13 April: Suspiria

Italy 1977. 98 minutes. English language.

8pm Birds Nest, 32 Deptford Church Street

When American ballet student Suzy Bannion enrols at a prestigious German dance academy, she enters a creepy boarding school where things are not as they seem.

Cue a series of astonishing tableaux of blood, screams, maggots, shattered glass, crazed dogs, bedrooms, fire and thunderously eerie music, as Suzy attempts to unravel the queer mystery at the heart of this film.

A maelstrom of lurid images and terrifying music, Dario Argento’s 1977 horror masterpiece is perfectly on time for a revival. You loved Natalie Portman’s Black Swan descending into ballet school insanity? Suspiria did it first – and madder. Enter the Void‘s technicolor dreambang gave your eyes orgasms? Suspiria will do it to you harder and faster. This is cinema at its most extreme.

“A disorientating, mind-bending descent into total madness. An excursion into the dark side of magic and witchcraft. A fairytale for adults. Dario Argento’s 1977 masterpiece Suspiria has been has been called all of the above over the years, and much more.” DVD Active

“The film rightfully earns its notoriety via Argento’s fabulous and detailed engagement and reworking of fairy-tale motifs. The film’s opening ‘once upon a time’ giddily anticipates the nasty folktale that follows.” SLANT

“With his sharp eye for the bizarre and for vulgar over-decoration, it’s always fascinating to watch; the thrills and spills are so classy and fast that the movie becomes in effect what horror movies seemed like when you were too young to get in to see them. Don’t think, just panic.” TIME OUT

“A tumultuous thunderstorm of drumming, both primitive and achingly familiar, the gurgled throbbing of a bass line and sinister voices chanting and howling as a young woman races through a night forest in the midst of a deluge. Lightning flashes revealing snatches of something in the woods running along side her. The music crescendos, lightening hypnotically strobes, the colors are supersaturated deep reds and blues and screaming fills the cool night air… So begins Dario Argento’s crowning work of horror, Suspiria, the finest work of cinematic terror to ever be unspooled across a film screen before a quaking audience.” FILMCRITIC.COM

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