What does "Suspiria" mean?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TomF, Jan 11, 2002.

  1. TomF

    TomF Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2001
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    110
    I loaned my Suspiria DVD to a friend (he enjoyed it very much), and he's returning it when we get together tonight. He asked me what the word "Suspiria" means, but I don't know. Does anyone here know? I couldn't find a dictionary definition. Did Argento intend for it to have a meaning, or was it simply a cool-sounding word? (Whether it has a meaning or not, it does sound cool--especially with that menacing whisper.)
    I'll pass on any responses to my friend this evening.
    Thanks!
    Tom
     
  2. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Isn't it a name?
     
  3. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I haven't seen the film, but suspire means to breathe, or sigh. Could it be related to this?

    Jon
     
  4. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    753
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Dave
    I asked my italian mother in-law (who was originally from italy) and she said it was some form of breathe like Jon mentioned. But she speaks mainly dialect and couldn't 100% verify it.
     
  5. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    from some site unrelated to the DVD:

     
  6. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 1998
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In Romanian "suspirare" means breathing so you guys are right ... it's a variation of a Latin word.
     
  7. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here's a fun trick to try: Next time your wife is in heavy labor, keep shouting at her, "suspire! suspire!".
    I betcha that'll crack her up. [​IMG]
    Jon
     
  8. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In it's infinitive form, suspirar mean "to sigh" in Spanish, thus suspiria or suspiría means "sighed"
     
  9. TomF

    TomF Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2001
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Thanks everyone for the responses! I will pass them along to my friend.

    Tom
     
  10. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    1,975
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Rex Bachmann
    TomF:

    Latin "suspirare" (the source of the similar words in the various Romance languages) means 'to breathe under one's breath (< *sub-spirare), i.e., to whisper'. 'Suspiria' would mean 'whispering'. (I'm not sure whether that's a real Latin or Italian word or whether they just made it up, but that's what it should mean.)

    I've only seen the movie on tv and cut up in pieces, but, as you should know, in the denouement it turns out that the school for girls is run by an old witch---no?--- who is the 'mother of whispers' ("Suspiria"'s her name, no?). The sequel, "Inferno", features the 'mother of darkness', and a never made second sequel was supposed to feature the 'mother of tears', I believe. It was supposed to be Argento's trilogy featuring the 'Three Mothers'(ancient witches).
     
  11. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    1,975
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Rex Bachmann
    One correction: The Latin, French, and Italian verbs mean not 'to whisper', but 'to sigh'. Argento must've made up the name from the Latin verb and TOOK IT TO MEAN 'whispering'. "Artistic licence."
     
  12. TomF

    TomF Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2001
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Thanks Rex. I appreciate the added info!

    Tom
     
  13. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    796
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've heard that the name is taken from Thomas De Quincey's Suspiria de Profundis, 1845. The signifigance of this escapes me. [​IMG]
     
  14. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    4,301
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    The Three Mothers Trilogy reference is the one I've always heard as the explanation, the operative one Suspiria being the Mother of Sighs (note the labored breathing of the old witch).
    Sure with that Daria Nicolodi would get back together with Dario Argento and finish the trilogy though. She says she knows in her head what happens, but thus far no movement by either of them to let us in on the secret. [​IMG]
     
  15. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    1,975
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Rex Bachmann
    How did I miss this? (I usu. view this site real early in the morning!) I rechecked the old unabridged Latin dictionary. suspirium means 'sigh', and its plural is suspiria (which is related to the verb named earlier) (so, NOT made up by Argento, as I said before). The title of the movie means literally 'Sighs'.
    Mr. Des is also correct. I've found the following on the Web

    DIE FARBE DER ANGST
    Die Welt von Dario Argento - Teil 2: 1977-1997
    (c) by Thomas Wagner
    Es war Thomas de Quinceys 1845 erschienenes Buch Suspiria de profundis, das Dario Argento zu seinen zwei nächsten Filmen inspirierte. In dem Essay Levana And Our Ladys Of Sorrow beschreibt de Quincey darin den Mythos der drei "Mütter der Schmerzen": Mater Lachrymarum, die Mutter der Tränen; Mater Suspiriorum, die Mutter der Seufzer und Mater Tenebrarum, die Mutter der Finsternis. Basierend auf diesen Gestalten und der Vorstellung, daß deren dunkles, verborgenes Wirken seit Urzeiten die Geschicke der Menschen lenkt, machte sich Argento zusammen mit Daria Nicolodi 1977 daran, das Drehbuch für einen "magischen Thriller" zu schreiben, es entstand SUSPIRIA
    translation (by me):
    The Color of Fear
    (c) by Thomas Wagner
    The World of Dario Argento- part 2: 1977-1997
    It was Thomas de Quincey's book Suspiria de Profundis ['Sighs from the Depths', the sequel to his earlier 'Confessions of an English Opium Eater'], which appeared in 1845, that inspired Dario Argento to his next two films.
    In the essay entitled "Levana and our Ladys [sic] of Sorrow", de Quincy describes the myth of the three 'Mothers of Tribulations (lit. of Pains)': Mater Lachrymarum, the Mother of Tears; Mater Suspiriorum, the Mother of Sighs, and Mater Tenebrarum, the Mother of Darkness. Based on these figures and on the concept that their dark, hidden activity has guided the destinies of men since the dawn of time, Argento undertook in 1977, along with Daria Nicolodi, to write the script for a "magic thriller", SUSPIRIA came about.
    If I get a chance sometime in the next week or two I will try to look at de Quincey's essay and see what I can see. (This has piqued my interest.)
     

Share This Page