GIALLO at MIFF – There is a God!
Yes Monsterpeeps MIFF is back – what’s MIFF, say all you non-Melbourne Monsterites… It’s the Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia’s oldest and largest film festival, and for the devilish at heart there’s genre treats a plenty!
One feature of this years program that is bound to pique the interests of blood sucking freaks like yourselves is the giallo retrospective, ‘Shining Violence: Italian Giallo’. If you haven’t seen the likes of Argento and Fulci on the big screen, quite simply dear fiends YOU HAVEN’T LIVED!!
Okay, lets take a squiz at the treasures within.
A QUIET PLACE IN THE COUNTRY (1968)
After suffering a mental breakdown, painter Leonardo (Franco Nero) moves to the country to find inspiration. He discovers the house he is staying in is haunted by a beautiful apparition, and one that is not taking kindly to the presence of Leonardo’s fiancée Flavia (Vanessa Redgrave).
Legendary director Elio Petri (Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion) joins with writer Luciano Vincenzoni (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and composer Ennio Morricone for a one-of-a-kind film that delves into the depths of hallucinatory avant-garde eroticism so prevalent in the late 1960s. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 1969 Berlin Film Festival, A Quiet Place in the Country is a striking, disturbing experience you will not soon forget.
Here is a primo opportunity to see one of the early giallo’s from the 60’s, with the legendary Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero starring, who could ask for more?
Wed 7 Aug 6:30pm Kino Cinemas
Fri 2 Aug 9:00pm Kino Cinemas
DEEP RED (1975)
Hailed by horror aficionados as one of the greatest giallos ever made, Deep Red follows musician Marcus Daly, who witnesses a murder in his apartment building and ends up attempting to solve it alongside tabloid reporter Gianna Brezzie, as the task is seemingly beyond the police. Marcus is positive he holds the key to the mystery, and as the pair digs deeper, they uncover an increasingly sinister web of affairs.
Featuring the iconic David Hemmings (Antonioni’s Blow Up) and Argento’s muse Daria Nicolodi, as well as a score by the legendary prog rock band Goblin, Deep Red is best experienced on the big screen, as Argento and co-screenwriter Bernardino Zapponi (Satyricon) remind us that we can trust nothing – not even our own memories.
Dario Argento on the big screen, do we need to say another word? No we don’t, but we’re going to anyway – this film is a masterpiece, a visual delight that if you haven’t seen YOU MUST SEE and if you have seen, YOU MUST SEE AGAIN!.
Tue 30 Jul 9:00pm Greater Union 3
DON’T TORTURE A DUCKLING (1972)
A big-city reporter (Tomas Milian) and a woman on the run from a sex scandal (Barbara Bouchet) attempt to solve a series of child murders in a remote Calabrian town. The superstitious townfolk are not welcoming of outsiders, and are keen to keep their secrets well hidden.
Before establishing himself as the godfather of gore, filmmaker Lucio Fulci delved into the giallo subgenre with a neorealist influence in Don’t Torture a Duckling. The film was sharply criticised for its unfavourable portrayal of the Catholic Church, and not released in the US until 2000. In recent years it has been revived and reassessed as one of Fulci’s most underrated works.
Also starring Irene Papas and Florinda Balkan, and featuring a beautifully sinister score by Riz Ortolani, of all of his films this is Fulci’s personal favourite.
This is a Lucio Fulci classic, a disturbing piece of cinema that every genre fan should see at least once in their life time. Go out and see it folks, indulge yourself – LIVE!!
Sun 4 Aug 9:00pm ACMI 2
Peter Neal, an American horror author, is in Italy promoting his latest novel, when a young girl is brutally murdered. The killer leaves Neal a note informing him that his novels were the inspiration for the murder, and that there are more to come. As the number of victims increases, so too do the notes, and Neal begins to suspect that the killer is someone very close to him.
Inspired to make Tenebrae after being stalked by a crazed fan, director Dario Argento’s former video nasty – rarely shown on the big screen today – deals with the intersection of art and reality in a bloody and nightmarish manner, as only he can do. Shot by Luciano Tovoli, who also filmed Argento’s famed Suspiria, its stark visuals enhance its commentary on the nature of violence in cinema.
Argento is a genius and TENEBRAE stands up, looks you in the eye and makes sure you know it and you wont forget it. Gorgeous on every level TENEBREA’s masterful melding of sound and vision will haunt you for a lifetime .
Sun 28 Jul 9:00pm ACMI 2
THE HOUSE OF LAUGHING WINDOWS (1976)
A young painter named Stefano is sent to a rural Italian village to restore a fresco in a local church. The picture, which depicts the murder of St Sebastian, was painted by a mysterious man who disappeared years ago. As soon as Stefano arrives in town to begin his work, people start dying.
Largely forgotten until recent years, this giallo from director Pupi Avati (The Best Man, MIFF 1998) has since been rediscovered and celebrated by fans of the subgenre. With a small town populated by sinister folk, Catholic superstition, mysterious telephone calls in the night and some truly grisly murders, this gory film hits all the ’70s Italian horror sweet spots.
THE HOUSE OF LAUGHING WINDOWS has a classic title that could only belong to giallo, for on that alone this is worth seeing. Eli Roth cites it as one of his favorite films – say what you like about Eli, the man knows his shit!
THE PYJAMA GIRL CASE (1977)
In 1970s Sydney, Inspector Thompson comes out of retirement when the charred, mutilated remains of a woman are found on a beach. Meanwhile, waitress Linda is having affairs with her husband’s best friend, and with sugar daddy Professor Henry Douglas. As Linda’s life spirals out of control and Inspector Thompson searches for the identity of the victim and the killer, their paths will cross with shocking consequences.
Director Flavio Mogherini teams with Oscar-winning actor Ray Milland (The Lost Weekend) for what may well be the only Australian-set giallo ever made, replete with stunning photography of the Sydney coastline. A rarely seen snapshot of both 1970s Australian culture and Italian cinema, The Pyjama Girl Case stands out for the honesty of its characters and their portrayal.
It is not very often that the opportunity to see a giallo with an Australian flavour comes along, and here it is! Set in Sydney, this film combines brings giallo to a very 70’s Australia with incredible effect. Bellissimo mate!
Sat 3 Aug 6:30pm ACMI 2
Tue 6 Aug 11:00am Forum Theatre
MIFF kicks off on July 25th and runs to August 11th, and screens at the Greater Union, Kino, ACMI and the Forum Theater.
Buy tickets to these films and more at MIFF.com.au