Perhaps the best name to begin any conversation about Giallo with would be...Dario Argento. Mostly because the man is a living legend. And, while he didn't start the sub genre, he certainly did a lot to make it a substantial one. To cap off our amazing GIALLOWEEN celebration...we take a look at three of the Maestro's most influential gialli.
Giallo would not be what it is without the brilliant efforts of Mr. Dario Argento. Plain and simple. The man has done A LOT to lay the groundwork down for, not only Italian gialli...but, genre cinema as a whole. Could you imagine a cinematic world without Argento's films? No...you cannot. And, quite honestly, I don't care about the argument regarding his post 90's work. That is rendered invalid whenever you think of his earlier work. I mean...let's face it...modern cinema is nothing like the past. Of course you have your exceptions...but, when we compare genre films of the present to those of the past...there really is no way to do that. The master filmmakers of the past were working on a different level. Often relying on their imagination and creative wit to work out a specific scene. Could the crane shot from Tenebre have been done in today's world...the same way that it was done back in 1982? Could a filmmaker get away with some of the stuff done in Profondo Rosso in the modern landscape? Would the crazy twist from Bird with the Crystal Plumage work with a contemporary audience? It was just a different time...and all that stuff works so well for the time...and continues to provide influence today. Argento didn't create the giallo film...but, it can be argued that he drastically improved on it and help shape it into what we know it to be. Let us know take a look at three of his masterpieces.
Profondo Rosso is one of my absolute favorite Giallo films...mostly for the sake of nostalgia. I mean...there's no mistaking Argento's masterpiece for being one of the greatest horror films of all time...never mind the Giallo masterpiece that it is. I would say that Deep Red is one of the most influential and complete giallo films of its time giving us that rich Argento signature that we love to this day. In clearer terms...there are Giallo films...and then there is Profondo Rosso...the benchmark to which all other Gialli aspire to achieve. I realize that I'm giving such high praise to the film...but, I can't help that it is a masterwork of Italian genre cinema. And while there will always be favorites as far as Gialli goes at any given time...depending on one's mood or the weather, there can really only be one...and that one is Profondo Rosso.
Don't believe me? See it for yourself down below in our GIALLOWEEN PRESENTATION. Please enjoy this uncut version, which seems to go in and out of English and Italian randomly (no subtitles, unfortunately...but, the gore is universal). Please enjoy.
What can I say about this glorious film. It has it all. It really does. I mean...within the first minute and a half the killer is shown admiring his murder weapons on a lovely red velvet tray...WHAT THE FUCK! The shine of the blade in the dark as "he" cleans it with a piece of that red velvet...is orgasm-inducing! Maybe I'm just in love with the killer. And that brilliant score by Ennio Morricone always sends tingles down my spine. I don't know...I realize that, technically, it probably isn't Argento's best film...but, it is my personal favorite of his and it does represent his start into the genre and his inception as a filmmaker. And for that alone...the film should be regarded as goddamn remarkable.
But, anyway...grab yourself a glass of scotch, put on your black leather gloves...and please enjoy...THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE. Please note...if you are experiencing technical difficulties with the embedded video...please go HERE and enjoy.
Tenebrae stands as the last great giallo film ever made. Sure there are good gialli out there after this particular film...however, if you are tasked to find the last giallo masterpiece...it really doesn't go beyond this Argento classic. Tenebrae has so many brilliant moments in it that it is impossible to specifically choose which one thing makes the film such a genius piece of work. The music, the twist that works so well, the performances, the odd side story that inserts a bit of random intrigue, the look of the film...oh...and that fucking tracking shot.
Listen...there are tracking shots...and then there is the tracking shot found in Tenebrae. The two and a half minute scene took three days to film and marks the very first time that a Louma crane (from France) was used for an Italian production. A labyrinthine scaffold was built outside of the house in order for Argento to film everything the way he intended...and altho it only took him two takes to get all the shots he needed...the auteur insisted on 10 more takes. So amazing...as it all works so seamlessly...as a melding of music and imagery.
Anyway...please enjoy the third film in tonight's GIALLOWEEN TRIPLE FEATURE...TENEBRE.
Well...that's all for this year's awesome GIALLOWEEN celebration, my friends. I just want to thank each and everyone of you for following along and reading all month long! Thank you to the amazing Rachael Nisbet for helping out with her super talented writing! Thank you to some of my writer friends who contributed all month. Thank you to these amazing filmmakers who have created this beautiful genre that we all love so much! But, most of all...to all of the fans of the genre who continue to snatch up all of the special edition Blu-rays and DVDs and watch these films all the time and keep giallo alive and well....I want to say...GRAZIE!!!