White Swan, Black Swan, Red Swan (Suspiria, 2018)

A Midwesterner moves to the city and switches her farm dress for a mohair coat. The closer to the Devil, the better the wardrobe. We shift from a gleaming Manhattan to an opaque Berlin, but the game is the same. Like Andy Sack’s Crocs-like shoes, Suzy Bannion’s clogs are traded in for tall boots. To better step on the world, my child. Or there will be nothing left of you inside. Miranda Priestly’s exacting mentorship makes a reappearance as Mme Blanc. Elbows up! But the dancers’ arms, quivering like wings, are already up to their ears. Little halos of light are left on Suzy’s flesh as Blanc presses a spell into her like a stamp. It’s a bitch eat bitch world. But it’s also a dance company where no one wants the lead. If the white swan is the clueless girl, and the black swan is the ultimate male fantasy, is the red swan a woman, bloody from falling apart, but free from expectations? The women in Suspiria are not on a linear ascent to power. I am Mother now, Suzy proclaims before relinquishing her claim as swiftly as a sigh. Mother…Mother we’re so tired. The oscillation between dominance and camaraderie, creates a sense of fallibility. It shimmers so delicately you might miss it. It’s the true charm of this remake.

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