One of the many small pleasures I get from watching gialli are the abstract, almost avant-garde configurations that appear from time to time. Stairways are a good example of this:
From Giuliano Carnimeo's The Case of the Bloody Iris
From Dario Argento's The Bird with the Crystal Plumage; I love the reversal of perspectives here.
From Mario Bava's Kill Baby Kill
It's the lighting, with the contrast of colours or simply black and white; the spirals, rectangles and triangles; the sheer way in which the filmmaker and his cinematographer take something we are all familiar with but make us look at it afresh; that we could take a still like this, frame it and stick it in a gallery.
But it's also the meaning that these stairwells have beyond simply being locations in which action plays out, with ascension to paradise or descent into inferno equal possibilities. And it's another point of intersection with other key figures, if we think of Hitchcock's use of stairs in the likes of Notorious, Suspicion and Psycho, or Powell, with A Matter of Life and Death even going by the alternative title of Stairway to Heaven...