Photo-Illustration: Emily Denniston and Maya Robinson/Vulture This weekend, Luca Guadagnino’s maximalist reworking of Italian horror classic Suspiria jetés into wide release. Dakota Johnson stars as an American ballerina attending a prestigious academy in pre-reunification Berlin, tutored by severe instructors giving her a faintly Satanic vibe. (Perhaps it has something to do with all the meat hooks?) The Damien Jalet–choreographed dances stand out as the most gripping sections in the film’s dense two-and-a-half hours, in particular the fiendish group piece titled “Volk.” Johnson and her company, draped in red cords, cycle through razor-edged poses metaphorically — and then literally — coursing with brutality. For the sinister higher-ups, their charges’ perspiration serves as nourishment. At the Markos Dance Academy, movement is the essence of life. Dance can be an intense communion between the mind and body, though it doesn’t have to be. Even as the rest of the film rapidly fades from my memory, I can clearly recall the scene in Michael Haneke’s Happy End featuring a karaoke rendition of Sia’s “Chandelier” with an emphatic onstage accompaniment, if only for its extraordinary banality. In the selections below, characters move as a plea for help, as an elated outburst, as a rebellion against authoritarianism,… Read full this story
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