When faced with the possibility that David Gordon Green might remake Suspiria I can’t get up in arms like I might for the Rosemary’s Baby re-do. I just get confused.
Green is a bright star and one of the few young American directors I think is genuinely exciting. He hasn’t always hit, but George Washington is brilliant and touching and if Pineapple Express is as good as Devin and Jeremy say it is, well that’s 2 for 4. The other two, All The Real Girls and Undertow, have their own merits. (I’ve yet to see Snow Angels.)
So why would this guy bother remaking a film that is so singular that any new take would necessarily be in name only? You can throw colored gels on the lights, get creative in ADR and add all the Goblin-esque music you want, but anything called Suspiria that isn’t Argento’s promises to be the cinematic equivalent of Beggin’ Strips. Looks like bacon, tastes like shit.
Doing some Snow Angels press, Green talked to MTV and Shock Til You Drop about Suspiria, which he says he’s already written and is ready to direct. The project is still only tentative, but here’s what he’s got to say so far:
(to MTV) “It’s an opportunity to take all artistic excellence and be inspired by what was a low budget Italian 70’s gore movie. Where the art world meets the violent and supernatural. I would love to get every geek that loves torture porn and every old lady in line to see ‘Phantom of the Opera’ to come and have this insane experience.”
(to STYD) “These Italian producers came to me about it, wanting to do a pretty amazing, ambitious, artistic (version). It could be pretty wild.“
In all this talk, the most interesting bit actually doesn’t directly concern Suspiria. Further comments to STYD included the revelation of a dream to start a direct to DVD genre label.
“Give me a couple million bucks to go explore some schlock. I’d like to be the next Roger Corman. He would have his hand in freakin’ ‘Piranha’ but also in Fellini. I like that idea. I would love to do some genre stuff but also some crazy intimate, no-budget movies. That’s my problem. I only have one me, and I have a limited number of years before I die, and the biggest problem is that I like to do a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with movies and movies are very time-consuming, so you have to make choices, and that’s really frustrating.“
That almost sounds like Green could become the next Larry Cohen, and I’d be alright with that. But man, when you’ve got limited time to make movies, please make your own. Make an homage to Suspiria — if Argento can do it, so can you — but why spend a year dancing around on a mountaintop hoping that lightning will strike twice?