The Tequila Diaries #2: Witches Who Slay Together

Margarita musings from a feminist film lover. A fortnightly take on all things cinema, which you can read in the time it takes to shake up a margarita.

Proud Old Witches

A friend sent me a happy Halloween card; it was very witch-y and included a black cat familiar (I too have a black cat) and I was flattered. How times have changed. Feminists are reclaiming the word - no longer is being called ‘an old witch’ offensive, not that it ever was in my household. It isn’t all down to ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch’, though that’s definitely worth checking out, especially if there has been a ‘Buffy’ shaped hole in your soul for the past 15 years. No, the reason witches are so satan-be-damned cool is because they’re beguiling and unknowable, and because they don’t really give a fuck about what people think.

Tilda Swinton in  Suspiria

Tilda Swinton in Suspiria

And if you want to know what that witchy brand of DGAF looks like, then - as if by magic - the remake of Suspiria from director Luca Guadagnino opens this week. Set in a dance company in Berlin, the all female troupe and their tutors live together, eat together and dance together. It’s just women with other women. So far, so normal. But the tutors' interests in their young charges goes a little beyond the conventional… there’s a dance sequence that could leave some viewers feeling disturbed. When preview footage was screened at Comic Con earlier this year it got the kind of organic social buzz that distributors usually have to pay for.

Mia Goth and Dakota Johnson in  Suspiria

Mia Goth and Dakota Johnson in Suspiria

Guadagnino says he watched the original as a young boy (well, he is Italian), and his love and madness for the original shows. If you want to see what the Dario Argento version looks like then you're in luck - its on Curzon Home Cinema right now.

The Season of the Witch

Sartorially speaking there’s a lot to take from this season of the witch. The weird sisters in Sabrina have their roots in glamour goth and using my crystal ball I predict a rise in Victorian lace collars. Dakota Johnson in Suspiria has the best Halloween costume going (bookmark this for 2019) and Fantastic Beasts sets the tone for all manner of slinkiness and bobs, stylish directions that we can all go a bit witch for.

Katherine Waterston and Eddie Redmayne in  Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Katherine Waterston and Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Ah Beasts, the less bonkers witch film of the week. The latest instalment in the Potter extended universe has the usual attention to detail seen in its predecessors. It’s much darker than the first one, though, as the familiar tropes of good and evil battle against one another as before, only this time - set in 1927 - the threat of WWII looms in the shadows. Grindelwald (Johnny Depp, rocking a black cravat) is the villain and it’s up to Newt (Eddie Redmayne) to prevent his evil machinations.

Johnny Depp in  Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The stand out character is Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz), now married to Newt's brother and always a little on the outside of things with a melancholic edge. What’s her story? Reader, I care, but I cared more for her dark magenta dress, lace boots and that seriously side crimped hair.

Witches take style seriously; where they lead we should follow.

[Words by Kate Gerova]