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Suspiria 25th Anniversary (2001)



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Credited cast:
Eva Axén ...
Herself / Patty 'Pat' Hingle (archive footage)
Herself / Madame Blanc (archive footage)
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Giuseppe Colombo ...
Agostino Marangolo ...
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Luciano Tovoli ...
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Release Date:

11 September 2001 (USA)  »

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Very informative, for fans and non-fans
7 June 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nero-11's review, while quite well written, refers to the shocker "Suspiria", and not to "Suspiria 25th Anniversary" which is a making-of documentary produced to commemorate the anniversary of the release of "Suspiria".

"S25A", which is available on DVD as part of the "Suspiria 25th Anniversary Limited Edition" set, is a well-produced video packed full of information. Newcomers to "Suspiria" may find it helpful as a primer. It explains why some regard "Suspiria" as art, and what Argento had in mind when creating this unique film experience. Those familiar with "Suspiria" who don't like the film may find seeds of what went wrong among the interviews of "S25A". Fans of "Suspiria" may find "S25A" useful as preparation to seeing the film again, much the way fans of "Rocky Horror" listen to the album to prepare for a midnight showing of that film. In short, there's something here for everyone.

The video takes the form of interviews with clips from "Suspiria" used as illustration and interstitials. The interviewer is never seen or heard, and the subjects are allowed to discourse freely on their experiences. Surviving principal cast members Jessica Harper and Udo Kier (speaking in English) and Stefania Cassini (in Italian with subtitles) describe what it was like working on what was considered a bold experiment at the time, the difficulties of working with an international cast where the principals spoke English as a first or second language and the rest of the cast spoke only Italian, and their feelings about the film's fans. Argento and Nicolodi (in Italian with subtitles), while not interviewed together, are intercut to describe the process of developing the concept, how their expectations were changed by the necessities of distribution and the requirements of the studio, and how they brought it all to film (interesting to note that each appears to claim sole credit for the story concept!). Argento and the cinematographer are intercut to describe the look that Argento wanted and how they achieved it using unconventional techniques. Members of Goblin are interviewed together (in Italian with subtitles) and separately (some in Italian with subtitles, others in English) to describe how they developed some of the unusual audio techniques (interesting that some of them still seem giddy about their involvement in the project, even after a quarter century).

Scenes are pulled apart, special effects examined, discarded plot elements and rationale for what remained...there's a lot here, and it's very entertaining. I'm not a huge fan of "Suspiria" (and I found here the reasons why it didn't work) yet I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary. Highly recommended.

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