House Logo
Explore categories +

Dario Argento (#110 of 13)

Hannibal Recap Season 3, Episode 1, "Antipasto"

Comments Comments (...)

Hannibal Recap: Season 3, Episode 1, “Antipasto”

NBC

Hannibal Recap: Season 3, Episode 1, “Antipasto”

Hannibal’s third season opens on a close-up of a key inserting into an ignition and turning, triggering a series of reactions within a metallic labyrinth that’s revealed to be the interior workings of a motorcycle. The symbolic association is blunt and unmistakable: This is a beginning, a kick-starting of something larger. This impression is affirmed by the episode’s title, “Antipasto,” which is taken from the name of the course that initiates a traditional Italian meal. The motorcycle’s driver is Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), and the sight of the great psychopathic mastermind cruising around Paris in chic leather duds is a deliberately sensual departure from the tradition of the series up to this point. We’re accustomed, after all, to seeing Hannibal in impossibly well-tailored suits that attest to his impression of a brilliant, functional professional. The suggestively kinky leather affirms the release that was achieved at the end of season two, when Hannibal outed himself as the Chesapeake Ripper, brutally assaulting Will Graham, Jack Crawford, Alana Bloom, and Abigail in the process, before fleeing to parts then-unknown with former shrink and possible beard and lover Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson).

Goblin Announces First North American Tour

Comments Comments (...)

Goblin Announces First North American Tour
Goblin Announces First North American Tour

Goblin, those purveyors of ’70s giallo horror, responsible for the musical scores for Dario Argento’s Deep Red and Suspiria as well as George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, are embarking on their first North American tour ever, including two dates at Austin’s Housecore Horror Film Festival just in time for Halloween. The newly reunited Italian prog-rock band is also releasing a new EP including newly recorded versions of their classics pressed on red 180g vinyl and featuring cover art by poster artist Graham Humphrey. The tour kicks off October 1st in Atlanta. Check out all of the tour dates by clicking on the poster below.

Death by Art Andrew Cooper’s Dario Argento

Comments Comments (...)

Death by Art: L. Andrew Cooper’s Dario Argento
Death by Art: L. Andrew Cooper’s Dario Argento

“What the fuck is this bullshit psychoanalysis?” are the wonderful words spoken by Jeremy Irons’s Beverly Mantle in David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers (1988), and if you follow the arguments of L. Andrew Cooper in his new book, the films of Dario Argento often share a similar opinion. Cooper claims Argento, though labeled early in his career as the “Italian Hitchcock,” spent his early, gialli-focused years lambasting and lampooning “Freudian proclivities,” most notably in The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1969), which positions itself as a Psycho (1960) homage, only to jest at Hitchcock’s insistence upon closure via psychological ends. In fact, Cooper argues that aesthetics, especially beginning with Deep Red (1975), become a replacement for both psychoanalysis and narrative in Argento’s films, leading him toward an interest in visual excess, which would culminate in Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980), films that “in their combinations of wild visuals and storylines that challenge storytelling itself, were unlike anything the world had ever seen.” If the previous claim reads slightly clunky and definitely hyperbolic, it’s likely because Cooper’s book, on the whole, is torn between its academic and populist inclinations. Unlike Maitland McDonagh’s revelatory Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento, which strikes an invigorating balance of analysis, theory, and historicizing, Cooper states from the onset his desire to “eschew a traditional auteur approach.” Necessarily, this leads him down a rather predictable post-structuralist path, replete with deconstructionist close-reading after close-reading—all of them informative and knowledgeable, certainly, but few, if any, of them truly illuminating the depths of Argento’s oeuvre, beyond relatively fundamental distinctions between form and content and Argento’s non-normative subversions.

AFI Fest 2012: A Hijacking and Berberian Sound Studio

Comments Comments (...)

AFI Fest 2012: <em>A Hijacking</em> and <em>Berberian Sound Studio</em>
AFI Fest 2012: <em>A Hijacking</em> and <em>Berberian Sound Studio</em>

The real world, or at least the attempt to transmit some finite aspect of it, has been the aim of many a film—that transcendental dream that the screen is a window to the world and a movie can provide an authentic experience of it. Danish writer-director Tobias Lindholm searches for that authenticity in A Hijacking, a dramatic story of modern-day naval piracy that was actually shot off the pirate-prone coast of eastern Africa. Some of that verisimilitude finds its way onto the screen, and there are successes in conveying the harrowing experience of a crew in captivity. But as with any grasp toward the real, there are fractures and questions and facets of the story left unexplored.

The film traces the fate of a cargo vessel hijacked by Somali pirates through the eyes of the ship’s cook, Mikkel (Johan Philip Asbæk); we bounce intermittently from the ship back to the home office in Denmark, where shipping CEO Peter (Søren Malling) tries to negotiate for the release of the ship and its crew. We alternate between their perspectives as the days of the standoff drag on into weeks and then months. It’s a study in contrasts, as both men attempt to maintain their resolve under what the film regards as different yet connected kinds of tension.

15 Famous Movie Blackbirds

Comments Comments (...)

15 Famous Movie Blackbirds
15 Famous Movie Blackbirds

In what’s unfortunately one of the lesser films about a literary great, John Cusack wields a quill and a gun as The Raven’s Edgar Allen Poe, a legend who would’ve skewered this thriller in one of his sharp-tongued newsprint critiques. What’s perhaps best about the movie is the eerie mood that’s established, a mood symbolized by the titular winged creature. Blackbirds have been harbingers of doom in many a dark tale, and otherwise added spooky style to countless filmic palettes. Even in lighter fare, they point to something sinister, be it imminent attack, loneliness, or even racism.

Review: Maitland McDonagh’s Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento

Comments Comments (...)

Review: Maitland McDonagh’s Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento
Review: Maitland McDonagh’s Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento

In winning over new converts, champions of Dario Argento’s horror films have to fight a nose-bleed-inducing uphill battle. First off, his kinky, surreal chillers have been consigned to that special circle of exploitation purgatory reserved for Euro-schlock, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, as Argento has always half-boasted and half-lamented, most of his films have been censored and subsequently released in multiple cuts (he’s pretty much the Terrence Malick of Italian sleaze).

This has made the man and his acolytes extra-defensive, as is evinced in Maitland McDonagh’s interview at the back of the new edition of her Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento. By the end of their Q&A, he seems exhausted (“Why don’t you just make up a reason for me,” he retorts, as if he were ready to limply dangle a white flag above his head). And this is after McDonagh, a dogged defender of the man’s work, playfully teases him with a non-question like, “Do you lie on the beach thinking of disgusting ways to kill people?”