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Monday, October 15, 2018

Quality Family Time - October 2018 Edition - Week 2

So last week, I subjected the girls to Battle Royale and while one was not impressed (Karen), the other (Lil) just hated it.  I really only had three films that I really insisted that Lil watch with me and that was one of them.  I figured this week, I'd ask her to watch one that I actually thought she'd like.  That's why we sat down on Saturday night and fired up Dario Argento's 1977 classic, Suspiria!

For those who don't know, Suspiria is about a young American woman who is invited to attend a very exclusive dance academy in Europe.  Once there though, she begins to realize something is not quite right about the place and as her fellow dancers begin to wind up missing and/or dead, she digs in further to see just what is going on.

My daughter is a dancer.  Actually, that's not correct.  My daughter is a dance fiend and she and her mother will pick apart every tiny movement in any dance that's done on film.  When it comes to ballet, she's a dance snob.  So last year when we watched Black Swan, I was pretty amazed that overall, she didn't have much of a problem with the dancing in the film.  I mean, there were times when she commented on something but it never pulled her out of the narrative.  In fact, she actually really liked the film.

With Suspiria though, this was not the case.  Things started out promising with Karen declaring after the first fifteen minutes that she didn't know how it could get any weirder.  Then, things devolved from there.  I thought they'd like the color, pacing, crazy plot, etc. but I underestimated something that reared its head almost immediately.  My wife has a thing about hair.

I know this is confusing, so let's go back in time about twelve years and let me tell you the story.  At the time, I was a staff writer for a site called DVDinmypants.  It was a pretty fantastic place with great people and a very open editing staff who was up for almost anything.  At one point, I pitched the idea of rewatching some of the old exploitation films of the 1970's and 80's with my wife.  We'd pick them apart and she could bag on my horrible taste in films as a teenager. Somewhere around film number three, I started noticing that Karen's first impression of any character in any film was based entirely on their hairstyle.  It just pulled her right out of the story, no matter what.

So, in Suspiria, when the dancers first show up in especially low-cut leotards and everyone has 70's hair, Karen was the first one to say something about it.  Then she noticed none of them had their hair in buns.  That became a pain point for Lil and I got to witness the transition as a mother passes her weird obsession to her daughter. 

As for the dancing, neither was really enamored with it, but Lil was the most harsh.  For those of you without teenagers, it's hard for me to communicate just how insanely sarcastic one can be.  Below are a few comments I overheard.  Please read the following in a tone that sounds like an audible eye-roll.

"This seems to be complete chaos. Nobody's in sync. Everyone just do whatever you want." 

"Oh wow.  Another dead ballerina."

"Does anyone in this film know how to correctly hold their arms when doing a pirouette?"   

And then... there was Karen.

Her:  I thought you said this was about ballet.

Me:  No, I said it was set in a ballet school.  It's a horror film.

Her:  It's pretty horrible ballet.

And when it was all over, I asked what they thought of it overall. 

Karen:  I thought it sucked.

Me:  What?

Karen:  It's so slow and the dancing is terrible.  

Lil:  I thought it was okay.  I didn't think it was horrible.  The dancing was horrible but the movie itself was okay.

Heathens!  I tell you I live with heathens!

If you've never seen Argento's Suspiria, you should.  As you can tell by the handful of stills here, it's beautifully shot and is a great story.  The soundtrack by Goblin is one of the few things that Karen and Lil liked about it.  They recognized how effective it was at ratcheting up tension throughout the entire run time.  

Check it out and then get ready for the remake which hits theaters later this month.  It's getting great reviews and I'm super excited about it.

Winners and Losers for Week 2!

Winners (Everyone Agrees)

The Giant Behemoth (a giant radioactive dinosaur invades London!)

The Black Scorpion  (a bunch of giant scorpions invade Mexico City!)

Winners (Cary Only)

Suspiria  (an American dancer invades a European dance school!)

Terrifier  (one of the creepiest killer clowns in ages invades your nighmares!)


None this week!

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