FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 21, 2019

SUSPIRIA Day 21: no coincidences

Just a wee addendum to my earlier post about the significance of November 11th in the film: as I noted, the exacting attention to detail means that "coincidences" are likely anything but. Maybe you noticed this in the screencaps I included in that discussion, or while you were watching the movie itself:

That "Burger" spelling in the first pic isn't a subtitle, it's closed captioning. It should read "Berger." So the patient Dr. Klemperer welcomes at the beginning of the film–the one whose appointment is delayed because of Patricia's impromptu visit–has the same last name as the man responsible for Anke's death.

Sure, maybe they're not close relatives. Maybe it's just the same last name. But the audience is free to make of the connection (or lack thereof, if they so choose) what they will. I like to think it's perhaps the grandson of the Nazi Kommandant, who's in therapy to try to cope with the horrors inflicted by a member of his family. There's a fascinating documentary, Hitler's Children (2011) that deals with this very idea. How do you reconcile the loving father or mother you knew with the atrocities they committed during the war? What's the solution?

"We need guilt, Doctor. And shame. But not yours."

Suspiriorum is talking about needing the shame and guilt of the powerful, the people who inflicted untold brutality on millions and continue on unchecked. It's possible that this Mr. Berger is attempting to deal with that in his small way, that both he and Klemperer are trying to heal the damage neither one of them caused. It's all conjecture, of course, but it's too coincidental to, you know, be a coincidence.

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