SUSPIRIA
1977, 20th Century Fox, 100 min, Italy, Dir: Dario Argento

Jessica Harper, Joan Bennett and Udo Kier star in this landmark giallo inspired by an essay by 19th-century opium eater Thomas De Quincey. Argento’s magnum opus (the first of his “Three Mothers” trilogy) mixes witchcraft, nubile young flesh and expressionist set design into a truly hellish brew. SUSPIRIA is as visually ravishing as it is violent; its director explaining the film’s distinctive look as “trying to reproduce the color of Walt Disney’s SNOW WHITE.” Goblin’s eerie progressive rock soundtrack envelopes listeners in a web of Moog, mellotron and guitar, and has been sampled in everything from Hong Kong action films to hip-hop songs.


DEEP RED
PROFONDO ROSSO
1975, 106 min, Italy, Dir: Dario Argento

From the opening with a child slashing someone and a bloody knife dropping to the floor, we're plunged into an ever-deepening pool of repressed terrors. David Hemmings is a pianist sucked into an undertow of escalating homicide after he witnesses the murder of psychic Macha Meril. One of Argento's most justly famous gialli, where something as simple as a lizard writhing on the floor could represent a child's wounded psyche, bound someday to erupt in spectacular fits of murder. The dark and distinctive, keyboard-rich soundtrack - the first by prog rockers Goblin - was a major hit in Italy. With Daria Nicolodi.


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