At this point it's no secret that I Am Love director Luca Guadagnino is set to remake Dario Argento's 1977 horror classic Suspiria, and that the project will reunite him with his A Bigger Splash stars Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson and Ralph Fiennes.
But I haven't yet heard Guadagnino speak on the reasoning behind his decision to set the remake in 1977, the year the original movie was released and also, presumably, set. Luckily I had the opportunity to pose that question while chatting with him about A Bigger Splash (which expands this weekend to additional theaters in NY and LA as well as Philadelphia, Phoenix, Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C). His answer was, to say the least, loaded.
“It's a movie about a moment in time [in Germany] in which [there was] a great divide between those who wanted to forget the past and those who were demanding the older generation to confront the past,” he told me, making a not-so-subtle allusion to the horrors of the Holocaust. “So it's important. It's about guilt. It's a movie about guilt.”
Guadagnino seems to be pulling on a lot here, not only in a macro sense (he has also said it's a film about “the uncompromising force of motherhood”) but on a personal level as well. “It's something that speaks much about my childhood, that movie…I saw the poster when I was ten and I was mesmerized by it,” he said. “I finally saw the movie when I was 14, and I became obsessed. I grew up as a big fan of Dario Argento. It made a great impression on me. So I look forward to try to translate the impression I had…but at the same time, [make it] something that is extremely, extremely scary.”
Suspiria is slated to begin shooting in the fall.