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…

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 (2007)

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 church accidentally…

Inferno

Inferno (1980)

Inferno first published by Little White Lies If Dario Argento’s supernatural classic Suspiria is a danse macabre set in a ballet school in Germany, its sequel Inferno turns for inspiration to the melodramas and murders found in opera – although it also begins with a book and a letter. The book, an alchemical tome entitled ‘The Three Mothers’, has attracted the nervous…

Phenomena

Phenomena (aka Creepers) (1985)

Phenomena (Creepers) first published by Little White Lies They have been allowed to rampage destructively through New York (King Kong, Planet of the Apes) and Los Angeles (Mighty Joe Young). One has buddied up with a truck-driving Clint Eastwood (Every Which Way But Loose), another has romanced Charlotte Rampling (Max Mon Amour), yet another has got…