Friday, 26 June 2009

Thoughts on Giallo

Last night I saw Giallo again, but this time with a paying / proper audience rather than one of critics and other freeloaders ;-)

The cinema was 90% full.

The thing I really noticed was how this audience laughed at Brody’s delivery in relation to his character’s back story, laughing with rather than at the film. But they did not laugh when one of the killer’s victims escapes and touches the leaves of a tree – they got that this was a reference to the final images of Opera.

I enjoyed the film more a second time, being able to pay more attention to the cinematography (Frederic Fasano), production design (Davide Bassan) and intertextual references, that, for example, the Marnie-esque blackmailer of Do You Like Hitchcock is a murderous butcher here. (Argento’s vegetarian commentary?)

5 comments:

Guillaume said...

Very promising!
Good to hear that the audience seemed to enjoy the film.

No word about a theatrical or dvd release yet??

The dvdtimes.co.uk review is also pretty positive!

Whiggles said...

Hey, whereabouts were you seated, Keith? I was in the row second from the back, dead centre.

I'm not entirely convinced that the audience was laughing with with the film in relation to Enzo's back story. In fact, I'd argue that this was the straw that broke the camel's back. Until that point, the audience seemed to be going along with the ride, but after that moment, I got the impression that the mood changed and people became a lot more derisive of it. Certainly, most of the laughter occurred during the final half-hour, and, when leaving the cinema, a lot of the chatter I heard around me suggested a rather negative reaction. And I'm still not sure whether the audience was applauding the film itself at the end or simply the fact that it was over!

Still, I did like the film overall. My own rather long-winded review is up on my web site and at DVD Times.

K H Brown said...

I was a centre/left in the back row. I met up with a guy from Cinemageddon afterwards and we had a couple of drinks.

What I feel about Enzo's back story is that it was showing the ridiculousness of the maverick cop / it takes one to know one approach to the killer; I also thought the avoidance of the term serial killer was interesting, along with the ways in which Giallo was a "beauty killer" like the maniac in The New York Ripper (co-incidentally I saw Antichrist on Wednesday, which has a credit for Andrea Occipinti.)

Thanks for the link - the more opinions on the film the better.

Guillaume said...

What did you think of the acting Keith?

It seems that the killer and ending/last third are "problematic" for many viewers...but in the same time it is already the case for many Argento films!

Myself i like "The Card Player" but the film's OTT (but logical)
ending has often been maligned...same case for "Opera".

It's interesting to notice that
Argento fans who aren't too fond of "Sleepless" and tend to prefer "The Card Player" liked this "Giallo".

Anonymous said...

Finally had a chance to see this (at the "Fantasy Film Festival") - the cinema was half-empty and the reaction almost entirely negative and that despite lots of Argento fans in the audience.
Before the movie started, the festival organisers even felt the need to caution everybody that what they were about to see was just typical "latter day" Argento, so we should all keep that in mind and try to enjoy the movie as it is and having seen it now, it's easy to understand why he felt compelled to do, easily one of Argento's worst and so bad that it wouldn't pass muster as a run of the mill DTV "Hostel" imitation.

Quite disappointing overall, I liked "The Third Mother" and "Do you like Hitchcock" and even thought that the card player was a slight improvement after the dreadful Sleepless, but this is so bad that it really might be best for Argento to retire with at least some of his reputation still intact.