Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival today, drawing a series of disappointed shrugs (and the occasional divisive rave) from the assembled critics there. The rest of us will still have to wait more than a month to take in Guadagnino’s homage to the Dario Argento horror classic, though, time we’ll probably continue to spend mulling over whatever the hell’s going on with Tilda Swinton’s role in the movie.
For what it’s worth, Swinton went on the record today with a flat, fairly persuasive denial of (the pretty compelling) rumors that she’s playing a dual role in the film, providing both her credited part as creepy dance academy director Madame Blanc, and the rumored one as “Lutz Ebersdorf,” the otherwise unknown “psychoanalyst” playing the character of Dr. Klemperer, who featured prominently in the film’s first trailer. Swinton went so far as to read out a “statement” from Ebersdorf, denying the claims, and was “stone-faced” when asked if she was playing the part. (Then again, she is a pretty good actor.)
In the end, though, it might not matter; as we said, the critics are not being especially kind to Guadagnino’s film, accusing it of lacking the spark of madness that it’s so far been promising, and which was a key part of Argento’s original. We’re still holding out hope, but all of Swinton’s secrecy might be for naught, especially since the line between “transformative twist” and “weird casting gimmick” often comes down to the quality of the film in which it’s deployed.