Goblin Play Suspiria

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“An eye-popping maelstrom of visual excess.” — Ian Berriman, SFX

Director: Dario Argento
Year: 1977
Country: Italy
Running time: 98 mins
Censor Rating: R16 - violence
Genres: Retro

Producer: Claudio Argento
Screenplay: Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi. Based on the book Suspiria de Profundis by Thomas De Quincey
Photography: Luciano Tovoli
Editor: Franco Fraticelli
Production designer: Giuseppe Bassan
Costume designer: Pierangelo Cicoletti
Sound: Mario Dallimonti
Music: Goblin, Dario Argento

Live Music: Goblin: Claudio Simonetti (keyboards), Massimo Morante (guitars), Maurizio Guarini (keyboards), Bruno Previtali (bass), Titta Tani (drums)

With: Jessica Harper (Suzy Bannion), Stefania Casini (Sara), Flavio Bucci (Daniel), Miguel Bosé (Mark), Barbara Magnolfi (Olga), Susanna Javicoli (Sonia), Eva Axén (Pat Hingle), Rudolf Schündler (Professor Milius), Udo Kier (Dr Frank Mandel), Alida Valli (Miss Tanner), Joan Bennett (Madame Blanc), Margherita Horowitz (teacher), Jacopo Mariani (Albert), Fulvio Mingozzi (taxi driver), Franca Scagnetti (cook)

For one night only the Mighty Civic is transformed into a Gothic cathedral of psychedelic doom. NZIFF plays host to a unique live cinema performance from Italian rock legends Goblin as they accompany the searing neon visuals of Dario Argento’s horror masterpiece Suspiria with their own pulsating score.

When Italian horror maestro Argento was dissatisfied with the orchestral score for his 1975 thriller Deep Red he called on the services of the young progressive rock band Goblin to give the film a more modern sound. For his next film, he reteamed with Goblin to create this now legendary soundtrack.

Goblin recorded their score prior to filming and Argento used the squalling intensity of their music on set to push his actors into the right state of mind, namely sheer terror. Jessica Harper, who was the principle victim of their torment, stars as an American ballet student who joins an insanely pretentious German dance academy and discovers she’s entered a coven of witches.

As the tagline from the original grindhouse release put it: ‘The only thing more terrifying than the last 12 minutes of this film are the first 92.’ Given that the film is only 98 minutes long, it’s already bending your mind.

Suspiria is Goblin in full control of the score… Its appeal lies in the part-cynical, part-celebratory appropriation of quasi Satanic rock tropes such as Druidic vocal incantations, hypnotic beats, searing noise peaks, para-orchestral, collapses and gaudy timpani flourishes… For the audience who gave them a standing ovation, Goblin had enacted the musical mechanics of the malevolence which so empowers Suspiria.” — Philip Brophy, The Wire