Mark Gatiss in Horror Europa (2010) about Suspiria (1977), directed by Dario Argento.
Gatiss Narrating: It’s not a giallo, but a hyper-violent fairytale, and watching Suspiria is like watching a cinematic fever dream.
Gatiss: “Did you feel that making…uh…a fantasy film, was a liberating experience as a director?”
Argento: “Yes. The main sources of inspiration for my films are dreams and nightmares. The logic of my films, is the logic of dreams.”
Gatiss Narrating: It’s best not to worry whether the plot’s coherent, just let yourself be overwhelmed by the dazzling colors, startling images, and pounding soundtrack.
Suspiria was actually the first film in the Three Mothers trilogy, along with Inferno (1980) and The Mother of Tears (2007). Images from the other two films are below.
The trilogy was based on an uncredited work called Suspiria de Profundis, by Thomas de Quincy. Included in the list of essays he wanted in the finished work (not all made into the published version), we find:
* Dreaming — the introduction to the whole. * The Palimpsest of the Human Brain — a meditation upon the deeper layers of human consciousness and memory. * Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow — beginning with a discussion of Levana, the ancient Roman goddess of childbirth, De Quincey imagines three companions for her: Mater Lachrymarum, Our Lady of Tears; Mater Suspiriorum, Our Lady of Sighs; and Mater Tenebrarum, Our Lady of Darkness. * The Apparition of the Brocken — on an optical illusion associated with a German mountaintop. * Savannah-la-Mar — a threnody on a sunken city, inspired by the 1692 earthquake that sank Port Royal in Jamaica; beginning, “God smote Savannah-la-Mar….” * Vision of Life — “The horror of life mixed…with the heavenly sweetness of life….” * Memorial Suspiria — looking forwards and backwards on life’s miseries; foreshadowing and anticipation. When the collection was reprinted in the collected works in the 1850s, another short essay was added: The Daughter of Lebanon, a parable of grief and transcendence. The four pieces that first appeared posthumously in 1891 are: * Solitude of Childhood — “Fever and delirium,” “sick desire,” and the Erl-King’s daughter. * The Dark Interpreter — he was a looming shadow in the author’s opium reveries. * The Princess that lost a Single Seed of a Pomegranate — echoes upon echoes from an Arabian Nights tale. * Who is this Woman that beckoneth and warneth me from the Place where she is, and in whose Eyes is Woeful remembrance? I guess who she is — “memorials of a love that has departed, has been — the record of a sorrow that is….” * The Dreadful Infant (There was the glory of innocence made perfect; there was the dreadful beauty of infancy that had seen God) * Foundering Ships * The Archbishop and the Controller of Fire * God that didst Promise * Count the Leaves in Vallombrosa * But if I submitted with Resignation, not the less I searched for the Unsearchable — sometimes in Arab Deserts, sometimes in the Sea * That ran before us in malice * Morning of Execution * Kyrie Eleison * The Nursery in Arabian Deserts * The Halcyon Calm and the Coffin * Faces! Angels’ Faces! * At that Word * Oh, Apothanate! that hatest death, and cleansest from the Pollution of Sorrow * Who is this Woman that for some Months has followed me up and down? Her face I cannot see, for she keeps for ever behind me * Cagot and Cressida * Lethe and Anapaula * Oh, sweep away, Angel, with Angelic Scorn, the Dogs that come with Curious Eyes to gaze.
No surprise then, that some of the titles closely resemble those from John’s blog about their cases, and certain characters or themes are recurring in the BBC series, especially S3/TAB/S4.
For those wondering why the skull in 221B began glowing before TFP…
It’s because they started using this concept before the last episode aired, adding saturation here and there, but mainly in areas outside the safety zone of 221B.
Instances actually date back to the first episode, but the tendency escalated through the seasons, and TFP was the height of it in S4. Interestingly, prior to TFP, it was the stag night that had the most frequent displays.
Yes, those are elephants in the room up on the chest…because…reasons.
The idea of “Three Mothers” comes from “Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow”, a section of Thomas de Quincey’s Suspiria de Profundis. The piece asserts that just as there are three Fates and Graces, there are also three Sorrows. They include Mater Lachrymarum (Our Lady of Tears), Mater Suspiriorum (Our Lady of Sighs), and Mater Tenebrarum (Our Lady of Darkness). The attribute of each woman (tears, sighs, shadows/darkness) is a direct translation of her name from Latin.
Suspiria(1977) └ Academy of Freiburg Suzy Banyon decided to perfect her ballet studies in the most famous school of dance in Europe. She chose the celebrated Academy of Freiburg. One day, at nine in the morning, she left Kennedy airport, New York, and arrived in Germany at 10:40 p.m. local time.
i love your blog!!!! what are your ultimate favourite horror movies? i love all things horror
I usually avoid this question because there are so many horror movies that I would consider favorites, and I usually end up leaving out many choice picks. Here are just a few that instantly come to mind, in no particular order:
The Psycho Series (1 - 4)
Halloween (1, 2, 3, 4 & H20)
The Evil Dead Series
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1 - 3)
Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead & Day of the Dead
The Gates of Hell Trilogy (City of the Living Dead, The Beyond & The House by the Cemetery)
The Return of the Living Dead (1 & 2)
The Blood Trilogy (Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs! & Color Me Blood Red)
The Three Mothers Trilogy (Suspiria, Inferno & The Mother of Tears)
The New York Ripper
A Bay of Blood / Twitch of the Death Nerve
The Universal Monsters Series
An American Werewolf in London
Maniac (1980 & 2013)
Creepshow (1 & 2)
I Spit on Your Grave
The Last House on the Left
The Hammer Horror Monsters Series
Night of the Demons (1 & 2)
The Monster Squad
House on Haunted Hill
House of Wax
The Abominable Dr. Phibes
The Last Man on Earth
The Black Cat
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue
Carnival of Souls
The Wizard of Gore
The Gore Gore Girls
OK, I said a few, but that’s more like a litany and I’m certain I still missed a lot.