STAFF PICKS: CULT CLASSICS! Picked by Jak and Alan.
“Dario Argento is the last representative of Italy’s tenacious genre cinema—in his case, mannerist thrillers, known as gialli, and rhapsodic gore fests that might be called “surrealistico.” Suspiria, which is being revived…in all of its wide-screen, Technicolor splendor, is a movie that makes sense only to the eye (and even then . . .). A naïve young American student named Suzy (the preternaturally wide-eyed Jessica Harper) arrives in dankest Germany to—what else?—study ballet. Stepping out of the airport, she’s greeted with a sudden gust of wind and then torrential rain; arriving at the doorstep of the Dance Academy Freiburg, she’s nearly knocked over by a hysterical student who is shortly to be dispatched in a bit of horrific, stick-and-stab Grand Guignol set to a jangling, cackling, ear-splitting score by a band called Goblin. Suzy does find the Dance Academy—a uniquely cheesy amalgam of deco-mod and secessionist-bordello design, with birth-canal corridors of velvety red—a bit disconcerting… In any case, the students are being driven mad (and beyond) because, as Suzy eventually discovers, the teachers are witches…”—J. Hoberman, Village Voice. Originally rated X. 92 Min.