Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 26, 2018


DARIO ARGENTO. James Gracey. Kamera Books; 2010.

This interesting book looks at the oeuvre of Italian giallo  specialist Dario Argento, beginning with his work on The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and on to the appropriately named Giallo. Gracey is obviously a big fan of Argento's but he can also see the man's flaws and can readily confess that Phantom of the Opera is "an absolute mess of a film." Gracey divides the discussion of each movie into general comments on the production; the pictures'  themes; notes on its technical style; and the verdict on each movie. There are also sections on Argento's work for television and the films that he has produced, such as Demons. He recognizes Deep Red as one of Argento's most memorable films and also admires Trauma much more than others do (I think Trauma is easily the equal of Deep Red.)  Although there are times this sort of resembles a term paper, for the most part Dario Argento is a worthwhile, informative, and well-written study of a flawed but talented director's career and work. Contains an insert of black and white and color photographs.

Verdict: Recommended for fans of Argento. ***.

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