British musician Thom Yorke’s “Suspirium” starts with the simple line “This is a waltz.” It is the theme song of the recently released film “Suspiria,” which is the maiden work of Yorke as a music director, the vocalist of British rock band Radiohead. It was said that Thom felt under great pressure after he was offered a chance to direct a film.
His burden is somewhat understandable although he is a legendary member of one of the most significant rock bands since the 1990s. Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood successfully turned into a film music director as he worked for “Phantom Thread” and “There Will Be Blood.” Yorke must have found it resist comparing himself to his colleague.
The soundtrack to the original film Suspiria, which was released in 1977, was composed and performed by the Italian band Goblin. The soundtrack is commended as a legendary work where acute and sharp sounds amplify the bizarre visual effects of vividly colored scenes.
A ballet school in Berlin, Germany, in 1977 is the backdrop to the film. Ballet dancers suffer from repeats of nightmares on the premises where ominousness grows among school management. As darkness sets down, an odd ritual is performed somewhere over the school wall.
Director Yorke nailed his first film. He not only realizes continuous gloominess that lasts throughout the film but also applies five- and seven-beat rhythms in ballet songs, making them attuned to spooky sounds. Uncanny choreographic moves continue not only in the film but also in reality according to the beat cruelly played by our life.