The retrospective (or better, a ‘best of’) dedicated to the legendary horror director Dario Argento that I curated for Melkweg Cinema in Amsterdam will take place in January with six of the very best symphonies of murder from the Italian master of terror!
Hailed by the international film press as ‘the Italian answer to Hitchcock’, the name Dario Argento is synonymous with giallo, the highly stylised and hyper-violent Italian horror-thrillers.
Immediately recognisable for their stunning visual style and maverick cinematography, Argento’s gory whodunits have heavily influenced the work of many directors such as John Carpenter, Wes Craven or Quentin Tarantino.
Equally iconic are the soundtracks of his films, from the prog-rock haunting scores of Italian band Goblin to the elegant compositions of Ennio Morricone.
Here more info, screening dates and a eye-popping selection of film posters by Malleusdelic Art Lab.
Monday 07/01, 20.00
IT 1987, 107 min
A young soprano is called to substitute the injured lead in Verdi’s opera Macbeth. She becomes the object of desire of a psychopath, who forces her to watch while he commits a series of sadistic killings.
Obsession, hallucination and voyeurism are at the centre of one of Argento’s most visionary works to date. Considered his last masterpiece, OPERA shows Argento at the top of his imaginative and bloody game. The screening will be introduced by Mr Horror in person, Jan Doense.
Friday 11/01 & Wednesday 30/01, 23.00
IT 1975, 126 min
A pianist witnesses the murder of a psychic medium. He decides to investigate the assassination and discovers that the medium publicly predicted her own violent death. The woman’s death will be just the first of a series of gruesome murders..
Arguably the best giallo from the golden age of Italian horror. Grim, stylistically elegant and visually stunning, PROFONDO ROSSO established Argento as a master of thriller and terrified generations of moviegoers.
The sinister score of PROFONDO ROSSO marked the beginning of the collaboration between Argento and the Italian progressive rock band Goblin. The notorious film theme remains some of the most suspenseful film music ever produced.
Wednesday 16, 23.00
IT 1982, 110 min
While the American writer Peter Neal is in Rome to promote his new book “Tenebrae”, a serial killer commits murders resembling the ones narrated in his book.
After the supernatural horrors SUSPIRIA and INFERNO, this film marked the return of Argento to giallo. TENEBRE abandons the nocturnal atmosphere of the director’s early gialli to bring his classic themes of sexual obsession, fear and murder into open spaces and under stark lights.
One of Argento’s most personal films, boasting some of his most ambitious camera work and once again enriched by a throbbing score by Goblin.
Friday 18/01, 23.00
IT 1980, 107 min
After reading the diary of an architect, a woman discovers that her apartment building was originally the residence of an ancient witch. The discovery will lead her and her brother to a deadly labyrinth of fear.
Second chapter of the Three Mothers witches’ trilogy after SUSPIRIA, INFERNO shares the previous film’s neo-gothic horror inspiration and atmosphere. Mysterious and pervaded by a sense of impeding danger, INFERNO is Argento at his most darkly sinister.
Wednesday 23/01, 23.00
FOUR FLIES ON THE GREY VELVET
IT 1971, 104 min
Roberto, the drummer of a rock band, receives strange phone calls and is followed by a mysterious man. A confrontation with the stranger ends up in the stalker’s death. A couple of days later, Roberto receives an envelope containing pictures of the murder: this is just the beginning of Roberto’s spiralling descent into paranoia and fear.
Argento’s seldom screened third film closed the director’s ‘first period’ and introduced many of the themes and visual elements that became associated with his cinema. A visionary giallo with a lavish soundtrack by the great Ennio Morricone.
Friday 25/01 , 23.00
IT 1977, 98 min
American ballet student Suzy arrives in Germany to join a prestigious dance academy. Her arrival sets in motion a series of unexplainable events and bloody murders.
The opening film of the Three Mothers witches’ trilogy, SUSPIRIA remains one of Argento’s most critically acclaimed films and shows yet another side of the director’s horror aesthetics. Baroque, dreamlike and claustrophobic, SUSPIRIA plays as a modern gothic fable, drenched in a surreal contrast of menacing darkness and vibrant colours.
The score of SUSPIRIA was composed by the band Goblin. The disturbingly sinister theme song resulted in one of the most imitated (and sampled) horror tunes to date.