The Card Player

The Card Player (Il Cartaio) (2004)

The Card Player (Il Cartaio) first published – in a slightly different form – by Movie Gazette, Nov, 2004. The Italian term giallo denotes both the colour ‘yellow’ and a lurid film genre which, like the series of sensationalist Italian crime novels whose distinctive yellow sleeves provided its name, is full of masks, murder and…

Dark Glasses

Dark Glasses (Occhiali neri) (2022) 

Dark Glasses (Occhiali neri) first published by SciFiNow Giallo king Dario Argento‘s Dark Glasses (Occhiali neri) opens with a wide establishing shot of residential buildings in Rome’s leafy suburbs, and then various mobile shots looking upwards at roadside trees and apartment blocks. As it is revealed that the perspective belongs to Diana (Ilenia Pastorelli) at…

Deep Red

Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) (1975)

Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) first published by Little White Lies, as entry 139 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column A sweet children’s song, a Christmas tree in a cosy domestic setting, silhouettes on the wall showing one person viciously stabbing another, and then a blood-stained knife falling to the floor, by the shoes of a standing…

Stendhal

The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal) (1996)

The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal) first published by VODzilla.co The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal) was the second film by Dario Argento to star his daughter Asia. The title of the first, Trauma (1993), might equally have served here, given that The Stendhal Syndrome focuses less on its rapist/killer than on the scars, physical and psychological, that are left…

Opera

Opera (1987)

Opera first published by Little White Lies, as the 74th instalment of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “This time our director OD’d on weird,” says wardrobe mistress Giulia (Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni) in Dario Argento’s Opera. “It isn’t like the movies. There if you come up with something original, everyone congratulates you.” Giulia is complaining about the transition…

Suspiria (2018)

Suspiria (2018)

Dance en abyme: Suspiria (2018) and reflections on rebirth Remakes always come with an in-built tension. Cleave too close to the original, and your film seems pointless. Cleave too far from it, and the film barely seems a remake. The ideal is to find a balance, somewhere between these two poles: a film that still…

Plumage

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970)

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage first published by Little White Lies, as the 51st instalment in my Cinema Psychotronicum column There is a sequence in the middle of Dario Argento’s assured feature debut The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo) which sets out the film’s stall. The hero Sam Dalmas (Tony…

Tails

The Cat O’ Nine Tails (1971)

The Cat O’ Nine Tails first published by Little White Lies, as entry 49 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column The Cat O’ Nine Tails (Il Gatto a Nove Code) is director Dario Argento’s second feature, and the middle film in his so-called ‘Animal Trilogy’ (coming between 1970’s The Bird With The Crystal Plumage and 1971’s Four…

Suspiria

Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria first published by Little White Lies, as entry 47 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Suspiria begins with an arrival, and an entrance. Hoping to perfect her ballet studies at Europe’s most famous Dance Academy, American Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) has just landed at the airport in Freiburg, Germany on a wet and windy night. As…

neo-giallo

Death Knocks Twice: The Resurrection of Giallo

First published by New Empress Magazine If the term neo-giallo implies a long-buried palaeo-giallo that has more recently been disinterred and reanimated in a different form, then it ought to be possible to pin down an approximate date of death for the prior Italian subgenre. Giallo had its peak in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties…

Mother of Tears

Mother of Tears (2007)

Mother of Tears first published by EyeforFilm From the very outset, Dario Argento‘s Mother Of Tears abounds in images of the past being disinterred and returning to haunt the present. Its title sequence features a digital rearrangement of demonic details taken from various medieval woodcuts and paintings. Its opening scenes show some modern workmen at a…