Sunday, October 28, 2018

2018: October 28th

A little Siouxsie and the Banshees in honor of Susie Bannion and the fact that we have now entered the final stretch toward Halloween. I still have quite a few movies I want to watch, so I'm going to start working some into the daylight, in the background. This is something I purposely never do, as a way to maintain the sacred reverence I try to hold for movies. That said, I'll look at it as a recreation of discovering horror on television as a kid. I have the original Suspiria on while I'm writing this, just as a counter point to Luca Guadagnino's version we saw last night. How was the new Suspiria?

Not an easy question, as there's a lot to unpack.

Guadagnino's iteration of Dario Argento's classic is not so much a horror movie, as it is a Film that happens to center around horrific events and characters; it's a horror movie in the same way Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a horror movie, that is to say not  beholden to genre tropes and mores. I know some folks who would say my evening saying that is pretentious, but here's why I disagree.

Before Jaws, Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Hollywood didn't manufacture blockbusters. With the European influence that came in to take the place of the drift that set in after the studio paradigm died, Directors became revered as Auteurs. Films were made with artistic intentions, and this was not considered a bad or pretentious thing. It goes to show how corporatized we are as a society now, with the number of people who roll their eyes to my oft-preached delineation between what constitutes a Movie and what constitutes a Film.

During this Auteur period, the box office was topped by films that got people talking. Think Chinatown, a movie that would most likely never be made by a major studio today. This championing of the Director as Auteur ended after Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate disaster bankrupted United Artists. From that point on, studios began to take control back from Directors, and simultaneously began looking for 'sure-things'.

Jaws, Star Wars, and Raiders provided the template for this.

I liken Guadagnino's Suspiria to the Auteur era; it's artistic yes, but not without purpose. One interesting note, without going into spoiler territory, is that Dario Argento's Suspiria takes place in 1977 Germany, and that makes the setting Divided Germany. This never factors into Argento's film, though. That's not a criticism, just an observation, and one that only ever occurred to me now because the new film hinges on this fact. As Susie Bannion's story plays out in the foreground, the background of the film is set against the climax of the Baader-Meinhoff kidnapping, and this too factors in, as does WWII, for Lutz Ebersdorf's character.

In the end? I thought Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria was an excellent film. Will it garner the fun, cult following the original has? No. Will it incite the same kind of celebratory, rewatch fervor Argento's film does? No. That doesn't mean you shouldn't see it, you definitely should. In a theatre if you can. But it does mean a lot of horror fans who hold the original Suspiria dear need to step around their expectations and keep an open mind.

31 Days of Horror

10/01) Summer of 84
10/02) Rope
10/03) Dreams in the Witch House
10/04) Crash
10/05) The Fly
10/06) Re-animator
10/07) Night of the Demons
10/08) Species
10/09) The Roost
10/10) The Convent
10/11) Killer Klowns from Outer Space
10/12) George A. Romero's Day of the Dead
10/13) George A. Romero's Land of the Dead
10/14) The Apostle
10/15) Phantom of the Paradise
10/16) Candyman
10/17) Ghoulies
10/18) John Carpenter's Halloween
10/19) Halloween
10/20) Mandy
10/21) Satan's Playground
10/22) Flatliners
10/23) Jacob's Ladder
10/24) Halloween III: Season of the Witch
10/25) Ghost Stories
10/26) John Carpenter's The Fog
10/27) Suspiria (2018)

After the movie, K and I drove around Hollywood a bit, windows down, marine layer in the air. Closest thing I can remember to Autumn in Los Angeles in some time. The cool, moist air added a certain electricity to the evening that was only amplified when we arrived at the Horror Writer's Assoc. party. Robert Payne Cabeen and his wonderful wife Cecile put on a hell of a shindig - the entire front of the house was lavished with decorations that fit the season, music blared from the inside, and people in costumes strolled around the grounds. It was marvelous.

Incidentally, I finally procured a copy of Robert Cabeen's Stoker-aware winning novel Cold Cuts, so I'll be starting that shortly. I had been picking at short stories for the last week or so because despite beginning Neil Gaiman's much-lauded novel The Graveyard Book, I just cannot get into it at the moment. The plan is to move to Cold Cuts next and then go back to Gaiman.

Completely forgot to post here that the newest episode of The Horror Vision went up last Wednesday. Su nioj for Anthony, Chris, Ray, and my own picks for must-watch Halloween season movies. On Apple Podcasts and The Horror now.

Playlist from yesterday was literally only my Halloween Playlist, which you can find on Apple Music if you follow me there. Cities of Dust is on it, as are a lot of other awesome tracks hand-picked to accentuate the Autumn mood I have to manufacture most days here in LaLaLand.

Halloween Playlist:

1) Black No. 1 - Type O Negative
2) Bela Lugosi's Dead - Bauhaus
3) Cities in Dust - Siouxsie & The Banshees
4) Park Around the Corner - Ritual Howls
5) The Monk Song - Miranda Sex Garden
6) The Days of Swine & Roses - My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult
7) Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo
8) Graveyard Girl - M83
9) A Dance for the Saints - The Final Cut
10) Mask - Bauhaus
11) Tear You Apart - She Wants Revenge
12) Skin of the Night - M83
13) Zemmoa - Ritual Howls
14) Everyday is Halloween - Ministry

Card of the day:

From the Grimoire, "Balance. Nine = Collected; stable. Cups = Emotion"

No comments: