Sunday, 5 July 2009

Tenebre / Giallo

Lara Wendel, in Tenebre:

Why don’t you say something?
Go fuck yourself!
Bastard! [Spits]

Emanuelle Seigner, in Giallo:

You’re so selfish!
You’re just like him! [repeat, ad nauseam]

What is the difference, quality of dialogue wise, other than the ad nauseum?

Do we just forgive Tenebre its faults and criticise the same in Giallo?

8 comments:

Guillaume said...

TENEBRE is very good but has also some weak acting and dialogue from some supporting characters (Daria Nicolodi,Mirella d'Angello,Lara Wendell...),i agree!

The killer taking photographs in the new GIALLO trailer has a TENEBRE vibe too!

Anonymous said...

It's like the libretto in an opera, I guess, meant to be functional and not much more. When the acting is the same I more often have a problem, but the Italian dubs are almost always better. On the other hand the sound design is much more interesting. The words are just a dull background sound, for the most part.

Tom.

Anonymous said...

I guess there are two differences:

1. Tenebre was made in the early 80s and lara Wendel never was much of an actress, so the poor dialogue is less jarring.

2. Tenebre doesn't suck

Don said...

I think the reason the dialogue, acting, etc in Argento's newer films feels jarring is because in every other way these films are well made. The cinematography is always very nice-looking, the actors are attractive and have screen presence, the effects are usually pretty good.

Take the Card Player for example, if you watched that film on mute it would look like a slick, well-produced film, but then you listen to it and the dubbing and the dialogue just feel out of place.

But if you watch Tenebre, you're already forgiving things- you're over-looking that ridiculous crane shot and the overall style of the film as well as the clothing and hair-styles which constantly remind you (subconsciously) that what you're wearing is from another time, so we let the acting, dialogue and dubbing slide.

Michael Mackenzie said...

I think Don is right on the money. It's interesting, because while Argento is accused by many of being a shadow of his former self, in many ways he has with age become a "better" filmmaker in a conventional sense, in that his recent projects are in many ways slicker and more "professional" than his work in the 70s and 80s. Of course, for many (myself included), the idiosyncrasies of his earlier work are part of what makes them so interesting and enjoyable, but it's true that the dialogue and dubbing in his recent work is the last major holdover from a bygone era. Then again, there is very little apparent dubbing in Giallo - only one or perhaps two characters leapt out to me as having obviously had their voices substituted.

Anonymous said...

In his ealier work (which most of us I guess saw when we were younger) Argento also taught us that particular style, so it was fresh to us. Maybe when watching his later work we feel we have nothing more to learn. I disagree with Don. With every new film one starts off by having to "forgive" things - something new and alive in art so often looks at first sight like ineptitude.

Tom

Anonymous said...

A kind of method I have when approaching a film is to try working from the hypothesis that the one key thing about the movie that embarasses me or fatally sabotages the mood is the hidden key to the film, and hence the best thing about it. That always opens up new possibilities for me. Everyone's worst moment is different, but there are a heap of interpretive possibilities available by acclaiming, say, the CGI at the end of the Third Mother, or the model baby's arm falling off, or the cruddy woollen thing with "writing" on it. The implications of the first of these has been widely discussed, and as for the second - what if Daria as the Virgin Mary transformed the babe into a doll at the moment of throwing, and its reveal as a doll hints at the operations of a hidden power of goodness, made manifest in her CGI appearances?

Tom

El Diablo said...

Alas, this one hasn't made it to Chicago yet...I have high hopes for it only because I thought Mother of Tears sucked mightily. In my book, if it's at least better than that I won't be too let down.

Now that's setting the bar pretty damn low, I realize...