20 years on, we look back into the funhouse mirror of Paul Verhoeven’s misunderstood camp classic.
Suzy manages to hail a cab after arriving in Munich, rain pouring down like the gods are dumping giant buckets of it onto her. It sounds like the apocalypse is happening all around, not least because of Goblin’s typically menacing score, which we are hearing for the first time. A McDonald’s visible in the distance, she pushes her way through the rain in order to yell down a cab and get inside (after the driver refuses to come outside and get her bags). She wipes herself off, reds and blues washing over her and the car. She tells the driver where to go (with some difficulty), then she’s off to the dance academy, with many different vibrant colors flashing through the cab and the thunder crashing all around. This is our introduction to Suzy Bannion. This is Suspiria.
The 2013 vision of the American dream is one of grossly vapid and misplaced entitlement, if the movies have anything to say about it. As much as coming-of-age stories like Mud and The Kings of Summer are building a trend at the halfway point of the year, the new age of narcissism is making an equally bold rush on Western cinema: first, Spring Breakers; then, Pain and Gain; and now, Sofia Coppola throws her hat in with The Bling Ring, a deliberately dispassionate look at some famous-for-wanting-to-be-famous kids who stole from the rich simply because they could.