The remake of the classic Suspiria has been a project to keep an eye on since it was first announced. The original is considered a classic by many, and most of the time these remakes end up either trying to do a shot-for-shot remake or bring nothing new to the table. Entertainment Weekly spoke to star Dakota Johnson about the role she is taking on.
“She takes the place of a dance student who has recently disappeared and immediately becomes one of the top dancers in the academy,” said Johnson. Susie develops an “intense and beautiful” student-teacher relationship with Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton), “and then you discover that the dance academy is run by witches!”
For director Luca Guadagnino, one of the ways he is changing from the original movie is that we only see the lessons in the original while he is bringing the final performance to the screen.
“In Dario Argento’s film, you see mostly lessons; there is not a grand dance moment in the movie,” says Guadagnino. “We felt that dance needed to be part of the process of witchcraft. That performance builds towards the greater ritual that is at the core of the film.”
The above image is from that performance which was choreographed by Damien Jalet while the music they are dancing to is from the movie’s composer, Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame.
“We hand-knotted each costume in red bondage rope in our atelier, to give it a feeling of dripping blood,” says costume designer Giulia Piersanti. If that isn’t creepy enough, the choreography was in large part dictated by the witchiest of symbols. “We were moving on the points of a pentagram, as though the dance were casting a spell,” Johnson reveals.
As for Johnson, there was one aspect of the movie that she found truly terrifying; the fact that she had to perform, on stage, when she isn’t a trained dancer.
Says Johnson, “I trained on and off for about a year before we started filming, but I’m not a professional dancer. It was terrifying.”
The image is terrifying to look at, and the scene shown at the Amazon Studios luncheon at CinemaCon was the talk of the convention. We’ll have to see how this one turns out, but it’s absolutely one we should keep an eye on.
Summary: As a darkness builds at the center of a world-renown dance company, its artistic director, a young American new to the troupe , and a grieving psychotherapist become entangled in a bloody, sighing nightmare.
Suspiria, directed by Luca Guadagnino, stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Jessica Harper, and Mia Goth. It will be released November 2nd.