“Suspiria”

Nov. 11, 13, 16

It’s nearly impossible to talk about Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” without considering the role of color in the film’s particular brand of fright. In a world of horror films defined by light and dark—namely, scary shit jumping out of pitch black—cinematographer Luciano Tovoli set out to create a film instead rooted in “conflict between color.” “Suspiria” taught audiences that fear can exist in the light; it can be induced by the same hues that exist in candy and neon. But unless you saw the film when it first premiered in 1977, you haven’t seen “Suspiria” in its full, radiant glory. Shortly after the release, the 35mm original cut went missing, and audiences could only see a shorter, poorer-quality cut—until recently, when a high school teacher found the original in an abandoned Italian theater. That print was rescanned and restored, a process that took four years and the guidance of Tovoli himself to complete. Side-by-side comparisons of frames from the cut we know and the new restoration are striking: Where we once saw green we now see bright green and blue and purple—more complex, more beautiful, and more unsettling. An ambitious and perhaps futile undertaking, the film is set to receive a remake. So before you see that, catch the real thing when it comes to Baltimore this fall. The Charles Theatre, 1711 N. Charles St., (410) 727-3464, thecharles.com, $8.50-$11. (Maura Callahan)

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