Amazon Studios Sued Over ‘Suspiria’ Artwork

Many moviegoers have marked their calendars for the big-budget films of the fall like Halloween, Venom, A Star is Born, First Man, and Mowgli. But early November is a movie many aren’t discussing but should certainly make your toes curl nonetheless.

Suspiria, directed by Luca Guadagnino, is a remake of the Dario Argento 1977 cult classic of the same name. The film will be put out by Amazon Studios.

And while the streaming giant borrowed an idea from 30 years ago, it seems the production house borrowed much more than that, as seen through a recent lawsuit.

According to Varietythe estate of acclaimed feminist artist Ana Mendieta sued Amazon Studios alleging that the remake “borrows” from the late artist’s work in both the trailer and the film.

See if you can tell…

Allegedly, two of Mendieta’s pieces (from the late 1970s like the original film) uncomfortably named “Rape Scene” and oddly entitled “Untitled (Silueta Series, Mexico),” are clearly seen — not as thematic inspiration but fabricated images used without authorization.

Director Luca Guadagnino has given interviews in which he said he was inspired by Mendieta’s work. In one interview, he said he wanted to remake the original “Suspiria” because it was “soaked in the ideas of feminist art.”

silueta
Untitled: Silueta Series, Mexico , 1976 Photograph © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection

Mendieta, daughter of an anti-Castro counter-revolutionary (dude spent 18 years in prison for his involvement in the Bay of Pigs), was sent to America from Cuba at age 12. Six years later, she began studying painting but searched for strong imagery. So, she made it instead.

Based on her Guggenheim bio:

In 1973, Mendieta traveled with her MFA class to Mexico, where she began her Silueta (Silhouette) series (1973–80), in which her body, or more often, a simple outline of her figure, was impressed into various sites outdoors.

Those “outlines” and silhouettes are what you see in Suspiria hanging on the wall. Allegedly. The two pieces of work cited in the lawsuit have been “removed from the film,” but the story cites “the agent flagged eight others that also bore similarities to Mendieta’s work.

Amazon Studios have not responded to interviews but the fact that a couple of pieces of art have been removed from the film speaks volumes for them.

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