Editorial: Intro to Argento April

Dario-argento

April sees the start of themed months and I could not think of a better filmmaker then Dario Argento, to begin this series of blog posts. Despite being into Italian horror cinema, Argento has fallen of my radar compared to other directors in the genre. Mario Bava has always felt like the most talented and interesting: working within several sub-genres and beguiling audiences with his feverish paintbox aesthetic.

On the other end of the scale is Lucio Fulci. His work has been purely base, feeling like adaptations of provocative B movie posters with hyperbolic statements. While his movies don’t entirely hang together (narratively), they can be relied on for having moments that horrify, strike and linger.

While Argento’s contribution to cinema is invaluable: he was one of the screenwriters of Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and the producer of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), I don’t have enough of a sense of him as a director. I’m curious to see how his ascetic compares to his peers in the genre.

From Argento’s extensive filmography, I’ve only seen Suspiria (1977) and Opera (1987).  So, in terms of films to watch, I’m spoilt for choice. Below are the movies for the month along with a brief comment and where you can watch them.

Movie 1: Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1971)

source (17)

What better place to start then Argento’s first film, I’ve always been interested about this one. Crystal Plumage is available to rent or buy from Google Play, Prime Video and iTunes.

Movie 2: Deep Red (1975)

DEEP-RED-Comes-to-Blu-ray-from-Arrow-Video

Other then Suspiria, this seems to be Argento’s most celebrated film. I’m intrigued to see if it lives up to the hype. Deep Red is available to rent or buy from Google Play, Prime Video and iTunes.

Movie 3: The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)

the-stendhal-syndrome-1996

I wanted to feature an obscure and lesser known film in the line up, cue: The Stendhal Syndrome. You can stream the title on Shudder.com.

Movie 4: Dracula (2014)

Dracula4

Dario Argento adapting Bram Stoker’s famous novel and ostensibly making a vampire movie, I’m all in. You can rent or buy the film from Google Play, Prime Video and iTunes.

In the meantime, what film intrigues you the most? Which Argento films have you seen? Let me know in the comments below.

About Sartaj Govind Singh

Notes from a distant observer: “Sartaj is a very eccentric fellow with a penchant for hats. He likes watching films and writes about them in great analytical detail. He has an MA degree in Philosophy and has been known to wear Mickey Mouse ears on his birthday.”
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