Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dollar Bin Article:The Golden Age of Dario Argento-Part III

By Eric Polk-
The Dario Argento Machine began to roll with 1975's Deep Red. What came next would sent this machine into the next plateau....

It was the first of Argento's Three Mothers trilogy. It was one of the last films processed in Technicolor. Its theme song is memorable. Its opening kill is iconic. I cannot do nothing but lavish 1978's Suspiria with all my praise. The atmosphere is dark yet colorful. A terrific blend of light and shadows. It's beautiful yet disgusting. It's suspenseful. It's scary. It's creepy.

The title and general concept of "The Three Mothers" came from Suspiria de Profundis. There is a section in Suspiria De Profundis entitled Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow. The piece asserts that just as there are three Fates and three Graces, there are three Sorrows: "Mater Lacrymarum, Our Lady of Tears," "Mater Suspiriorum, Our Lady of Sighs," and "Mater Tenebrarum, Our Lady of Darkness."
Suspiria is noteworthy for several stylistic flourishes that have become Argento trademarks.

The film was made with anamorphic lenses. The production design and cinematography emphasize vivid primary colors, particularly red, creating a deliberately unrealistic, nightmarish setting, emphasized by the use of imbibition Technicolor prints. The imbibition process, used for The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, is much more vivid in its color rendition than emulsion-based release prints, therefore enhancing the nightmarish quality of the film.

While most critics praise this film for its visual aesthetic, it gets knock for its so-called incoherency. You have to remember, the school is controlled by witches and to me, indulging in the supernatural delights doesn't necessarily mean linear logic.

So after creating his masterpiece, where did Argento go from there. Well, it's hard to couple a masterpiece with another as we shall see next  time.


Chris Regan said...

Love that movie so much - I don't have a single bad word to say about it. Genius.

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