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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been finally diving into Dario Argento. Being a horror fan, it’s about time ain’t it? Which ones have you seen? What do you think about him?


So far:


1) Deep Red. This is the best I’ve seen from him so far. The exposition at times was a bit dragging, but never enough to really put me off or to put me asleep. The quirky sound track along with the suspense offered was pretty awesome. This was a really nice find for me, and it will eventually make my BD collection when the price hits around $10. 7.5ish/10.


2) Opera. Honestly, I fell asleep last night watching it. I watched the rest this morning (I had to skip around some more due to time constraints). Opera and Deep Red are both “murder mystery” films, where you sit through the exposition with moments of pure horror popping up. I had the killer figured out in about 25 minutes to the film (or at least, a safe guess). The kill scenes were magnificent and really had my stomach churning…some of the best I’ve seen from a horror film. The exposition dragged big time, though, especially compared to Deep Red. 6.5/10 only due to the awesome kill scenes.
 

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I watched "Deep Red" a few days back and was surprised at the fan reviews. It really needed some tightening as far as editing goes. Way too long of exposition in many scenes. I've seen other films of his that are much better edited. But some films back in 1970s seem to have been made with stoned out crews and it shows. The long expositions destroyed any edge he had going.


It's interesting to note that many of those films were made MOS (Motor On Sync) so they ADR'd all the dialog even the Italian. Apparently that allowed carpenters to continue working on adjacent sets rather than shutting down during a scene. Can't imagine how difficult that might have been for the actors though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Agreed! Compare it to Carpenter's work. Carpenter has some "longish" expositions, but I think his expositions actually are needed and helpful because they successfully pull you into an atmospheric world every time (and he usually has a killer soundtrack that "lays out the carpet"--as he puts it). Dario's expositions are there just to add to the mystery and story element seems like, and are not tremendously needed to get the main points across. I can probably list some exact examples. For instance, I remember watching a 10 minute scene in Deep Red. I understand exactly what Dario was doing for the scene, and the first 4 minutes for example, do not add to the mystery, plot, or the suspense at all...it seems like complete filler material. I'm hoping that I'm not alone in thinking this--hopefully my attention span is staying nice and full as it always has been!



I agree that tighter editing should be done for his films. Many of his films are about 110 minutes long. They would be much better with some careful editing to drop them around 90 minutes; standard movie length.


Remember, that even stoners don't like the long and over-tedious stuff. Long and tedious stuff gets even more apparent and bothersome in that state of mind. I would think that even if they were stoned during editing, that they should have caught this right off the bat.
Maybe they were on something else. I do enjoy the quirkiness and the techniques that Dario uses and I still plan to see more of him as they really lay out his style. I just think that with some better editing, they would be much more rewatchable.


Deep Red is a great watch, though!
 

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I'm not an "Argento expert", but my favorite is Phenomena from 1985. It was hugely and badly edited for its US release and th title was changed for Creepers.
Fortunately it's available on dvd now in its original form, and on Blu-ray in the U.K. When can we expect a R1 Blu-ray release btw?....... Oh and of course let's not forget it's the movie that introduced the adorable Jennifer Connelly to the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo /forum/post/20810107


I'm not an "Argento expert", but my favorite is Phenomena from 1985. It was hugely and badly edited for its US release and th title was changed for Creepers.
Fortunately it's available on dvd now in its original form, and on Blu-ray in the U.K. When can we expect a R1 Blu-ray release btw?....... Oh and of course let's not forget it's the movie that introduced the adorable Jennifer Connelly to the world.

Before Labyrinth?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FendersRule /forum/post/20810268


Before Labyrinth?

Yes Labyrinth is from 86.


...I actually looked at her filmography just to make sure I was right
and I just saw that she apeared in...Once Upon A Time In America as well! She was 14...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Conrad /forum/post/20809810


It's interesting to note that many of those films were made MOS (Motor On Sync)

I prefer the story that says "MOS" stands for "mit out sound."


Quote:
so they ADR'd all the dialog even the Italian. Apparently that allowed carpenters to continue working on adjacent sets rather than shutting down during a scene. Can't imagine how difficult that might have been for the actors though.

In most Italian film productions of the era, the cast was made up of a multi-national mix of actors all speaking different languages. They would read their dialogue in whatever their native tongue happened to be, and everything would be dubbed over later.


Fellini, for example, was famous for not even writing the dialogue to his movies until post-production. He'd have his actors read their grocery lists or say whatever came to mind. He also like to yell direction at the actors while the cameras were rolling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo /forum/post/20810308


Yes Labyrinth is from 86.


...I actually looked at her filmography just to make sure I was right
and I just saw that she apeared in...Once Upon A Time In America as well! She was 14...

She developed her full-on mustache in Dark City. Nasty.
 

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Don't miss Suspiria.
 

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I've only seen a handful but Suspiria tops the list. I wasn't sold on the hype after my first viewing years ago but I've grown to appreciate it more on subsequent viewings. I thought Deep Red was just OK. FFoGV could have been decent but a lot of it didn't make sense to me. Seemed like the editing was off on it. Maybe a revisit is in order.


1. Suspiria

2. Tenebrae

3. Inferno

4. Deep Red

5. Opera

6. Four Flies on Grey Velvet


Fenders have you seen Stage Fright? Directed by Dario's protege Michele Saovi - who also did Dellamorte Dellamore aka Cemetery Man. I thought it was a good time. If you like Argento's giallos then check it out.
 

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I remember being turned onto Argento a few years ago during October Horrorfest. I ordered the trilogy (Suspiria, Inferno and Mother of Tears) and had some mixed feelings about the set. The one thing that I commented on (especially with Suspiria) was that the voices clearly did not match what the actors were actually saying and that their facial expressions seemed way out of context at times. Later, someone pointed out how he used actors from several different nationalities and that they were all speaking in their native languages. This came as a surprise but it made sense with what I was seeing.


One thing I didn't know that was pointed out earlier in this thread was that they were not even speaking lines that had anything to do with the film (grocery lists, etc). Now that, to me, is pretty bush-league. It definitely explains why some of the scenes seemed so out of place in Suspiria. I still enjoyed the films for what they were but it was hard to ignore how ridiculous some of the scenes were. I am still up to try out more of Argento's work though. Maybe Deep Red needs to make it into my Horrofest list this year.


EDIT: Ok, just read back through this thread and it appears that the grocery list thing was something that Fellini did, not Argento. My bad. Although, it still seems quite plausible that perhaps Argento was using the same technique in his movies.
 

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Suspiria is by far my favorite. I thought I'd read that it was a blend of Italian and English and I really don't know how you fix that for the viewer. Seems more distracting to consider watching the movie in Italian with English subs while conversations are being had with one person speaking one language and the other responding in a different one. I've seen it several times and the distraction is pretty mild IMO, no where near watching your average foreign film dubbed *cringe*


Suspiria is in regular rotation every October at Casa de Kenobi
 

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Argento is only for those who can look beyond the filming techniques of the 70's. The dubbing is going to be noticeable and many cannot deal with it.


Then, when he got into the 80's and had more actors working under him who actually spoke English, he fell apart creatively (more on that below). His mega-budgeted OPERA is such a piece of garbage that it boggles the mind and it was all downhill from there (my opinion of course, but the script is truly lame).


For me, all of his films are worth watching up to Tenebrae, which is my second favorite. Deep Red is tops for me and Suspiria third (it would be first, but it's a case of all the good stuff being front loaded, so it kinda peters out in the 3rd act).


Inferno is worth watching once. Plumage and Cat 'O Nine Tail both entertain and have good camerawork. Even Four Flies is kinda cool.


Phenomena is a mess. It has some really outstanding scenes and atmosphere, but the script was written by the monkey that appears in the film.


Trauma... Again, the script was bad. Just rotten and filled with implausibilities.


Then you get his later stuff and it ranges from disheartening (Sleepless) to cover your eyes bad (Phantom of the Opera, Mother of Tears, the Card Player, Stendal Syndrome).


Argento no longer can make films that cost more than a budget four door, so not only are the scripts bad, but the films look incredibly cheap.


I think it all goes back to the loss of his muse, Daria Nicolodi.She co-wrote Deep Red, Suspiria and Inferno. When she left him, Argento lost his better half. Literally.
 

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The only of Argento's films I've seen is Suspiria. If that's supposed to be one of his "good" movies, then I am officially done with Argento.
 
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