Deep Red (Argento, 1975); Tenebrae (Argento, 1982) and Opera (Argento, 1987):
Arrow Video and FilmBar70 Dario Argento triple-bill, Roxy Bar and Screen, London Bridge, 3pm
This is part of the Scala Forever season, a programme of 111 films and events at 26 venues through to October 2 that will celebrate the wonderful Scala cinema at King's Cross which closed in 1993. Here is an article I wrote in the Guardian on the history of the cinema and the season and here are the details of all the movies and special events on offer, via the Scala Forever website.
Courtesy of cult film specialists Arrow Video comes this excellent triple-bill from Italian master director and Scala favourite Dario Argento.
Anne Billson's review of Deep Red*
'Dario Argento's pulpy giallo crime story (also known by its rather more poetic Italian title, Profondo Rosso) stars David Hemmings as an English pianist who's passing through a piazza in Rome when he witnesses the gory murder of a clairvoyant. He teams up with a feisty reporter (Daria Nicolodi, future mother of actress Asia Argento) to dig around in the past and solve the mystery of something he thought he glimpsed at the crime scene, though not before various characters have been bumped off in spectacularly gruesome ways. (Ouch, those teeth! Eek, that scalding bath!) The result, garnished with a nerve-jangling score by Goblin, is simultaneously trashy and elegant, and up there with Suspiria as one of the director's best.'
*Critic Anne Billson's highly recommended mini-reviews from the TV film listings pages of the Sunday Telegraph can be found here.
Here is the trailer for Deep Red.
Time Out review of Tenebrae:
A hybrid horror, both thriller and slasher, not to mention chopper and shocker, this confirms what Suspiria and Inferno led one to suspect. When it comes to plotting, Argento is one hell of a basket weaver: with holes in his story big enough to sink credibility, he cheats and double-crosses like mad to conceal the killer's identity. Successful crime writer (Franciosa) arrives in Rome to promote his new book 'Tenebrae', an event which triggers off a trail of bloody murders in the manner described in his book. By the end, the entire cast save one has undergone savage cutting, something which would have benefited the film itself, which is unpleasant even by contemporary horror standards. It does confirm Argento's dedication to the technicalities of constructing images - Grand Guignol for L'Uomo Vogue, perhaps - but you'll still end up feeling you've left some vital digestive organs back in the seat.' Frances Lass
Here is the trailer for Tenebrae.
Time Out review of Opera:
'The Visconti of Violence goes straight for the throat (and eyes) in this stylishly sick thriller about a young diva - the setting is a production of Macbeth at La Scala opera house - terrorised by a psycho killer. All the trademarks are here: minimal plot, striking set pieces, baroque camera movements, misogynist violence. As always, though, the most horrific thing is the dubbing. See it, if you must, on the big screen, because its swirling camerawork and imaginative nastiness will be completely lost on video.' Nigel Floyd
Here is the trailer for Opera.