Thursday, 30 November 2006

The Three Mothers and the Three Fathers

Though Argento was labelled as "The Italian Hitchcock" early in his career, it is an identity he struggled against for a long time, often arguing that his work was more indebted to Lang than Hitchcock. While he made Do You Like Hitchcock recently, its influences and references are broader with - I would argue - a strong undercurrent of Lang against/alongside the more obvious Hitchcock. Much the same also can be said for The Card Player as a contemporary revisioning of Lang's Dr Mabuse der Spieler (note the silent cliffhanger style finale on the train tracks) for the virtual era.

Now, with the final Three Mothers film in production, we should soon be in a position to compare Lang's Three Fathers - his Mabuses - with Argento's Three Mothers (note the "pay no attention to the (wo)man behind the curtain" theme of Last Testatment of Dr Mabuse and Suspiria that Jean-Baptiste Thoret identifies in Magicien de la peur and the "thousand eyes" - and ears - of the witchhouses/bodies).

And of course Mabuse also fed into the krimi, when post-Lang he went up against Scotland Yard...

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