fact that surprised the academy audience even though Swinton and company recently spilled the beans about her secret role.
Johnson previously worked with Guadagnino and Swinton in “A Bigger Splash” (2015), and here she assumes the leading role as Susie Bannion, an innocent American dancer accepted into an elite German dance company that has sinister intentions for her. “On and off I trained for a year pretty much,” says Johnson about her rigorous physical preparation for the role. “It’s so intense and painful, but I wanted Susie’s body to appear as though she’s been dancing her whole life.” No word on whether she trained just as intensively for the witchcraft parts.
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