Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

19 July 2008

Dario Argento's World of Horror, dir. Michele Soavi (1985)

NIKKI says: What a weird choice for a Saturday afternoon movie. To be honest, after watching it, I didn't even feel like I'd watched a movie. It's more snippets of Dario's best scenes interspersed with some dialogue and melodramatic narration. An Eye for Horror is much better, more informative, structured documentary. I'm not entirely sure what Soavi was going for with this one? Perhaps it's a promotional film? Still, I learned a lot about Dario's genius for in-camera effects, and I won't soon forget the bee who had the big operation to get his stinger removed and was then tied to some fishing wire to swarm about Jennifer Connelly's head in Phenomena.

A big operation! They put it under with ether and everything.

Dario's mind is a scary one. But he talks a lot here about how his movies are visual reflections of and reactions to his dreams and nightmares. He says at the end that he doesn't really know himself all that well, and would love to tunnel into his own mind and live there for a while just to get to know himself better. Something about living in Dario Argento's mind for any length of time is pretty scary, but the fact that the man himself longs to do it is sort of scarier.

It is indisputable that the man is a brilliant artist. This movie demonstrates that. It's just a pity it didn't focus more on Dario and the why and hows of his dreams and visions. There's lots of behind the scenes stuff, lots about the effects, and the music, and the enthusiastic Dario running about bringing everything together. But there are too many drawn out scenes from movies like Zombi that one figures the audience watching the documentary would no doubt be familiar with.



STEVE says: This documentary is 23 years old, which may go a long way in explaining why it seemed to offer so little - I was already familiar with most of it.

While it was interesting to learn about the insects and other effects in Phenomena, the huge crane shot in Trauma, and the film stock used in Suspiria, that's not really what I signed up for. From a doco called Dario Argento's World of Horror, I expected to learn a little more about, you know, Dario Argento's World of Horror.

There were some interesting points, glimpses into Argento's childhood, and confessions that he doesn't really know himself and how murder is beautiful, but these last come off as someone who's trying to sound creepy, rather than a true artist discussing his creativity. Like that interview with Stephen King where he says, "I have killed a few people, but they haven't found the bodies, so I think I'm alright." Way to fuel the stereotype there, bud.

As an Intro to Argento sort of thing, World of Horror might be alright, but I'd still recommend the more recent An Eye for Horror to get a comprehensive view of the guy.


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