Suspiria

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Three stars

Take Staudingerstraße to Langackerwerg.  Weiter rechts gehen.  Follow the river to the house that witchcraft built.  Meander it’s deco halls, it’s swaths of Technicolor.  Count the footsteps in the night, past the hall of maggots, the Olympic swimming pool, the den of razor wire.  Past the long mirrored rehearsal studios, the maid’s quarters.  Peel back the curtain and breathe in the decay that is death transforming itself to life.  The sleep apnea of the witch.

D, W & M by: Dario Argento; More M: Goblin; More W: Daria Nicolodi; P by: Luciano Tovoli; FX by: Germano Natali & Fabio Traversari; E by: Franco Fraticelli; thnx: Mario Bava & Thomas De Quincey; w/Jessica Harper, Joan Bennett, Alida Valli, Udo Kier, Margherita Horowitz, Susana Javicoli, Flavio Bucci, Stefania Casini, 92 min, Italy, 1977

3 Women

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Four stars

“I’m trying to reach toward a picture that’s totally emotional, not narrative or intellectual, where an audience walks out and they can’t say anything but what they feel” – Robert Altman

A mechanical witch cackles in the dusty saloon.  The 1st woman spies the 3rd through a fish tank.  Primordial figures etched in secret on the bottom of the swimming pool.  A picture like a puzzle with pieces missing.  Duvall’s dress hem jammed in the car door.  The mojave leers over the balcony.  Nothing here is strictly extraordinary rather realistic life reveals it’s eerie smiling ghoul face.  Altman dreamed the script, the cast, the setting and turned his dreams to cinema.  Proclaimed witch and soothsayer Angeliska assembles some dope-ass stills, behind the scenes photos, & impressions over here on her site.

D & W by: Robert Altman, More W by: Patricia Resnick, P by: Chuck Rosher, E by: Dennis Hill, M by: Gerald Busby, A by: Bodhi Wind, w/Shelly Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Janice Rule, Robert Fortier, Ruth Nelson, John Cromwell, Sierra Pecheur, Belita Moreno, etc…124 min, USA, 1977

The 5 Deadly Venoms

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Three stars

Tempura-paint blood and stipple sponge beards!  The plot concerns 5 & a half protégés of a Kung-fu master and their respective goals of protecting or conning an old man.  They search for buried treasure and shove sharp implements up nostrils.  They run up walls.  There’s some mystery about who the 3rd venom (Scorpion) is.  I liked the masks, they kinda reminded me of the indigenous art of the Eyak and Aleut peoples of Alaska/Kamchatka.  I had to look up those names though.

D & W by: Chang Cheh, More W: Kuang Ni, P by: Mu-To Kung & Hui-Chi Tsao, E by: Hsing-Lung Chiang, M by: Yung-Yu Chen, S by: Ting Liang, Feng Lu, & Chi-Hsien Tai, w/Sheng Chiang, Lung Tu, Lung Wei Wang, Feng Lu, Chien Sun, Pai Wei, Meng Lo, Phillip Kwok Chung-Fung, etc…, 97 min, Hong Kong, 1978

Sweet Movie

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Four stars

Nazis exhume secret soldier corpses in the Kharkiv forest.  Gretel’s witch turns gingerbread into boat and floats down the Amstel seducing little boys.  There’s a joke about how Americans can’t tell Marx from Lenin.  There’s a lot of fucking & shitting, some stabbing.  Sweet Movie is really gross and acrid and fun.  Here’s an essay by Lorraine Mortimer.

D & W by: Dušan Makavejev, More W by: France Gallagher & Martin Malina, P by: Pierre Lhomme, E by: Yann Dedet, M by: Manos Hatzidakis, w/Carol Laure, Anna Prucnal, Pierre Clémenti, John Vernon, Roy Callender, Marpessa Dawn, Otto Muehl, Roland Topor, etc…, 98 min, Yugoslavia, 1974