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Giallo

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Mr. Arkadin
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Re: Giallo

Postby Mr. Arkadin » May 1st, 2012, 9:54 pm

A nice review of Mario Caiano's Eye in the Labyrinth (1972) for Theresa:

http://giallo-fever.blogspot.com/2007/0 ... rinth.html

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Re: Giallo

Postby CineMaven » May 2nd, 2012, 8:06 am

Thank you, Mr. A.
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Re: Giallo

Postby MikeBSG » May 11th, 2012, 3:49 pm

Today I watched the Hammer film "Paranoiac" (1963) directed by Freddie Francis.

About halfway through the movie, which owes a debt to "Rebecca" and "Suspicion," I began to think of giallo as well. Does anyone know if the makers of giallo have talked about this movie or "Les Diaboliques"?

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Re: Giallo

Postby Mr. Arkadin » May 11th, 2012, 10:33 pm

I definitely see Paranoiac and Les Diaboliques as having close ties to giallo--if not early precursors to the genre. Although most critics claim giallo began in 1962 with Bava's Evil Eye, all of these films were influencing European directors. Les Diaboliques interested Hitchcock, who used the same authors' Vertigo (1958), which flopped at home, but inspired filmmakers abroad.

As I said earlier, I see giallo as a mixture of noir, horror, exploitation, and mystery. These components are usually shuffled and mixed to various degrees, using Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) as a basic blueprint. However, British crime films, German krimi, and American (and French) noir, were huge influences and regurgitated by Italian filmakers with a heightened sensibility. The sexuality of American noir (and horror) was expanded in Hammer's works, which definitely lit the fuse for a return to gothic horror in Italy (although you could say they might have first influenced Hammer with Il Vampiri AKA Lust of the Vampire [1956]), finally exploding in giallo. However, from a film standpoint, it all loops back to Hitchcock and the tension he created with sex and violence, making it palatable to the mainstream with an ingenious use of humor (something he would discard in many of his later works).

As for your question, I've never read of any director claiming inspiration from Paranoiac and in fact, very few books even mention it (William K. Everson's More Classics of the Horror Film is the only reference I'm aware of) although it's a nice movie and deserves a wider audience. I have read of several people who were inspired by Clouzot's film, most notably Umberto Lenzi--Orgasmo (1969) and Romolo Guerrieri--Sweet Body of Deborah (1968), who made early pre-Argento gialli with the same basic underpinnings as Les Diaboliques.

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Re: Giallo

Postby ChiO » May 15th, 2012, 8:08 am

I've never read of any director claiming inspiration from Paranoiac and in fact, very few books even mention it (William K. Everson's More Classics of the Horror Film is the only reference I'm aware of) although it's a nice movie and deserves a wider audience.

Wheeler Winston Dixon, in Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia (2009), devotes about four pages to PARANOIAC, followed by another four pages on Freddie Francis' other two movies of the time, NIGHTMARE (1964) and HYSTERIA (1965). He, however, does not discuss influences.
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Re: Giallo

Postby Mr. Arkadin » May 16th, 2012, 9:00 am

ChiO wrote:
I've never read of any director claiming inspiration from Paranoiac and in fact, very few books even mention it (William K. Everson's More Classics of the Horror Film is the only reference I'm aware of) although it's a nice movie and deserves a wider audience.

Wheeler Winston Dixon, in Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia (2009), devotes about four pages to PARANOIAC, followed by another four pages on Freddie Francis' other two movies of the time, NIGHTMARE (1964) and HYSTERIA (1965). He, however, does not discuss influences.


Another book I must hunt for at the local library! I have Paranoiac cued up on my bedroom player, but have not had the chance to watch it again (life keeps getting in the way--and that's a good thing), but this post has resparked my interest and I will try to post a bit on the connections I see after viewing.

While SSO was down, I did visit the TCM boards for the first time in eons and snagged this cool poster of Orgasmo AKA Paranoia:

Image

A trailer for The Sweet Body of Deborah (1968), also starring American Carroll Baker, who made quite a few gialli films:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq9o_2q7wtQ[/youtube]

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Re: Giallo

Postby Mr. Arkadin » May 30th, 2012, 11:14 am

I finally had a chance to revisit Paranoiac over the weekend and I would say while it definitely has links to the genre, I don't know that I would consider it giallo. The film might have similar origins (Hitchcock), but the previous years' The Girl Who Knew Too Much AKA Evil Eye has rich visuals and gorgeous black and white photography, wheras Paranoiac seems very pedestrian in its camerawork, making the work less stylized and simpler than Bava's debut giallo or American works such as 1961's The Innocents. There is also the issue of scoring. Hitch and giallo directors used music to tie the visuals to investigations, or suspense set pieces, but there is none of that here as the soundtrack is very conventional, popping up all the expected places with no thematic surprises. Despite this, Paranoiac is an interesting film with plenty of twists and fine acting throughout.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-zpNH2Yz6I[/youtube]

I'm going to try and check out Nightmare (1964) in the near future. I've seen this one in the past, but have forgotten almost everything about it! I have not seen the last film of the Francis trilogy, Hysteria (1965), so perhaps other posters could chime in on these two and discuss whether the latter works inch closer to giallo.

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Re: Giallo

Postby CineMaven » May 30th, 2012, 12:43 pm

Erotic love?? :shock: :shock:

MR. ARKADIN wrote:While SSO was down, I did visit the TCM boards for the first time in eons and snagged this cool poster of Orgasmo AKA Paranoia:

Image



WoW! I thought it was:

Image

Am I getting my Hasbros mixed up with my Giallos??? Aye yi yi!

I have been skimming this thread while waiting for edits I made to render in a project I'm working on. I truly see, that I shall have to read every word, watch every trailer, look at every interview in earnest. There is soooo much packed here in a thread that is merely three months old. And there is in-depth film discussions in film like I like and not merely: "Oh, that's a good movie." If I don't read up on this I can't post substantively. I've seen a couple of these films in my day ("The Bird With the Crystal Plummage" when it was first released). I have a glancing appreciation of the genre...and my interest is there. I think I shall be getting, well...not a crash course, but I think I'll feel like I'm auditing a class in Giallo, once I hunker down and go through your thread with a fine-toothed comb. Two things:

( * ) I'm also diggin' is the crazy titles of these films ("Blood and Black Lace" and my fav'rite: "Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key"). Holy snap!!!

( * ) Why isn't Asia Argento a big international superstar???!!

If your Life is not TOO busy, Mr. A., I would suggest you teach this as a class in your local college. I'm sure there'd be a lot of appreciative young cinema students interested. They may even learn economy of filmmaking by examining this genre.
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Mr. Arkadin
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Re: Giallo

Postby Mr. Arkadin » May 30th, 2012, 10:25 pm

CineMaven wrote:Erotic love?? :shock: :shock:

MR. ARKADIN wrote:While SSO was down, I did visit the TCM boards for the first time in eons and snagged this cool poster of Orgasmo AKA Paranoia:

Image



WoW! I thought it was:

Image

Am I getting my Hasbros mixed up with my Giallos??? Aye yi yi!


Baker does play a little Twister in Sweet Body of Deborah:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQZRpHh3ll4[/youtube]

CineMaven wrote:I have been skimming this thread while waiting for edits I made to render in a project I'm working on. I truly see, that I shall have to read every word, watch every trailer, look at every interview in earnest. There is soooo much packed here in a thread that is merely three months old. And there is in-depth film discussions in film like I like and not merely: "Oh, that's a good movie." If I don't read up on this I can't post substantively. I've seen a couple of these films in my day ("The Bird With the Crystal Plummage" when it was first released). I have a glancing appreciation of the genre...and my interest is there. I think I shall be getting, well...not a crash course, but I think I'll feel like I'm auditing a class in Giallo, once I hunker down and go through your thread with a fine-toothed comb. Two things:

( * ) I'm also diggin' is the crazy titles of these films ("Blood and Black Lace" and my fav'rite: "Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key"). Holy snap!!!

( * ) Why isn't Asia Argento a big international superstar???!!

If your Life is not TOO busy, Mr. A., I would suggest you teach this as a class in your local college. I'm sure there'd be a lot of appreciative young cinema students interested. They may even learn economy of filmmaking by examining this genre.


I basically started this thread to document my journey and raise a little interest and discussion if I could. One of the problems the genre faces in finding new converts is the fact that if you talk about a film too much, you give away all the clues and suspense that make it enjoyable for first time viewers. Talk too little and nobody cares. I've tried to limit what I say and use trailers and other devices so that I don't spoil the films for others, but I'm happy to discuss them in depth with people who have seen them. Giallo and Eurotrash in general, are starting to garner some critical acclaim and I think in the future we will revere some of these works as we do Noir, or classic American horror, which were also considered disposable at one time.

Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1969) is a great starter film and one of the landmarks of the genre. At the same time it also pays homage to Hitchcock in several different ways. One of my favorites is where the protagonist chases a man in a yellow plastic mac into a room where there is a convention and everyone is dressed the same, referencing the umbrella scene in Foreign Correspondent (1940). Argento touches on important themes in this film, such as reliability of vision, point of view, and gender roles, which would dominate the rest of his work for years to come, culminating in his masterpiece Deep Red (1975). As for his daughter, Asia, she's a pretty big star everywhere, but the U.S. and has been in quite a few of her father's films. Check out The Stendhal Syndrome (1996).

Your Vice is a Locked Room... is currently OOP, but I'm sure someone can help you out if you're interested in seeing it. All three of the Fenech/Martino films are great and definitely worth searching out. As for a class, I'd love to do it, but it's hard enough finding enough viewers on the internet--let alone Texas!

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Re: Giallo

Postby CineMaven » May 31st, 2012, 7:53 am

:shock: :shock: TWISTER? It's like Brazilian Giallo. I understand what you're saying about revealing too much or too little. I see you've got a couple of cohorts on this thread, so at least you're not alone in discussing it. How're they seen in modern-Italy? Revered or forgotten? I saw "...Crystal Plumage" soooo long ago, it'd be like never seeing it if I revisited it. It'll be slow going, other little fish in my fryer, but I'm going to really check out the thread. I know it's not Giallo, but "The Tenth Victim" keeps flitting across my mind. Mad mod colors...over the top designs.
MR. ARKADIN wrote:As for a class, I'd love to do it, but it's hard enough finding enough viewers on the internet--let alone Texas!

Oh, I think a class, as an elective at a Texas college might work. Just get a nice vintage poster of Edwige Fenech. She'll do the trick. It's a genre worth exploring.
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Re: Giallo

Postby Mr. Arkadin » June 1st, 2012, 1:03 am

CineMaven wrote::shock: :shock: TWISTER? It's like Brazilian Giallo. I understand what you're saying about revealing too much or too little. I see you've got a couple of cohorts on this thread, so at least you're not alone in discussing it. How're they seen in modern-Italy? Revered or forgotten? I saw "...Crystal Plumage" soooo long ago, it'd be like never seeing it if I revisited it. It'll be slow going, other little fish in my fryer, but I'm going to really check out the thread. I know it's not Giallo, but "The Tenth Victim" keeps flitting across my mind. Mad mod colors...over the top designs.


The Tenth Victim is a very cool film and was just released on Blue Underground about a year ago. As for how these movies are viewed in modern Italy, I've got friends around there and giallos show up on local TV channels and are generally well known. Argento once hosted a show and actually has a chain of Profondo Rosso stores, named after Deep Red. How much they are loved compared with the artistic directors who made the more popular films (Fellini Antonini, etc.) I couldn't say. I do think that such competition made the genre directors work harder to prove themselves and take daring chances that we don't often see in American works of the same period.

CineMaven wrote:Oh, I think a class, as an elective at a Texas college might work. Just get a nice vintage poster of Edwige Fenech. She'll do the trick. It's a genre worth exploring.


I'm sure they'd love this:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzvbaHZbxlI[/youtube]

As much as Edwidge is the female face of giallo, she didn't make that many films. Carroll Baker, Susan Scott, Barbara Bach, Anita Strindberg, Ewa Aulin, Erika Blanc, Barbara Bouchet were regulars in the genre, but I think my favorite gialli actress is Florinda Bolkan.

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Re: Giallo

Postby Mr. Arkadin » June 1st, 2012, 6:47 am

By the way, one thing that has not been discussed is how much influence Peeping Tom (1960) might have had on these movies.

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Re: Giallo

Postby CineMaven » June 1st, 2012, 7:30 am

FLORINDA BOLKAN?!! WHOA!! Now THERE is a name I haven't heard uttered in more years than I care to remember:

Image

I have only seen her in one film. And I thought she gave a fantastic performance in it & I never forgot her in it: "A BRIEF VACATION." Wow...I haven't...wow!

You're going with a more sedate avatar, but here... http://www.imdb.com/rg/s/4/title/tt0067361/#lb-vi3298165017
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Re: Giallo

Postby MichiganJ » June 1st, 2012, 3:30 pm

CineMaven wrote:FLORINDA BOLKAN?!! WHOA!! Now THERE is a name I haven't heard uttered in more years than I care to remember:

Image

I have only seen her in one film. And I thought she gave a fantastic performance in it & I never forgot her in it: "A BRIEF VACATION." Wow...I haven't...wow!url]http://www.imdb.com/rg/s/4/title/tt0067361/#lb-vi3298165017[/url]


If you are a fan of Florinda Bolkan, don't miss Footprints, which is one of the best, and most unusual giallos I've seen. It's available on a region free DVD from Shameless, and is a steal at Amazon.UK.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Footprints-DVD- ... 290&sr=1-2
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Mr. Arkadin
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Re: Giallo

Postby Mr. Arkadin » June 1st, 2012, 3:48 pm

CineMaven wrote:FLORINDA BOLKAN?!! WHOA!! Now THERE is a name I haven't heard uttered in more years than I care to remember:

Image

I have only seen her in one film. And I thought she gave a fantastic performance in it & I never forgot her in it: "A BRIEF VACATION." Wow...I haven't...wow!


She really has the chops--not just a pretty face. I highly recommend:

A Complicated Girl (1968)
Un Detective (1969)
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)
Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971)
Don't Torture a Duckling (1972)
Footprints (1975)


I want to see Flavia the Heretic (1974) and A Brief Vacation looks really interesting as well. FMC showed Royal Flash (1975) before they started running commercials and I recorded it, but haven't gotten to it yet. If you can, check out the back to back Fulci movies (Lizard & Duckling) where she gives completely different (but inspiring) performances. As Michigan J suggests, Footprints is another seminal film:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiHjBQX89ts[/youtube]

Here's a decent review:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... IA&cad=rja

There is actually a full on summary at the end with spoilers, but you are warned in the article and can skip it if you choose.


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