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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Amazon Studios hit with lawsuit after late artist's estate claims Suspiria ripped off her work

Illustration for article titled Amazon Studios hit with lawsuit after late artists estate claims iSuspiriaem/em/i ripped off her workem/em
Photo: Amazon Studios

Luca Guadagnino bold, distinctive remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 horror masterpiece Suspiria is getting rave reviews (including from us), but, according to a new lawsuit filed against Amazon Studios on Thursday, the acclaimed director may have been a bit too explicit with his inspirations.

The lawsuit comes via the estate of sculptor and painter Ana Mendieta, which claims that the film borrows from the late artist’s work. The estate, Variety reports, allows Mendieta’s work to be reproduced for scholarly purposes, but not for commercial use.

The suit has legs, too; they initially sent a cease and desist letter to Amazon in July, alleging that two images from a June Suspiria trailer were derived from Mendieta’s work, specifically her works “Rape Scene” and “Silueta Series.” Tellingly, the images were removed when the film received a new trailer in August.


Variety reports that the studio screened the film for the estate earlier this month, and, while the initial offending images had been removed from the film, agents found eight others bearing similarities to Mendieta’s work. In addition to damages, the estate is seeking a restraining order to bar Amazon from using the flagged images.

Guadagnino, meanwhile, has previously cited Mendieta’s work as an inspiration, saying he wanted to remake Suspiria because it is “soaked in the ideas of feminist art.”


His reinterpretation of Argento’s film hits theaters, with or without those particular visuals, on October 26.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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