An in-depth study of what makes it great

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Watch the opening sequence of Suspiria here: part 1 & part 2

A masterpiece of the genre, and certainly the most famous Italian example, Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977) remains a uniquely haunting and transcendent horror experience.

Its puzzling story of a young woman joining a famous ballet school (and possible coven of witches) is made immensely hypnotic through vivid colours, disjointed editing, strange sound design, and outbursts of extreme violence. Introducing all these elements in its first moments, the sequence that launches the film sets a startling tone that is, all these years later, unmatched.

Right out of the gate, seeing the bold typeface of the credits reminds us just how many aspects of Suspiria have become iconic. Goblin’s jarring prog-rock infused score, itself a kind of classic, accompanies these stark white titles. Shrill, high-pitched fretting and ominous, low bass notes suggest a slightly archaic and energetic air of the fantastical. …

How Universal Studios created movie monsters

What immediate associations pass through your mind when you hear the name Frankenstein? Or Dracula? Is it an image of a flat-headed, neck-bolted green giant? Does Dracula swish around in a cloak and white tie, widow’s peak prominent, speaking in a thick Hungarian accent? Is there a hirsute Wolf Man lurking in the woods? These globally-recognised icons all have something in common — they are creations of one film studio, considered the pioneer of the horror genre: Universal.

But how was it that one studio could single-handedly create, define and own a genre?

Today, Universal is the oldest-surviving film studio in the United States, having been founded by Carl Laemmle in 1912. But Universal was not a big player during Hollywood’s Golden Age — in fact it was one of the ‘Little Three’, alongside Columbia Pictures and United Artists. Once Universal discovered audiences’ appetites for the grotesque and thrilling in the 1920s, the studio began to focus its energies on producing — and pioneering — the horror genre. What linked most of Universal’s classic monsters was their depiction as outsiders, capable of garnering just as much sympathy as they did fear and revulsion. However little of it there was, they had humanity, and were often driven by curiosity and a desire for acceptance (although some were just out-and-out baddies). But just who were these iconic monsters, and when — and how — did they first appear? …

From our friends & partners at One Room With A View, we share some of the scariest films to scar their writers’ childhoods.

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Watership Down // Courtesy of: Cinema International Corporation (CIC)

The greatest films linger in your memory long after the credits have rolled, but there’s a particular power to those we watch as children: impressionable young minds latching onto striking images and twisted ideas, warping them into the stuff of nightmares. Eight writers from our friends & partners at One Room With A View look back at ten films still haunting them to this day.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? — Alex Goldstein

Little strikes fear into the hearts of a certain generation more than the words, “remember me, Eddie?”

Looming Judge Doom already made us wonder if all adults can be trusted. Then, he turned out to be a toon — after we’d seen him slowly, painfully dissolve one in a vat of bilious ‘dip’. He took on the qualities we associate with safe children’s entertainment, like a high pitched voice, popping eyes, and slapstick, splicing them uncannily with our world. The madcap violence we’d become immune to suddenly felt very real, and a PG film became the indelible stuff of nightmares. …

Our monthly London Film School community updates: student, alumni, and staff successes you might like to know about

Find out more about studying at London Film School: MA Filmmaking, Screenwriting, and International Film Business.

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Still from Listen, directed by LFS alumna Ana Rocha de Sousa (2020)


Alumna Ana Rocha de Sousa’s (MAF 173) Venice Biennale-award winning debut feature Listen has been selected as Portugal’s International Oscar selection for 2021.

Alumnus Alvaro Gago’s (MAF 175) short film 16 de Decembro has been selected to compete in the Short Film category of the 35th Goya Awards.

Huge congratulations to MA Screenwriting alumna Kefi Chadwick (MAS 7), longlisted in the British Independent Film Awards Best Debut Screenwriter category for her work on Looted, which has picked up strong reviews all round, including 4 stars from The Guardian.

Filmmaking + Blended Learning at London Film School

We are immensely proud of the staff and students at London Film School for ensuring the continued success of our globally recognised MA Filmmaking course, even during a global pandemic.

To keep everyone safe, the School shuttered its buildings to all its MA courses in early February 2020 and, to ensure the learning outcomes of Filmmaking, Screenwriting, and International Film Business remained the same, classes considered to not require in-person attendance, as well as extracurricular masterclasses, were moved online in what has come to be known as a Blended Learning approach to teaching across the UK (more below). …

Our monthly London Film School community updates; students, alumni and staff successes you might like to know about

Find out more: MA Filmmaking, Screenwriting, and International Film Business.

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Summer Shade — wri/dir. Shira Haimovici, DOP Tamas Apor Meder

The best bits

Wonderful news for Fiona Lamptey, an alumna of the LFS Fast Forward Producing programme held in 2012, named the new Director of UK Features at Netflix.

Huge congratulations to MA Filmmaking (MAF 173) graduate Colum Eastwood, named a Star of Tomorrow for 2020 by Screen Daily.

Two very recent MAF (192) graduates, Paul Maziere and Tamas Apor Meder, were nominated for the British Society of Cinematographers Short Film Cinematography Competition - Tamas was announced as the Student Winner for his work on Summer Shade (wri/dir. …

& the roles that have made him

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Jonathan Majors in The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)

Here comes Atticus Freeman; adventurer, scholar, Chicago South Sider, and monster killer. Atticus is the central character of Lovecraft Country, which is not only presenting stories we’ve never seen from Black characters before but is also arguably the best show on television. It may well be a star-making role for lead actor Jonathan Majors after twelve months of incredible supporting performances.

A graduate from the prestigious Yale School of Drama, Majors has repeatedly demonstrated both an impressive range of performance and an excellent eye for scripts. …

We interview the London Film School MA Filmmaking graduate who recently worked on the Emmy Award-winning team for Disney+’s The Mandalorian

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In September of this year, we shared the phenomenal news that LFS alumna Stephanie Espinetti and her VFX team with Disney+’s The Mandalorian had won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. Here, we speak with Stephanie about life before London Film School, her experiences with us, and this exciting career trajectory to date.

Tell us a little about your life before London Film School.

I had an interest in film from an early age as I spent a lot of time watching films with my Dad either at home or in the cinema. There were a couple of early efforts at making movies — I made a short espionage thriller à la James Bond, starring my cousin, that thrilled precisely no one, but I remember seeing Juno and being quite excited by it. …

Filmmaker Caroline Catz on bringing the Delia Derbyshire story to life

Screening at the BFI London Film Festival from 15–18 October 2020, Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and The Legendary Tapes paints a lyrical, colourful portrait of one of electronic music’s unsung early pioneers.

Uncredited and under-appreciated in her time, Delia Derbyshire was part of BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop from 1961–1973 and used magnetic tape to manipulate ordinary sounds into enchanting sonic landscapes that still sound futuristic. Her most well-known composition is the original Doctor Who theme tune, reportedly inspired by air raid sirens she heard as a child growing up in Coventry at the outbreak of the Second World War.

Writing, directing and starring as Delia Derbyshire in the film is actor and director Caroline Catz. Blurring the line between documentary and biopic, the film draws upon an extensive archive of tapes and documents found in the wake of Derbyshire’s death in 2001. …

Our monthly London Film School community updates; students, alumni and staff successes you might like to know about

Don’t forget to find out more about our MA Filmmaking, Screenwriting, and International Film Business courses.

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Summer Shade, directed by Shira Haimovici (2020)

The best bits

We are thrilled to announce that Shira Haimovici’s (MAF 192) graduation film Summer Shade (co-produced by Adam Robinson, cinematography by Tamas Apor Meder) will have its World Premiere at the BFI London Film Festival 2020! Watch any time for free on the BFI Player from 7–18 October.

Huge congratulations to alumna Ana Rocha de Sousa (MAF 173) on her feature debut Listen, a major winner at La Biennale di Venezia with an incredible six awards, including the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize and Luigi de Laurentiis Venice Award for a Debut Film!


London Film School

The UK’s oldest film school, dedicated to the education of filmmakers in the heart of London.

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