Jaws of Suspiria


I already wrote a bit about Jaws and my long connection to it, but I don’t think I’ve yet got around to the student reactions. It’s hard to keep track of things in the midst of the mad swirl of the summer intensive. I’ve made things even tighter by planning to run down to Connecticut this weekend to see folks before I go off to the UK June 1. The quick Connecticut dash is meant to include a quick hello to Marko at the Punk Rock Jukebox, girlie night with Miss Wendy and the Queen of Everything, Saturday lunch or something with Miss Wendy and Elena, then Sunday brunch with the Boojums.

It will be more relaxing than it sounds.

Okay, Jaws: the students were not accustomed to thinking of this as a horror film, since most of them saw it as kids. The music has become so iconic, it’s hard to imagine hearing it the first time or the impact it had (all kinds of impacts). The two halves of the movie complement each other so well, yet are completely different: we go from the crowded beaches of Amity to the endless ocean, from a whole town of people to just the three men and yet you don’t feel that transition as a jarring change. It’s a well-constructed film. Good thing they had so much trouble with Bruce the shark and had to keep him out sight for longer than they planned. It works.

Suspiria, on the other hand, is a spectacle but a far less coherent narrative on the whole. I expected to have a bit of trouble getting the students to appreciate it, so I was pleasantly surprised to have spontaneous expressions of appreciation for it. It’s a Technicolor feast, it’s an expressionist blood bath, where the glory of the gory explodes all over the screen — often at the cost of logic or reason (not to mention the often utilitarian dialogue) and of course, the true crime of dubbing Udo‘s voice with some bland American’s. Nonetheless, the students appreciated it. I think they’re getting to be real connoisseurs, which is very cool.

Today it’s body/queer horror with Clive Barker and a little bit o’ Cronenberg.


  1. ©DGreer says:

    Ready for a critique next week? The blog is looking good.;) Where are all your compatriots today?Dani

  2. Enid Wilson says:

    I agree with the music. It just made your heart pumping. Have you watched Criminal Mind? It’s very good with the music too, making the crime seems more horrificSteamy Stories by Enid

  3. K. A. Laity says:

    No idea where they’ve got to. Yes, I’m ready for a critique, thanks. Looking forward to it. Drawing up a list of possible tour stops as well.

  4. Jina Bacarr says:

    Loved the Jaws info.As I mentioned in a previous comment, I used to be a tour guide at Universal Studios (I gave the tour in German); I did a TV commercial for the studio in German about Bruce the Shark (Der Weisse Hai). I can’t tell you how many German tourists riding in the tram nearly went overboard into the lake (one tourist did lose his camera) when Bruce made his splashy appearance! Jinahttp://tinyurl.com/BerlinSexDiary

  5. Karen Brees says:

    Horror often masquerades as something much more gentle. Remember “THe Turn of the Screw?”

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